There are some people in this world who truly are the hands of Jesus. People who truly love and accept you exactly where you are at. They don’t hold off until you shape up enough. They know that may never happen. But that’s okay because they are able to see right past all your baggage and hang ups and get to the real you.
Sadly, many in the church are not the hands of Jesus. Interestingly some who are, are not even Christians. That always surprises me because how could an unbeliever be better able to show Christ’s love to others than one who is a Christian? That just makes me so sad.
This has become painfully obvious to me as the parent of a special needs child. It’s actually fairly rare to find a person who sees the side of him that others do not. And such a blessing when it does happen.
I’m not so sure that I am one of those people. But I hope to be, one day. And I’m trusting God to make it happen.
If you have been one of those people in my life, thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3
I’ve been meaning to put this all in one place for a good long time because frankly my brain is having a hard time keeping it all together. My son has autism. There, I said it. I’ve known it in my gut for a long time, but rather enjoyed only having suggestions from Dr’s and not actual diagnoses. He does have lots of official Dx’s severe ADHD, OCD, sensory processing disorder, and ODD. But now he has the PDD one too. Sigh. I knew it. I had done enough reading and studying and we have been treating him for autism since last fall, so it was no surprise. But still hard. So now I can tell this story and know that I’m not imagining it. You see my boy just doesn’t fit nicely into any one box. He’s high functioning. Too social and flexible to be Aspergers. And he talked late (3 years) which is not typical of Aspies. But not typical ASD either. He has a fantastic sense of humor. He’s an Enigma. The autism center wasn’t quite sure what to make of him so they decided to give us services. LOL He will challenge everything you think you know about autism.
If you think that autism is just one of those things that happens and strongly feel that biomedical treatment is a crock then I suggest you stop reading here. This is for me. To keep it all straight. I am starting to put all of the pieces to the puzzle together and I don’t have them all yet. So I get worried that the more I learn, my poor brain may lose some of the pieces.Another disclaimer – if talking about poop offends you, stop here.
C was born at 37 weeks 4 days gestation by c section. He had a posterior presentation and significant bruising on his head. Upon birth he had low blood sugar from a long a strenuous labor so they immediately gave him sugar water. I would say that was the start of ruing his gut, but actually the antibiotics they gave me via IV during labor probably started that ball rolling. Then he developed jaundice so they insisted he be fed formula and lots of it even after my milk came in. :/ So yeah, his virgin gut was well on it’s way to ruin for within the first few days of life. Being a first time mom I did everything the Doctor’s said and never questioned any of it. Before leaving the hospital he recieved his first vaccination the Hep B. The first of many.
A few weeks later I developed a staph infection in my incision and had to take some *heavy duty* antibiotics to keep from being admitted to the hospital. After about 10 days. C was pooping through an entire package of newborn diapers per day. That’s a lot of poo. So I stopped taking them a few days early. A few days later the infection was back and I had to start another course of strong abx. I don’t remember if that one bothered his little tummy or not.
When C was about a month old, he stopped pooping. Ever. The ped told me to give him suppositories if her seemed uncomfortable. So about every 5 days I would give him one and often it still didn’t work. He was crying all the time and too gassy to eat or sleep comfortably. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “WHAT is wrong with him?” I would be a rich woman. I didn’t know. I never had a baby before. Aren’t they supposed to cry alot? I cried and thought of bringing him to the hospital but thought they would probably think I was pretty silly for bringing a gassy baby in to be seen. I thought of switching to formula. He was miserable. I talked to a few lactation consultants and there was a wonderful one at WIC that would call me every week to see how we were even though I wasn’t on WIC. She eventually helped me to figure out that the vitamin drops with iron that the ped wanted us to give him were causing the constipation and gas. He was almost 5 months old then. It felt like I met him for the first time, he was happy, smiling, and so much more comfortable. I thought we were all set.
After that he went back to his schedule of pooping a dozen times a day until he was 4 years old. Then he stopped again. Encopresis sucks. He had frequent yeast rashes. The Dr told me this was his normal. At 2 years old we switched to soy milk and it seemed to help the poo a little. He had unexplained eczema for the next year. It went away and we never figured out what caused it. 3 years later we found out he has a serious soy allergy.
