Tourettes and Homeopathy

I have been writing mostly about Sarah’s walk with Autism. Today, I want to bring more awareness to another diagnosis she has and that is Tourette’s.

Homeopathy is great for many different things and Tourette’s is one of them. Let me explain what Tourette’s is.

The most severe of tic disorders, Tourette syndrome is characterized by the presence of both motor and vocal tics. Although known to occur in adults, symptoms typically present between ages 5 and 18 and last for a minimum of one year. The symptoms often reduce into adulthood. Tics that begin in adulthood are generally not considered symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, and usually have a secondary cause.

Sarah has always said that it is not the Autism that bothers her so much as it is the Tourette’s that bothers her. She has also said that having Tourette’s embarrasses her. She is on traditional medicine for it right now. Personally, I would like for her to be off traditional medicines and completely on natural medicine.

I have been on a quest for a long time searching out what natural medicines are out there for people who are diagnosed with the same diseases as Sarah has. I want Sarah to be comfortable in her own skin.

The main thing that embarrasses Sarah about having Tourette’s is the Tics that sometimes come with Tourette’s.

Conditions other than Tourette Syndrome that may manifest tics include developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and stereotypic movement disorders. In addition, tics can also be a part of Sydenham’s chorea, idiopathic dystonia, Huntington’s disease, neuroacanthocytosis, Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Wilson’s disease, and tuberous sclerosis.  Other possibilities for tics include Down syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, XYY syndrome and fragile X syndrome.

Tics can be induced by prescription drugs, the use of “street” drugs, head trauma, encephalitis, stroke and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even low levels of thyroid hormone (Hypothyroidism) are known to cause tics. Tics are also associated with certain emotional disturbances, such as OCD and hypochondrical phenomena, as well as some seizure activity.

This is how Homeopathy can help. Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted substances that challenge the known laws of pharmacology. Critics often dismiss the positive effects of homeopathy as merely due to placebo effect. And yet, according to homeopathic doctrine and 200+ years of experience, the more diluted the substance, the more potent it becomes.

The vital force is the healing power or energy that exists within all living things. Chinese Medicine calls it Chi, while Indian Ayurveda refers to it as Prana.  The vital force fuels our mind, body and emotions. It keeps us healthy and balanced. When the balance of the vital force is disturbed by factors such as stress, pollution or improper diet, it becomes weakened and susceptible to illness.

A homeopath’s task, in any illness, is to find a substance, or homeopathic remedy, that corresponds to the sufferer’s physical and emotional health.  The correct remedy unlocks the healing power of the vital force, allowing the organism to do what it does naturally – heal itself.

Whether you are suffering from tic disorders, headaches or anxiety, homeopathy offers solutions.   A homeopathic remedy is prescribed based on your unique symptoms, feelings and experiences.  This remedy resonates with the energetic vibration of your illness and sets you on your path to recovery.



Raising Sarah

Through these 24 years of having our daughter Sarah blessing our life, people have asked me what was it like raising Sarah? To which I reply “What do you mean was?” We feel like we still are raising Sarah even though she is an adult and living in a fully staffed home.

We see Sarah a lot and we are still her guardians and have the final say so on her care. We call her nearly everyday and if we don’t call her she calls us. So it still feels like we are still raising her to a degree. That is ok though because we want the final say.

So, raising Sarah has been a great challenge in our lives. When she was diagnosed with Autism back in 1991, we had no clue what that word meant.

I had no idea on how to handle this challenge, and I am not sure anyone is quite prepared to hear the words “We believe your child has Autism” or any challenge for that matter. When I heard this I went numb and in over drive, because I was going to find the cure for this Autism word that doctors say my perfect little girl had.

My husband went into complete denial saying, he believed that she was just slow and would overcome it. He of course learned what Autism was and has dealt with it as best as any of us can.

That is how we started out on this ever-changing but very routine walk called Autism.

Our two older daughters bless their hearts were stuck in between the craziness of their whole world being changed, and trying to have some normalcy lives.

Sarah was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism with low IQ and low muscle tone. Later she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, Bi-Polar, Seasonal Effective Disorder, Partial seizures and Psychotic Episodes.

We have gone through all of the craziness of doctors and teachers that did not have a clue on how to help Sarah because her needs were so many. I on the other hand thought that the “professionals” should know exactly what to do for her and help me make Autism go away.

