Today’s “About”

I am a writer and a lawyer living on the North Shore of Long Island. For the past seven years, I have written this blog about recovering my son, Martin, from autism.

We are closer today than ever before to our recovery goal. When we started this journey, Martin did not have functional language. He didn’t respond to his name. He didn’t seem to realize when others were in the same room. He didn’t make eye contact. He had constant meltdowns. He bolted. He couldn’t sleep unless restrained.

Today Martin attends school in a mainstream classroom, albeit with an aide to help with his ADHD. Despite lingering social immaturity, he makes and enjoys spending time with friends. His language, except for the social/nonverbal component, is caught up: His English flows fluently, and he is conversant in Spanish. He uses idioms. He plays chess. He is an experienced skier and is halfway to his black belt in taekwondo. He’s looking forward to joining the school band next year, though he can’t decide whether to specify drums or trombone, both of which he knows how to play.

Like I said, we’re close.

Along the way, I have come to understand more and more why parents and others resist autism recovery as a concept. For starters, the path is arduous, with no guarantee of success. A parent struggling simply to make it through the day—and the night, as autism’s sleeplessness and worry steal the nights—may scoff at the idea of spending hours each day cooking special foods and administering supplements. Then there is the self-esteem aspect: Many parents believe that autism recovery is tantamount to trying to “fix” a child and, therefore, telling the child that something about him/her is “wrong.”

In truth, there is nothing wrong with a child affected by autism. But there is something wrong with autism. “Autism” refers to the external manifestation, the symptoms, of underlying health problems. Autism rates are rising right along with all sorts of childhood immune conditions (many of which, like autism, were previously thought to be only psychological conditions): ADD, hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, asthma, food allergies. Autism results from a messed-up immune system. We, as a society, need to be figuring out what is messing up our kids’ immune systems, and we need to be treating the victims of what’s happening.

My perspective, although steadily gaining acceptance, still lies outside the mainstream. I believe that the mainstream, whether medical or pharmaceutical or environmental policy, is failing the next generation.

Regardless of whether you agree, I hope you’ll check out what we’re up to.


2016’s “About”

I am a lawyer, with extensive experience in complex commercial litigation. Today, however, my profession is procurer of unprocessed and unadulterated foods, personal chef, home health aide, therapy provider, medical researcher, and appointment coordinator for my seven-year-old son, Martin.

The position is full-time, because Martin is recovering from autism.

To say so openly—that Martin is recovering from autism—is new. For the past several years, I’ve kept my mouth shut about Martin’s recovery process.

When Martin was diagnosed with autism at age two, in October 2010, he was incapable of falling asleep, and often incapable of staying asleep, unless physically restrained. My husband (Adrian) and I slept in shifts, one dozing while the other pinned Martin’s ankles to keep his little legs from flailing. On the worst nights, we had to work together, one holding Martin’s lower body, the other hugging Martin’s arms and shoulders until his little body could find rest. Daytimes, Martin alternated between running in circles and lying on the floor, where he pushed a toy car back and forth, making sing-song noises. Although he could echo words, he could not independently string words together. He had no concept of “yes,” or “I.”

The first months after diagnosis, Martin spent his waking hours undergoing conventional therapies—as much as 40 hours per week of Applied Behavioral Analysis, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy. Yet nothing changed. He still didn’t sleep, or put words together, or make eye contact. Nothing changed, except that Martin became resistant to therapy.

At that time, under those circumstances, a tip from a friend brought me into conversation with “Annie,” a physician on leave to care for her own children. Yes, Annie told me, her son used to have autism. Now, at nine years old, he was fully recovered. Autism is symptomatic of medical disorders with a genetic component, Annie explained. She treated the underlying disorders, and the symptoms resolved.

That first day, by phone, Annie introduced me to healing diets, genetic profiling, supplementation, avoidance of chemicals and other environmental dangers. Immediately I compiled a binder of research on recovery from autism, which I handed to Adrian with the words, “This is what we’re going to do.” I made an appointment with a doctor who was pioneering the field of autism recovery, and Adrian and I agreed to abandon most traditional therapy and instead begin an extensive course of dietary, biomedical, and homeopathic interventions. “Biomed,” we call the treatment for shorthand.

