“A Day in the Life” -Amy

16Dec 2021

Creatine Decoded: ACD-Funded CTD Drug Repurposing Fellowships Make Progress in Year One

Patient Samples from Coriell Biobank in Studies Seeking to Understand CTD Mutations & Explore Existing FDA-Approved Drugs as Potential Treatments

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays and interviews feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about.

Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research auract@creatineinfo.org. Continue reading

29Nov 2021

By way of background, I am new to the CCDS community. Our 8-year-old son was diagnosed with CTD on 1 April 2021. Yes, April Fools Day, almost appropriate given the various false starts we had on the diagnosis path.

Up until that day in April, plenty of letters had been thrown our way – GDD, SPD, ID, ASD. But for me nothing really explained what was happening to our little man. It is easy to look back with hindsight and see the times we were dismissed by doctors, despite the red flags. We were close several times to maybe heading down the right path, but a doctor didn’t want to see us as a patient (our urine sample was elevated but not out of the realm of normal) or I was told we should just wait and see how he develops (only to also be told the early years are the most important for intervention, sigh). Continue reading

23Nov 2021

Hello again, CCDS family, sorry it has been a while since I have contributed to the blog, but I am thankful to have the chance to be talking to you again. As this is Epilepsy Awareness Month, I wanted to share some of my thoughts, feeling, and, most importantly, the lessons I am learning along the way. I tried to keep this blog post short but that didn’t work. I also tried to keep it honest, so I did not hold back. Continue reading

27Oct 2021

I think most parents of children with Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD), like me, are painfully aware of the statement, “CTD is not treatable.” The day of my son Cadman’s diagnosis (he’s now 6, and was diagnosed just before his second birthday through whole exome genetic testing), there was a slight sense of relief that we finally had an answer and our diagnostic journey had come to an end, but devastation to find out that there is no treatment available for his disorder. Continue reading

05Oct 2021

“Bye mom!” These were words I had longed to hear for nearly two years. Our youngest son, Sam, graduated high school in June of 2019. In October of 2019, we sold our home of 20 years in the suburbs and bought a 9-acre farm in the country. It was another step toward providing our nonprofit, Good Works Farm, a space to provide farm-based programming for individuals with special needs, like Sam. Continue reading

30Sep 2021

Creatine Decoded: The power of patient registries and patient-led research initiatives – How CCDS Families and Caregivers Can Drive Research

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays and interviews feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about.

This interview is brought to you by Kirsten Wiebe, Science Writer at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Sylvia Stockler, MD, University of British Columbia, and Sofia Balog, ACD Patient Registry Coordinator.

Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research auract@creatineinfo.org. Continue reading

21Sep 2021

Being a parent of a child with a rare disease has its unique challenges. There are so many questions that you ask yourself on a daily basis.

Why does my child have this condition?
Why is he not developing like other kids?
Why are there no treatments available?
Why can’t I do more to help him?

These questions change all the time, but the really frustrating part is that the answers do as well. Continue reading

09Jul 2021

The bell rang, the music started, and we began moving slowly. The expression on his face changed almost immediately, and in that moment, I knew I had made a huge mistake. His horse’s face was frozen in a contorted expression of distress that matched the rider. I hopped off my horse and attempted to calm him, but as he went up and down and round and round faster, his fear only grew. He clung to me with a death grip. I managed to peel the man-child off his horse when at its lowest and sit him in the seat behind him. By then, the operator, realizing there was a problem, had brought the ride to a stop and was standing at the top of the stairs. When he saw that Sam was safely planted on the bench, he gave me a thumbs-up and started the ride again. I climbed on the nearest horse and continued to reassure him from a distance. Continue reading

17Jun 2021

This essay was written by Erin Coller, ACD Director of Communications with support from Sofia Balog, ACD Patient Registry Coordinator and Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research.

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about. Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research auract@creatineinfo.org Continue reading

26Aug 2017

picture of ben smiling

I thought it would be beneficial to share a profile of our four, almost five, year old boy with Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD) named Ben, who presents without seizures. All our CTD kids are different, so this is by no means a profile of CTD, but rather, a profile of our kid with CTD. I hope this helps others searching for a diagnosis and provides awareness of what CTD means to a family like ours. Here is a day in the life of Ben.

