TACA Conference 2016 Highlights
TACA is an organization that stands for “Talk About Curing Autism”. This organization is run by parents for parents. TACA provides a TON of free resources. You can get a free journey guidebook. Free mentor-ship by a parent who has been through it. Free parent support groups and “coffee talks” where they bring in specialists you can talk to. Plus, their website has free webinars and just tons of resources!!! Click HERE to go to the TACA website.
TACA has a very holistic view of autism treatment. They support traditional therapies like ABA, OT and speech therapy. They also support biomedical therapies that look at the child’s overall health and well being. When your child is feeling healthier, then traditional therapies like speech therapy will work better. I always support the child’s health first! If your child isn’t sleeping or if inflammation is causing discomfort then it can be difficult to focus on learning new skills.
The TACA conference this past weekend had a lot of reoccurring messages. Here are just a few points that I wanted to share from the conference. This information was obtained from doctors and parents presenting at the conference. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor can I recommend any medical advice. Please consult your pediatrician or TACA mentor for more information.
Diet is IMPORTANT! This was mentioned way more than anything else during multiple sessions throughout the conference. When just starting out they recommend starting gluten free and casein free. Sometimes it can take up to 3-6 months to notice a difference in the diet. In the parent panel 2/4 families said this diet worked for them. The other 2 said gluten free wasn’t enough but the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) worked for them. They recommend organic. Avoid GMOs and MSG. Avoid red and yellow dyes in foods. Some parents said they made a lot of changes at the same time. Others said they started removing dairy and worked their way up from there. If milk is a huge issue, then you can start adding a small amount of almond or coconut milk to your child’s milk then gradually increasing the dairy-free option until you are able to transition completely. If you decide to try the diet you need to do it 100% or not at all to notice changes in your child.
Get treatment with a MAPS doctor if possible. These doctors have a better understanding of autism and what may be causing some of the symptoms your child is presenting with. They look at the “gut”, possible causes of inflammation, and other imbalances in the body such as yeast.
Get tested! If you can’t get to a MAPs doctor you can work with your pediatrician to get tests done. They mentioned a lot of tests! One doctor said if she had to recommend one test for people with limited resources she would recommend the Urinary Organic Acid Test. Other testing: IgG testing for food allergies, complete comprehensive metabolic profile, test for iron, B vitamins, test for heavy metals and getting a stool analysis to analyze gut bacteria.
Be your child’s best student! YOU are the expert of your child. If you try any new supplements or make diet changes do only ONE change at a time. Write in a journal/log behaviors you see regarding sleep, eating, stimulation, communication, etc. It will be a good reference if you notice improvements or regressions. You can also chart changes through the ATEC.
Take time for YOU! You can’t be a warrior for your child if your resources are depleted. Schedule in some time for yourself to exercise, shower, read or do whatever it is you enjoy doing.
Connect with family. If you are married, schedule date nights with your spouse. Don’t talk about the “A” word when on date night. If you have other children, find time to spend with them as well so they feel special and important.
Connect with TACA and/or other parents going through something similar. TACA families and mentors are so amazing and helpful. Such a great community of people. They can help advise you along your journey. They can help encourage and motivate you on the hard days. They can inspire you with their own stories. They can help you organize and prioritize your goals for your child. They can help with resources. Overall, they can help you feel part of a community. Go HERE to sign up for a TACA mentor.
I can’t say enough good things about TACA. They are a great resource for your journey.