This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Most Harmful Myths About Autism

Earlier this year, Dr Gupta of CNN asked the question "what is the most harmful myth about autism?" on his blog as part of his coverage of Autism Awareness Month. Of course there are so many myths that it is hard to choose one, and indeed responses varied from "that there is nothing that can be done" to "that it is caused by unloving mothers" to "that it is contagious". Here is my response:

The myths that do the most harm are those held by doctors and other experts who are trusted to know the basics of disorders such as autism, and whose advice can determine what treatments a child receives, if any. It is extremely difficult as a parent of a child on the autism spectrum to find a doctor who is able to help their child in any meaningful way. Very few doctors or other experts know the first thing about autism, let alone the most current research. What they don’t know hurts our kids.

When it was clear that my son would get no help for his biomedical issues from any health care provider, I became one of the thousands of parents who has had no choice but to take matters into our own hands and treat our children ourselves (we have since found a wonderful and knowledgeable doctor). Many of these kids are recovering, including mine. I have been shocked by how much good quality research, published in esteemed peer-reviewed journals, is out there and is being added to everyday regarding the biomedical issues that underlie the spectrum, including food sensitivities and the GF/CF diet, vitamin therapy and supplementation, immune system support, removal of toxic metals, treatment for fungal, bacterial or viral infections, even mitochondrial dysfunction, which is pretty common in our kids.

The gap between the practice of conventional medicine and medical science is staggering when it comes to treating autism. For an introduction to the biomedical side of ASDs, I highly recommend the book “Changing the Course of Autism” by Bryan Jepson, MD. Parents should not be abandoned by the medical profession to do this ourselves, but it speaks volumes that we parents, considered too stupid and prone to panic to be given honest information about vaccines, are accomplishing so much with our kids that conventional medicine can’t.

It is a myth that children who recover didn’t have “real” autism, it is a myth that children can’t fully recover, and it is most certainly a myth that we “just don’t know enough” to help the majority of children with ASD to significantly improve their quality of life whether or not they recover.