In the beginning, Martin’s progress was swift. Within six weeks of eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar, most fruits and starches, and everything processed or artificial from his diet, Martin was falling asleep unassisted and, most nights, staying asleep. He no longer clenched his gut in pain. As we introduced supplements and other interventions, Martin stopped drifting. His lethargy lessened. He replaced his constant whine “You want, you wan, you wah…” with the pronoun “I.” He responded to his name. Adrian and I were ecstatic.

With the zeal of a new convert, I was ready to proclaim, “Autism can be treated! It works!” But it didn’t take long to discover that, even among fellow special-needs parents, I should keep my enthusiasm to myself. In 2011, the idea that autism is symptomatic of health conditions, instead of a psychiatric or neurological disorder, had not yet entered the realm of what most parents were willing to believe. People who knew nothing of autism recovery hounded me for depriving Martin of a “normal” childhood by withholding cotton candy and pizza. Others accused me of spreading disease by campaigning against vaccines. It didn’t matter that I’d never said a word about vaccines; to be recovering a child from autism was to be one and the same with Jenny McCarthy.

Soon I was hiding the fact that we do biomed. It’s allergies, I said. Martin has food allergies, so I bring his food everywhere. The supplements, I tucked into a cabinet until no one was looking. The B12 injections, I didn’t mention. Shouting autism recovery from the rooftops? Not so much.

But times and attitudes change. What’s going on in the laboratory is starting to catch up with what’s been going on in the field. Media reports are cropping up about the connection between autism and gut bacteria, immune disorder, proprionic acid, mitochondrial deficits, pesticide exposure.

It’s 2016 now. Martin attends second grade in a school that targets speech and language delays. One evening, at an event for parents from Martin’s class, the topic turns to what we do for our children outside of school. Emboldened by the knowledge that at least one of Martin’s classmates follows a gluten- and dairy-free diet, I admit, “We do biomed,” and look for the cold shoulder.

This time, it doesn’t come. The half-dozen mothers, apparently recognizing the term “biomed,” nod approvingly. Two ask me to explain further. One mother says that going gluten-free helped her son, but that she found it too hard to sustain long-term—could I help her with some recipes? Another mother says that three of her four children have some form of sensory issues, and she wonders whether the whole family could follow a biomedical protocol.

And I realize: I don’t need to hide this anymore.

This is our story. We are a biomed family. My son is recovering from autism. He’s not there yet. He still has social challenges and an infinitesimal attention span, and his mitochondrial disorder makes him quick to tire. But in five years, Martin has developed into a kid fully engaged with the world, who makes eye contact, responds to his name, speaks in complete sentences (he’s bilingual), asks questions, has very few repetitive behaviors, swims, rock-climbs, rides his bicycle, ice skates, skis, and looks at his mom’s face for reassurance in difficult situations.

I’ve given up much to walk the biomed path with Martin.

But how could I regret that?

51 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Anonymity. It’s Not Just for Criminals Anymore | Finding My Kid

  2. “..if we do not recover our son, completely, I will admit that we have failed to reach our ultimate goal.” This made me tear up. I really admire what you’re doing. I would have tended to be someone in the “biomedical recovery of autism is quack” camp. So it may be good for you to know that the blog appeals to that sector, as well.

    • I think this is my favorite comment that I’ve received to date on the blog. The truth is that I’m not really sure where I stand on the “quackery” scale. As I’ve said, there are days, especially if Martin is not at his best, when I wonder if we are making progress. I am bombarded constantly by messages from doctors and other professionals—good, concerned people—saying that biomedical recovery doesn’t work. So I cling to what I have: my own experience. Even when’s he is not at his best, I can see that Martin is a different child than he was before we began Track Two. He sleeps, he speaks in sentences, he’s less self-stimming, and he has better control over himself and his actions. How did we get here? From a science perspective, I have no idea. But so long as his journey continues to arc toward neurotypicality, I can’t stop trying. I am just so happy to hear that the blog appeals to someone not on the same path. If we succeed, maybe others will want to try this. Whatever happens, we’re all in this together.