We have gone through the meltdowns and being kicked out of stores and Churches (yes, I said Churches) because of those meltdowns. I would get up everyday determined to be the happy mother I used to be before the Autism word was in our lives, and everyday I would fail in epic proportions.

We have also gone through all the times that Sarah would just take off. She only required 3hrs of sleep and on those odd occasions when we would drift off to sleep she would figure out the locks on the doors and windows and she would be gone. Amazing that she was diagnosed with low IQ but she could figure out intricate mechanical things……..hummmmm.

I think one of  the hardest things to go through on raising Sarah was when she would have psychotic episodes and try to harm herself or us. We then had to make some very tough decisions, because at that time our health was not very good.

Raising Sarah has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my life. If I can help anyone that is going through these trying times right now with their family member I will.

I am not claiming to have all of the answers, but I will never stop researching and finding things that will help Sarah be comfortable in her own skin.

People have told me that Sarah would not be as well off as she is, had it not been for us working with her day and night. People have also said that they were sure that they could not handle something like that. Most of the time people would just give us demeaning cruel looks, or make snide remarks.

I have to tell you, it is only by the Grace of God that we all have gotten as far as we have. Sarah knows that God has protected her on a lot of occasions and she thanks him for it. Her faith is remarkable.

The next time you see a family going through a crisis of sorts in a store, church or another place. Don’t ridicule them, have compassion on them and ask them if their is anything you can do. These families/children will often feel isolated so an act of kindness would probably be greatly appreciated. I know it would have been for us.015

Microcephaly and Autism What To Look For

When we took Sarah to a neurologist a few years ago, he said “Did you no that Sarah has Microcephaly ?” I said “Excuse me, I have know  idea what that is.” He proceeded to tell us what Microcephaly (aka Small Brain Disease) was and that Sarah had a slight case of it.

I remember thinking to myself “What else is my child going to have to endure?” Well, I got the answer to that question not too much longer afterward.

I do not personally know any parents with a child with microcephaly, but I wish I did. Like with the word Autism, I had no idea what the word microcephaly was.

I had to research this new word and diagnosis and like the word Autism it scared me. The reason it scared me was because Autism mainly deals with your social, mental and cognitive abilities. Microcephaly basically deals with all of that and your life expectancy.

This new diagnosis really scared me, but I figured knowledge is power so I trudged on, trying to keep my head above water. I am so pleased that there is new information on Microcephaly out their that is less scary than what I went through.

No matter what always try to find out as much information about your child’s diagnosis as you can. Do not just try to pretend that the diagnosis will go away. Remember, the river of denial is far and wide!

Here are some of the causes of microcephaly that I have found;

Microcephaly usually is the result of abnormal brain development, which can occur in the womb (congenital) or in infancy. Microcephaly may be genetic. Other causes may include:

  • Craniosynostosis. The premature fusing of the joints (sutures) between the bony plates that form an infant’s skull keeps the brain from growing. Treating craniosynostosis (kray-nee-oh-sin-ahs-TOE-sis) usually means your infant needs surgery to separate the fused bones. If there are no underlying problems in the brain, this surgery allows the brain adequate space to grow and develop.
  • Chromosomal abnormalities. Down syndrome and other conditions may result in microcephaly.
  • Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain (cerebral anoxia). Certain complications of pregnancy or delivery can impair oxygen delivery to the fetal brain.
  • Infections of the fetus during pregnancy. These include toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, German measles (rubella), and chickenpox (varicella).
  • Exposure to drugs, alcohol or certain toxic chemicals in the womb. Any of these put your baby at risk of brain abnormalities.
  • Severe malnutrition. Not getting adequate nutrition during pregnancy can affect your baby’s development.
  • Uncontrolled phenylketonuria (fen-ul-kee-toe-NU-ree-uh), also known as PKU, in the mother. PKU is a birth defect that hampers the body’s ability to break down the amino acid phenylalanine.

In Sarah’s case, she did not have enough oxygen during labor and she had a careless doctor, but that is another story.

Depending on the severity of Microcephaly as with Autism, the degrees of symptoms are going to be different. Some children with Microcephaly will have normal intelligence and development. The latter was never told to me, but I am glad to find it now. Some other complications are

  • Developmental delays, such as in speech and movement
  • Difficulties with coordination and balance
  • Dwarfism or short stature
  • Facial distortions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mental retardation
  • Seizures

So please, if you see any of these symptoms in your child, take them to be evaluated. Sarah’s head always seemed a little big to me. It did not occur to me to look at the back of her head which is much smaller.

