Our Autism Treatment Plan
Over the last year or so, I have read multiple books on various diets, autoimmune protocols, and holistic healing. I’ve listened to countless hours of podcasts and read dozens of research articles and blog posts on similar topics. Using knowledge gained through this research and working closely with his doctor, I’ve created an autism treatment plan in order to help my son with autism feel better.
Unfortunately, Ethan cannot really communicate the way he is feeling. If he has a headache, there really is no way for us to know. If he has an upset stomach, there is no way for us to know. If he feels weak or dizzy- if his eye or some other random body part hurts, there is no way for us to know. The best we can do is put our detective hats on and read his behavior, body language, and of course his physical appearance.
“I wonder what’s going on inside”
Is he happy? Does he seem tired? – He looks really bloated today. – Why does he keep curling up in a ball on the floor? – I wonder why he keeps turning off all the lights in the house. – Why does he keep waking up at 2am wide-awake? – Why does he keep crying on and off today for seemingly no reason? – Is that another random rash or just a bug bite? He’s been really aggressive lately. He keeps biting himself and scratching others. When addressing these behaviors, his Mom and I often say, “I wonder what’s going on inside his ailing body.”
Common belief is that rocking back and forth, tantrums, aggression, and even self-injurious behaviors are simply just part of autism. There is no reason behind the rocking, the biting, or the constant wet pants- “It’s just autism,” they say. Doctors and people following that mainstream belief will tell you things like, “Yes, sleep issues are common in kids with autism. There’s nothing you can really do about it. Maybe try melatonin.” However, many autism parents, doctors and researchers believe autism is a medical condition, and there are underlying medical reasons that cause these types of behaviors. For example, research demonstrates that sleep disturbances in kids with autism may be caused by GI problems, seizures, anxiety, or hormone deregulation. Personally, our son’s 2am wake up calls are usually associated with a yeast infection in his gut.
Behaviors can be Improved
Many parents and doctors are realizing that symptoms can be improved if you provide the body with the support it needs. Likewise, giving the child with autism the wrong things or exposing the system to toxins can worsen cognitive function, ticks, and other problem behaviors. I’m not just talking about gluten and dairy or even junk food. For some kids, eating a simple bowl of grapes can send them into an emotional tirade. Just recently, our son stole a quick swig of Grandpa’s beer. Grandpa caught him in the act, so he only got maybe 3 ounces of beer. An hour later, Ethan was out of his mind. He was giggling uncontrollably, spitting at his grandparents, and yelling a delirious giggle-infused scream. He was jumping on beds and peeing on the floor. Simply put, he went nuts.
This went on for at least a couple of hours until he crashed and went to bed. Now, in this case, beer has alcohol. You may be pointing to the alcohol that caused those behaviors. However, in 3 ounces of beer there is not enough alcohol to cause that reaction. More likely, it was the gluten and yeast in the beer. Both probably flared up his yeast infection, which released chemicals in the body that sparked the outburst and then of course led to another middle of the night wake up call.
Sometimes the behavior is not always obvious like in Ethan’s beer theft incidence. Most often the changes happen gradually, and all the sudden you realize, “his language has really been lacking lately. What happened? It’s our jobs as parents to identify changes in behavior and then try to track down just what caused the regression, outburst, or the increase in anxiety. (easier said than done of course) Since entering the world of autism 7+ years ago, we have worked with several doctors and have learned a ton about how the body works. We try to support his body in a way that will allow him to be the best Ethan he can be.
Currently, we are working through an autism treatment
protocol to address 5 key issues that we, in conjunction with his doctor, have identified to be areas of most need.
- Chronic infections and a poor gut microbiome
- Poor sleep quality
- Heavy metal burden
- Acidic Internal Environment
4D AUTISM TREATMENT PLAN
While these areas seem unrelated, it is quite interesting how they all contribute to one another. The body is a complex machine that requires all systems to work efficiently. If one gear becomes weak, then the whole machine gets thrown off. These issues are not uncommon in the autism community and they are actually quite common in the autoimmune population as well. In our situation, we are implementing an autism treatment plan that I like to call the 4D Plan. (Diet, Detox, Debug, & Destress) Follow the links below to learn the details on each of these elements. I hope you will find this information useful, as I know our son is responding to it well.