About 18months of age he started to develop sensory issues. After his MMR vaccination. Things that he had previously enjoyed, he no longer did. He has never ridden a horse on the carousel since that. He became fearful of bathing. He had severe, and I mean SEVERE separation anxiety from 8 months to 5 years old. He was obsessed with ceiling fans and lights. And plugs. Oh my, that was a rough one. The day before his third birthday we went to a pet store to get some fish. They had a rat on the floor in a wire cage. I didn’t see it, but C did. It bit him. The standard protocol is a round of antibiotics. A few months later he developed his first and only ear infection. So more antibiotics.
From about 2 years to 4 years of age C ran a fever, sometimes a high fever often. If he got a sniffle, he got a high fever. If someone else sniffled, he got a fever. you get the point. This is when I believe his immune system started to break down. Something like 85% of the immune system is located in the gut. When the gut is damaged my things like yeast brought on by antibiotic use and this continues for a long time untreated, hyperimmunity begins to develop. At the time I thought the kid had an awesome immune system. Doh.
Like I said earlier he said about 2 words before his third birthday, Daddy and Uh-duh. We never knew what Uh-Duh meant but boy did he say it a lot. Shortly after turning 3 he said Mama for the first time and within months he was talking like he was never delayed. He hasn’t stopped since. LOL
At 4 years, C received more vaccines and also the flu mist. We had decided we did not want the flu mist but did want a thimerisol free flu shot if it was available. The Dr was very pushy about the flu mist and we ended up getting it. Within a few months it was obvious that there was really something going on with my son. Things that used to work, no longer worked. We started trying to get OT for him for sensory issues. It took about 8 months. We sought an eval through the autism center and qualified for services. We saw the ped and the psych, a Feldenkrais practioner, anyone and everyone who could help. We eliminated all dyes and preservatives from his diet. It helped. But he was still struggling more and more. He was hurting himself and us daily. We tried meds. We saw a chiropractor. We went gluten free. The single biggest and most helpful thing we ever did.
We started seeing a naturopath when I had reached the point of everything I could do for him on my own. The first thing we did was test for heavy metals. He was slightly high on Lead, Barium, Gadolinium, and Rubidium which causes excitability and aggressive behavior. Tin was the second highest which interestingly can be from fluoride, tap water and pesticides used on foods. And the very highest almost off the chart was Tungsten. We did 3 months of chelation. His last results were much better, but tin was even higher due to being excreted from his organs. Eww. And lead was still high. We just finished another 3 months of chelation and are waiting for the results. We started him on some natural remedies for yeast. It helped but not enough. So we did 2 rounds of prescription antifungals. We tested him for food allergies. The child is allergic to everything. Well not everything, but close. Okay, only 20 different foods. Most notable eggs and soy. Removing these from his diet was the second biggest thing after removing gluten we have done.
He is much, much better than he was. But it’s such a painstakingly long process healing the gut and immune system. Some days I wonder if we are ever going to get where I have seen we can be. Other days I wonder how much worse he would have gotten if we hadn’t learned what we have. And how much more there is that we just don’t know yet. My son has autism, right down to the harmful clostridia bacteria in his gut. And that’s our story…so far.
By Diane Webb ©2008
I love you when things are going well
And when things are going badly
I love you when you hurt me
And when I hurt you
I love you when I don’t agree with you
And when you don’t agree with me
I love you on good days
And on bad days
I love you when you are loveable
And when you are unlovable
I love you when I act lovingly
And when I act unloving
When love is real…right…unconditional…
It doesn’t always make sense
It’s not always logical
It just is…
Real love is like God
You can’t always see it
You can’t always hear it
You can’t always feel it
You can’t always prove it
You just have to believe…
I love you
I have been avoiding it for so long. I told myself there are other more well spoken, knowledgeable bloggers out there that have been active in bringing the truth of this tragedy to light. I told myself it’s too painful to read the references I must cite again. I just don’t want to think about it. I want to pretend I live in a world where this does not happen. Ever. At least not “in the name of God”. My mind simply cannot accept the horror of it.
I’m talking about the Lydia Schatz case. You can read about it here or here if you are not familiar with it. A 7 year old girl was beaten to death by parents who were following Michael and Debi Pearl’s methods of “biblical chastisement” to the letter. This is not the first time this has happened. The parents stand charged with murder, torture and abuse of their other children. They must be monsters, right? That’s what I thought too until I read this blog post written by someone who knows the family personally. If you read nothing else I link, read this. These were parents who loved their children who were told if they didn’t beat the sin out of them, their children would burn in hell. You hold an eternal soul in your hand.’ .On his website he tells people where to buy the instrument used to beat Lydia to death. “Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck. You can buy them for under $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line.”
