August of 2013, I, Aden's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. As if cancer wasn't scary enough I was also eight months pregnant with little miss Aden. I was informed by doctors that the cancer was an aggressive strand and that I needed to act fast. Again, eight months pregnant! I thought to myself how can I attack cancer aggressively if I also have a baby on board. I began discussing the matter with immediate family and doing so we decided on a mastectomy to remove the cancer and buy myself a little time. Immediately, after the surgery the doctors began pressuring me to do chemo and radiation to keep the cancer at bay. Even though, I was told all the cancer cells were removed. Still eight months pregnant!
Again, I went back to converse with my loved ones, but this time I also prayed about my decision. After talking it over with God, I choose to decline chemo and any further treatment. I chose to put my life and faith in the hands of my Lord and trust in him. I left the hospital with a sound mind confident in my choice. I didn't want the effects of chemotherapy to be what my loved ones remembered. Bringing my sweet bundle of joy into the earth healthy and unharmed was my first priority.
October 14, 2014 God blessed us with Aden. Aden was born healthy. As time carried on we noticed she was our quietest child out of six. Now, of course nothing is wrong with quiet we didn't think much of it, until her pediatrician pointed out that Aden began missing very important milestones. We did notice some things were time delayed but we as parents assumed she was just doing things according to her own time schedule, which to us was ok. However, we quickly learned that was not the case. At sixteen months, Aden was diagnosed with Autism.
At first mention of the diagnosis I fell apart, my heart was so broken. I began blaming myself for my past health issues even though I had done all I could to keep her safe. Needless to say, the self pity didn't last very long. I began to research Autism and how our lives would began to start changing. I couldn't help but have continued thoughts of maybe the breast cancer surgery may have played a part in it all. So, I decided to go back and have a conversation with God and ask him to help us, to direct our path, to teach us what to do to give her the best possible outcome in her very different world that we wanted so badly to be a part of. And, that is exactly what God did.
The first step we took was learning to interact with her in a way she sees the world. Sensory touch was a great part of what she desired. So, I began massages after baths and before bedtime each night. This was an incredible step because she began to smile and touch me back. The fist step of this sensory experience opened up new doors for our love and family. Although, we have always touched her, this touch was quite different. Until now, it has not been known what was holding back the social development of children with Autism. Now, new research shoes that social delay in Autism is directly related to problems with touch. Autistic children refuse touch on different parts of the body, struggle with it, and parents end by avoiding it. Light touch on certain areas is uncomfortable, and responses to pain and temperature are abnormal.
There are two aspects to what research has contributed to the autism field. The first is that children with Autism lack the ability to experience touch as soothing and pleasurable. The second is that without the ability, the normal ways parents use touch to help children develop self regulation skills don't work with our little ones. Once the massages continued Aden began to open up and become more affectionate. She began giving hugs and even kisses which she never seemed to want prior. Later, I found out that when children with Autism are treated with a massage treatment, touch sensitivities are normalized. As touch normalizes, there is proportional improvement of other sensory and self-regulatory symptoms, and the child is better able to orient, pay attention,and learn from social environments. Behavior improves, social and language development receives a boost, and the severity of Autism can decrease.
Talk about a real ah-ha moment! Well, I carried those great massages over to our other children and even though they do not have Autism, it was still very soothing and relaxing for them also. I tried various skin products but I knew I didn't want to put anything harsh on their skins, but it seemed like everything had some kind of not so cool ingredient in it. I was in search of a product that was oily enough to moisturize the skin but not leave a greasy residue, had to smell good for aromatherapy but not overwhelmingly strong, and lastly it had to be versatile. I needed an all over cream that included the hair. Seemed impossible to find in one bottle, so I decided it was time to create the product that we needed but couldn't find on the store shelf.
Touched By Aden body care products are versatile. Our 100% Organic all natural products can be used on any skin types there are absolutely No harsh chemicals or added preservatives. Every bottle can be used from the skin to the hair. Each product has natural healing base oils. (see ingredient page) Not one of our butters, oils, or scrubs have more than five ingredients and all of the ingredients, you can pronounce without the use of a dictionary.
Sensory touch has not cured Aden, but it has sure changed her! Aden is now a very active and bubbly 4 year old. She recently began trying new words and interact using sign language. She will have some obstacles to hurdle just like the rest of us and we will continue to keep you updated on her new improvements and journeys through life.
If you would like to help Touch Aden in any way with some of her enjoyments of life that we are eager to see her achieve, such as swimming lessons, life skills classes, PCA care etc. Please feel free to visit our donation page. We will donate 4% of every donation to Autism Society of Minnesota and each year Aden blesses us with her love, we will increase our donations by 1%.
Please join us in our journey to help find a cure for Autism
May God Bless each and every one of you. ENJOY being TOUCHED by Aden