Education and Therapies
None of us would have been able to learn if we were sent to school chronically ill, with a foggy brain, and often painful headaches or body aches. As treatment progresses in children, when they can function and feel well, like other children, they can grow and develop. When function is restored in critical areas of the brain, pathways in the brain literally “open up,” and the ability to learn in areas that was not possible before now is possible. However, in those areas, kids are going to be starting back at the level of a much younger child. If development stopped at 2 years old, that may need to be the starting point for new learning. Without learning the basics as a foundation, more complex learning and functioning can’t occur.
Integrating Rehabilitation Goals
Mental functioning is dependent upon not only the correct functioning of each part of the brain, but the complex interactions between various areas. This needs to be built, through careful, rehabilitation-oriented education and therapies. For example, instead of trying to get whatever words are possible from a child, parents and speech pathologists must focus on the idea of rehabilitation in these areas, just as they would when treating the victim of a stroke, not a developmental disorder. Assessment of needs in all areas should be undertaken by educational and medical professionals who have rehabilitative background and understanding and who use methods that address the unique combination of learning needs of each child.
With recognition and initiation of treatment for the disease process, rehabilitation through educational, social, recreational, computer, tutoring, and other programs now can become an all encompassing part of a child’s life, allowing them to catch up on what has been missed.
Recovery is Possible
To hear stories of children who have truly recovered (by any pediatric standard, not just for “autism”), click on the link to the YouTube video, the Stories of Hope section on this website, and Dr Goldberg’s book (The Myth of Autism). Besides the numerous children who have become healthy and functional, many children of all ages have started to talk, after never talking before. This would be impossible with a developmental condition, but an expected result of treating a neuro-immune disease. Patients who significantly recover can look forward to a future of not only health and overall mental and physical well being, but also of independence and less support, if any, from society.