My son's Story
A Story of Love, Perseverance, and Success.
My son is as delightful a child as they come. Like most sixteen-year-olds, he enjoys playing video games, spending time with friends, pranking his sisters, and finishing his homework in order to toss a frisbee or shoot hoops outside. An aspiring mathematician, my son savors a good math problem in the same we he appreciates a quality steak, and had taught himself Fourier analysis, advanced combinatorics, and analytic number theory by the time he finished the tenth grade. In his spare time, my son loves going rafting, traveling to obscure corners of the globe (the next place to visit on his dream-list is "Tierra del Fuego," the southernmost tip of South America), cooking omelets, perfecting his fluency in Spanish, arguing about the works of George Orwell (his favorite essayist and novelist) with his friends, and delivering jokes on just about everything, often at the expense of others. One time when asked what accounted for his unflagging optimism, my son replied, "Laughter. Laughter could restore anyone's faith in anything."
But my son and his family know that things weren't always this way. When he was diagnosed with autism at age two, things seemed dire. He possessed no language or means of social interaction; he could not even make eye contact with his parents. His recovery required a seven-year odyssey that demanded that I, his mother, train myself in all behavioral and nutritional methods of care and follow the cutting-edge scientific research in this field in order to actualize my dream: that my son would be able someday to understand my love for him, and that he may someday be able to express his in return. I studied Applied Behavioral Analysis in order to create a program for my son that involved a variety of play-based therapies. I played trial and error with various vitamin and mineral supplements in order to create a supplement regimen that would help heal her son. I eliminated all gluten and casein products from my son's diet in order to feed him foods that would nourish and not harm the unique state of his body. Slowly but surely, in steady and incremental steps, my son began to respond positively to the initiatives I took. Slowly but surely, my son began to heal. He began to recognize his parents' faces. He began to say his sister's name. He began to tenderly twine one word with another. And not much later, he was able to express his actions with words: simple capabilities, like saying "I'm hungry, so I will find something to eat," or "I want to play, I want to find my sister and go outside," and even dreams, like "I want to visit cities on every continent when I'm older." And now, he freely discusses his favorite books and current events with his peers and friends--one teacher even commented that he "speaks in paragraphs."
I hope that by sharing my son's story and by providing others with useful information, more families will be able to witness their children heal.
For a more comprehensive account of Humza's story, please read the San Francisco Chronicle's 2005 cover-story, "Chronicles in Autism/ A Boy Recovers":
This website is for informational purposes only. It does not aim to substitute for the advice and guidance of a physician or other qualified health care professional. Sara Iqbal is not a physician; she does not diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. This website is not intended to provide medical advice in any form. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. For medical advice, always seek a physician.