I have five children, one of my little boys has autism. It was an incredibly painful time when we discovered this reality and embarked on ways to treat it. We started down a long journey. There are severe sensory challenges in communication, social skills, and disruptive behaviors. Gut health and GI difficulties are ever-present.
We sought help from our medical providers. They presented treatment and options. There was some success and plenty of journey detours.
I heard about Evolving Wellness and their autism program. I connected with Laura. We had no finances to pay for what she could offer. We were thrilled when she told us of a local foundation grant to help Evolving Wellness and families.
Laura and her team gathered the facts and suggested healing options. Our child is now greatly benefiting from the program. We are all more in tune with his condition and have ways to manage it. We recently received a 2 minute joy hug from our child – priceless…. and it wouldn’t have occurred without the EW support!!
Tears of desperation are now replaced with tears of hope and joy. Like the pebble thrown into the water, it creates waves of benefit to all in our community. This work is invaluable and more should benefit from it.
Our family was selected to receive that Evolving Wellness grant to help our son. Brayden is 8 years old. He has non-verbal autism.
As a mother you love your children and would do anything for them. Despite their challenges your love for them is unconditional. In some ways your love is different from your other children because everything takes effort, it is a journey, and each small gain feels like you have won that leg of the race.
In the beginning we had intensive ABA therapy. For a child with autism this is their best chance of some degree of recovery. At one point the company contacted me and said they were unable to help my son. It had been two years and he hadn’t gained any skills and I needed to try something else. Through tears and begging, as there was no other company and no one else, they were my only hope, and they agreed to restructure a team and continue. They told me my son was the most severe child they had ever helped.
We sent him to school and they were at a loss on how to help him and so they didn’t. Our family tried to relocate him to a different school district but they can deny children with special needs. We actually contemplated moving our family of 7 to a different area, 2 of our 5 children were in highschool. The situation seems hopeless.
Then COVID hit. My kids were home all day everyday. Despite the reverse locks on the doors Brayden, all the sensory items, I would come home, the house was a disaster there were things dumped, smeared, and the kids said, “we can’t watch him.” I had no options dad and I were working. I didn’t know what to do. The teachers sent lists of work for me to do with him. I would try and do them. I got my hair pulled, bit, and a knot on my head. This school work was destroying our relationship. I could feel myself fraying and I was worried not only about Brayden by my other kids.
Throughout all this time we sought doctors. They just gave Brayden meds. When one pill didn’t help him sleep then give him two. I told them his belly hurt that is why he didn’t sleep. They said, “children with autism do not sleep.” he has a rash and would itch his little bum so. He would vomit 100’s of times each day in his mouth. He would say on his talker my stomach hurts and sit in funny positions. I said “he isn’t comfortable”. They shrugged it off. It was like because he couldn’t talk and had autism I was crazy. I could feel our family disintegrating
Someone told me to take him to Functional medicine. I checked into it the appointments were months out, the insurance didn’t pay for it, and the supplements….. I made an appointment. I had to try one more thing.
Surprisingly there was a cancelation, I knew it was meant to be. The visit was pricey, the supplements more so, the doctor was so wonderful and for the first time I felt that someone was listening and could help. She wanted to order tests, they were so expensive. How do you put a price on health? I was so torn. She agreed to just start us on a gut healing protocol. However knowing that the blood, urine, and stool tests would help pinpoint Brayden’s specific issues. We decided to see where the supplements would take us at first.
I contacted the county to see if Functional medicine was something that they cover under the waiver. The answer was no. As time went by I could see my son slowly improving. He was starting to sleep at night. I knew we were on the right path.
I received a call from the county about a grant that I could apply for. As Rachel, our social worker talked, she told me of how she had immediately thought of us and we should apply. I can tell you as I stood in the locker room at work listening to the voicemail tears rolled down my face that were replaced by sobs of joy. It is a memory that will forever be imprinted on my heart. God had answered my prayers. Brayden, if he was selected, could get the help he needed.
Fast forward. Brayden was selected. He had the lab tests. They showed things that I didn’t fathom. The most surprising was the severe food allergies. We immediately removed those items from his diet, (dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, meat glue, and eggs.). We were no longer throwing darts at a dart board to help. We knew that glyphosate wasn’t being processed and he needs to eat organic meat. We knew what bacteria/fungus/yeasts were dealing with in his gut and what was needed to correct this. Rebecca Witt has been amazing to work with. She has tailored the supplements to his labs, is an excellent resource, and works hand in hand with us.
