Beliefnet

I'd also like the [American Academy of Pediatrics] to come and take a look at all these kids that are getting better through diet and detox. Because a lot of people don't know about this, or they read about it online, and they don't hear from a doctor. So they think, "Well, do I do that much work? Because I don't know if it'll work, and I don't want to do all that [detoxification and changing of diets] if it's not going to work."

But if it came from their pediatrician, they just might try it. So I'm inviting pediatrics to start looking at a lot of the research that's being done on the kids [who are on gluten-free and casein-free diets and in detox programs] who are getting better. I want alternative medicine to be viewed as real medicine. Why a special diet is [considered] alternative? It’s crazy.

What do you say to a family who just received that devastating diagnosis? Where do they begin?

If you read my book, it's a good start. Second is to get a DAN [Defeat Autism Now] doctor. Then change the diet, go GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free), and sign up for therapies immediately. Go to state-funded, in-home therapy centers. Get speech therapy and whatever else your kid needs. And also let’s not forget to take time out to mourn the loss of what you thought the future would be.

I always say I kept crying and mourning the loss of what I thought Evan's future should have been like. You have to take time and go through those emotions, and that's really important. Otherwise, they're going to pile up and come crashing down.

What do you think the right combination of attack is for dealing with autism?

I think that doing a combination [of biomedical and behavioral/social therapy] is key. This is my motto to the parents. If your child doesn't feel good, he can't absorb the therapies in front of him. The biomedical approach can make [autistic kids] feel good, and I have to tell you, if it wasn't for the biomedical, my kid would not have gotten this far. And my biomedical was not intense like what some other parents do—with chelating and injections. I just did the diet and excluded yeast. You've just got to know your kid and know how far you're willing to go.

What would you say to parents who have tried a biomedical approach, but their child has not responded? Autistic kids don't all make the same progress.

That's a good point. It's the same thing with chemotherapy. It works on some people, and not on others. I do know that changing the diets--getting rid of sugars, wheat and dairy completely, and yeast--will make most kids at least feel better and better.

In terms of getting to a recovery place, each kid is so unique on where they are on the autism spectrum. Keep looking into things. Keep researching and know that you're just doing your best.

In your book you say that your book is about having faith that you can do what you need to do for your child. What is faith for you?

Trust the Path That You're On
Definitely that there is a higher power with me, and that I trusted the path it was taking me on. I made a goal and said, "Please guide me in the right direction always and forever." And making that intention was the most powerful thing I've ever done because, without a doubt, it led me away from certain therapies, like chelating. That faith led me to easy biomedical therapies, simple ones that made sense for Evan. That faith of moving forward, it got me where I am.

How much of a role does faith play in dealing with autism on a daily basis? If a family’s inner faith is weak, does that affect their child?

Why Faith Is Everything
I don't think faith in religion necessarily matters because if you have at least faith that things will improve, it is by the law of attraction that things will improve. If you were to say, "Nothing's going to work and there's no hope," it's not going to. You have to put action forward.

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