And why you should question those who claim they have THE SOLUTION for reversing autism and autism symptoms and those who say “there’s nothing you can do.”
I am not allowed to say: “my son is free from autism symptoms.” I learned that a long time ago. Even though he is now over 20 years old and even though we turned most of the symptoms around 14 years ago. Since then, he has only improved. They said he would only get worse over time. They said he would always need supervision and would never live alone. They were wrong. Be careful who you listen to.
My son after the autism turnaround
My son is the most balanced, peaceful, healthy, grounded, resourceful and neurotypical (strange word, right?) young man I know. He has completed his college degree (after learning nothing in school most of his school years). He has his own music production company, is loved by everyone at his work in the local gluten-free cafe and is in the process of getting his driver’s licence. The last thing to come around was his humour and irony.
Me + My son with autism symptoms
No one would ever guess that he was once one of the worst cases of Autism in his country. No one would give him the diagnosis today. He is empathic and loves hugging (he used to scream when we touched him). He is caring, mature, helpful, resourceful, calm, organized and outgoing. (He used to refuse eye contact, rock back and forth and stare into the wall). He is planning his life and I am no longer worried about his future.
He is ready to live his life without my protection. My biggest nightmare back then was imagining him alone in the world, living without my parenting and protection. They said he never would. They say that you can’t escape Autism. They say that you are IT. Some even attacked us for wanting to change his Autism. “It is a gift, not a disease”, they said. After years of sleepless nights, violence, screaming, tantrums, ritualistic behaviour, no eye contact, social interaction or physical contact, all I can say is: “Let me be the judge of that”. Let me do me and I will let you do you. With that said, let’s get started.
I stopped listening to the wrong people
Who are they? “They” are the same people who don’t want me to say that my son is free from autism symptoms. The ones who gave him the diagnosis. The parents who believed them and learned to cope with it. And the adults who still have the symptoms, the diagnosis and the beliefs that I almost bought into. To them, my son and I are a truth that questions everything. We ask a lot of questions. The answers might be hard to face.
For example: What if all children with Autism were offered nutritional advice, diet intervention, cerebellum-stimulating exercises and outdoor barefoot walking in the sun BEFORE they were given a diagnosis or a life sentence?
What if we are sending these children to the wrong medical professionals and their lives would have turned out differently if they had seen an expert in the underlying physical problems that characterize so many of them?
Some people did not want to know that change can happen
When the tantrums disappeared I was in shock. When he stopped flicking light switches 1000 times per day and lining up everything (toys, furniture, clothes), I got SO excited. When he stopped screaming at us, hitting us, jumping from balconies, jumping in front of cars and screaming the nights away because of his coughing, I thought that every parent with a child like mine would be THRILLED to hear about it. Not everyone was.
I even (naively) contacted the psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed to tell them that he no longer had autism symptoms. I offered to come and tell them what I’d done so that they could help other parents before diagnosing their children. They were not interested. I learned a lesson and it was actually quite liberating.
I have heard all the BS from the deniers
I am not here to convince, defend or discuss my son’s life without Autism. I am here to tell an unusual story of his transformation. When you lose everything and get your life back, things change. You’ve got no time for crap. And I mean that literally. I have heard it all. It typically goes a little something like this:
“If he no longer has autism, he never had it in the first place.”
“You are delusional.”
“You are offending autistic people. We are not ‘sick.’ We don’t need to ‘turn autism around’.”
“Autism is neurological, genetic and for life. There is nothing you can do about it.”
Don’t waste your time on those who fear change
Don’t waste your time, life or energy on people whose beliefs, life or income depends on you being wrong. Be proud of being different and feel sorry for those who don’t have the resources to think outside of the box and turn their life and mindset around.
My son started talking, sleeping, bonding, smiling, pooping, developing and living his life after 2 years of tantrums, rituals, no eye contact, rocking, lining EVERYTHING up, jumping from balconies, in front of cars, screaming and hitting us.
One day, he stopped his behaviour and started developing like every other child. He has only improved since. When I started sharing the story.
Autism symptoms disappeared.
I stopped being a victim
You become what you believe. If you believe in a dark future, that you are a helpless victim and that this situation is for life – that’s what is going to happen.
If you believe in healing, your attitude and mindset affects the everything around you. Studies show your thoughts can affect people and plants both positively and negatively. How do you think your beliefs, thoughts affect your child and the child’s healing path?
How do you learn to master the ability to follow signs, guidance and the best possible outcome for the future?
