Is diet is enough to heal autism?
The Autism Diagnosis
My son used to be autistic. Note I said “used” to be. He was diagnosed with autism when he was three, but today is a happy, friendly, and incredibly bright six year old boy who attends 2nd grade in a private school – without an aid. I’m sure I can answer some pressing questions you have right away before I get into the meat of this post. #1 No, autism recovery isn’t easy. #2 Yes, sometimes diet can be enough. #3 No, it wasn’t enough for my son.
My son’s autism was triggered by the MMR vaccine, but there were other issues that contributed to his condition as well. To hear more about Aaron’s story and his road to recovery, watch this video Healing My Son’s Autism. Today, as I previously mentioned, Aaron is doing remarkably well. All in all, my child is 95% recovered and it all started with GAPS diet.
The Autism Diet Trap
Before I found the GAPS diet, I spent almost a year (and a fortune) on the GFCF diet. This is a diet you should avoid at all costs. Read GFCF Diet compared to GAPS diet here. The gist of it was that the GFCF diet which seemed to help for about a month…but after 10 months he was far worse than when he was initially diagnosed. I did the GFCF diet perfectly that year, and yet we had achieved nothing but an unreachable and constantly tantruming resemblance of a child.
He was so bad that leaving the house with him was impossible, and that’s certainly as far from recovery as one can get. After a year of pure hell, we discovered the GAPS diet which completely reversed my son’s trajectory. Instead of watching him get worse everyday, we started to bring him back to us. Over the course of Aaron’s recovery we did have to do other things besides diet to recovery him. However, (and this is important so pay attention) None of the “other things” that we did for our son would have worked had his body not been in condition to respond.
Is Diet is Enough to Heal Autism?
Many people have recovered their children just by using GAPS diet alone. This is because many autistic symptoms can be alleviated simply by fixing the gut, correcting gut flora, detoxifying the body, and correcting malnutrition. The children who heal this way are fortunate indeed. Their autism stems from toxicity, GI imbalances, and delayed or distorted neurological development due to these conditions. Other times, there are deeper underlying areas of damage to the brain and nervous system that will require a recovery plan beyond GAPS diet.
Jenny McCarthy made an analogy of autism recovery that explains very simply how this works. She said that someone can recovery from being hit by a bus, but they cannot be cured from it. I thought a lot about this the first time I heard it. It makes perfect sense. Some people die in such accidents. Others may live, but are confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. Some others may regain full use of their body, but they suffer brain damage that alters their ability to function independently in the world. While others may recover full mental capacity, but may always walk with a limp or have limited use of an arm or a leg.
So what determines how much a person can heal? Obviously, the exact location of impact and the extent of the damage. This is why our children’s autism vary so greatly. This is also exactly the reason why what works for some will not work for others. Regardless, the body must have proper nutrients and rest to heal. This is the same for everyone. And that is why diet must be the first step to autism recovery.
When diet isn’t enough to heal autism
Over the course of my son’s recovery, I have gotten myself quite an education about the various views on autism treatment. The number one thing I learned is that the vast majority of doctors, therapist, and “special schools” who claim to treat autism know nothing about how to successfully recover a child from it. In fact, they often make it a point to not question the causes of the symptoms, but rather to focus on managing the undesirable behavior and pathetically try to train the child to adopt “normal” responses.
Pardon my French, but this trend is a load of bull shit. When I finally realized how to help my child I had to accept a very painful truth. My child was ill… and school is no place for a sick child. Now that I have a healthy child he is quite happy to go to a “normal” school surrounded by “typical” children. But I did not send him to any school for autism or special services when I was recovering him. I kept him as far away from “mainstream” interventions and philosophies as I could.
I had to alter every aspect of our lives in order to care for him, but it paid off. In my book Autism Treatment – A Story of Diagnosis and Recovery using GAPS diet and More , I discuss how I plotted my son’s course for recovery. I vowed to heed only the advice of those who had actually succeeded in doing what I intended to do. Anybody else’s expertise in the matter, regardless of their credentials, was under-qualified to advise me or provide care for my son. Yes, diet is the foundation, but if it is not enough, then you will have to take steps to rebuild the child’s natural detoxification systems and repair brain and nerve damage. This can involve a range of therapies from Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy, MB12 shots, and MSM supplementation, among other things.
Success with Autism Recovery
If you want success, start with a strong foundation. Seek help from people who have succeeded and follow their footsteps. The first step, is getting started on a therapeutic diet like GAPS. Please read What is the GAPS diet? to learn more. The challenge here is getting these things done at the right time and in the right order. Don’t make the mistake of rushing out and getting you kids started on a zillion therapies and a zillion supplements at once. And don’t waste your time and money doing things like GI panel tests and blood work in the beginning of the recovery process. I can guarantee that 12 weeks into GAPS diet your child’s test results will look drastically different anyway.
Check out How to Get Started With GAPS Diet today for more help on taking your first steps to recovery. Have you tried GAPS with your child? I’d love to hear about your success in the comments section below.