Some would claim these parents took Michael Pearl’s teachings to an extreme. Not so. MP teaches that you should continue whipping until the child is cheerful and compliant. If you have a neurotypical child or a child with any issues whatsoever, that could well be never. Lydia Schatz was adopted. She may have suffered from RAD or PTSD as many adopted children do. You can read more about that here. I am confident that my son with severe ADHD and until recently undiagnosed food allergies would easily be beaten to death by anyone strictly following MP’s teachings. That breaks my heart. He needs unconditional love and grace even more than most children because of those things. Testimonies from former Pearl followers.
Child discipline is not the only thing Michael Pearl teaches that is quite damaging. His entire theology is heresy. Both these links are from quite mainstream conservative sources.
In “Living Parallel Lives in the Same Space,” No Greater Joy, Jan.-Feb. 2005, Pearl says: “WE SHOULD AND CAN SIN NO MORE! … I have been preaching AND LIVING this gospel of sanctification for many years.” MP claims that he is living in sinless perfection and so can you and your children as long as you do what he says.They claim that corporal punishment will absolve the guilt of sin for children who are not old enough to understand substitutionary atonement
That brings us up to date and the reason I am writing this post. Today Michael Pearl published this statement on No Greater Joy’s facebook page. I hate to post it here, but I’d rather do that than link to it.
‘Laughing’ By Michael Pearl
It has come to my attention that a vocal few are decrying our sensible application of the Biblical rod in training up our children. I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love. Numbered in the millions, these kids become the models of self-control and discipline, highly educated and creative-entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements. When your children finally find an honest mechanic or a trustworthy homebuilder, it will be one of ours. When your children apply for a job it will be at a company our children founded. When they go to a doctor, it will be one of our Christian children that heals them with cutting edge innovation. When your adult kids go for therapy it will be one of our kids-become-psychologist that directs them to the couch and challenges them to release their self-loathing and embrace hope for a better tomorrow. When your children grow old and realize their mortality and seek to make peace with their Creator, it will be one of our children that shares with them the message of God’s love and forgiveness. My five grown children are laughing at your foolish, uninformed criticism of God’s method of child training, for their kids-my 17 grandkids-are laughing . . . because that is what they do most of the time. They laugh when Daddy is coming home. They laugh when it is time to do more homeschooling. They laugh when it is time to practice the violin and piano. They laugh when they see their Big Papa coming (that’s me) because Big Papa is laughing and they don’t care why just as long as he laughs with them. My granddaughters laugh with joy after giving their baby dolls a spanking for “being naughty” because they know their dolls will grow up to be the best mamas and daddies in the world-just like them. People all around the world, in places like Russia, China, Germany, New Zealand, Guatemala, Peru, Africa, and fifty other countries are laughing with joy because after applying the Biblical principles found in our books they finally have happy and obedient children. Even my chickens are laughing . . . well, actually it is more like cackling, because they just laid another organic egg for my breakfast and they know that it was that same piece of ¼ inch plastic supply line that trained the dogs not to eat chicken.LAUGHING? HOW DARE HE? A girl is dead and he laughs at those who want to know how this can happen? In fact on his website he speaks of silliness being a serious sin that should be driven out with a whipping. He laughs. He even makes a point to bring up the 1/4 inch plumbing supply line used to kill her. Sadistic.
Dear Jesus, please protect “the least of these”.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (New Living Translation)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[a] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
We are blessed. We are loved. We are holy and without fault in His eyes. We are part of His family. We are fully redeemed and forgiven.
Ephesians 2:13 (New Living Translation)
13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
We are one with Him. We are close to Him.
Ephesians 3:6 (New Living Translation)
6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus
We are His children. We belong to Him.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (New Living Translation)
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
He lives in our hearts.We are complete in Him.
Isaiah 43:4 (New Living Translation)
4 Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
We are worth dying for. We are precious. We are loved and honored.
It’s been 3 weeks since my son went soy free and egg free. He actually got some eczema around his mouth after he went off of them which hasn’t happened in a few years.
He started a new antifungal that same week and had a severe behavioral dieoff reaction after about 4 days. :/ I was ready to put him on Ebay.
Thankfully I didn’t because he then started doing much, much better. It is SO nice to not be stuck in almost permanent survival mode. I’ve had my little Mommy vacation in which I just could not get over how much easier he is to parent. I suppose most would still find him quite challenging, but to me being used to impossible, it seems so easy. Not only easy but delightful.