Height and Weight
When he was born, Ben was around the same weight and height as his older brother had been. As time went on, he stayed towards the bottom of the growth curve, and even off it for a time. We had to work with professionals to review and adjust his food intake for about a year. Right now, Ben is still in the lower percentiles for height and weight. He tops the scale at 31 pounds and is about 40 inches. He’s little, and it makes him look younger than he is.

Mobility
Ben has always been behind on mobility. He didn’t walk until he was 2 ½ years old. He’s had slow progress, but progress none the less. He can still lose his balance from time to time, and has issues with climbing and jumping. He also can’t go up or down the stairs without holding onto something, though he can at least tackle one step down without assistance. We still have baby gates up, he sleeps in his crib, and uses a high chair so we can keep him safe.

Fine Motor
I need to feed Ben for the most part. He can do finger food on his own, and he’s gotten better with a fork and spoon, but I must help. If I serve him a food that is not on his short list of favorites, I must feed it to him. He can drink from a straw, bottle or cup. Ben cannot draw or write. He is only capable of scribbles. He has trouble with stacking, putting beads on a string, and isn’t great with puzzles, either. He must really concentrate at times to do fine motor tasks.

Speech
My little guy does not speak any words. He grunts in strings, which makes me think he knows he should be talking in sentences. He loves to take you to what he wants, or push you there. He goes to what he wants and points as well. He will scream and cry when he is hurt or unhappy, which happens if he knows he isn’t being understood. He also doesn’t nod yes or no or wave hi or goodbye. He will occasionally give a high five though!

Despite this, he does seem to have good comprehension when someone else talks to him. He can understand two part commands, and knows what to do if I say we’re going to do something or go somewhere. He understands speech, even if he can’t speak himself. We use the LAMP program, which is on the iPad and combines pictures that speak the words. He uses this in speech therapy and at school, but it is a slow process for him.

Social
Ben loves to interact with people, and always has. He has the sweetest smile and loveliest laugh. He will engage with perfect strangers by going up to them and smiling, and sometimes touching them. He does a lot of independent play, but when interacting with other kids he doesn’t understand how to play well. He does engage in some games. For instance, he loves to throw a ball to the dog or chase his brother (or be chased). He can absolutely have fun with others, it’s just different than other kids his age.

Self-Care
We are still in diapers for the foreseeable future. He’s shown interest in the potty, meaning he sees the rest of us do it all the time because he loves to come with us, turn on the lights, flush the toilet for us (mostly while we’re still on it), and then go through the routine of washing hands. The basics are there and he will sit on his little potty, but the connections in his brain aren’t there to do the act.

He can take off shoes and socks, and he can pull down his pants. He can zip up and down, but not start the zipper. He can’t do buttons or snaps. Bath time is fun for him, and he can mimic the steps, but I still need to do all the work. He understands the basics of brushing his teeth, but not at all thoroughly. He can brush his hair, but not well. Understanding is there, but not the movement.

Sleep
He has awesome sleep habits and always has. He will sleep all night without a problem and still takes 2-3 hour naps in the afternoon.

Learning (and school)
I honestly don’t know what we’d do without special needs preschool – seriously. It has changed him in a short period of time for the better, even if he is so far behind his peers. Ben loves the routine of school. He is capable of learning, but it is at his own pace. Every year I notice huge differences in how he interacts and behaves in school, however, there are simply things he cannot do and ways he cannot participate. He also has a teacher assistant in class specifically focused on helping him through tasks.

He’s also had physical, occupational, and speech therapies both privately and at school since he was 10 months old. They have helped immensely!

Temperament
Ben is the sweetest, most easy going little boy. He is generally happy and giggles frequently. He does not have behavioral issues. People really love him and find him very special. He has a lot of energy and is always into something. He is so curious and it’s hard to get him to sit still.

That’s our boy! While every day is a challenge in one way or another, I can say with certainty that I am grateful that Ben has always made progress even though it is slow. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine him ever walking, but he did. Right now, I
can’t imagine a time where he will ever talk, but he might. So, we power through and take it day by day.

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Disclaimer: All thoughts and ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog represent the individual blog contributor's opinions and not those of the Association for Creatine Deficiencies. The ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog, and any other locations on the creatineinfo.org website, should never be construed as medical advice, even if the information relates to actual health care experiences of the contributor. Individuals should always follow the instructions of their physician and make no changes to their care unless instructed to do so by their physician.