Born in October of 2003, Mason entered into this world with no sign of any disability. He went through his first year hitting every milestone, from rolling over, to crawling to walking.
He was a great eater and loved vegetables over meats and loved drinking milk. Mason was one of two of my 4 sons that refused to breastfeed from infancy.
He was a formula fed baby and went to drinking milk when it was age appropriate to switch to cow's milk, right around 18 months.
Just before his first birthday Mason became ill with the flu. This minor virus delayed his 12 month well baby visit and by the advice of his pediatrician we would get him all caught up at his 15 month check up.
Three months later Mason has his 15 month checkup and he's a happy, healthy and well dispositioned child.
There was one event that took place at this visit. We never would have imagined how it would change our lives forever.
Due to postponing his 12 month vaccinations, Mason was given both his 12 and 15 month doses at the same time. Little did we know that this "double dosing" of vaccinations would cause such heartache for all of us.
As parents we knew very little about what causes Autism. Till today we have our reservations about what the government says "isn't" the cause of Autism.
Many say its genetics, yet no one in my family is Autistic. Some say that it could be exposure toxicity while in the womb, yet I would like to think I was pretty careful about what I ate and I stayed away from the environment where drinking and smoking took place.
When Mason turned 18 months old, I began to notice that his speech was delayed. I realized after having 3 sons prior to Mason, that they all began to say "mama" and "dada" and would shake or nod when asked a question right around 12 to 15 months.
Mason had no verbal communication or even an attempt to speak. No acknowledgement when we spoke to him, just a blank stare. It was almost as if he couldn't hear us.
We began to wonder if he had a hearing problem. We had speakers on either side of our television and he would favor either the left or right side whenever the television was on.
We had him checked and according to the hearing specialist, they would keep him occupied with a toy and when they played a sound in either ear he would look up at them in wonder. That was how they gauged his response to sound and new that he didn't have a hearing problem.
They did say that he never pointed to his ear or tried to remove the headphones out of curiosity, like other children would do. His only response was to look up at them which was sufficient evidence that he could hear.
Mason was not showing us any signs that he could speak. He barely even cried when he needed anything. In the first 12 months he cried, smiled, cooed, and giggled. At 18 months it was as if someone turned my childs personality off.
At age 2, I again asked his pediatrician about Mason late development in speech. She said, "well sometimes the youngest child is the late bloomer and doesn't speak righ away because he has older siblings to speak for him."
I tried hard to believe her, but it was difficult. I just had a feeling in my gut that there was something wrong and for everyday that went by I felt I was losing my child.
When Mason was 2 1/2, I had him with me while I was participating in a tradeshow. A lady from the booth across from me walked over and asked me, " Is your son Autistic?" I said, I have a feeling that he does have Autism, but his pediatrician won't diagnose him as Autistic.
She then shared with me that she had an Autistic son and that she had gone through the same thing that our family had been experiencing with their pediatrician. She gave some advice to have him evaluated at the Pacific Autism Center.
I took her advice and set up an evaluation with PAC. A week after his evaluation, we were called in to meet with the evaluator, physician and psychologist. Mason was diagnosed with "mid-range autism".
After bio-medical treatments, alternative methods of detoxing his body and corrective chiropractic care, Mason is a vibrant and very high functioning child.
Mason just turned 10 a few days ago and he has taught us so much. More than learning from his trials and shortcomings because of his Autism, Mason was blessed to have been able to keep us close to him.
Most Autistic children will not allow you to hold them or be close to them physically. Mason is just the opposite. He loves hugs and loves to give hugs. Whenever he feels he has made a mistake he will come over and say, "mom, can I have a hug?"
Mason has blessed us with his presence in our lives. Love, perseverence, compassion, strength and faith, is what he reminds us of on a daily basis.
We made drastic changes in our home, from the foods we eat, to the water we drink, to the environment we surround ourselves with.
Mason has taught us to listen to our innate instincts and follow our gut intuition when it tells us to take action and find a solution.
This way of thinking has proven successful in all areas of our lives. Make decisions not choices and follow through no matter how much time it takes to get the best results. We do it for Mason and we do it because we are obligated to ensure he lives a successful life.
Thank you Mason for choosing us to be your parents and for allowing us to go on this journey with you. You are a blessing to us and will bless many more lives that you touch because of who you are. You Are Someone GREAT!!
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