I know what you’re thinking. Just based on the title of this article, anyone who reads this likely falls into one of two camps. In the best case, you are turning toward diet and nutrition as a way to heal your child from autism; or in the worst case, you are only reading this to pick apart my every word because you’ve already decided that autism cannot be “cured”.
Please, if you’re a hater, this article isn’t for you. Politely close your screen and move on with your life. Remember, you don’t believe autism can be healed anyway so don’t let me waste your time. As for the rest of you, you’ve come to the right place. I am writing this for you, to encourage you to do the work to heal the body with GAPS protocol and to help you understand what a real timeline of recovery actually looks like. So here it is, autism recovery timeline using GAPS Diet.
GAPS Diet – the foundation for autism treatment
First off, before reading any further, you need to fully understand what GAPS diet is and what it is not. Even if you think you know GAPS, please allow for the possibility that there may be things you don’t fully understand yet. GAPS doesn’t work half-way. It kind of an all or nothing deal. Having said this, I strongly suggest you read What is The GAPS Diet before going any further in this article. Otherwise, the magnitude and implications of what I say will be misinterpreted and you will be missing out on valuable information.
The Two Parts of the GAPS Diet
Second, you should know that GAPS diet has two parts. There is the Introductory Diet and then there is the Full Diet. If you skip the Introductory Diet and go straight to the full diet you are asking for trouble. You will definitely experience some initial benefits and healing, but unless you start from the very beginning, you will likely hit a plateau in the recovery process that will stump you because you skipped the foundation of healing. The Introductory Diet is there for a reason. It’s your best shot at recovery, so don’t be impatient. We all want recovery, but whatever is worth doing is worth doing right, so be sure to read How to Get Started with the GAPS Diet Today. This article will guide you easily in the 6 stages of the GAPS Introductory Diet.
Using the GAPS diet, you can expect healing of the gut, correction of gut flora imbalances, immune reactions, and most allergies to fully resolve within 2 – 5 years, depending on the severity of the child’s condition. This is a very small price to pay when considering the alternative. If you do not fix the gut issues, the severity of the autism will progress leading to a lifetime of dependency on drugs and behavior management while you have to work harder and harder at just keeping your head above water.
A much better option is giving 2- 5 years of intense dietary intervention. Be diligent and focused. Dietary intervention can offer a future of true health, happiness, and opportunity for your child and for you. While I firmly believe that diet is the key to healing, there are other factors that will have influence in the overall timetable and outcome of the recovery process.
Definition of Autism Recovery
If you asked me to define recovery, I’d respond by asking you to define autism. Understand that a child receives the autism diagnosis after two things happen.
- The child fails to reach important social, emotional, and physical developmental milestones.
- The child exhibits excessive self-stimulatory (and sometimes destructive behaviors) like jumping, flapping, spinning, OCD, biting, extreme tantrums, head banging, etc.
Sometimes the kids also have seizures, tics, and other serious gross motor issues. Obviously, coping with these behaviors and conditions severely alters the families lifestyle and ability to live together harmoniously.
I firmly believe that dietary invention can relieve and even eliminate vast majority of these issues. So, yes, I’m saying that even children who are diagnosed as severely autistic can achieve recovery to some level. Depending on where the damage lies and the extent of it, autism can be treated to help children and families function to find a daily rhythm that does not center around crisis.
Building on the Foundation of Autism Recovery
My son, Aaron, experienced an inspiring degree of recovery from just implementing GAPS diet. Listen to his story here. This video was recorded after 8 months of GAPS diet. This was the foundation for his recovery. Today, he is a bright, beautiful and happy 6 year old working 2 grades ahead of his age. He fully integrated into a private school without an aid after 2 1/2 years of GAPS diet and adding other necessary therapies and techniques to heal brain damage from vaccines, clean his system of yeasts, fungi and parasites, and catch him up in social, emotional, physical, and academic areas of development.
How long does Autism Recovery take?
Consider dietary recovery to take 2 – 5 years. Ideally, social, emotional, and physical therapies need to start simultaneously with GAPS. Generally speaking, you should allow for 5 years to move your child through the 3 primary stages of development that should occur during infancy, toddler-hood, and preschool. After that, learning is a life long process. This is the goal! Help your child achieve a state of perpetual learning and growth rather than just striving to maintain status quo and fighting regression.
Even if your child is much older than 5 years of age, a thorough recovery model will go back to the milestones that should have been met during those early years of development. They cannot be skipped regardless of your child’s age. Skipping certain parts of the acquisition of these milestones is what is responsible for the way ASD kids appear to be like a disassembled puzzle, often missing some pieces and having others arranged helter skleter on the development map.
For help maneuvering these stages, see my online course Autism Recovery University which is based on my son Aaron’s recovery. ARU is designed to helps parents manage the many challenges of the recovery process using real life accounts of my experience with my child.
The Biggest Autism Recovery Mistake
The worst thing that a parent can do when confronting the diagnosis is to act too quickly with supplementation and therapies. I see people kick into overdrive and rush to try every supplement, therapy, and treatment they hear about. This is the absolute wrong way to go about healing. When this approach is used, the child’s systems (which is already seriously compromised – hence the autism diagnosis) goes into a state of shock, for lack of a better word. This tactic leads to regressions, new symptoms emerging, and very expensive emotional roller coaster ride as the family gets their hopes up for a “cure”, spends a fortune, and then the child appears no better or even worse off than they were before. A wise plan will focus on diet first and then bring in the other elements of supplements and therapies using a well organized and thought-out plan.
Know that any change you make in your child’s life will take 8 -12 weeks to show its true benefits. Most people I know are changing tactics far too often to help their child. Consistency is key. You’ve got to do the right things, in the right order, consistently to get real results.