      • Sweden, Stockholm, sunday evening.
        Im a very beginner at this, English, AND blogging… please excuse me…!

        I wish You and Your Boy all the best in the future coming.

        Some days ago, I sat on the bus where a ‘special’ person was aboard. He made ´strange´ noices, he couldt resist it, but it was nothing about him that was troubling anyone. An elderly (75-80?) man sat down beside me.
        He started talking to me with: -“There is so much strange things happening here in Stockholm nowadays, and if I where in charge, (as he wasn´t) I would”… et c., et c.,
        He tried to get my interest ,by telling me that he once had a Position in some way. I told him that its not a crime to be “crazy”. I turned my head towards the buswindow, I´ve had enough of his stupid comments… He went on talking, and talking, trying to get my interest. Got of the bus, whitout telling him what I really think about people like him.

        Just a spontaneous comment to your blog.

        I´m trying to learn.

        Best whishes from Caisa in Stockholm.

  3. Just from reading the blog I have a totally different view on this. It’s all brand new to me – I learned about it here for the first time.
    Yes we are in this together.

    • Thanks. I’ve been thinking maybe I would put something similar to the About page into a daily post. Like: I’m not saying this will work. Not saying I know how it works. Not saying everyone should do it. I’m just describing what we’re doing and what happens—fingers crossed.

  4. Pingback: The S Word | Finding My Kid

  5. I think I love you.

    I’m searching so hard right now. Searching for the tools to fill the toolbox that we have been given. Our beautiful boy will be 5 next week and he has Down Syndrome. We have also recently discovered that he has autism. How far down the autism road he is, I really don’t know because to have a child with Down Syndrome given a “dual diagnosis” is an exercise laden with so much of the proverbial red tape that it makes me want to heat my scissors in the blacksmith’s fire before I use them so that I not only cut the tape – but burn it. (My frustration speaking.)

    I came across your blog today while searching for more answers and I am so thankful that I did. Thank you for sharing this road that you’re walking. Thank you for being willing to show us all what it’s really like where you are. I want to know. I need to know. I need to know if it’s a road we should travel but I have to admit, I’m not ready to walk it just yet so I’m content to watch you if that’s okay.

    As an aside, I’m originally from the East End of LI so the picture of Martin in Laguardia is actually what caught my attention. Hope all of you and yours are safe and okay.

    • Sugarsaltnspice, thanks so much for your comments. I can completely understand if the biomedical journey is one you’re not ready for yet. I took a look at your wonderful blog, and I can only imagine that, if I also had a dual diagnosis and a second child to contend with, I might not make it to biomedical, either. Please continue to read and to stay in touch. I would love to know where your own journey leads you.

      • Thank you for replying. It’s funny you know, something as small as someone acknowledging that you have reached out can be huge. I appreciate it – today especially. Our little man hasn’t taken to this move especially well (although he loves the new found freedom of living in the country) and our beautiful girl has a cold so I didn’t get much sleep last night. Today, your reply was as welcome as my cup of hot organic cocoa at 5:30am.

        We also follow a pretty healthy diet. We eat as organic as possible (much easier when we lived in the city though), eat meat only a few times a week, don’t drink caffienated coffee and have cut out all forms of cane sugar and most dairy in the past 12 months. I make my own bread, mayo and a slew of other things. We actually lean more towards a vegan-ish lifestyle. (If I didn’t like meat so darn much I’m sure I could actually be a great vegan!) The thing is, our little man follows a very different diet. He has extreme food refusal and eats the same exact thing every single day. I do my best to vary it within the confines of “the same” but it can be very challenging. I add fresh, organic herbs to very savoury meal I can get into him and make all my own sauces for him. (His main meal twice a day is a pasta type concoction that I came up with. Pasta or rice with chopped meat that varies between beef, lamb, turkey and chicken and whatever fresh vegies and herbs I have on hand. Similar to your garbage pasta.) Like you, we don’t buy processed food and eat out very rarely.

        So at the moment we’re doing what we can. For today, I’ll just make sure I’ve got one foot in front of the other and continue to move forward. After that – we’ll see.

        Thank you again for your reply and for allowing me the space to just say what was inside. As it’s still early morning here I’ll go stoke the fire and get my beautiful girl out of bed to start her day. Daddy has been away for a few days for work and arrives back today so there’s a real sense of excitement with the two littlies. This is what I’ll use as propolsion. Cross your fingers for me.


      • It sounds like you may already be doing more than you think for your son. It’s so great that you are avoiding processed foods and sugars. And if you have to give him the same meal every day (I have heard similar reports from many, many parents!), then at least you’ve come up with something very nutritious. I wonder—are you using wheat pasta? Maybe if you slipped in gluten-free rice pasta he would not notice? That could be a way to avoid some gluten. In any event, please keep up your work. Wholesome foods make our kids more whole! And please keep commenting. I’ll follow your journey here and on your blog.

  6. I completely agree with you on the hesitancy to say “yes, I have all the answers”. For my four year old son on the spectrum, I subscribe to that same idea – go with your gut, try new and promising things as long as they don’t cause harm to your child. And always be open to reevaluating at any point. I’m two and a half years into this journey and recovery, and so far those rules have led us to a great place with our son, and led us to many new revelations about our own health. I don’t know what the end result will be, but I do know that my son if absolutely getting better each and everyday.

    • That last line sums it up for me. Will we recover Martin entirely? No idea. If we never get any farther than we have so far, will all the work be worthwhile? Without a doubt. Keep fighting the good fight.

      • If you ever want to stay in touch, my blog is peaceloveandwellness.com. I just read your latest blog post and am wondering if you have tried homeopathy and essential oils. Forgive me if you have and I don’t remember. They’ve been amazing for my son! I am always willing to talk and connect if you’re interested. I’m from the city and live in the suburbs now 🙂

      • Andrea, I just checked out your blog. Really good stuff! I will cross-post it later this week. We do homeopathy with Lauren Lee Stone (CornerStone Integrative in Wilton, Connecticut), but so far we haven’t done much with essential oils. Let’s talk? Shoot me an email at findingmykid@yahoo.com.

  7. I tried doing a search, but it didn’t turn up anything, so I thought that asking here might be my best option for finding out: have you ever used essential oils with Martin? I’m just curious, because I’ve enjoyed reading about the different biomed interventions you’re using with him, and wasn’t sure if you had ever tried them. I like to pick other people’s brains about what oils they have used with kids on the spectrum, because I feel like the more the information is shared, the more likely we are to hear about something that has helped another kid and which might help our own, as every kid is different, and while what might benefit Child A might not produce the same result for my child, what helped Child B -might-. So, on that note.. have you used any with Martin in thebpast, and if so, did you see any change sand/or benefits?

    In the interest of full disclosure, I -am- an essential oils distributor, but I became one after skeptically trying them with m own son, and seeing beneficial results. I am always on the lookout for what is helping others and might help my child as well, as we figure out the next piece of the puzzle step by step. I think our next step, aside from a couple of new oils that I would like to add to his protocol, is the GAPS diet, as GI issues are a common themes in our house. How are you finding GAP to work for you? I know I -have- seen you mention that in the past around here.

    Thanks for your time, and for sharing your journey with the rest of us!

    • Sorry for my delay in responding to this comment. We have used and do use essential oils from Young Living, especially thieves oil and frankincense. In response to your question, no, I have never seen too much difference when using essential oils. That being said, I have never done a diffuser with them, or specifically tried a full EO protocol. As you’ve probably gathered from reading on this site, I cycle through treatments when I think the time is right. EO, to me, will be more of a “tail end” protocol for Martin, when we’ve resolved a few more issues and really are just smoothing rough edges. The instinct is always to throw the kitchen sink at autism. Over these four years I’ve had much better luck when slowing down and trying one or two treatments at a time. Right now, in addition to being on the GAPS diet (I intend to give GAPS the recommended two years), we are working with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky and with Rudi Verspoor, plus doing our usual biomes and homotoxicology. EO might come thereafter. Good luck on your journey too!

  8. Pingback: Healing children with autism blog list | Raising a Sensitive Child

  9. HI, we did all the bio med and everything in between. Spent over $300,000 out of pocket over 9 years. I finally found a therapy that I truly believe works on these kids. It’s new and cutting edge, completely safe, FDA approved, non-evasive and believe it or not, remarkably simple and not a lot of folks know about it. If you’re interested I’ll leave my info below and we can discuss. It’s too much info to type all out. I make no money or profit from it, I am happy to pay the info forward, but I’m also careful about what I share with who, due to, not every parent is open to alternative therapies, but my daughter is coming a long long way with it and I finally think we found the cure dare I say for these kids. It’s been a real eye opener for us, we chased symptoms and treated symptoms for years instead of healing what caused it. I feel relieved knowing we found it. We did all the nutrition as well, and that isn’t the solution, nor is bio med or chelation or hbot, sauna therapy, ALCAT, Feingold diet, homeopathic remedies, organic eating, vaccine reversal remedies, etc.. we have done it all. It will abade symptoms for a bit and kiddos will jump in progress but then the kids always regress after a bit of false hope, it’s pretty predictable. Like I said, I’m happy to share and put you in touch with the people I believe who have this all figured out, if you want to talk to me, give me a call. My name is *********, ***-***-**** is my number, and I’m a mom of three. My daughter has done it all she has been my full time job since she was born in 2004. Before I go, let me say this…make sure you have a lyme disease test done, as it mimics autistic symptoms and they say now there is proof that 25% of kids on spectrum truly aren’t autistic today they have lyme which is treatable. But, that’s not what happened to us, I’m just sharing it because it was a new revelation for me and a lot of parents don’t know about it at all. Happy to help whoever… Best of luck and God bless you and your family.

  10. We did essential oils too, that didn’t work, nor did NAET therapy, forgot to post that. Did we see gains in our therapies, yes…but no cures. We have been looking for the cure. As all parents are. It has arrived finally and word is getting out. But it’s slow going as people still believe their DAN doctors. No offense to them, but they treat symptoms only. Hugs

    • Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I’m glad to hear that your daughter is doing well! Sorry to hear that you paid so much without seeing lasting process otherwise. As you can imagine, I am skeptical anytime I hear about a single treatment that is a cure, especially when autism (and its underlying causes) varies so widely among children. Is the new treatment too secret to share the name of? Will I hear about it at A1 or TACA Northeast this year? This is an anonymous blog, so I would not feel comfortable calling you directly. On the other hand, if you can refer me to a blog or any other information written about the treatment you’re using, I would love to take a look and report back. Be well and keep doing the best for your kids!

  11. Pingback: Back Again | Finding My Kid

  12. I stumbled upon your blog after searching for “first day of special education preschool” – I am beginning my fifteenth year of teaching, but last year was my first working with students with autism (3 year olds). I am so excited to have my same five students looping up with me this year. I’m stretching to learn all I can for my students in my room, but also for their families.

    I am extremely interested in all you have to say. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

    • Go Lee! If I could say anything to a preschool teacher charged with ASD children, it would be this: Please (1) tell parents, as gently as possibly according to what they are ready to hear, that diet, supplements, and even homeopathy can help their children; and (2) let them know that however they are choosing to address autism, they are AWESOME. We need all the support we can get. Thank you!

      • Hi just an FYI not sure if you have heard of ketamine therapy but it reconnects the synaptic connections of the brain and just thought I’d share it. Have a great fall

      • Hi Stephanie! Is ketamine the therapy that you were emailing me about back in April? You never did give me the name of what you were talking about. Yes, I’ve heard of ketamine therapy. My understanding is that it’s a pharmaceutical NMDA receptor antagonist that can alleviate ASD symptoms (particularly mood symptoms, i.e., depression and malaise) for the duration of its use. I saw the Logan Wink study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry on intranasal ketamine therapy for autism. Generally speaking, I am not interested, at this time, in pursuing any pharmaceutical approaches to Martin’s autism, as I think that pharmaceuticals (from what I’ve read, this would include ketamine and other glutamatergic modulators) tend to work at a symptomatic level, as opposed to biomedical interventions, which actually heal. That being said, I have never ruled out helping Martin pharmaceutically if at some point in the future I feel we’ve accomplished almost all we can biomedically, or that some last tiny push is needed to mainstream him. Before I would try ketamine therapy, however, I would need to read more about its effectiveness after cessation (I’m not interested in any drugs whose effects disappear after use, because that means “using it forever” is the assumed approach), and to see additional studies about side effects. Have you used ketamine therapy with your child? I would love to hear more about side effects, how long you used it, etc.

  13. Has your son been on the GAP diet for two years? If so, what has been the outcome? My son has ASD and ADHD and we have tried a lot of different things over the course of five years, he’s now 7. I am always searching for something new, trying to find a better combination of tools to assist him in every day life. I will never give up on finding his cure. My spirit has been defeated from time to time, but my faith will keep me strong over the long haul.
    Thank you for sharing. It’s reassuring hearing another parent’s journey on this path.

    • Hi Michele! First and foremost, keep that faith. Whatever you are doing for your son, hold steady. Even if you don’t see improvement right away, you are doing nothing more than improving his health. Second, my son has been on GAPS since March 2014, so not yet two years, and we actually (now) do a modified GAPS. I found that strict GAPS left him with too little energy, probably because he’s a mito kid. So now he gets quinoa and some limited grains (non-gluten, and usually sprouted). What I think is more important for him, and better, is the stock and broth, which he still has twice daily. (Be careful about the broth if your son has histamine issues.) Martin’s digestion, after five years of being gluten-, dairy-, soy-, corn-, refined sugar-, non-organic-, and most-starches-fee, seems really good, and (knock on wood) his candida has been under control for more than 18 months. I would recommend giving GAPS or SCD a try if you haven’t already. And keep in touch! Thank you for helping your son!

  14. I am walking the same path as you and have been for three years. I still believe in a root cause and have ruled out many things. The work is exhausting, but I cannot stop until I have restored my son’s health. I have read many blogs and comments in parent forums, and your voice is the closest to my own. I just want to say thank you for putting it out there.

  15. Hi, please find Arleen Ehritz on FB. http://www.beginwithinspa.com
    It’s looks like we are on the same path . I also have 7 years son on ASD and we tried lot of difrent therapy, diets , supplements but the biggest improvement he got was when we started working with Arleen ( sorry for my English :)).

  16. Pingback: Disappointment | Finding My Kid

  17. I love your blog and have been reading it for many months now. I too have a son age 7 yrs diagnosed ASD of the regressive type, and I am certain that it was a combination of environmental factors / toxins that played a large part in his symptoms. The challenges his faces are VERY similar to those of your son (currently in a SDC class, biggest issue is attention and language delay, GFCF diet helped immensely, has numerous food allergies, etc) and I was so happy to read your recent post where your son has been reclassified as having ADHD/pragmatic language delay. This is what I hope for my son too, though I think we still have a ways to go. But I am confident we will get there. I was wondering if you could tell me the top 3-5 things you think helped. I know you wrote a post about this awhile ago, but now that you have tried even more things, what helped you see the biggest leaps? On a side note, we are not disclosing our son’s diagnosis b/c one day I hope he loses it too – but sometimes its hard b/c its obvious he has issues. Did you find that hard for you too?

    • First and foremost, thank you for helping your son. He will get there! In terms of what has helped my son the most, it is always hard to tell, but I would say (1) diet (free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients; limited fruit, starches, carbs, and natural sugar; minimal processed; home-made; organic); (2) continually updated protocol (supplements, antimicrobials, enzymes, etc.), as determined by his MAPS doctor; (3) alternative therapies (HANDLE, Anat Baniel method, vision therapy with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky); and (4) healthy home environment (limited wi-fi, outside of the city, organic garden/yard, testing for mold and toxins). In terms of whether it is hard to keep his diagnosis confidential, yes. It is. There are times when I know people have “suspected something.” But it’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell, and that’s worked for us. Of course, it is getting easier. Onward, warrior mom!

      • Thank you for your reply! We do basically the same diet (add vegetarian) and I certainly think it has played a large part in his improvement along with correcting some vitamin deficiencies and other such issues. I recently picked up a book about Anat Baniel method and its seems interesting, I may need to explore it more. I am also very interested in looking more into Vision or Auditory therapy as I feel as though my son’s distraction often stems from sensory issues. Do you have an email where I could possibly ask more specific questions if I do decide to try any of the above alternative therapies (don’t want to take up all your web space :)). Thanks once again for writing this blog, I always look forward to reading the new entries!

  18. Hi! I wanted to share some information. My son, who is now 4 ½, was diagnosed with mild autism spectrum disorder when he was 20 months old. We realized something was wrong when he seemed “disconnected” which started when he was about 18 months. We went through early intervention, ABA therapy and schooling. What I learned is you have to take information from different sources and see what makes sense for your child. Although my child still attends a special school regularly I have added in some holistic and nutritional supplements/changes etc. and I have seen improvement in my child’s behavior. There are more and more movements now striving for the acceptance of people who are autistic, because many are brilliant and have special talents. I read the book Awakened by Autism and loved it! The author, Dr. Andrea Libutti is a MD (emergency room doctor) and also mother of 3 boys, the oldest having severe autism spectrum disorder. She takes an acceptance approach but also offers advice in terms of holistic treatments that may help alleviate some of the symptoms. If anyone is interested and lives in New York (or loves to drive lol!) she will be speaking at Book Revue in Huntington, NY at 7pm on October 26th. I hope this helps someone out there!!!

    • Hi Laura. Thanks for coming to my blog. I’m glad to hear that your son is doing well, and glad to hear that you have started addressing the medical/health side of autism. Have you been reading the blog for very long? My view of the “acceptance approach” is set out in posts titled “Del Sur V: Manifesto” (21 June 2016) and “For Diana” (15 December 2014). You might find them interesting. Also, in the post “Once and Twice” (10 February 2015), I discuss being brilliant or having special talents, and whether I really consider those types of gifts more valuable than being able to socialize fully.

  19. That’s a really good blog. My son is 29mo and not long ago we started a very similar journey here in France!

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • Fabio, good luck with your journey! If you get a chance, let me know what resources you are finding in France. My family in Germany tells me that Europe lags behind the States in what is available biomedically. I would like to hear second opinions on that.

      • When I said “similar journey” I also meant the disapproval faces I get these days when mentioning “diet” to most health practitioners. Thus, the mouth shut also applies here most of the time…

        Few weeks ago when my kid was evaluated, we were in a meeting with all the professionals (neuroped, therapists, special needs educators etc) when they said to me: “I heard that you are into the diet thing and we should be clear with you that we don’t support this. You should not feel guilt about your son’s condition, so don’t fall victim of this propaganda”. I know it sounds quite bad to hear but because of that I became very skeptical about “conflict of interest”.

        I’m a physics researcher, but last year I read much more biomed-related papers than the papers from my field. I’m quite alone with my wife in this journey. The solution we found to establish the biomed “ésotérique” approach (yes, I read a paper from a french renowned researcher saying this) around this environment is to do some exams ourselves and pretend that the diet is a side dish to relief him from “unrelated” gastro problems (IgG reactions, bloating, diarrhea, elevated peptides etc) which is visibly improving his well-being. Although I’m still struggling to find a nutritionist in France that is aware of his needs.

        Having said that, I should also mention that the professionals cited above and the re-education programs with speech and occupational therapies that the french governament offered us is excellent and affordable. And I’m quite surprised because in France the psychoanalytic approach started to give place to the behavioral only around 2012.

        We’re just starting the journey but I already see a bright light in the end of the tunnel 🙂

      • Congratulations to you for fighting the uphill battle! As a scientist yourself, you are in an excellent position to educate (gently) others about the power of the proper diet and other biomedical interventions. I remember, also, early in our journey, when we had a host of “unrelated” problems like skin rashes (diagnosed as “sensitive skin,” instead of what it really was, detoxing dermatologically because he wasn’t able to do so digestively), inability to sleep (diagnosed as “restless leg syndrome,” instead of the inability to calm himself in open space), belly bloat (diagnosed as “sensitive stomach,” instead of leaky gut). As far as the notion that you are pursuing healthy diet based on guilt—well, I think you know what I would say to that. Unless you are personally responsible for the wealth of environmental (and genetic) factors that seem to be contributing to the autism epidemic (and I’m sure you’re not), you have no guilt to feel. Please keep in touch. And go! Go! Go!

  20. I admire you so much!!! I LOVE your blog. I check it constantly with updates! So thanks so much for trying to update it despite your broken wrist! You truly are a wonderful biomed Mama. I don’t know how you balance it all. I’m REALLY struggle struggling with that right now. I like that you balance biomed with traditional therapies. I do that as well. If you have any input on how to balance life while doing biomed please let me know! Thanks for your blog!!

    • I admire everyone who undertakes this journey. I will be the first to admit that I never think I do enough. There are always more studies to be read, more treatments to be explored, more time spent just adoring my son. One thing that should be said is that I think it must be very, very difficult to pursue biomed while working full-time. I don’t believe I could do so, based on the food/cooking aspects alone. In fact, I’ve recently had to reduce my own workload to make more time for Martin. Early in this process, I wrote a post titled “The Stars Aligned / I Salute You” (https://findingmykid.com/2011/08/08/the-stars-aligned-i-salute-you/), recognizing that my ability to pursue biomed is a privilege that is (unfairly) not available to all. I try to remain cognizant at all times of this privilege; it is one of the reasons I continue FindingMyKid and try to engage parents via email and in comments. If there is any advice I could give you, it would be not to forget yourself. I feel better, I have resilience, and I am more available for Martin when I get sleep and take an hour to work out. The years when I neglected myself weren’t the best for either of us.

  21. You will have no disapproving looks from me for trying diets or anything else mentioned but I do see an issue with the “I must cure him of this” attitude. In my opinion you are marketing him as less than he should be and these years are so precious that I think that that is dangerous.

    Autism is so broad that it’s hard to generalise but apart from the challenges presented which lead to stimming or repetitive behaviours, there are personality traits ingrained which should not be adjusted. The biggest mistake parents make is forced socialisation; I understand the desire but often it is not in the best interests of the child, who doesn’t get a lot from the process and is made feel bad for that.

    Regardless of your belief that this needs to be cured (and I believe that elements may be treatable but the human is different emotionally and intrinsically) the process and experience means that your child won’t ever be, or want to be, like your idea of cured. If you are not preparing him for a life that is true to him I think that you are doing him an injustice.

    Good luck with your journey

  22. Im wishing you all the best on your journey. Have you heard of Dr. Nemechek? He’s based out in Arizona and has about 10,000 parents on facebook who have used his protocol for autism.

    Im wondering- how was your experience with Dr Zelinsky? My best friend had a TBI and has been having severe symptoms since then. I found out about Zelinsky in a book I was reading, and would love to hear a first hand experience.

    Thanks a million!

    • Hello, Mina! Yes, I am familiar with Dr. Nemechek’s work. I think his protocol probably isn’t right for Martin because of Martin’s persistent troubles with parasites and bad bacteria, which can feed on inulin. But I am very happy for families who’ve had success with the Nemechek protocol! We had a great experience with Dr. Zelinsky. Martin worked with her for several years, and I credit her for re-establishing Martin’s peripheral vision and decreasing his discomfort with peripheral hearing. We are not seeing Dr. Zelinsky at this time, but only because her work took us far enough that Martin can use more traditional vision therapy closer to us in the New York area. I do recommend Dr. Z. By any chance, is the book you have called The Ghost in My Brain?

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