Today, as I read about the recent trials in Autism Stem-Cell Therapy, my cringe was visceral. I felt a chill. Here we go again. Reported by Bloomberg, the trials are the first FDA approved. The quote that got my attention was strangely reminiscent : Even though “stem cells have been promoted, and sold, as a treatment for autism, few clinical trials have been conducted to see whether they’re effective.”
Thus stated Ricardo Dolmetsch, a neurobiologist at Stanford University in California whose laboratory is studying autism, said he doesn’t think the trial will yield much in usable results, though he’s glad the idea of using stem cells is being tested. “I commend them for having the guts to actually do it, given that there are all kinds of people out there trying to sell it,” he said. “On the other hand I don’t think it’s big enough to provide an answer.”
I am reminded of all of the trials and patience that we, as families living with autism have endured. Add it to the list, I thought, and a silly analogy popped into my head. I call it the autism jingle, hardly “My Favorite Things”. Years ago, I sang and skipped to the lyrics in A Sound of Music
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things….
After 25 years of miss steps in the autism dance, I chronicle our personal song, and so it goes...
Corn husking brushes and auditory training
Hours and hours of waxing and waning
Hyperbaric oxygen, and warnings about vaccines
These aren’t a few of my favorite things
Searching and begging and years of frustration
Said no to secretin and vetoed chelation
Then looked at that face and how hard he tried
My favorite thing is this child and I cry
When reality bites
When the bullies sting
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my boy/my hero
And then I don’t feel so bad
It is a good thing to look at where we started and where we are now. We are vulnerable yet strong. The best mantra is to keep ours eyes on the prize; our children, and move forward with purpose and hope.