Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Afraid of Change?

Anyone who is involved in Down syndrome and targeted nutritional intervention will likely know that it's a very "hot topic" on many online message boards. Just asking the question, "What does everyone think about TNI or Nutrivene?" will open up a huge can of worms.

I found this out the hard way when we first discovered Nutrivene. Little did I know that it would be such a debated topic when I asked everyone's opinions on this matter. Although, it is much calmer than it was a few years ago on many online message forums, it's still a very passionate topic. And if you're on the "wrong" (I use that term loosely) message board it can bring quite a heated discussion.

For years I have been puzzled as to why this is such a huge debate. I understand people discussing this, weighing out the pros and cons, sharing experiences, etc. But, there are certain statements that are made frequently, which have always left me in confusion. These statements are made when the topic regarding the use of any supplement or TNI comes up on most (not all!) online message boards and email forums.

The statements are always along the lines of:

-I accept my child for who they are and I don't want to do anything to change that

-I don't want to change my child

-I don't want to take away the 'Down Syndrome' from my child 

These statements puzzle me.

From the beginning of us looking into the use of TNI for O, it was never because we wanted to change him or remove the Down Syndrome.  He had some serious health concerns and we needed something to help him be a strong, healthy boy.

When people say these things, I wonder why they would say something like this, unless they just do not fully understand what the use of TNI is for. And, it's obvious, from statements like these, that they don't understand. Because, if they did understand, they wouldn't say those things.

It almost seems as if they are afraid that using something like TNI, that it will change their child for who they are. It makes me wonder about the use of other early interventions.

If someone is so concerned about changing their child, why do people do Early Intervention - Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy, etc? It's the same thing that TNI does. It could be called Nutritional Therapy. Because, that's what it is. It's helping their body and it's nutritional needs. Just as Physical therapy is helping their body in it's physical needs. Or, Occupational Theapy is helping their body in it's fine motor needs. Or, Speech Therapy is helping their body in it's speech production needs. Or, Feeding Therapy is helping their body in it's eating needs.

We fully accept O for who he is with his extra chromosome. We are not trying to remove the 'Down Syndrome' or the extra chromosome from him.

What we are doing, is helping O's body deal with the biochemical changes that the extra chromosome causes. This is not speculation. It's a fact that there are 250+ additional genes in the body of a person with Down syndrome. Some of these genes and proteins are overexpressed in DS and they cause all sorts of harm to the biochemical, medical and nutritional needs of a someone with DS.

I don't want O to develop early Alzheimer's. I don't want O to develop dementia in his 20's. I don't want O to get leukemia. I don't want O to have thyroid problems. I don't want O to have nutritional deficiencies. And the list goes on.

This change is what we are going for. Change that will help O be a strong, healthy, cognitively aware person with Down syndrome. And by God's grace, he has shown us TNI that has the potential to do just that. God has used that to help him and I trust He will continue to use it to help O.

That is the change we're looking for. But, it doesn't remove the fact that O was born with Down syndrome and that, we are not trying to change. If there was a way to fully remove the harmful effects of the extra chromosome, I would do it. But, at this point, that is not a reality. What is a reality, is to use TNI and various other nutritional supplements to help counteract some of the effects of the 21st chromosome.

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