I feel very fortunate to have a special needs child. My son has Mosaic Downs Syndrome. Many people ask me what that is, as they have only heard of Downs Syndrome. Well, they do not look like a typical Downs Syndrome child, in fact they look quite normal. My son does have a slightly "downsy" look to me. They have similar characteristics as a typical Downs Syndrome person and it is all to do with the 21st chromosome. One of the typical characteristics of a Downs Syndrome child is their ability to love and be affectionate. My son is so full of love and he would hug you all day long if you let him.

He was born in America and right from the start, he was a very sick little guy. Always getting double pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis -you name it! Constantly in hospital and in fact we nearly lost him on a visit to South Africa. He got double pneumonia and they didn't think he would make it through the night. I had great difficulty breastfeeding him as he had a high palate and simply could not suck properly. When he finally started to talk at the age of 4, his speech was bad and I think all the ear infections had a large part to play with this. Also the high palate could of had something to do with it. Anyway, being the alternative that I am, I steered away from the traditional ways of making him better. I am not a complete stickler and I will use antibiotics, but only in extremly dire straits situations, like when he had double pneumonia and almost died. I felt it was necessary in these circumstances. However, I will not allow any of my children to take antibiotics just for any old cold, ear infections or whatever the illness. I strongly believe in building up the immune system with diet, homeopathic and natural remedies and holistic therapies.

And so at around the age of 1, I began to build up my sons immune system starting with diet. I would get about 5 vegetables (beets) being one of them and I would blend them in the blender along with rice milk and a no sugar added fruit juice. You should have seen the colour! I got such satisfaction out of making it, as I knew how much good it would do him. I also added green barley powder. Yes, he did drink it! I gave it to him everyday for ages. After time, he really did improve. Fewer ear infections and when he did get them, I would give him homeopathic tissue salts that you can buy at the health store. They are little white pills that you pop under their tongues and they dissolve. They love them because they are sweet. You can get them for every condition possible and they are not harmful. There is a book on all the tissue salts that one could possibly need. I also did my best to keep him away from refined sugar and especially sodas.

Along with the diet, he had speech therapy and occupational therapy, both of which helped enormously. I also did a lot of massage and foot reflexology on him and still do to this day. He is now 10 and thriving. He hardly ever gets sick anymore and he now has a ravashing appetite (healthy for the most part).

Our evenings are spent winding down with a mini massage and foot reflexology session. I prepare my healing room with candles and soft music. I then do a mini back and head massage and a mini foot reflexology session on him. Their bodies are still small, so it doesn't take long to cover the back, head and feet. I am usually tired by evening time, so I find that even if I spend 20 minutes with him, this really helps. After the session we read one of the meditation books that I have suggested in a previous post. Obviously life happens and we don't always get around to doing our sessions every night, but when we can, the kids beg me long before the end of the day to do it.

His teeth are really bad and this is part of his genetic makeup. I give him extra fluoride by giving him the tissue salt "calc fluor". I also give him a magnesium/calcium powder mixed with milk at night, for extra bone strength.

I believe that exercise is really important in maintaing a healthy and holistic lifestyle and while my son does not participate in organized and team sports, he does get his exercise by taking our little sausage dog for a walk each day around our complex. Not only does this give him a sense of independence, but also exercise at the same time. When the weather is nice, I also encourage him to jump on the trampoline as this is especially good for his overall body strength and feet.

He just started to wear glasses about 6 months ago, but we have started doing eye exercises to strengthen his eyes. I will post a section on some exercises that one can do to strengthen the eyes.

He has inverted arches on his feet and when we lived in America where children don't run around without shoes like they do in South Africa, he wore orthotics. When we moved to South Africa, an ENT of all people, said to me that I should take away his orthotics and just allow him to run around barefoot, which is exactly what he has done for the last year or so. There really has been an improvement! His legs don't get sore anymore and I think his feet have been getting more exercise and gaining strength by not wearing shoes. Luckily most kids here in South Africa run around barefoot and in most schools they are allowed to go barefoot to school, I just love this! When we go to the beach, we do foot exercises in the sand, which really helps to strengthen his feet.

He takes a teaspoon of Omega 3 fish oils each day, to help with brain function and it is also good for the eyes.

Of course, I also believe that the fact that I won't use anything but safe cleaning products in my home has a huge beneficial effect on him too. He isn't being exposed to harmful chemicals in the home, where he spends a large portion of his day.

In my case, the above therapies, supplements, diet, exercise etc. have all proved to be extremely beneficial for my son, who continues to thrive.....

YES, he does love candy and he is allowed them occassionally, but for the most part we try to stick to the healthy side of things.