Team GR: Autism is hard to navigate and there are different approaches to help alleviate symptoms. We asked one of our former grant recipients to tell us what she’s done that’s worked for her son to help you along your journey!
Written by Warrior Mom Sunny Mirzadeh
My son King hit all of his milestones on time or earlier than other kids. He rolled over at 3 months, sat up unassisted before 6 months, started to scoot and crawl at 7 months and was walking by 9 months. He said “Mama” at 6 months and “Dada” shortly after. He could point to all his body parts when you asked him to, loved dancing, loved playing with his toys and being the center of attention whenever family was around. But then it all changed.
Slowly, he lost everything after 18 months. He stopped saying the words he knew, stopped playing appropriately with his toys, wouldn’t make eye contact and didn’t want to be around people.
Around 34 months, he was re-evaluated and diagnosed with moderate autism. I was devastated, heartbroken and confused. How could this happen? How does a perfectly healthy little boy regress so dramatically? We were told all we could do was continue speech therapy and enroll him in a special needs preschool class and hope for the best, but this this was going to be his life.
I refused to believe that and set out to find something to help my son. I found Generation Rescue and a community of parents who were healing their kids by addressing the underlaying medical issues that caused so many symptoms.
After two years of using a biomedical approach, we are close to full recovery. I wanted to share what has worked for us, but remember every child is unique. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results or if you need to try something different.
5 Ways I Am Helping My Child Recover from Autism
1. Gluten Free, Casein Free & Soy Free Diet
I believe that nothing else would have worked if we didn’t address the diet first. There are many reasons why gluten, dairy and soy are problematic for kids with autism and research shows most kids on a strict GFCFSF diet improved.
The diet set the foundation for recovery. My best advice is to not just substitute GFCFSF packaged versions of what you child may currently eat, since most are loaded with chemicals and sugars. It is always best to go for organic, non-GMO whole foods.
I know that can be challenging since many kids on the spectrum are picky eaters, just do your best. Start with one meal a day and work your way up to all three meals and snacks. Start eliminating one at a time, gluten, then casein (dairy), then soy. You will notice withdrawal symptoms, which is normal since gluten and casein both act like an opioid in the brain and like opioids they are addictive. Withdrawal lasted for 3-5 days for us. Once it passed, we saw an increase in speech almost immediately. The most important thing is that you are 100% GFCFSF since even the smallest amount can cause regression.
Many children on the spectrum have increased toxic burden due to various reasons including reduced metabolic function, mitochondrial dysfunction, high oxidative stress and methylation issues. King’s Hair Element Test showed he had high levels of antimony, aluminum, arsenic, barium, mercury, uranium, tin and titanium. Another toxin to watch out for is glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Round Up and used on crops. Glyphosate can’t be washed off and contaminates most packaged food. Another reason to always buy Non-GMO and organic.
Our first step for detox was to remove all household and personal care products that were not natural and contained chemicals and toxins. This included everything from lotion, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent and items you may breathe in that contain synthetic fragrances. A good APP to use to see if your products are toxic is the Think Dirty APP.
We started to support his liver with BioRay Liver Life and started nightly epsom salt baths. We saw a lot of gains with the baths. His behavior improved, and he started to sleep much better as well. We started with ¼ cup in bath and worked our way up to 2 cups every night. We also started using BioRay Kids products, which included chlorella, that help remove toxins. Our next step in detoxification will be low-dose oral chelation to remove heavy metals.
Healthy bacterial activity in the gut has been connected to healthy brain function and we definitely saw improvements in speech and behavior when we added probiotics. There are specific strains which are good to increase speech. We started using L-Reuteri and saw an increase in speech almost immediately.
Most recently, we started using Seeking Health ProBiota HistaminX, because I noticed behavioral issues that started in spring and realized it was due to allergies. Since I started this probiotic, which helps support the gut’s healthy response to ingested histamine, his behavior issues have completely disappeared. Switching up what probiotics you use helps keep a good balance of healthy gut bacteria.
4. The Right Vitamins
Everyone takes vitamins, but for kids with autism it’s usually very important to make sure their Multi-Vitamin is gluten, dairy and soy free as well as organic and non-GMO. We also make sure that what he is taking has folate, not folic acid, which is a synthetic form of folate. We currently use ANRC Essentials and Smarty Pants Kids Multi-Vitamins.
You also want to make sure if your child is deficient in any specific minerals or vitamins that you supplement those separately as well. We give Zinc additionally on top of King’s Multi-Vitamins because testing showed he was deficient. We also give high-dose vitamin C, which has so many important functions from neutralizing harmful oxidants, to helping stimulate excretion of copper to fighting off cold and flu.
5-HTP helps increase serotonin levels. Low serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, OCD behavior, anger, insomnia and more. It should not be taken for long periods of time, so we usually only use it when we see symptoms and taper off when we see improvements.
When King was first diagnosed, he was very aggressive towards me. He would constantly hit me and pull my hair, especially during meltdowns, which happened numerous times at day. Once we started 5-HTP, the aggressive behavior went away. A nice bonus is that it also helps with sleep issues.
Above all, what I want parents of kids newly diagnosed with autism to know is that there is hope. If your child does not fully recover with these biomedical interventions, these can reduce or eliminate autism symptoms and give your child an overall healthier life.