Lukas was diagnosed at 2.5. We knew at 18 months he had autism, but it took that long to get an official diagnosis. We were told there was no hope, no cure, no way of a better life. I knew that couldn’t be true.
We have done many things to help his body to heal — diet, biomed, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, developmental therapy, an ionCleanse system, homeopathy and more. Each intervention helped in its own way. Age 4, we decided we needed more. While there is no window for healing, we wanted to help our son sooner than later. We had heard from other parents about the gains they were seeing with stem cells. I started my research. I learned that stem cells help heal things in the body. A few months later I was told about a trial for Cancun. I was excited! This was awesome, but, Has anyone gone there? Will it work? Is it done in a hut on the beach? All these crazy fears ran through my head. I joined every Facebook group for stem cells I could find to learn as much as fast as I could. I began by contacting the clinic in Cancun, World Stem Cells Clinic. The staff and doctors there were very helpful. Any questions or concerns were immediately addressed.
Before our diagnosis, at 2.5 years old, our ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist) score was easily over 100. Starting a clean diet, free of casein and gluten, organic, and free of dyes, dabbling into biomedmedical treatment brought our score down to 88. Another 2 years with a combination of traditional and biomedical therapies and treatments brought the score down to 68. So just before doing stem cell therapy in early September 2015, Lukas’s ATEC score was stable at 68.
Lukas used to slam his head on the ground, walls, furniture; anything. He felt no pain. Sensory seeking and avoiding were a constant struggle. Lukas was wired all the time, he could not turn off. This made bed time a nightmare for our family. Lukas regained his ability to speak long before the stem cells, but it was robotic. Lots of scripting of movie lines, repeating (like a parrot) anything anyone said. While this was hard it gave us hope. He could speak, we just needed to figure out how to make him unlock the rest of his brain.
Lukas has two older brothers, Alex and Joey. While he knew who they were and, yes, he played with them at times, it wasn’t like a typical brotherly relationship. Lukas didn’t care if anyone entered or left the room. He was there, but he wasn’t. Lukas had many food sensitivities that affected him. A limited diet and a picky eater made meals a disaster, too. Lukas was 4.5 years old and no where near potty trained. Life was hard. We cried a lot. We wanted our baby back.
Upon first arriving to the World Stem Cells Clinic, all my fears diminished. Everyone there was incredible. They didn’t just treat me like another mom with an autistic child. I felt like a member of the team. Each day we were involved in the care. It was very important to me to have doctors that were kind and caring. So many times there is a disconnect; tense parents and egotistical doctors don’t match up well. This was the furthest thing at the Cancun clinic. Lukas even stole Dr Ortiz’s apple off his desk and started to eat it during our follow-up appointment. While I sat mortified, Dr Ortiz smiled and started to engage with Lukas about the apple.
The day Lukas got the stem cells infused, he requested Play-Doh. We went to the market to get some. He started molding the Play-Doh into letters. He was spelling words out right there in the store on the tray of the stroller!
The day after we returned from Cancun, Lukas picked up a pear — which he had never done before — brought it to me and said, “Cut pear.” I cut up the pear, he sat down, and ate it. I stood there in shock. Words, purposeful words and a new food after one day?
A week after we were home, he went to the bathroom, unassisted! Lukas went potty like a typical kid for the first time without assistance! Within 2 weeks, he had potty trained himself. (We had formed stools too.) As the days went by, each day got a little easier. Life wasn’t perfect by any means and Lukas still has a little ways to go, but life has become better. The bad days are few and far between now. Lukas now engages with others daily. He can answer questions. He plays with his brothers and friends when they come over. Lukas goes to bed at night on-time, falls asleep within minutes and stays asleep until morning. He can brush his own teeth and comb his hair. Our sensory seeking – avoiding days are mostly behind us. Around his 5th birthday in March, Lukas started reading! My baby can read! He can color within the lines. He plays sports with his brothers in our backyard. He calls me Momma and Mommy and knows what it means and isn’t needing to be prompted to say it, either. “Momma” was a word I feared I would never hear again. There seems to be no end to the gains and accomplishments we see. Everyday gets a little bit better.
Dec 2015 – ATEC score down to 56
Feb 2016 – ATEC score down to 30
June 2016 – (as I write this in tears) His ATEC score is down to 19!
Stem Cells have launched us forward in the healing process. I feel that we have wiped years off the healing process by completing therapy with World Stem Cells Clinic. I will forever be greatful to everyone who prays, wishes, and helps us daily.
Autism parents are warriors. We can never give up hope that our children will have the best quality of life they can have. May you all have patience and peace on your journey.
Catherine Gaberek, Mom to Lukas