Kara spent an entire year making excuses for her toddler’s aggression, lack of speech, and extreme behaviors until she could no longer deny the obvious; something was terribly wrong. In December 2005, Kara learned that her child had been diagnosed with autism, a condition she was entirely unfamiliar with. She was told that there was nothing she could do for her child, and to take him home and medicate him. The medication was meant to silence the frequent tantrums and make the child more manageable, and she had been instructed to enroll her child in speech therapy. Other than this, all that doctors could tell Kara was to give the child copious amounts of love and ensure his safety.
Kara refused to medicate her two and a half-year-old son as their first intervention, fearful that the medication would cause more harm than good. Kara knew that her child’s behaviors were forms of communication, through which her young boy was trying to convey the immense pain he was enduring. Kara felt hopeless, not knowing how to help her son, and unwilling to silence his communication through pharmaceuticals. Instead of wallowing and listening to the doctors’ previous claims, Kara decided to forge her own path, in what was soon to become known as Functional Medicine.
Soon after Kara decided to seek answers to why her son regressed into Autism she had given birth to another baby boy and had a marriage end in divorce. There were no local resources available to her, so she began traveling great distances to meet with health professionals beginning to acknowledge and address underlying root causes that create the symptoms often referred to as Autism. Thanks to these professionals, Kara had unlocked previously undiscovered knowledge, spanning from craniosacral and lymphatic drainage therapy, low inflammatory nutrition, targeted nutrition supplementation, all the way to simple tasks like removing her son’s baby mattress and other toxic items commonly found in homes. These lifestyle modifications made sense to Kara.
While continuing her commitment to nutrition, lifestyle, supplementation, and structural integration therapy, she later layered in other interventions. She learned that no single intervention would heal his body, but rather the interventions in combination. She layered in behavioral optometry, infrared sauna, and advanced medical interventions such as chelation, hyperbaric treatment, mold exposure treatment, and orthodontics for his restricted airway.
In the 9th year of commitment to their evolving care plan, Kara worked with an MD to layer in a Lyme Disease protocol. Her son then jumped two academic grade levels and entered 5th grade as an independent student. After 16 years, they successfully maintain Autism remission. For the past 8 years, she has been working with functional medicine practitioners in the hopes of passing her wealth of knowledge onto families in need and in similar predicaments.
Kara learned the immeasurable value of living this Functional Medicine lifestyle with her son. Today, Kara is in her mid-forties and feeling better than she ever has. Looking back on what she has learned, Kara now credits Autism as a master teacher, forcing her to lead by example.