Let me tell you about the changes it has made in Brayden’s life and it has only been two months. Remember the little boy that was in the special ed room 100% of the time. The one that the Autism therapists kicked out of the program, and speech and OT from SPOTS house said they couldn’t help? Well he is now in the general ed classroom with an aid all day. He has been moved from basic, to intermediate, and now to the advanced group in reading. He no longer takes prescription medications, previously he took 5. His learning has taken off, as well as his happiness, and quality of life.
Since school is now virtual as a mom I had some posttraumatic from the spring. The difference is he can now sit at the table. He can work on the math on the computer program for over 30 minutes. He is in 1st grade and can answer questions on fractions, time, multiplication, and money values. There isn’t a word he can’t spell.
His education has exploded despite all the challenges covid has presented. He is loving the challenges. He is regulated during the day. When I message the other kids how the day is I get, “Brayden is doing good.”
He actually went to a basketball skills clinic with his sister as his aid. He is doing things that I never thought possible. All because of this grant and the team that is supporting him.
So when I say thank-you, it is such a simple word that in no way expresses my gratitude. You gave me hope, a wonder of what could be. If so much has changed in a few months imagine what next year can hold. I realize that there are some things that may never change. He probably won’t speak. I am hoping we can get to a point where his fine motor/motor planning can push buttons without a hand support, and grasp a pencil or fork with ease and confidence. However today I see a little boy that sleeps through the night, looks you right in the eye, and draws you in for a big hug and a smile. All I really wanted for him was to be happy. Happiness for him is being successful. He loves to show you how smart he is. He wants to be right and his communication on the talker has exploded. He loves his peers and being included. For the first time someone is giving us a future full of hope and color. A future that hasn’t yet been written and full of potential. His success and happiness has been a ripple effect for the whole family.
Thank you Rutledge foundation for the grant. Thank you Evolving Wellness for the vision and seeing this tremendous need. Thank you Rebecca Witt for listening, seeing Brayden as a person and helping him on his healing journey.
I have recently completed the COPD breathing therapy offered by Fit to Breathe, and I found it to be an excellent program which has helped me immensely in learning to cope with my COPD
I would highly recommend everyone who suffers from COPD at whatever stage to be afforded the opportunity to experience this therapy.
Also, it was a lot of fun. That’s important, too, especially in these sad times of social distancing and COVID-19.
"I have been a client of Jayne’s for 19 years. When people ask why I drive 35 minutes to see a massage therapist when there are dozens of therapists closer. I say “She gets the knots out and relaxes my muscles without hurting me.”
It is with much enthusiasm that I recommend Jayne Wolff as a service provider for children in need of emotional support. My daughter is a client of Jayne’s at Equine Inspired Wellness. In a Horses 101 class my daughter and I learned horse basics and became familiar with the farm.
During the private sessions my daughter had following the introductory class, I have been able to observe Jayne as she patiently works with my daughter through the process of learning about horses and about herself. Jayne has a calm and supportive demeanor that has allowed my daughter to relax and enjoy interacting with animals that can seem intimidating to beginners. The patience Jayne displayed gave my daughter, who is reluctant to try new things, the time to choose to participate when she was ready. Jayne is aware of non-verbal cues and this allows her to interact with someone not always able or willing to speak. Her flexibility and adaptability ensures that the experience will be exactly what it needs to be, as she flows and changes with my daughter’s needs.
I am a lifelong migraine sufferer. My monthly migraines would put me out of commission for a good three days, making it nearly impossible to focus on the task at hand or to retain my thoughts. On one such day I was visiting Laura Berndt from Evolving Wellness. She immediately noticed and after asking a few questions, ushered me into her therapy room for a treatment session with Alpha Stim and a neck massage. I had never heard of Alpha Stim before, but truthfully, my migraine hurt so bad, I really didn’t care what she did. And I have never had a massage to eliminate a migraine before. We did a 30 minute session and the results were immediate! My migraines dissolved! I was able to go about the rest of my day and be productive… and best yet… it didn’t return! I am looking forward to utilizing this Alpha Stim treatment option along with an amazing neck massage next time I am beset with a migraine! It felt like she was massaging the migraine right out of my eyeball as she massaged the muscle in my neck. It was a pretty cool experience I am so thankful for Laura for recommending this treatment and I encourage anyone suffering with migraines to consider a visit with Laura for a massage and Alpha Stim treatment.