You Surround The Mystery – The History

You Surround The Mystery is a song written to help bring about Autism awareness. A complex mystery and puzzle, Autism is a horrible condition that takes our children hostage. Whether or not you have someone in your life on the spectrum, you will be touched by this song. We need more research, we need treatment, we need hope, and we need recovery or a cure.

Not Just Another Song About Autism

My name is Lorraine Spencer. You Surround The Mystery is a song dedicated to my son Elijah who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I would love to see all children on the ASD get the basic, health care, therapy and treatments otherwise inaccessible. Of course we will always need research, but we and many other families need treatment NOW! This has been an issue for me and my husband ever since we found out Elijah was autistic six years ago. I was unaware that some middle class families would have put up their homes and almost go bankrupt trying to get treatment for their children. My husband and I never even had this option because I chose to stay home with my children who absolutely needed me, so we sacrificed a second income. We never had the home to put up and I have no regrets. But, this is why I had to write this song. I had been writing stories, poetry and songs for a while but never had anything truly published or recorded.

I am indeed blessed that the beautiful and ultra talented Marri Nallos, the Crystal voice of Asia agreed to record this song after hearing my story. Miss Nallos is a superstar in the Philippines and the United Kingdom. The song “Mahal Naman Kita” was originally composed by another famous Filipina — composer extraordinaire Marizen Yanesa Soriano. The music is absolutely beautiful and I felt it would express my sentiments perfectly and you will hear that it does. I am so thankful that Nelia Lim, executive producer and manager, agreed to produce this song and now I can share it with you.

I know there are many songs, dedications and anthems for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum and they are all equally beautiful. However, You Surround The Mystery expresses some of the emotions I experienced as a parent who was told her child had autism. Personally, I felt such devastation, denial and then hope. But it wasn’t about me, it quickly became about getting my son the help he needed to survive and possibly recover.

We sacrificed so much for my son and still could not afford the medicine/treatments that he needed so what were we to do? What is the average family to do? I learned all I could about the disorder and possible treatments that insurance would cover. I got a big reality check on that avenue as insurance offered NO HELP and no hope. We were still on our own armed with prayer alone and the mercy of our parents and other family members to help when they could.

The drug Secretin absolutely helped Elijah but the Repligen Corporation abruptly stopped the study it was conducting with Secretin on autistic children across the country. Elijah’s teacher at the time noticed such positive changes, that she was about ready to mainstream him and transition Elijah out of special education classes. Wisely, I had her hold off doing so. Because it was a double blind study, we did not know that Elijah actually had received the drug until it was revealed later to us that he did get it. I know this drug worked for him and his teacher told me she would stake her salary on it.

We changed nothing about Elijah’s diet while on the study and it worked out well without going gluten free. It was not a requirement of the study and as a matter of fact, I was unaware of the gluten free diet until later after I learned more about autism. When we tried to implement the gluten free diet, most of the food went to waste because Elijah was old enough to refuse food that he did not like and refuse he did. There were only certain gluten free foods he would eat and that food put weight on him which led to another issue. We noticed NO changes in Elijah’s behavior as a result of the GF diet. However, we still made a lot mistakes with Elijah’s diet that we are now trying to fix in a healthier manner.

Education is the true key when dealing with most cases of autism. Know the signs, know the signs, and know the signs!!! Early intervention is vital in order to have the best outcomes for a possible recovery. The bottom line is that had we known earlier to recognize the signs of autism, I believe we could have received more intervention services when Elijah was 18 to 24 months. I most definitely would have done more and possibly enabled a full recovery though admittedly unsure about that 100%. Elijah got into school as developmentally delayed at 2 and 1/2, but he was not diagnosed with autism. I feel so much time was wasted, but am still appreciative to his wonderful teacher for 3 semesters, Mrs. Jean Klapmust. She was so patient and so informative to us.
As new parents we were totally ignorant of the signs and thought all the screaming Elijah did was normal. We didn’t think it was any big deal when he stopped talking and decided to point to everything he wanted including a bottle. We had stopped going to movies and in public much but still didn’t think anything was wrong. People at church even complained about our parenting skills in not be able to control our son. We still had no clue our son was Autistic. This made the diagnosis all the more devastating because we felt like such victims. We felt hopeless for years. Fast forward to 2009… Within a week of President Obama taking office he pledged support to early intervention for children with disabilities and universal screening for all two year-olds. This will save heartaches for many families and possibly keep them from financial ruin. Had we been armed with testing and knowledge, I wholeheartedly believe that we would have been able to financially provide for Elijah and fully help him recover. I have not seen this policy implemented and hundreds of thousands are waiting.

Let’s continue to do our part to raise awareness of Autism and the conditions under its Umbrella. I know there is controversy over hoping for a cure, recovery, diet, vaccines and many other issues. I am not interested in joining any one particular group, I just want to help Elijah and touch everyone affected by Autism. I want to touch others who have loved ones with other disabilities. I want to touch families who don’t meet the low income requirements yet still struggle and watch their children go without treatment that could possibly benefit them. I want to reach out to that single mother who can hardly keep a job because there is no adequate, safe child care option for her. I want to let the world at large know that Autism is indeed a mysterious puzzle and encourage hope that the puzzle will someday be solved. I encourage you to support the autism charity of your choice.

This is an autism anthem, and my dedication. I am still praying for my son’s recovery so this song was healing for me. I hope it helps some of you start or continue on a positive journey. The song is not released officially and this is officially a demo. I don’t understand the music industry but I do know that the composer is trying to work out some things with the publisher and until then, I have posted it here. There has been no money made on it when it does, perhaps I’ll be able to do a little more in the way of helping other children along with my son’s care and well being. I am also hoping that a professional director can make a real music video for “You Surround The Mystery”. It has so much potential to become the Autism Anthem heard around the world.

When writing this song, I also considered one of Elijah’s classmates – Okechi Izunwanne, who has overcome tremendous challenges with a single immigrant mother Adaku who herself has risen to meet every challenge like a true champion. I also was compelled to remember Raymond Fletcher who was so severely on the spectrum that he could never be left alone. Raymond got out of his home in the wee hours of the morning and somehow ended up on Interstate 495 in northern Virginia. The police estimates that he was hit by at least three cars when they found his body. His dear mother, Karen will not let her son’s memory go uncelebrated as he brought so much to her and his siblings’ lives. In Raymond’s memory, Karen volunteers her time helping other children in many ways but specifically empowering them with public speaking skills. In order for them to speak out, be heard and become future leaders. Karen also awards a scholarship to needy family with a child on the spectrum to use as they need. This song is for them and you.

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