Hi all. Sorry for not having written in awhile. I wanted to be able to make some sort of heads or tails out of what I was seeing before commenting here. I think I have it all figured out now though.
Today is 14 weeks post 1st inoculation. This coming Thursday will be 8 weeks post 2nd inoculation. As I write, we all now are 2 days post 3rd inoculation.
That is, Alex and Liam now have 8 mature worms each and 5 larvae. My Dad has 25 mature worms, 15 larvae. I have 3 mature, 3 larvae.
Kate has worked with Alex since April, 2000. I asked her today to write a little something about what she’s seeing in Alex to date:
“I have been working with Alex for over eight years now. I was out sick for the month of June. When I returned to our sessions in July it was coming back to a completely different child. He pays attention in a different way than he did before. He speaking in phrases spontaneously, using words we haven’t “taught” him. He is reading sight words.
He is using the computer and objects purposefully and with enjoyment, like Printshop and crayons, which he didn’t before. Now, Judy has work from Alex that she can put on the refrigerator door along with his brother’s!”
Today marks 11 weeks and 1 day since the boys’ 1st dose of hookworms. Thursday will be 5 weeks since their 2nd.
I continue to do absolutely fine on the lower dose. No side effects. My Dad is also doing very well with his 25 worms. Continues to take 3 (as opposed to 4) puffs of his steroidal inhaler for his asthma. No wheezing or chest tightness. Liam is good. A smidge of eczema appeared on his feet and then vanished in a day or two. But now to the big news…
Three weeks ago, Alex didn’t understand that if there were a column of pictures down the left side of a piece of paper and another down the right, that the object was to match the duck with the duck. If you handed him a pencil he would simply scribble back and forth. This morning, my 14 year old son – who, as of 3 weeks ago, didn’t seem to recognize a letter, couldn’t identify colors, etc. – matched (using a crayon) the sight words eat, drink, watch, sleep, color (these were read by his therapist) with the correct words down the right side of the page: bed, cracker, water, crayons, video.
Yesterday, he told another therapist, “purple circle.” He has identified expressively many letters now, is able to match (on worksheets such as I described above) concepts like “things that swim in the water” (a duck matches a fish), words to pictures. He has read out loud several words now. In fact, this morning he and his therapist made a “book” of photos from our various vacations. Every sentence started with “I love…” Alex just did it for me: read “I love vacations,” “I love swimming pools” etc.
I don’t even quite know what to write here. In his life, Alex has never made any meaningful progress in academic skills. He’s done more in the last 2 weeks than probably the last 2 years combined!
Worm lovers of the world unite!
I don’t know what’s going on over at the NY Times, but suddenly after what seems to be to be 9 years of silence on the subject, two positive articles on helminth therapies have appeared in the last 48 hours. From today’s paper: