Physician Spotlight: Dr. Denise Tarasuk, ND, RN, MA, Ayurveda

Why do you participate and support the Rescue Family grant program? 

When asked why I have supported the Rescue Family Grant Program I immediately thought about my love and compassion for a whole family with a child that has special needs. Participating in the Generation Rescue Grant Program is a wonderful heart filling part of my medical practice. When originally asked if I would like to volunteer seeing families, I immediately said yes! Helping children and families through difficult times is what life is all about. Each child is special and needs care. If we start one by one, and treat each child diagnosed with autism, it will make a difference in our world. Working with the Generation Rescue Grant Program is the best part of my day. When I give time to another child and support a family, I do so as a gift. It is a wonderful feeling where I can just be myself and enjoy helping a child heal. 

My dream is for each mother and father to see their child healthy and happy. I consider myself to be truly fortunate. I have the most supportive team, the Rescue Family Grant Program team, that has the same goal. We want to see each family grow, to have tools in their box to help each child heal. We would like to see families watch their child, with pride, grow. Hope is eternal and Generation Rescue gives hope for recovery.

How long have you been treating patients with autism spectrum disorders?

I have been working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for the last 14 years. After treating one child with autism, suddenly my office was filled with children. The first child went on to a quick recovery and that left the autism community with hope. 

I learned about autism at The Mission of Charity, in the orphanage at Mother Theresa’s, in Kolkata, India. I was fresh out of medical school and my dear friend Dr. Somnath Mitra would take me to the orphanage to work. We treated children the sisters were the most worried about. Working at Mother Theresa’s was the most amazing experience and the children were so adorable. They taught me a lot about autism and their smiles filled my heart with joy.

What special practices do you offer in your office? 

Using an individual approach with each child is important and can make a difference with behavior and physical issues. The difference can change a child that has a mood similar to a dark cloudy day with no sunshine into a happy child who is able to express his needs and suddenly announces, “Mommy, I Love You!” My job is to help a child heal in body, mind, and soul. My goal, using a holistic approach with bio-medical interventions, is to help a child to develop sunny attitudes, embrace happiness, and learn to create longer sentences with colorful words.  Listening to the history of a child, watching them interact with their family and their environment helps me decide which interventions will be best suited. 

Because I am a Naturopathic doctor, I use a many healing modalities in my office. After taking an extensive history by listening to the family and watching a child, I implement an individualized care plan. Using a holistic Bio-medical approach, I incorporate Classical Homeopathy, nutrition, special diets, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and counseling. I use healing principles and research from Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS). In my practice, taking a health history is essential. Sensory issues, how noise effects a child, language skills, and motor skills give me a big clue to treatment possibilities. I am interested in the details of each child’s behavior issues, stubbornness, and temper tantrums. A physical exam is also important as even white marks on the finger nails give me clues. Laboratory tests help assess bowel function, good bacteria, yeast, and overgrowth.

Laboratory tests can be extensive and must be considered for the individual child. Testing is best and suitable when it fits with the family’s requests and philosophy. There is such a variety of laboratory tests; the sky is the limit. For example, testing may include: routine blood work, checking for mercury and lead, testing for food allergies, a hair analysis, a Comprehensive Stool Analysis, Organic Acid Tests, Amino Acid Testing, Gluten/Casein Peptide Test, Vitamin D levels, Cholesterol, Fatty Acids, Copper and Zinc Profile, Neurotransmitter testing, and environmental toxicity tests. The treatments are carefully suggested after watching, listening, and reviewing laboratory tests of a child diagnosed on the spectrum. It is most important to choose a test that will provide information that will help create a treatment care plan and stay within the family’s financial budget. Each family can then implement these specialized care plans that can make all the difference with healing their child.

Dr. Tarasuk pursued her dream of becoming a doctor and received her Doctoral Degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and and Science in Tempe, Arizona in 1999. In medical school, she began studying Homeopathy and Ayurveda, for the treatment of autism, which are her greatest passions. Dr. Tarasuk has been treating children on the autistic spectrum in her private Naturopathic practice in Campbell, California since 1999. She uses an integrative approach which includes Biomedical Medicine, Nutrition, Homeopathy, and Ayurveda. In 2009 Dr. Tarasuk graduated with her Master’s Degree in Ayurveda from Mount Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda. Her Master’s research thesis on Tourette’s Syndrome won the Patanjali award from Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA) in 2009.

Dr. Tarasuk lectures internationally on Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. She is a certified MAPS Physician and the author of “Monsoon Medicine: A Diary of a Canadian Medicine Women & Tales of a Bengali Doctor,” which includes a section on autism, and “Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome: An Ayurvedic Approach to Health and Happiness.” In addition, she has co-authored a book on Autism with Dr. William Shaw called “Autism: Beyond the Basics.”   

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