I was also told that her facial distortions were because of the Tourette Syndrome, maybe so, but I do wonder. According to the Cleveland Clinic for Children, children with Microcephaly can have a reduced life expectancy. You know what, God is in control of how long we live, and I believe that Sarah is now living a good quality life.

MRIs of a normal individual (left) and a patie...

MRIs of a normal individual (left) and a patient with microcephaly caused by an ASPM mutation (right). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Jobs and Autism

I know that there are a lot of people who do not have jobs. Good jobs are very hard to find.

When you have been labeled with a challenge getting a job can be even more hectic. I am very happy that there are organizations out their, that help people with all types of challenges get jobs, that are suitable for them to have.

In our case, Robert and I had jobs doing paper routes for a while. One of the best things we did, was bring Sarah with us. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were teaching her a trade. Sure it took a lot of time to help her, but when we were all done she really felt like she accomplished something.

We as parents can set a course for our children whether they have challenges or not. I believe in setting children up to succeed in anything they choose to do. Giving your child a good work ethic is critical to their independence.

Sarah has three-part time jobs and one of them is a paper route. Her staff goes with her and they were amazed that she already knew how to do her paper route.

Don’t underestimate your role as a parent and don’t underestimate your child. Sarah was diagnosed with Autism, Low Muscle Tone, Sensory Disorders and later Tourette’s, Bi-Polar, schizophrenia with psychotic Episodes. I think that if we had not taught her early on about the importance of a good work ethic and to be as independent as possible, she would be an adult with challenges and no jobs.

Give your child any task to do at any level they are at and watch them grow from that. Find their strengths and build from there.

It takes constant patience and work, but the end result is very rewarding. I know that if I as Sarah’s mother could go through what we had to go through to get Sarah on the path she is on, Then anybody can. It is important to be your child’s voice until they can have their own voice.


Sarah and her walk with Autism

Sarah and MeI am Sarah’s Mom. She has given me permission to blog about her walk with Autism. She wants me to make everyone aware of Autism and other disorders and what can be done about them.

So far I have blogged about what can be done, but I have not blogged very much about Sarah and this is my time to remedy that.

Sarah had hip dysplasia when she was born, she also had a dislocated shoulder that was set. She was in a hip brace for the first nine months of her life.

Sarah was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism at 2 years of age, low muscle tone and sensory perception disorder as well. She had early intervention. She learned sign language and that helped her to speak. I have read some articles that say that a person with Autism has no empathy, that is just not true. Sarah has a lot of empathy and compassion for people and things that she cares about. Sarah had to be taught not to be so rigid and she learned to be more adaptable.

When Sarah was 9 years old she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. A few years later she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and Bi-Polar with psychotic Episodes. She told me that the Autism doesn’t bother her as much as the Tourette’s does, and she really hates schizophrenia.

I wish I could say this has been an easy walk for her but it hasn’t. She goes through her ups and downs like anyone else does and her emotions and behaviors are a little more extreme, ok a lot more extreme at times.

Sarah is a very social person, however to many people (especially little children and babies) bother her. She loves God and her family.

Sarah is 24 years old now and she lives with a roommate and staff is there to help her when she needs it. She is now able to go out into the community with staff and has more good days than bad. She has overcome every obsticale that has been before her. The Dr.’s said that she would not be able to do certain things or speak and she has proven them wrong  just like Jacob Barnett was able to do.

Sarah has 3 part time jobs and does very well at them. At one point the Governor and his team were going to take away jobs for special needs people and she and her staff went to the Capitol Building to protest. She told them that if they took away her jobs she would fire each and everyone of them. She wrote her concerns in a letter with staffs help to the Governor with the expression she would fire him too. She got to keep her jobs 🙂

She is doing better now than she ever has. We talk on the phone nearly everyday and skype also. We see her quite a bit. We are even able to sit in a resteraunt with her, have lunch and a great time.

Sarah and I want people to know that just because you may be diagnosed with something, it doesn’t mean that you are limited to that diagnosis. You are so much more than a diagnosis or a label. Sarah is doing really well right now and she wants to give everyone hope.Sarah Herbert