This is not about *that* son, it's about the other one

This kid. He's smart, funny and has an amazing interest in the rest of the world. I have a feeling he'll turn 18 and I won't see him again for six years because he'll be touring the world. Before he gets there, though, we've got a bit of work to do.

This kid. He's smart, funny and has an amazing interest in the rest of the world. I have a feeling he'll turn 18 and I won't see him again for six years because he'll be touring the world. Before he gets there, though, we've got a bit of work to do.

As you probably know from reading here, my ten year old son has Autism Spectrum Disorder, along with ADHD, a bunch of food intolerances and reasonably high anxiety. We've come a long way in dealing with him.

What you may not know is that his eight year old brother, while not dealing with autism, has a string of other little issues. In fact, sometimes parenting him is even more challenging than working with his brother.

He also has food intolerances. When we took him off dairy when he was six we saw an unbelievable difference in his mood and ability to cope at school without crying at least once a day. He also has Auditory Processing Disorder, with the classic 'What? I didn't hear you!" response. He has a short fuse, a stubborn temper and low levels of resilience. He also gets super-tired all the time.

Twice a year I take all the children to a doctor up in Sydney. (Sadly, her books are closed... but you could find someone similar by looking on the list of practitioners at the MINDD site.) Originally we went to her for Bright Eyes, but she said, "So, where are the other kids? Where's there's autism, there's usually a few other issues with siblings as well." She was right, although at that stage I didn't really want to admit it.

Blood tests and x-rays show that our second son, like the first, has gut issues (he's all clogged up) which means that his nutrients are not being absorbed well. He also struggles with mid-line issues. Basically, the two sides of his brain don't really like talking to each other. His balance isn't great and he reverses his letters when he's writing on occasion. And, like all of us, he's low in zinc and high in copper, which affects mood and brain function. He's bright, so he could be doing well, but he's not.

I'm grateful for our visits to our doctor but I come home feeling exhausted, and it's not just from the drive and the three hour appointments. It's from then having to put into effect daily sound therapy for three children, organising supplements for all, trying to get them eat better, and now having to do 15 minutes a day working on mid-line exercises. 

Do your other children have learning or neurological issues? How do you deal with them?

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