I visualized my son’s turnaround
This is why part of my turnaround has been MY DEDICATION to a daily practice of meditation, silence and spiritual exercises in order to teach my body and mind how it will feel to create a life in freedom from all these symptoms and problems. The prayers allow you to see a brighter future.
God is with you to assist you in the process of healing, seeking clarity and following the path of the heart & soul. He wants you to experience peace and healing. Praying daily allows you to seek guidance and to experience support, love and a connection to the infinite wisdom.
Let go of the system, coping mechanisms and helplessness. I only spent two years in “the system”. I quickly realized that the experts, the therapists, the insurance people (we went to beg for financial support) all reinforced our feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and victimhood. When we stopped seeing other parents in The Autism Society’s support groups and decided to say no to therapy and negative predictions about our child’s future, his turnaround took off. Autism symptoms disappeared.
I ditched autism diets and protocols
Have you ever felt frustrated because diets and supplements worked for other autistic children, but not for yours? Tried the gluten-free/dairy-free diet, Gaps, Nemechek, Feingold, Medical Medium or other autism diets/one size fits all solutions with little or no result?
Are you getting totally overwhelmed with conflicting information while developing a fear of even healthy foods like fruits, berries, nuts and chocolate because every food seems to cause a symptom or an ethical problem?
That was me. Let me tell you this… You should not live your life in fear of healthy, real foods (not even carbs, fruit or the occasional sweet treat).
Food is not dangerous
The stress around food, extreme diets and excluding key nutrients creates a nutrient deficiency AND stress for both you and your child.
Your child’s body is designed to be resilient and thrive on what is available in season locally and from all food groups: vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, meat, herbs and fats. We can’t thrive without any of the macronutrients in the long run; especially not when we are undermethylated and completely depending on animal-based protein for recovery and health.
Yes, there might be an initial phase of excluding some foods to combat yeast, copper toxicity, inflammation, over-active immune reactions, oxalates etc. Don’t LIVE in a diet. Don’t LIVE in an extreme regime. If you are, you have not found the right balance, healing path or diet to fit your child’s biotype.
Check out my interview with Dr. about this here.
The reason why protocols and autism diets rarely work in the long run is that they are based on simplistic and old-school thinking. If I have to quite honest, they have to be. You can’t create a business model if you respect every child’s bio-individual needs.
Here’s what I had to understand:
Every child is unique. Your child’s need for nutrients change ALL THE TIME. It does NOT fit into a protocol. Here’s an example: Research into animal behaviour shows that a group of sheep in the wild never ate the same plants every day. No two sheep ate the same thing on any given day. They CHOSE food based on THEIR individual needs on that day. And those needs and preferences change ALL THE TIME.
Studies into children’s feeding behaviour show that if children are ONLY presented with real, nutrient-dense, unprocessed food grown locally and in season, they too choose a variety of all meats, fish, veggies, berries and nuts; even organ meats and bitter herbs. These children are not choosing the same food the next day, nor do children eat the same as other children. These children were followed for 6 years in the longest dietary experiment in the world. The result was presented at the 70th annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association. They were the healthiest children ever seen.
Every time we diet or follow a protocol we damage our nutritional intuition.
Why protocols don’t work
Another example of the shortcomings of protocols.:
Children who are undermethylated (over 90 % on the spectrum are, according to The Walsh Insititute) have completely different dietary needs than other children. They can’t thrive on a plant-based diet.
Children who react to glutamate will get more aggressive, anxious, agitated, and angry on the most popular autism diets and most of the gluten-free healthy foods given to the children in the autism community.
Children who are undermethylated can get more symptoms (mood and behaviour) when they are put on the Gaps diet.
Children who deal with copper overload will often experience worsening of symptoms when they go on a typical gluten-free diet. They are put on protocols where they take fish oil.
Children with Pyrrole Disorder will get more anxious and have more mood swings if they take fish oil if they struggle with elevated kryptopyrroles.
And so on.
No one is talking about this. Very few in the biomedical field actually understand this, so testing or looking for any Walsh practitioner in your area might also make your child worse (and you will have spent thousands on tests and supplements that didn’t work).
What do you do instead? What did I do?
I invented a method to reconnect to the nutritional wisdom and educate myself so that I can understand my child’s feedback, symptoms and adjust nutrition accordingly.
Yes, we live a very clean life and we have a very clean diet. But there are hardly any foods, we can’t eat (except gluten, dairy, industrial oils, soy) That’s what I am passionate about teaching moms. Tests are very often misleading and unreliable. I want you to experience the freedom of having a child who can eat most foods in season and not having to consult experts to ask questions about your child.
