Injection of Hope
Connor who is six years old has been diagnosed with high functioning autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) and speech and language problems. He has just had his third secretin injection and we thought you might like to read about his story thus far. Connor is our second son, so we had experience of the so called milestones children should reach. We had problems feeding Connor, he often had projectile vomiting and once he got so hydrated he spent time at our local hospital. He was always getting coughs and colds and so had more than his fair share of amoxile antibiotics. His walking was late, his talking was minimal so eventually our health visitor referred us to a speech therapist who in turn referred us to a paediatrician.
the age of two until four, Connor had various developmental checks, blood
tests, etc. Finally in June 1997, at the age of four, we got our first
diagnosis of autism, and a year later (privately), an additional diagnosis
of adhd. Then came the Ritalin for his adhd and although the Ritalin did
help Connor concentrate and calm down, we thought there must be something
else we could do to help him.
about the same time, we saw Trevor Macdonalds first programme about
secretin which we found amazing. After much research on the internet and
reading all about Billy Tommey we phoned for details from Dr OConnell.
Meanwhile, Connor had turned six (May 1999) and already his second mainstream
school was not working out. He had spent four terms in our local primary
school with full-time support but he really could not cope with 30 in
his class even though he had some lessons on his own. So, we tried a smaller
private school, again with full-time support, but this time only 12 in
his class. Unfortunately, no progress was made. Our decision was that
while we tried to find a suitable school we would try him on secretin.
We knew we had to do something drastic because life at home was so stressful.
Conners older brother Casey, aged 8, was suffering from the effects
of Connors screaming, tantrums, loudness, lack of compliance and
So, in June this year, Connor had his first injection. I remember so well our nervousness and apprehension, especially when seeing all those other people in Dr OConnells waiting room. The sense of comradeship and togetherness at us all coming together to try something controversial and unproven still sticks in my mind. Some people had travelled from Wales and here we were worrying about getting the train from North London. Connor entertained the commuters on the train all the way!
For us, the very next day, Connor was a changed boy. It was Fathers Day and the first thing he said was Happy Fathers day and gave Colin a big kiss and cuddle. Connor hadnt liked this form of social contact before and needed prompting to even say hello or bye. That same day, he played computer games with Casey who even remarked what a lovely boy Connor was. When the phone rang that same day he ran to answer it as he always tries to do but this time when I said not to touch he said, OK mummy!. I thought I was hearing things. Life continued like that for two weeks compliance, niceness, affection in the form of hugs and kisses, co-operation and sharing. He slept longer in the mornings usually he only had to hear one sound and hed be awake but now we were having to wake him for school!
reported that his last three weeks with them were the best hed spent
there. People were remarking how quieter he seemed.
Thanks to our local education authority, Connor has started a new school which opened for the first time in September: Hillingdon Manor school, formed by Anna and Sean Kennedy, parents of two autistic boys who could not find a suitable school for their children. At last, Connor is in an environment which understands autism and can help him to understand how his behaviour affects others. So, with the secretin, modified diet, behaviour modification programme and a new school we are really optimistic for the first time since we received his diagnosis of autism. We feel that as parents we all need to share information and experiences to one another so that we can keep on trying to help our sons autism rather than just accepting that there is nothing we can do. Secretin is working for Connor but I certainly wish it were cheaper! Our local MP has kindly offered to write to the Minister for Health to enquire about receiving secretin on the NHS but I think were a long way off that yet!