In 2006, my son was two weeks from his third birthday when I learned the dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals/chemicals, how leaky his gut was, the gut-brain axis, the opportunistic gut pathogens, the vitamin and mineral deficiencies and the high inflammatory foods I had to remove.
How in the world can a nearly 3-year-old be this toxic? I delivered him naturally, I breastfed him until 14 months when he started biting me, and I made EVERY SINGLE jar of baby food from local, organic foods. I was outraged. I was heartbroken. I was terrified.
Where is he getting these toxic heavy metals? Arsenic from treated lumbar and rice products, Antimony from coal-burning power plants, and flame retardant materials. Mercury and aluminum from adjunct stabilizers in childhood inoculations.
Soon after this appointment, I watched the documentary Kilowatt Hours. the film says that mothers pass on their toxins to their developing children in the womb.
Then I became enraged. Where am I getting all of these toxins?
Functional Medicine uses a timeline to plot out our genetic family history susceptibilities, ongoing exposures and triggering moments that accumulate to create patient’s unique and current circumstances.
Even though my child was too young to have an extensive history, taking a look at my health history gave insight at what set the stage for Autism.
One of my earliest childhood memories was being buckled over, dropped to my knees with sharp stabbing abdominal pains. I was so severely constipated as a young girl. I had recurring ear infections and was regularly on antibiotics. I ate Jif peanut butter, Kraft mac and cheese, fast food, tons of soda pop, started drinking beer at an early age, was placed on birth control by the time I was 17. I was your classic ADHD kid. Teachers couldn’t find me. My emotions were a treacherous roller coaster, I had terrible depression, acne, and beginning of joint pain. I frequently burned bridges because I couldn’t foster healthy relationships. I was terrible to myself; I had a harmful body image. My stomach chronically hurt my entire life until I got on board with my son’s care plan.
The point I’m making, our children’s diagnosis is a wake-up call for the entire family. Our children are extensions of ourselves; their autism is not an isolated case that appears out of nowhere.
When I had my Autism Recovery Clinic, I designed the 12-week program to first work with the parents before we ever added the child into therapy.
Parents were outraged. “What do you mean you want to work with me, I”m not the one that is sick-she is! With so many years of therapy, you would think she would be fixed by now.” What we discovered is that it’s often the parent’s refusal to change what they eat that then creates their children being resistant to changing what they eat.
Integrated Connections was not a place that parent’s dropped off their children for therapy. We included the parents in the children’s therapy so it became a part of their lives. However, we first HAD to work with the parents and their stress and anxiety levels and their nervous system before any therapy with both parent and child could be productive. We did not talk about what to do for the child, we talked about what to do for the entire family. The parents received Cranio-sacral and lifestyle coaching work as part of the plan. They too had the opportunity to meet with our medical provider to learn their sources of inflammation.
As we worked closely with the families who were sincere at doing whatever it took, and we worked with their past traumas, just like I had to work through mine and address our self-image and self-love, belief patterns, and spending habits. This is when our families and their children experienced the most profound results. This was when marriages were saved.
This also woke us up to becoming more environmentally conscious. Autism is a sign of the times. They are the canaries in the coal mine. They have clearly been telling us our air, food, and water are too toxic for our human species to thrive.
I believe Autism is a master teacher. It woke me up. It made me better than before. I turn around, extend my hand, and say, “Let this change you. I’m here for you.”
“Within every heartache, every adversity, there is a seed of equal or greater opportunity. “
It took ten years of 100% commitment to our family care plan for my son to emerge and his Autism symptoms to be placed into remission. I say remission because we must continue with our low inflammatory nutrition and clean lifestyles and support his detoxification pathways and core clinical systems. Zach remains, to this day, one of the most severe cases I have yet to see in clinical practice.
“Successful investors act continuously on a plan. During volatile times, remain long-term focussed. ”
Parent the child. Not the Autism.
Autism has so much vengeance to it; it has so much force. I went to battle with it because that’s my personality. I’ll take a bull by the horns and I’ll wrestle it down to the ground. That’s what I tried to do with Autism, and it about killed me. I learned that if I was going to sustain this journey if I was going to SURVIVE this journey then I couldn’t fight Autism. It was bigger than me….
I deliberately used the word “remission”. The word “recovery” is thrown around like candy in the autism world. “Oh, my sons recovered,” “Oh, I’m trying to recover him.” From what I can see, having been in the clinical setting for 7-years, is this really places even more stress on families. Families are feeling if they haven’t achieved recovery in two, three, four, five years, they feel like they have failed. …
A Mother’s Journey; Healing the Root Causes of Autism
Teri S. and her husband Alan arrived at my Autism Recovery Clinic in December of 2013. Their then 12-year old son refused to eat-he would scream and clear the table when she served him a meal, he was so thin Teri cried each time she bathed him, his meltdowns were so severe trips out in public were limited, he was totally non-verbal, chronically constipated, and not potty trained….