As you can probably imagine, these sensory experiences and his inability to tune them out, make some of the most simple tasks difficult for Brady. This in turn creates a short fuse and, bam! Meltdown. Going through this cycle ONCE would be tiring. But, several times a day became quite debilitating for him and us.
Over time, Brady became increasingly anxious and could not sleep through the night. As his neurologist put it simply, "His brain just DOESN'T turn off. He's THINKING and trying to decipher things ALL THE TIME". Man, that really does sounds unbearable, right?
So, being a mama bear, I set out to try and help him any way we could. We of course employed our ABA team to teach him coping strategies. And, those skills really helped him but did not alleviate all of the sensory overload. We tried Melatonin and that helped him get to sleep but not STAY ASLEEP. We felt like we were dying a slow death just because of pure exhaustion. If we didn't have access to coffee, I really don't know what we would have become.
So, off to the troops of ASD mommies I went. The one thing that kept coming up over and over again was the suggestion to try N-Met. I figured we had nothing to lose. We were running on fumes waking up EVERY night for hours on end. Something had to give. Lack of sleep and the anxiety are no fun.
First, I guess I should tell you a little bit about N-Met. Like most inventions, N-Met was born out of its inventor's necessity. Dr. Pardee and Dr. Birk are no schmucks. As described on their site:
To help his autistic son, Dr. Pardee together with Dr. Birk invented N-MET formula. The overwhelmingly successful results experienced with his son, other children and many adults affected by Sensory Overload encouraged them to share their discovery.
We ordered a bottle and received it a week later. We started with the low dose of 1/2 teaspoon and administered it in the morning in a cup of apple juice. I have to admit that I was really hesitant and afraid Brady would taste it. Brady seems to have a hyper-sensitivity to things out of his normal foods. But, surprisingly, he drank it and didn't skip a beat. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would help.
Days 1-3, I have to admit, I didn't really notice a difference. But, day 4 rolled around and Brady was noticeably calmer. We kept administering a daily dose of 1/2 teaspoon and it really DOES seem to help him. The little things that seemed to bother him before don't really bother him. Like the hum of the machines at the post office. The sounds used to really bother him to the point where he would cover his ears. But, now, he seems to tolerate it well.
And, the sleep? We still do give him 1mg of Melatonin paired with a supplement GABA Calm and he not only goes to sleep fast, but STAYS asleep and awakes in a fabulous mood. We noticed that sound sleep was consistent once we began N-Met.
What made us real believers is during a time when Brady fell ill. He wouldn't drink juice and he was so lethargic from a high fever (which is very rare for him). He didn't receive N-Met for about 4 days. And, boy, you could tell he didn't get his N-Met. He was agitated and noticeably moody for the time he didn't have the N-Met. It took about 4 days back on it to see our happy-go-lucky Brady again.
What N-Met DOES NOT do is make Brady a zombie. He has the same energy level as before which is high, well, let's be real, he's HYPER. He does not slow down. What is has done for him is give him a CALM MOOD, which has made him less reactive. Boy, I tell you what...having a kiddo that hyper is a lot easier to deal with when you've had some sleep. And, being less reactive is a blessing. Don't get me wrong, Brady still gets upset but it doesn't spiral out of control anymore. AND THAT, has made our jobs as his parents much easier to deal with! I honestly cannot recall when he last had a meltdown. It's been that long. That's impressive because they used to occur on a DAILY basis.
So, would I recommend N-Met? Heck Y-E-S, I would! I tell everyone about it. It's not ONLY for those on the spectrum, either. It has really helped Brady break out of that sensory coffin. He seems to really enjoy things that used to be so daunting for him. And, as his momma, I have been able to relax a little bit myself. Nothing is more stressful than seeing your child stress. No 5 year old should have that amount of anxiety and stress.
YES, it is $45 a bottle, but a bottle for Brady has lasted quite some time. The bottle is 16.91 oz, but we give him 1/2 teaspoon a day. And, really, for my sanity, it's cheaper than the bottle of wine we were going through each night (for ourselves, not Brady!).
So, if you want to learn more about N-Met, please visit their site by clicking HERE. And, I will tell you this...not only is this a fantastic product, but they have equally impressive customer service. If you have questions and decide to e-mail Dr. Pardee, he, himself responds. So, if you are hesitant and want some reassurance about concerns you have, ask him! You'll be just as surprised as I was when he, himself e-mails you back!