Aside from family, one person who has remained constant in Alex’s life is his doctor, who has been a huge blessing because she has helped him tremendously. After Alex was diagnosed with autism, I began looking for a new doctor for him who would be willing to try biomedical interventions I had read about online. The Autism Research Institute reported good results DAN [Defeat Autism Now] doctors were having with nutritional therapies, and this was something I wanted to pursue for Alex. DAN doctors impressed me because many of them were parents of children with autism and/or treated many of these children in their practices, and I believed that while they would be aggressive in treating the problems, they would not do anything to cause harm. Fortunately, I found a local family practitioner who emphasizes nutrition and preventative medicine and began taking Alex to her in 1998.
While Alex’s doctor is not a DAN doctor, she has been very receptive to trying the DAN methods whenever I have brought her research I’ve found; as she often says, “It’s worth a try; it’s certainly not going to hurt him.” She and I have also agreed that we would only run rather noninvasive tests which would give results that could be addressed, including the following: food allergy panel, organic acids test of urine, analysis of his hair and stool, heavy metals urine test, and blood profiles. In doing these various tests, we discovered that Alex had food sensitivities to glutens and caseins, yeast and bacterial overgrowth in his digestive tract, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as toxic levels of arsenic, aluminum, lead, and mercury in his system. (As a side note, none of these tests were covered by insurance, but that’s another story.)
As each test revealed a new issue, she developed a treatment plan, and we implemented each new intervention one at a time so that we could monitor Alex’s reaction. Like many children with autism, Alex responded well to the strict gluten-free and casein-free diet and has been on it since 1999. In addition, his doctor determined which vitamin and mineral supplements would benefit him. Fortunately, Alex is a good eater, and he has been remarkably cooperative regarding his diet and about swallowing the various supplement pills he needs daily. In addition, she treated his yeast and bacterial issues with a combination of medicine and probiotics. Eliminating the heavy metals involved two years of chelation therapy by orally taking DMSA, a sulfur compound that binds with heavy metals and removes them from the system, on a regulated schedule. Along with these treatments, she regularly performed cranial therapy, a gentle manipulation of his head, which calmed him. Because of these interventions, Alex has made good progress and has become what all parents want for their children—to be happy and healthy.
“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22