Our story.... updated 28/6/2017
Hello... my name is Sharna and I am a wife, mother and autism advocate.
I am here to tell my story in the hope it helps the greater community understand autism.
I believe every single person regardless of 'difference' deserves love, respect and inclusion.
I started documenting our journey in September of 2016 because I felt alone in an unknown world.
I hope that by sharing our journey we can help people understand that we are all incredible souls that have something to offer.
I do 'whatever it takes' to ensure my children succeed in all aspects of their life.
Here is a little ( snippet) about our journey.
You can follow us here, on Instagram @jameshealthjourney or over on my blog ( link in bio).
In February 2016 my eldest child James was diagnosed by his psychologist with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Although this was our official diagnosis James journey didn't start there.
His journey started from birth.
January 2013 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
7 days after James birth he began screaming continuously, was constantly red straining and wouldn't feed.
At 3 weeks old he was pulled from breast milk, diagnosed with cows milk protein allergy and silent reflux.
For months my husband and I never slept, James was always uncomfortable and struggling.
At 4 months old we were advised to start solids with James due to his reflux and non sleeping issues.
James would vomit, go limp, fall into a deep sleep and then have two days of the most horrendous acidic stools on the planet.
This went on with multiple first foods.
At 7 months old James was diagnosed with FPIES ( food protein induced entercolitis syndrome) by his immunologist and allergist.
I always new there was still something a little 'different' about James.
He did things beyond his developmental age and was reaching some milestones. Particularly in social interaction and communication areas.
When James was 2.5 years old I took him to a new paediatrician after hounding our regular paediatrician and being sent away continuously with the 'that's normal' response.
James new paediatrician ( who actually delivered James) said, 'I think he has ASD'. Our doctor sent my home with a pile of paperwork and told me to fill it out 'honestly'. From that paperwork James was given a tentative diagnosis.
We were referred to our psychologist and after the process was complete James was diagnosed on the spectrum in February of 2016.
I cried, I mourned and I stressed about a world I had been flung into. I felt extremely lost. I didn't know where to start but I knew that I would do 'wheatear it takes' to help my son and help him succeed.
I was determined to show the world the beauty of autism and what they 'can do'.
I went straight into building the best team around my son. I also started the journey down the path of detoxing and gut health, which I will touch on more in the coming posts.
So that's my baby boy. A beautiful mind, gentle, affectionate, loving soul who could count you under the table! Giggle!
Fast forward to March 2017.
My 2 year old neurotypical daughter Scarlett woke a completely different child.
She was anxious to the point I couldn't walk away from her. She also had a tic!
I watched this tic for about a week and then had her at the GP who thought perhaps it was a 'developmental stutter'.
The tic progressed to 4 motor tics and a vocal tic.
Straight to our paediatrician who took one look at Scarlett and said ' I think she has pans/ pandas'.
Scarlett started a course of antibiotics within 30 minutes all her tics were GONE.
Within one week Scarlett had her tonsils removed and within 3 weeks we were in front of a top paediatric neurologist in Sydney.
We were them thrown into a whirlwind 2 months of trying to control this autoimmune condition from damaging her brain.
Scarlett has pans/pandas a autoimmune condition triggered by infection, virus, toxins, environmental factors, the trigger then springs her immune system into action and rather than fighting the 'invader' her immune system fights her causing extreme anxiety, tics and vocal tics, food refusal, sleep refusal and a few sensory issues.
We are in the midst of discovering Scarlett's triggers.
And no this is not 'normal' by any stretch of the imagination and as we learn more I will tell more.
So that's our journey thus far.
I have a beautiful rainbow and panda and although our days are busy and often emotionally hard I won't ever give up.
Lots of love,