Getting back to school can be tough but mums know what’s best
RHONDA Muller is a typical Taurean.
She is stubborn with a Type A personality that she compares to a fox terrier who can juggle a million things at once.
Being told no is something she doesn't like, and when she is told, she wants to know why.
Mrs Muller is a certified practising integrated health coach and runs her business ASD Healthy Life from her North Mackay home.
The smell of aromatherapy oils float throughout her home - instantly making you feel calm.
Her two children Sarah and William, with their dogs Dyson and Ruby, are enjoying the last few days of holidays before they are back at school.
The dining room table is piled with new exercise books and new colouring pencils. Back to school can be an exciting time for parents and children, but it can also be a challenge, especially if your child is suffering from a childhood illness.
Mrs Muller became a health coach after her children's health was severely compromised.
Her children had many underlying conditions such as asthma, numerous food sensitivities, skin problems and major digestive issues.
She wanted to know more than a diagnosis. The question 'why' was haunting her.
She likened the ongoing health issues her children faced as similar to circuit breakers going off over time.
After visiting different doctors and health specialists, Mrs Muller kept being told it was just behavioural problems.
"We all want the best for our babies and there is this thing called mother's intuition. Call it what you will, but mothers know when there is something not quite right,'' she said.
"Mothers do better research than the FBI, because they don't stop."
At the time her children, her son William in particular, were struggling with their health. Mrs Muller confessed she was getting "really jacked off''.
But after finding a paediatrician, who led her to contacts in nutritional therapies, she started to do some research of her own.
What started as research for the wellbeing and health of her clan, led to her studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York and Australia's Mindd Foundation.
She wanted to help more families who were struggling with the impacts of childhood illnesses. She said medical science was confirming what families and teachers have observed for some time, that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children struggling with chronic illness such as allergies, asthma, eczema, food intolerances, ADHD, anxiety, autism, language, learning and developmental delays.
"Families and teachers are struggling more than ever with a generation of children whose learning abilities are compromised by poor health and illness, as well as developmental delay."
Today one in three Australian children struggle with asthma; one in four with allergies; one in 10 with ADHD and one in 50 Queensland children have autism.
"I started the business because people didn't know about nutritional therapy, dietary control and supplementation of personal biochemistry levels,'' Mrs Muller said.
"There is help out there and you don't need Ritalin for the ADHD, puffers, and cortisone creams for eczema.
"If you know what is really going on, you have the tip of the iceberg, but what is happening underneath? Once you address that, it fades away and life gets better."
Part of her job as a health coach is to promote education and support for parents who are looking for answers. She said parents were sick of forking out all this money to various health providers and going around in circles.
"As a mother you know things are going down hill for your baby, it can also affect the siblings and your marriage,'' she said.
"There is an 80% divorce rate in the disability sector, because parents feel they are not getting the support they need."
Mrs Muller said there was a link between what we put in our mouths and our mental and physical health.
She said genes can change and do play a part, but other factors to consider were the environment, processed foods, what we are putting on our skin and washing our clothes in.
"Each generation is getting weaker and that is why I believe childhood illnesses are becoming an epidemic."
Mrs Muller said she knows what it is like for other mothers who are trying to make their children feel better.
"I know where they could potentially be if they don't get the support. I have been in that deep dark hole, eating my big family block of chocolate."
She said there were many families going through the angst of trying to make their sick children improve their health and wellbeing.
"You have to know strategies without the mum breaking; contact us by phone, email or text message, when you feel like you are breaking and ready to throw some kid out the window or yourself."
She said support such as consultations and workshops were vital. She said recording and research into each family member's health was important to help find answers. When parents visit Mrs Muller with a severely autistic child or a child with ADHD, that is her focus, but her client is the mother.
"She is the one that has to understand why and how to implement changes without showing fear."
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Read the full story is this weekend's edition of the Daily Mercury.