I used Nature as a healer
Do you ever feel overwhelmed because you are depending on experts or doctors for answers and direction – often without any lasting results?
You will be thrilled to hear that one of the most effective things I did for my son was actually free. It relieved him from sleeplessness and made him calmer.
Remember, everything takes time. It took time to get him to like being outdoors. But boy was it worth it.
I found this hack by following my intuition and by listening to the pediatricians from Autism Research Institute who taught me that toxic, stressful city-life probably contributes to the epidemic of autism. I decided to move away from and ditch everything that might have been contributing to my son’s autism, hoping that by removing triggers, he would feel better and be less aggressive, ritualistic and sick.
It worked. We chose to move out of the city, close to the forest and the sea. We realized that the cost of living was way cheaper than in the city, but I am not suggesting that everyone has to move to help their child. You can implement some of the steps, we took, no matter where you live.
Reconnecting to nature was huge for my son’s turnaround and the success we experienced. Every day we took him outside, exposed him to sunlight, air, the grounding effect of walking barefoot on grass and movement. I feel that we took him back to the childhood we had as children; playing outside, running, watching the sunset… connecting to the information, the microbiome and the healing effects of the soil, the negative ions, the air, the silence and the rhythms of the day. There are more and more studies showing the healing and therapeutic effects of forest bathing, walking, grounding and releasing stress hormones by moving in nature.
I believe that the more we connect to nature, the more we heal. The more we detach from nature, the sicker we get.
The main body clock is in the eye, but we have body clocks all over the skin and every one of them responds to light. The melatonin/cortisol balance is dependent upon light and this has an enormous impact on sleep versus stress.
Blue light from screens, Ipads, mobile phones etc. at night messes with this balance because the body thinks that it is daytime and releases adrenaline and cortisol to get ready to start the day. Instead, turn off the screens after sunset. Get outside. Find a park and take the shoes off daily to ground and charge the body. Get some sun on the skin in the early hours when the rays are not damaging (right after sunrise). It can be done through an open window. Connect with animals, soil, wind and the rhythms and cycles of nature as often as possible. These are foundational steps for healing and wellbeing.
Nature is the ultimate teacher of homeostasis/creating balance and healing. We must understand that we ARE nature.
I ditched gaming +TV and faced my life
This is probably one of the most eye-opening, transformational things you can do. I have to warn you. Do not do this if you are not serious about real change. This step will reveal what you have become, what and who you have to let go of…and how serious the situation really is.
I will never forget the silence. It was a week after we sold the TV, the gaming device and turned off the computers.
For years, we had been using the TV and games as babysitters for the children. To get a moment’s peace. Or a bite to eat. It seemed like a completely reasonable decision.
My ex-husband and I had been using the TV to relax, distract ourselves from chaos, stress, tantrums and the state of our relationship. When the children finally were in bed, we would sit down and wait for my autistic son to start screaming and coughing. We escaped into mindless entertainment with candy, popcorn and the remote control as our helpers.
Now, we had none of that.
No peace. No escape. No babysitter.
And that’s when it hit me.
In this silence, I could suddenly FEEL myself. And all I felt was pain. I looked at my husband and I was not ready to admit this yet, but I saw us growing apart. I looked at my children and the result of my lifestyle, our lifestyle, our extremely poor diet and hectic city life and I saw how it had made them both sick.
I looked at myself and saw a woman who had been running away from herself and lost so much along the way. Because I could not take care of myself, I had not been able to be a resourceful parent. I had been stressed, irritable and overwhelmed.
The decision to get rid of the TV and the gaming device was my greatest teacher and my worst enemy. I now had to face my reality and change it.
Initially, I wanted to quit the TV because of blue light and the enhancing effect on hyperactivity. I knew that gaming releases dopamine and I saw how aggressive and addicted my son had become.
As it turned out, that was just a minor part of the healing capacity of a TV-less life.
In the silence that followed, I realized who I had become, who I was with, what I had done to myself, my family and my children and how there was no turning back. I had to change my life and start parenting myself in order to become a good parent and a good healer for my son.
Are you willing to take the challenge and get rid of your TV, tablets and mobile phone maybe even just for a week? I promise you, it will teach you some important lessons about Autism, your role in the bigger picture and it will show you what you don’t want to see.
It also makes you stronger.
PS: Here are 3 ways that we can work together when you are ready to fully commit to the turnaround journey:
Get my free ebook and on-demand training (The Autism Turnaround Mindset) HERE