Dear Justin's mom,
Autism is the pits. We have a variation of it running throughout several of our eight children (probably from me). We also have a daughter with Down syndrome (and, thank God, no symptoms of autism!). I always say I'd rather have all eight with DS than especially the one with Asperger's/high functioning autism (we never had her officially labeled)!
I am a huge alternative health researcher. Over and over and over I learn about ways to help my children. But then I run into that wall the height and breadth of the Wall of China: finances!!! It is so, so hard, b/c there definitely ARE supplements and treatments out there which can at least enhance our children's health, but without the means to pay for them, they are not possible for us to use.
Our friends bring a really cool Indian (like from India, the country) missionary to speak every year. They asked him why he sees so many amazing healing miracles there that we do not see in the U.S. His answer was simple: they have no alternative. I guess that answer gives me hope, b/c y'all and we and probably many, many others in the U.S. are in the same boat. The possible health helps are out there, but they are out of our reach. How people without that hope manage, I have no clue!
Back to paying for things, I do encourage you to learn about helping autism through diet, and not just the typical gluten-casein-free thing. No matter how little money we all have, we do have to eat, so we might as well buy healing foods and avoid harmful foods in the process. (Easier said than done, I KNOW!!!) If you haven't already, check out the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. It is a digestion-healing diet, basically, and most people with autism have worse digestion than the rest of us. You can learn lots on two different websites: www.Gaps.me
. Our own family followed GAPS for over a year, and I think it made quick healing on the next diet I'll tell you about....
It's called the Spectrum Balance Protocol and was formulated by Dr. Shauna Young, of Durango, CO. Go to www.NoHarmFoundation.org
to learn more and to get a free download explaining all about it. Two basic premises of this diet are 1) that autistic people have too much manganese or at least, a sensitivity to it. Manganese occupies the same receptor site in the brain as iron, and often these folks are also low in iron. 2) phytates and lectins in foods, especially grains and legumes and nuts and seeds inhibit the absorption of minerals, etc. and therefore are bad.
When we put our daughter (whole family did it with her) on the SBP, she made HUGE gains in the first six weeks!!!! I made a YouTube video of her recovery. Go to www.YouTube.com
and search for "Autism Recovery Story Part 1" (and then there's a Part 2). It tells about the diet, too.
Sadly, after about six months of being a "new woman" (our daughter was ten at the time), when we transitioned her back into the full WAPF diet of soaked grains, etc., she regressed. Since then, we have had financial struggles forcing us to rely on stored grains and food which came our way (but not hardly anything processed--still picky about that). Our 2011 plan is to try to go back to a blend of GAPS and the SBP, and never to use grains again and only raw dairy (fortunately, we have a cow).
If we can afford any supplements on a regular basis, we will use cod liver oil and essential fatty acids. Spirulina is great (and cheap). Probiotics, digestive enzymes, and possibly hydrochloric acid are also good.
Nanci Smith, on this forum, is having great results with her son, who has autism, using a chelating program of fairly inexpensive supplements, b/c her son is so picky about foods. Nanci is going to write an article for Beeyoutiful soon, and I'm so excited to learn more and for her to offer this info to the public!
So keep praying and seeking! I always joke that God gave us a batch of special needs children b/c He thought we needed more work. I know this on-going situation has certainly kept our family on its knees!!! Eternally, all the hardships are going to pay off. And meanwhile, may you find healing so as to be able to encourage others as they come along behind you. (1 Corinthians style!)
God be with you, Nancy in TN