His eye contact is much better. I don’t know how to explain the difference verbally, since he never, ever stopped talking before. It’s just more organized now. It’s more of a two way street is probably the best way to describe it. He’s much more able to focus. He’s working through solutions to problems on his own. He’s much better at controlling his reactions to things that upset him. Tonight I was just in awe of how straight he was walking. Normal walking. Wow.
He is going to OT twice a week now that we feel like addressing his sensory issues is actually possible. They were so out of control, that even his OT could not figure out what to do since what worked one time would be just the opposite another time for no apparent reason. It’s so nice to be able to dust of my tools once again and get back to helping him.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s certainly no perfect angel. But the difference in his ability to do better is just amazing. <3
We did another heavy metals urine test and sent it to the lab today. He also had some bloodwork done to check his liver enzymes. That’s necessary because of the antifungal he’s on. Hopefully we will have made some progress on the heavy metals. I do know they can be very difficult to get out of the body.
The biggest thing is I am so unbelievably grateful that we use Grace Based Discipline. The thought of punishing him for being out of control due to undiagnosed food allergies sends chills up my spine. Because there were times that I was tempted and times that I failed. Overall I believe that GBD saved our relationship by helping me to understand how hard it was for him even when I didn’t know what “it” was. GBD enabled me to show him God’s grace and love even when I didn’t feel like I had any to give. For that I will forever be thankful.
Most people probably don’t think very much about shame. But maybe they should because it seems to be somewhat of an epidemic. It’s a topic that I feel really strongly about. For a good definition of what shame is look here.
I’m going to try to put all my resources here in one post, so bear with me.
Why you do not want to shame your children;
Characteristics of Adults Shamed in Childhood.
1. Adults shamed as children are afraid of vulnerability and fear exposure of self.
2. Adults shamed as children may suffer extreme shyness, embarrassment and feelings of being inferior to others. They don’t believe they make mistakes. Instead they believe they are mistakes.
3. Adults shamed as children fear intimacy and tend to avoid real commitment in relationships. These adults frequently express the feeling that one foot is out of the door, prepared to run.
4. Adults shamed as children may appear either grandiose and self-centered or seem selfless.
5. Adults shamed as children feel that, “No matter what I do, it won’t make a difference; I am and always will be worthless and unlovable.”
6. Adults shamed as children frequently feel defensive when even minor negative feedback is given. They suffer feelings of severe humiliation if forced to look at mistakes or imperfections.
7. Adults shamed as children frequently blame others before they can be blamed.
8. Adults shamed as children may suffer from debilitating guilt. These individuals apologize constantly. They assume responsibility for the behavior of those around them.
9. Adults shamed as children feel like outsiders. They feel a pervasive sense of loneliness throughout their lives, even when surrounded with those who love and care.
10. Adults shamed as children project their beliefs about themselves onto others. They engage in mind-reading that is not in their favor, consistently feeling judged by others.
11. Adults shamed as children often feel angry and judgmental towards the qualities in others that they feel ashamed of in themselves. This can lead to shaming others.
12. Adults shamed as children often feel ugly, flawed and imperfect. These feelings regarding self may lead to focus on clothing and makeup in an attempt to hide flaws in personal appearance and self.
13. Adults shamed as children often feel controlled from the outside as well as from within. Normal spontaneous expression is blocked.
14. Adults shamed as children feel they must do things perfectly or not at all. This internalized belief frequently leads to performance anxiety and procrastination.
15. Adults shamed as children experience depression.
16. Adults shamed as children lie to themselves and others.
17. Adults shamed as children block their feelings of shame through compulsive behaviors like workaholism, eating disorders, shopping, substance abuse, list-making or gambling.
18. Adults shamed as children often have caseloads rather than friendships.
19. Adults shamed as children often involve themselves in compulsive processing of past interactions and events and intellectualization as a defense against pain.
20. Adults shamed as children are stuck in dependency or counter-dependency.
21. Adults shamed as children have little sense of emotional boundaries. They feel constantly violated by others. They frequently build false boundaries through walls, rage, pleasing or isolation.
Most people I have shared that with have recognized themselves in it more than just a little. But in case you are still wondering okay so how does this affect me now, here is a quiz you can take to see how much shame you carry in your day to day life. A little over a year ago, I scored 27/30 on this quiz. :/ I am happy to say today I score a 7 which pretty much has to do with only the childhood questions.
