Updated: Jan 8, 2022
I'm all about being transparent with Cameron's journey with autism. Just a quick back story for those that are new: Cameron is 8yrs, semi-verbal (1-2 word commands to express wants, uses tablet), severe learning disability (scores on a 3-4yr old level), sweetest boy ever, no adverse behavioral issues (for the most part)....oh yea, he's also autistic.
One day Cameron's older brother came to me and said
"Mom, watch this youtube clip!! They found a cure for Autism!"
I watched the clip and while intrigued, it wasn't a claim for a cure and there wasn't much science behind the treatment that was discussed, something called MERT. So I dismissed it...but his brother wouldn't let it go. Youtube Clip
Every few weeks my oldest son would say
"Did you call? Did you research?? I'm researching it and it looks really good! We should try it mom!"
Eventually, I did look into it. The treatment is based on TRANSCRANICAL MAGNETIC SIMTULATION (TMS). TMS is FDA approved to treat depression and anxiety but off-label there also seems to be some benefits for people with autism (mainly helping with meltdowns, stimulation overload and OCD). Use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Autism Spectrum Disorders (nih.gov)
The results seemed promising, so I decided to call a company near me. Unfortunately, there was no provider "near" me...the closest was 1.5hrs away but anyone living in the DMV knows that's just a normal day in traffic. The company is called MindAlign in Bethesda, MD. They were very nice and knowledgeable. They patiently answered all my questions. Finally, I said
"Insurance doesn't cover this, right? So what's the cost?"
"It's around $10k for 9 sessions" the nice, knowledgeable woman replied.
10,000 USD to put a magnet on my child's head 9 times!!! 😳
After that conversation I went back to my daily life, knowing that I was not going to pay that kind of money for some novel treatment that may or may not work.
But my oldest kept asking me to reconsider....
"Mom, it will help with his focus. He will be able to learn more because he can focus longer. It's worth a try. What if it works!?!"
So... I did it y'all. I pretty much sign away any hopes for a 2022 vacation (because they make sure you won't get your money back after signing up). And I registered him for treatment. (The wound on my wallet is still a bit raw so please be kind).
The first step was to get a baseline EEG on Cameron. Seems simple enough, right?............It wasn't.
Stay tuned for Part 2: TMS EEG