So what changed? For one thing recognizing shame when it occurs. See when you are around others who are suffering from shame, it rubs off on everyone around them. So if you recognize this, you can choose not to accept the shame which was never yours to begin with. My mother doesn’t even have to speak to shame me. It could be a look, a slight facial movement, or even a deep breath from her. That is all it would take. Does my mother mean to shame me? No, she loves me. But as a child I learned that my worth was dependent on if I measured up to her standards for me or not. Disapproval from her, and later in life anyone else was like the final nail in my coffin of shame. She too was shamed as a child and continues to be in her abusive marriage. She even shames herself when there’s nobody around to do it for her. It’s heartbreaking. Anyway, back to my point. When I learned to recognize it, I learned that I could choose not to accept her shame and make it my own.
I read some books. I highly recommend for anyone struggling with shame;
and some audio lessons called
But I didn’t dig myself out of this grave by trying harder or doing all the right things. Not even close. God showed me who I am in Him and after much arguing with Him about it, I chose to believe His evaluation of me over mine or anyone else’s. I really believe He healed me from it. Praise God!
So, how do we know if we are shaming our children? I will put some examples, but I think it’s important to remember if you are struggling with shame you are probably passing it along to others in some way or another.
“Don’t be such a baby?”
“Why don’t you act your age?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“What were you thinking?”
“You’re not making Jesus very happy right now. ”
“Look at so and so, why cant you do that?” or any comparing really
Quote from a fellow GCM ” Shaming to me is anything that is an effort to make the child feel bad in order to motivate them to do/not do something. It lacks any empathy.” And another quote from the same Mama “I was thinking about this and another aspect is that shaming is when you don’t separate the behavior from the person. In a way it is spiritual abuse. We are loved and cherished by God. We are His amazing creation. We make bad choices, we behave ‘badly’ but that does not make us bad. We are of great worth, even when we sin. <3
I think remembering to try to convey that in our discipline helps to avoid shaming. What I say should empower them to feel that they are capable of making better choices, not leave them feeling unworthy or inadequate in some way.”
One of the more life changing things that GCM has taught me is the assumption of positive intent. This concept when fully grasped can change every single relationship in your life. I should note that there are people who will show again and again that they do not have your best interest at heart and that calls for boundaries. A very wise Mama once told me “If someone shows you who they really are, it would be wise to take note of that.”
But that is not what I want to talk about here. What I want to talk about is the difference when you view others as people made in God’s image who are being perfected at this very moment versus viewing them as totally depraved. What if my child is exactly how God made him to be as opposed to a vile sinner who it’s my job to fix? What if he’s not out to get me or make me crazy (even though it sometimes feels that way) but just learning where the limits are? What if I don’t even concern myself with intent and just address the behavior?
I find that I am much less angered if I don’t assume that he is being defiant, oppositional and a whole bunch of other things that require me to guess at what someone else is thinking. You just can’t know what anyone else is thinking and in the case of a child more than likely they just weren’t. So whether he slammed the toy because I told him not to or because he was frustrated or something else doesn’t really matter, we just put the toy away.
The other thing is I don’t waste a bunch of time concerning myself with what everyone else thinks or means. If I want to know I can just ask them. What a concept. It sure reduces unnecessary drama. I wish I would have known that years ago. You can disagree with me wholeheartedly and it not be an attack on me personally. and I can totally disagree with you without judging you. Positive intent has made a huge difference in my life. Thanks to the ladies who have given me a safe place to learn and practice. <3
Which is good, but I was kinda hoping for some easier to deal with results. Like bananas or something, those would be easy to avoid. No such luck though.
Milk (but not casein)
Some of the best things that have ever happened to me have happened when I gave up. I know that sounds weird, so I will explain.
I never really considered myself a control freak. In fact I despised control freaks, that should have been a red flag right there lol. But about a year ago I reached a point in my life where I was so burdened by my codependency and trying to fix everyone else’s problems and shame that I wasn’t doing a very good job that I simply gave up. Told God that I had done enough damage and I was leaving it in His hands. Sounds easy, right? Ha! Not so much. A codependent giving up “control” of not only other people’s lives but their own, is kind of like what I imagine it would be like to be a heroin addict coming off heroin. I thought it was going to kill me. I mean, what if God didn’t do things my way? That would really suck right? I also told Him that I wasn’t able to change so I was just going to allow Him to change me, which I was sure He *could*, but before that I wanted to do it all myself. I can laugh at myself for being so silly now.
Thankfully it turns out He is much better equipped to deal with life’s junk that I was. So painful as it was, I’m really, really glad I gave up. And He has changed me FAR more than I ever could in a whole lifetime of trying.
I will sing of His mercy which leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy.