Healing Our Son’s Autism – The Best Therapy of All

Mountain Road -Healing Autism

Our oldest son has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and we have been on the road towards healing with him for some 5 years now.  We’ve put him on a gluten-free diet, a candida diet, use only non toxic personal care products and we drink only filtered water.

In short, we’ve tried a lot of things to get him healthier, and while we’ve seen progress, it’s been a long road.

A long “healing road.”

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The start of the “healing road” was a fast and furious one.  Well–actually, I take that back.

The start of our healing road actually seemed like more of a major road block.

Our family physician recommended an appointment with the Dept. Head of Psychology at our local children’s hospital and a mental nervous drug prescription.  I had already started down the “alternative medicine” path prior to the autism diagnosis, but at this point I found myself moving quickly into a brand new world.

The following months are a blur now, consisting mainly of mom being up until midnight (or later), scouring the internet for therapies that might help, reading accounts of healing, wondering if what other parents said had healed their children —might.just.heal.mine.

I have mixed feelings as I write this, because I do not want to insinuate that what I have done might work for your child – and thus set up for you expectations that might not become a reality.  However, at the same time, I feel that to not share the things that have helped us would be a true disservice to others who are looking for help.

So here is a brief history of our treatment path.  Some successes.  Some “failures”.  What we have done and what we are doing now.  And what I think is perhaps the best healing technique of all.

{Please note – there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your price remains the same and your support is greatly appreciated. It helps keep this free resource up and running.}

Treatments for Autism

1.  Occupational Therapy –

We did a lot with this at the beginning of our journey. Sensory Integration, massage, touch, brushing… we tried to fit a number of these things into our schedule. It was hard to do and got tedious frequently. But we did feel that it helped at least to some point.  One of the books that we found to be the most helpful was The Out-of-Sync Child.

2.  Genetic testing & Nutritional Supplementation –

This was overall a flop.  While the testing was interesting, the supplement regimen was completely overwhelming both mentally and financially.  We could not afford the expert-directed evaluations and I was unable to handle the intense trial-and-error approach to supplement management.  We spent quite a bit of money up front and quickly moved on. 

Luckily, I still had all my hair :-).

3.  Dietary Intervention

Gluten-free and Casein-Free

There is a lot of information available in books and on the web about gluten and casein (a protein found in cow’s milk) and the roles that they are thought to have in aggravating autism.  I won’t go into all of this here, but suffice it to say that I think that removing these proteins from your child’s diet is imperative.  There is data showing that the real effects can sometimes take quite awhile to show up, though there are plenty of stories about children showing marked improvement almost instantaneously.

While I follow more of a whole foods approach than the author, the book Special Diets for Special Kids contains a wealth of information on this topic.

To see how manageable (and tasty :-)) a gluten-free and dairy-free diet can be, take a look at my Recipes page.  There, you’ll find healthy, whole food ideas for some of our family’s favorites like:

Whole Foods

This means whole grains, and few to no processed foods.  Basically, no “junk.”  This is crucial.  It sounds overwhelming, but basically, kids with autism have broken bodies and we need to do everything we can to allow them to heal.  Putting “junk” food into a broken body will just continue to muck up the mechanisms and delay healing of all kinds.  In fact, it might even worsen the situation.

The Candida Diet

Our son, like many persons with autism, struggles with candida overgrowth.  Candida basically is a candida albicans, a fungus that is present in all people’s bodies, but, when one’s digestive flora is out of balance, grows out of control and starts to cause systemic issues.

I love baking and, well, my son loves to eat.  For a good part of his childhood, I was baking whole grain goodies regularly, and he ate them–well, too regularly.  At one point, things really got out of hand and his trunk was covered with a rash and he was lifting up his shirt in public to scratch himself.  Suspecting that the rash might be caused by candida, we took him off of all sugars, including dried fruit and fruit, and limited his grain intake.  The rash cleared up within two days, following one night of worsening, which is typical when the candida is starved of its food (sugars).

We kept him on a pretty strict diet for a while, and his skin is perfectly clear now.  He now has fruit and dried fruit occasionally, and we are not limiting his starches as much.  But refined flours and sugars are out of his diet almost 100%, and I suspect that that will continue for his entire life.

And while it can be tough to keep your child (or yourself) on a special diet, here are some tips to help you do just that.

4.  Nutritional Balancing

This is the name of the current protocol that we are using for our son.  Basically it is a program that naturally coaxes out heavy metals and toxins by re-balancing the body nutritionally and with supplements.  I have been genuinely pleased with his progress and scientifically measured tests have demonstrated that the metals are coming out of his body.  We are working with a specialist named Theresa Vernon and have been thrilled with her expertise, compassion, and knowledge of the adrenals and their role in total body health.

Update: 3/17/14.  We have moved on from Nutritional Balancing.  I hope to write soon about what we are doing now.

5.  Essential Oils 

As I mentioned in my post on Natural Sleeping Tips, I have begun gradually experimenting with essential oils.  One way that I have been using these with our son is when his anxiety gets out of control.

Every night my son ask me to use lavender oil to prevent bad dreams.  Seems to work :).  Sometimes younger brother asks for it too. (I’ve ended up going with a different essential oils company – Native American Nutritionals.  You can read Which Essential Oils Company is Best for more information on how I chose this company.)

The oils really seem to help him better manage his mood swings and get the sleep that his body so greatly needs.  In fact, while I put the finishing touches on this post, my son had a panic attack and asked that I would please rub some lavender oil on his feet.  Within two minutes, the panic had subsided.

6.  Perhaps the Best Therapy of All – “Low and Slow” 

There are, in my opinion, a number of causes of autism.  My theory is basically that it is a “whole person” affliction, affecting the nervous system, brain, digestive system, and endocrine system.  The more I learn about adrenal health, the more I see how healthy adrenal function is crucial to whole wellness.

Basically, the more stressed out one is, the less toxins are filtered out of the body, digestions worsens and everything goes downhill from there.

So while it is my tendency to try to find new ways to help my son and to work tirelessly at them, I find that really, one of the best ways to help him is to do whatever I do calmly.

A dear friend told me of another mother of a child with Asperger’s who called being calm with her son, “Low and Slow.”

How appropriate.

Just simply loving our son as he is, speaking softly and sweetly, and having a sense of peace has an almost magical effect on him.  Literally any day that I can slow down and live at a more restful pace is a day when I can really “see” him healing and blossoming.

It isn’t easy, but it is cheap!  And keeping my own self calm truly is the most effective healing technique that we have tried (though it is likely the most difficult).

In closing, I don’t mean to insinuate that any of the above methods will for sure help your child with autism, and here is the classic, but necessary, disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, nor a nurse, nor any kind of medical practitioner.  I was pre-med for a brief time in college and I devour medical information voraciously, but that’s about it.  I’m just a mom struggling to heal her son, hoping to help other parents along the healing road as well.  Please consult with your own physician prior to following any of my recommendations :-).

Blessings to you and yours as you continue down this road.

What Natural Treatments Have You Tried?
Which Have Worked for Your Child?

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    Speak Your Mind


  1. You really hit it right on. We had done DOZENS of things for our son since his diagnosis over ten years ago. It’s hard to say that any one thing helped….but I feel that God graciously gave us ability to work hard with him AND try many therapies, supplements, diets…..and much more! But, trying to get the magic formula is impossible! He’s now an amazingly independent, self-sufficient, sweet 12 year old {starting middle school TOMORROW}. I pray daily for his salvation and that he grows to love God more each day!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

    • Hi Becky! I wonder if you could tell me how your son is doing specifically. I think now that my son could handle school, but I am not sure about life on his own (i.e. driving a car, getting a job, etc.). We do think that he is following the Lord (though imperfectly), and that is the most important, but every parent hopes that his or her child will be able to “make it” without living at home.

      Thanks for stopping by! By the way, I sure could use a well-organized friend like you to help me pull my house together :-)!

      • Hi,
        I wanted to comment here because my 19 year old son has Asperger’s as well. He is now living on his own, and while not as successful as I would like, he hasn’t came home asking to move back in, unless we move away then he said he wants to come with us. I did not think he would be able to drive a car, or manage his bills either, and am now so very proud that he is able to have some semblance of a normal life.

        We didn’t do the diet treatment or anything similar, though slowing and calming his environment was always a part of helping him to cope. Unfortunately, he was not diagnosed with this until only about two years ago and at that point said he would prefer to handle things how he knew instead of changing his world all over again. At the time it was ADHD, Bi-polar and ODD, that or folks would just swear he was a bad kid, till they knew him then they just felt sorry for him.

        I am so glad to hear that some things are working for you and your son and I pray that he will soon be able to live with a sense of normalcy in being able to drive and in time working away from home and finding his own niche in the world.

        • Thank you for your kind comments, Mechelle. I am hopeful reading your words. Some days go so smoothly for us that I think he will for sure be independent, and then other days it is quite frightening. I need to trust in the Lord that He knew all about this. In truth, the one who need the most help is me. My heart. My responses. My anxiety. It is a long road – this life. My son is helping me w/ a few small things on the blog and I am hoping that he can grow into more and that this can be an opportunity for him for employment down the road.


    • I have a son with Aspergers and I really need some hope. Please pray for my son Daniel who is 16 year old? Please pray for his salvation and healing and that I would have the grace, wisdom and love needed to really help him? Peter

      • I’m praying Peter….please pray for me as well. My soon to be 15 year old became violent (totally out of character) after the doc switched him from Concerta to Vivant….Pray that he calms and doesn’t start beating on the women who love and provide for him. He’s so frustrated these days with not fitting in and the kids in HS are teasing him….I don’t want to send my only son away…but if he gains 50 more pounds we won’t be able to control him. I pray for us both….

  2. Wow, Adrienne. I take my hat off to you. All these interventions are difficult to do and so important. How is your son generally now?

    • Hi Ruth. In general, our son is so much better. There are days when people say that they didn’t notice that there is anything “wrong” with him at all. I wonder sometimes if it would be good to get him re-evaluated to see if he is officially “off” the spectrum. But I still see areas where I am concerned that he needs more development or he may not be able to care for himself. I am almost crying as I type this. I guess I need to think and pray about all of this. Someday I’ll post about how we got through breastfeeding with multiple food allergies. Now those were hard days. I guess anything is hard when you fight against adversity, eh?

      Take care,

  3. Catherine H. says:

    Have you ever heard of the GAPS Diet? It was created by a Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride to heal autism in her own son. It sounds like some if the nutritional things you’ve done, only “more”–it is designed to heal the gut and “reset” your body completely. The website is at http://www.gapsdiet.com.

    • Yes, Catherine, I have heard of GAPS. I looked into it and actually have read Campbell-McBride’s book. It actually gave me real insight into what is going on in all of us (issues in our bodies being passed down throughout generations). I did think that it leaned too heavily on nuts and honey, but perhaps I should give it another look. Have you tried it yourself? I must say that days on end of chicken broth does not sound appetizing at all :-).

      • Catherine H. says:

        I haven’t tried it–it would take some pretty serious health problems to get me to go that restricted! I know a couple of families on it for various reasons–eczema, allergies, etc. I did not have the impression that it involves lots of honey and nuts unless you want it to–although the Intro diet is of course different from the full diet. I found an interesting article on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s site that gives a brief blurb and some other links: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/12/autismgapsother-disorders-more-info-on.html
        I am thankful my family does not have the kind of problems (so far) that would require this diet, but if we ever develop any, it will be the first thing I try.

      • Charlotte says:

        Hi Adrienne, we are doing the GAPs diet for our son with autism, so i just wanted to back up what Catherine said that it doesn’t have to be heavy on nuts and honey (in fact many people do the diet without using any nuts or honey) Dr NCM specifically warns against over use of these products in the form of baked goods. They are allowed in moderation however. I personally love the broth, there are many ways to serve it and use it in cooking. The diet is hard work however as you have to make almost everything from scratch, so it is more difficult than GF/CF (which is what we were doing before). It’s still early days for us so I don’t know how much it will help my son. It sounds like you are doing great with all the things you have been doing with your boy.

        • Charlotte, I would love to hear how things go with your son! I already make everything from scratch, so in that sense, GAPS would not be much harder. And I do think it is important to really limit honey and nuts. It is hard to when so many other things are limited.

          I have been meaning to do a more in depth study of GAPS and SCD, so I hope to one of these days.

          If you remember, I would love to hear back from you! Do you know if there is any data on success of GAPS? I know that with what I am doing for us, which has not always had a definite path, I have seen great turnaround in certain areas. I used to not be able to tolerate starches at all at one point (some more high glycemic ones) and now I can, in moderation — for one thing. I have also heard of people doing GAPS over and over again which seems overwhelming to me.

          In any case, I hope to hear good news from you :-).

          • Charlotte says:

            I am not aware of any data on GAPs currently but there is such a huge number of positive stories out there. The first family i met who actually recovered their son (from autism) used SCD, and i’ve heard of a number of GAPs families who have had outstanding success. there are so many online blogs and resources now so the diet has a strong following. I shall try and remember to come back and update you some time on how we do.

  4. Thanks for sharing. We tried some DAN stuff, which made him worse until we stopped, which didn’t take long. GFCF has been nothing short of a miracle. Once a year we take him off it to see if anything has changed and he regresses tremendously so we put him back on. Vitamin D has been huge. Son had severe GI issues for 5 years to the point of being hospitalized and enemas, Mag Citrate, and Miralax stopped working. Another mom told me that Dr. Mercola’s probiotic helped her child within a week. I had tried probiotics before but I figured what did we have to lose? My son too had normal GI function within a week. I am stunned but very grateful to this community of moms who helps each other find answers. I am also stunned that not one of two GI specialists we saw even so much as recommended a probiotic.

    Good luck on your healing journey!

    • Thank you so much for sharing! So you are saying that Dr. Mercola’s probiotic worked that quickly? I am taking a very nice probiotic now that I am really pleased with, but I am always open. The one that I have it so reasonable though it is hard to look elsewhere. The company almost went out of business but I hear that they are going to stay in business!

      I think probiotics are crucial.

  5. Great post! I love The Out of Sync Child – very useful book for us. I go back and forth between the diet. But I am interested in the Dr. Mercola’s probiotic…I may need to look for that.

    • I think it sounds interesting as well, Lisa. However, I will say that I got a great recommendation from a special needs homeschooling consultant for other probiotics and one of them was quite reasonable. Additionally, the one that I take in the evening seems to be super-effective. I like quite a bit of Mercola’s writings, but his products are typically very over-priced. I’d be happy to correspond about probiotics more. It’s a really murky issue. Take care, ~Adrienne

  6. I am passing this wonderful post to my young mom friends who are struggling and working with their sons to make them whole.

  7. Adrienne-
    It’s so great how you’re sharing this information. Our foster (now adopted son) was on the autism spectrum (believed to have asperger’s) and were it not for a cousin of mine who shared from her experience with working with her autistic son (including the book, Louder Than Words) I wouldn’t have known where to begin. Removing gluten and casein from his diet and including probiotics and digestive enzymes allowed for amazing results (began making speaking sounds in the first week- his therapist was astounded). I wrote a whole foods cookbook called Everyday Gluten-Free (which also happens to be casein-free and free of many common allergens) out of the experience of changing our diet to accomodate our son. I also have other whole food cookbooks and a health guide for addressing candida from a diet and lifestyle standpoint. You can check these all out at our website, http://www.simplynaturalhealth.com. I’d be glad to send you a copy of any of these that you might like to preview.

  8. Vanessa LeBlanc says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, you’ve given me some other starting points, im always looking for more info and treatments. we are a yr + in our Autism journey. Our son is 3 and was diagnosed a little over a yr ago although mother instincts told me at 9 months something was “off”. We started OT and ST and had a developmental person when he was 15 months. Since then we are GFCF ( he’s never had it except thru breast milk) he was unable to eat until after he turned 2. He was exclusively breastfed straight from the tap LOL til 2! Any who we are currently doing ABA, Horse therapy and Swim therapy. He will also start PreKD next week! I have some other things we will move forward with when money allows it. You really helped me feel more at “peace” with the not being able to afford the supplements part of your blog. My hubby and I struggle with that, we can only do so much and money doesn’t grow on trees! LOL so thank you so much I truly enjoy reading your blog! Take care and best wishes to you and your family

    • Hi Vanessa. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share. I can’t guarantee how much time I would have, but I would be happy to share more about what we are doing with Nutritional Balancing. I can say that there is some really interesting verifiable change happening, in both myself and my son. We are not “out of the woods”, and especially with my son we are still dealing with anxiety issues that are quite difficult at times, but he is now playing with other children (in fact, runs off to play right after church) and he even plays on an ice hockey team that accepts special needs children. We are a one income family as well and have to make choices. The Nutritional Balancing is only running about $30-$60 per month base for our son. He does take supplements, but I work hard at getting them for a good deal. I’d be happy to help you navigate that as well. I get very nice discounts on probiotics, some detox items and other things that we use. Take care, ~Adrienne

  9. You have given me something to think about. We started on the Feingold Diet shortly before my son was diagnosed. His behavior improved after we made that change in his diet. He was still diagnosed with Asperger’s, ADHD, Anxiety and a few other things. He also has asthma and many food allergies (peanuts and tree nuts included). We didn’t want to medicate him, but were convinced to and it really has made a world of difference in his behavior, anxiety, and demeanor. The major problem we see with this is weight loss. I have since removed his afternoon dose, and his weight has improved. Though I am wondering if a GFCF diet would help even more; or if the probiotics or nutritional balancing may help. I just don’t know where to start with any of that. Thank you.

    • Hi Heather. I would personally start w/ GF CF and probiotics for sure. I have a few recommendations of types to try. The nutritional balancing is very reasonable. I am having a rough day w/ my son today, but overall he has gotten better and the cost is not prohibitive. I am on the program myself due to other health issues and I am still not out of the woods, but some remarkable things have gotten better. My son has TONS of food allergies. Oh, I would watch the sugar too.

      Stay in touch,

  10. Great post
    I especially loved your last point

  11. Wow, do I feel called out tonight by your words: “Just simply loving our son as he is, speaking softly and sweetly, and having a sense of peace has an almost magical effect on him. Literally any day that I can slow down and live at a more restful pace is a day when I can really “see” him healing and blossoming.” I had a BIG FAIL at this this afternoon and it’s been our undoing today.

    On another note, we have gone CF and are headed toward GF, but are know it will be hard. also, have the Disconnected Kids book and want to reread a book on supplements, etc. I had out from the library. Still trying to figure out what will work best for our family, providing the best results with the least stress not only for our ADHD.SPD son, but for all of us.

    • Oh Martianne,

      You know, this is always easier said than done. Or shall I say, easier done on certain days than on others? Today I have been struggling physically and our son has had numerous panic attacks. Not a good recipe for loving, soft, sweet, peace…… I have had to say “I’m sorry” to him numerous times and he has had to do the same to me.

      Be careful with the supplements. I think that they can do a lot. I am still watching my son and I think that the Nutritional Balancing might just be the answer for a lot of folks, but we are still watching and waiting. I can say for sure that a number of my issues are getting a LOT better.

      • Annette Astuto says:


        Your post is a couple of years old now. My son is 14, and was diagnosed with Asberger’s 3 years ago–prior they only though ADD. He has such poor fine motor and gross motor skills—do you think it would be too late to try occupational therapy on him??? I haven’t read any books on this, so any advice would be great! How old is your son now?? I too worry and cry over our hardships, and how much of a struggle it is. I know I add to my son’s anxiety, as his step-father is not very understanding of all this Asperger stuff—Seth’s birth father died when Seth was four :(. I am also keen on probiotics for Seth and Omega 3’s—will try digestive enzymes too now. I try to detox with the drops I buy from you (need to order more!!), and green smoothies with cilantro and chlorella, but I need to do more of them! I find that Seth is really having difficulty with social interaction and what is appropriate….he wants to have friends so bad….but unfortunately has only 2-3, and 2 of them don’t even live close to us. It’s been very hard lately and he gets so depressed. Are there things you involved your son in that you found were edifying to him and allowed him that social interaction?? I will continue to read your blogs, as I have so hard of a time just sitting and reading all this, feeling like I have no time, have my own occupation to fulfill as well as try to cook from scratch—it is SO HARD :( Thank you for your inspiration. <3

        • Hi there. Sorry but your questions are a bit over my head and I can’t medically advise, but I have heard of many folks doing OT at older ages. My son is 13 now.
          We got our son in a local free hockey league that has helped and he is involved at church – but we are in the midst of a church change which is tough. I think it is sooo hard. But maybe we need to rest that they are alive–and better than they could be. If we make healing our goal I do think we miss out on life. I struggle with that.

  12. Hi Adrienne

    I am 57 years old; when I first read about Asperger’s Syndrome, I saw parts of myself. I am the oldest of 6. I was initially breast fed; I don’t know what else I was fed/exposed to. My mother said I was colicky so she stopped breast feeding. She didn’t even try breast feeding my siblings. My father nicknamed me Pooper (because of the colick?); that name followed me. One of my sibs will still use it sometimes to be hurtful. Imagine the effect on my self-esteem.

    I was always self-sufficient, independent and reliable but very moody; my sibs called me Oscar the Grouch (from the Muppets).

    I followed an anti-candida diet for a brief time and noticed a big difference. I LOVE cheese and bread to the extent that I will eat them almost exclusively when I am under stress. I am vegetarian (35 years) and diabetic (diagnosed 4 years ago) and I do try to eat the best I can (with duly noted addictions!)

    I have been diagnosed with Major Depression although my current psychiatrist calls me ‘high functioning’. Thus not needing intervention, perhaps? Although I have not been able to hold onto a job. (This is high functioning when I cannot support myself? I think modern medicine/psychiatry needs to take another look.)

    A year ago I won a gift certificate for Reflexology (a treatment, not unlike massage therapy, that acts on the whole body, but by treating only the feet). I reacted several times by jerking or squirming. She told me that all those tender points were for the adrenals.

    I need to learn more about the nutritional balancing that you mentioned.

    I have used many essential oils and currently have lavender on hand. I will put some in a carrier oil and use it to massage my feet. Thanks for that suggestion.

    Perhaps I was a forerunner for Asperger’s. I have read many articles that indicate human health has deteriorated over the years. Witness the increase in food allergies, asthma and Autism.

    • Paula,
      I feel like all I can say is “wow.” What you have written echoes so much of what I have learned.
      1. Yes, our health has deteriorated. I think it is a combination of our food deteriorating and passing things down from one generation to the next and toxin build up & stress build up.
      2. I think you would be very interested in talking with Theresa Vernon (link in my post) about your adrenals. That is what I am working on mainly. It is hard to work on it, but necessary.
      3. Let me know how the lavender worked. I am putting it on my feel every night at bedtime. But then, I am using a lot of other things to help me sleep as well.
      4. From what you write about your diet, it looks like candida is an issue too. I can’t handle that stuff anymore. The proteins and vegetables really suit me well.

      Take care. I feel your pain. I hope to see you around again.

  13. I just found your website. My son was diagnosed with AS this past November at age 14. He was a freshman in high school. I always knew something was wrong. His school work suffered and I didn’t know why. Now he is doing an online high school. So far so good.
    Thanks for the information about diet and AS. I will be using it.

  14. My son also has autism. His is classic. We’ve tried the occupational therapy when he was younger, ventured into the gf/cf diet –helped some, but we’ve pulled him off of it. J is on medication, but some of that is because he also has seizures. I think the biggest helps with J have been prayer and taking it one day at a time. He has made great strides in his eighteen years, and continues to teach me, probably more than I teach him.

    • Hi Dorothy.
      I just wanted to mention that the woman with whom we are doing the Nutritional Balancing had epilepsy, but it was healed after doing the Nutritional Balancing. It really is quite reasonable. You may wish to give her a call. I agree with you so much on the teaching thing. I need to remember daily that the Lord gave me this situation for a reason and that with or without healing I must accept it and grow. Take care.

  15. Adrienne, Again–I am so glad I found your blog! My daughter is not autistic (although I do have a cousin who is), but she does have some major meltdowns that I feel could be diet related, and her new pediatrician wants us to remove dairy for a few weeks (and then possibly gluten) because she has NEVER had regular-looking stools. (I’m sorry for TMI!) She is 3. It is all very scary to think she may have an allergy that is causing malabsorption of nutrients. Thanks for including so much great info. as I start this journey to modifying her diet!

    P.S….Thank you for the VERY encouraging e-mail! I am a little behind on e-mails, but I am writing you back!! :)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey. This was a very touching and informative post for everyone, not just people with autistic children. I am so glad you came to FAT TUESDAY and posted it. I hope to see you here next week!

  17. Adrienne,
    Thank you for sharing the overview with everyone. I have several friends with young boys who have been diagnosed w/ Aspergers. It has helped me to understand better what they are facing. Thank goodness we all have a mighty Savior!!

  18. As a mama of a 3 year old ASD kiddo, I have been around the bend and then some with all of this… So many parents do not realize that there is indeed a nutritional component to autism and ADHD. I dislike that there seems to be two camps “the biomeds” and “therapy-only”. I really think both are necessary: the biomeds to address the underlying causes and the therapy to help the child up to speed.

    I’m interested to hear if you have researched the cerebral folate antibody and cow’s milk. In a mom’s group I am in {with about 250 members}, many of the kids {and moms} are testing positive for this antibody, which blocks folate to the brain. I am getting my son tested this fall. Also, if you have read up on the difference between A1 and A2 beta-casein milk.

    I am quite interested in the RDI approach {which is a home-based relationship developing program}. We are going broke at the moment between my son’s OT bills and supplements, but this is something I hope to do in the coming year 2012. RDI addresses the core deficits of social interaction and referencing. The work is done in the home. Even if we can’t afford it done the “right way”…their approach has changed how I approach my son.

    • Hi Nicolette,
      I too agree with you about needing holistic approaches to the autism spectrum. Additionally, I feel that this is important in all areas of life. In essence, that is part of what I mean by the title of my blog, “Whole New Mom.” I feel that so many people take a “one size fits all” approach to so many areas of life and end up missing that life, spirituality, etc. is all so much more complicated than that. Oh, I could go on and on.

      I have not done as much research on autism recently as that is part of what led to my getting adrenal burnout. I was working so hard to heal my son that it almost cost me all of my own health. Now I am looking at things from the metals / toxins end with the Nutritional Balancing. I am just shocked at some of the things that have been happening with my body primarily, but also as I am seeing metals come out of my husband and my sons. I guess I need to write a post about it. It is really something.

      So no, I am not familiar with the folate antibody nor the difference b/t A1 and A2 beta-casein milk, but I do recall reading about it. Can you point me in a direction to get more info? And what does one do once one finds out that he is deficient in the antibody?

      I did some reading about RDI and live quite close to Horizons, a local therapy hub that specializes in RDI. I had considered working with them, but yes, they are a fortune. It sounds like you have worked with them already? I would love to hear about your experience. I have a book by the director of the center here and I was very impressed with her thinking. Quite intuitive. I need reminders daily of the “right way” to approach my son.

      Let’s stay in touch!

  19. I stumbled across your post today and must say it’s great! So many things about nutrition are not understood today but proper nutrition can definitely do great things for your health and general well-being. My son is not diagnosed with anything, except asthma, but he is sometimes so wound up. I can say something to him and he just won’t even “hear” me, he’s so focused on his own agenda — especially when his asthma is acting up, and he can’t “really” breathe. We recently changed our family diet radically: no more refined anything, no “box mix” food of any kind, a lot more beans and lentils and vegetables, and green smoothies when I have time. I have seen improvements in him and in my own patience level. It’s great! It only proves the saying, “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

  20. I have wondered many times if we should try a GFCF diet for my son. Actually, I think it would probably be very beneficial. But, it just seems so overwhelming to even think about. Plus, I’m afraid he’d hate me for it. (Okay, he wouldn’t hate me, because he’s such a sweet boy. But, he wouldn’t be pleased with me.)

    • Hi Angie. I just wanted to encourage you to try it. I think if you poke around on my site you will find enough recipes to get you started. My son had a hard time to begin with, but he has said recently that he really doesn’t miss the gluten at all. I think I miss it more :-). Let me know if I can be of help! Blessings. ~Adrienne

  21. Adrienne, this is a wonderful, wonderful post, containing excellent advice. Your honesty in sharing your personal experiences with your son is sure to help and encourage so many people. Thank you for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  22. Thank you for writing this. I think many times people can get a diagnosis and feel lost, it’d be nice if they got a copy of your post at the dr’s office. Very enlightening. Your son is lucky to have you in his life.

    • Wow, did you ever make my day. We’ve had a good day overall, but not without anxiety struggles with my son. It’s easy to feel down when he struggles so much.

  23. Hey stopping by on the hop. I wish you all the luck for your little one. Shah .X

  24. My older son has PDD-NOS, high functioning. he has terrible eczema. could this be candida-caused? I’m chicken to go no sugar. He’s 15.

    • Hi Julia.
      Eczema is a toughy. It was all life-threatening allergies when my son was an infant. Then it was candida. Now that we have done work on his candida and metal detox I saw something else that was really puzzling. He got a persistent rash on his face and our practitioner suspected that it was copper coming out. She said that copper is almost always behind skin rash issues. Well, I was so afraid that it was food allergies again, but I just went with what he said and as we’ve continued with the detox the rash disappeared.

      I’d be happy to correspond about the eczema. I would move forward as you can on the sugar. It’s horrible for these kids (and anyone else). Check out all of the desserts on my recipe page and see what you can do without sugar. That’s why my dessert list is so long — because we needed some yummy substitutes. I think it’s great to meet food needs with other things, but we need to be realistic as well. Hope that helps. Just take a deep breath. You have no idea what a sugar-aholic I was.

  25. Hi All-
    I just had my four-yr-old son food sensitivity tested, and the results came back that he is highly sensitive to eggs (yolks and whites), and less sensitive (but still not good) to milk, whey, cheddar cheese, almonds, wheat, spelt, lemons, limes and grapefruit. Argh. So we are doing a 6 week elimination of all of the offenders, then will rotate them back in to see what effect they have. I am a chef and nutrition counselor, so I have a strong background, and it is still difficult to make the changes. No real pizza?! No egg/cheese breakfast sandwiches? No mac n cheese? I am starting slowly- this week no eggs, no almonds, no citrus, no milk. Next week I will add the remaining no-no’s. Already had good success today with brown rice pasta (kind of gummy, but he liked it!) and with a GF Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix. Fortunately there are websites like this one (thank you!) to support us on our journeys.

    • Hi Naidre,

      Your story sounds similar to ours. I would highly recommend looking into the Nutritional Balancing or maybe the GAPS diet (I have not tried that). I feel that as we have removed metals our sensitivities have decreased. This is a hard road, but hopefully we can get somewhere.

      By the way, Tinkyada pasta is quite good and we have found Trader Joe’s to be wonderful and inexpensive. Whenever we take a road trip to where there is one we stock up :-). Tinkyada is available through Vitacost and Country Life Natural Foods (depending where you are located, they will deliver free on a truck to your door). Hope that helps. I hope to have more helpful recipes soon!

      • Hi Adrienne,

        Our Aspie son is 8 and was just diagnosed a few months ago. It was so refreshing to read your post. So often it seems that people promote a false dichotomy of ‘biomed’ or ‘therapy’ approaches. We immediately started seeing a DAN Dr. and the GFCF diet. I have a host of food allergies, and after pouring over the GAPS website (and seeing few, but small changes in my son after 2 months on GFCF), we did the GAPS Intro together. I had tested with IgE reactions to egg yolk and egg white and couldn’t eat more than one egg in a week without throat/mouth itching. After 2 weeks of GAPS Intro. I was able to eat eggs again. Last week I ate 30 (counting baked goods) without reaction! My son had horrible eczema and lots of sensory issues and 2 months in, now he is potty training himself for the first time (without any help from me) and his skin is CLEAR for the first time in 5 years. We do consume a fair bit of honey (though not nearly as much as the sugar we used to consume), but have had only healing come out of this for all of us so far! Again, like you wisely said, this is not a one-size-fits-all journey. I’ve read SCD (the basis of GAPS) boast of 100% of autistic patients reporting improvement. Elaine G. (SCD) says “you will know within 4 weeks whether this will work for you or not”. Who doesn’t have 4 weeks to try?

        Thanks for the ideas on adrenals and balancing. Two more things to read up on! Grace from Africa!

        • Hi Kimberly,

          Wow. That is interesting to read about GAPS. I had similar response regarding eating corn (it may have been the glycemic index of it and not the corn itself, however, that was bothering me) by doing the Nutritional Balancing.
          I am sure that we are either doing SCD completely or else very close, and have been for a long time. The one problem for me is that I am currently off of fruit due to candida and sugar metabolism issues, so I think that the diet might be too restrictive for me. I must confess that I have read the GAPS book, but I have not done an extensive study of either diet protocol. I should look into them again.

          I appreciate your encouragement! I think you will find the Nutritional Balancing quite interesting. I have two articles by Theresa Vernon on metals that were really eye-opening to me.

          Grace from the U.S.A. :-).

  26. Hi Adrienne,
    I recently read about therapies a Mom used to help her son with a brain injury and have been wondering how many other conditions this may help including autism. Would love the opinion of a Mom who has a child with autism as to how difficult it may be to try them or if you think they may be of any value at all. Here is a link to her story where she describes a few therapies that sound good, thanks.

  27. I wanted to stop by and thank you for participating in the Get Wired Blog Hop. I am both of your blogs on Networked Blogs and Facebook.

    Have a wonderful day!


  28. I’m so grateful you shared this meaningful and important post with our first Gallery of Favorites, Adrienne! Thank you so much!

  29. Adrienne,

    I don’t stop by often enough and need to go more in depth on your site…. I think the posts that come from life experience are without a doubt the most powerful!! I firmly believe that as we are of this earth….we can be healed by what comes from it. (Without chemicals)

    Great post and thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jason. I wish I had more time to write. But then sometimes I feel that my experience and knowledge is so limited. If you find that things need to be better organized, let me know. I can’t promise I can fix it quickly, but I would appreciate it.

  30. A very informative article. I salute your desire to leave no stones unturned for natural remedies. I’ll be praying for your family.


  31. I just stumbled upon your blog, and am so intrigued! I have a 3 yr old that I just know something is not right with. I can’t explain it, and no doctor will listen. I watched something on Asperger’s the other night, and can’t get it out of my mind. We too are already doing oils and working on clearing generational issues with our kids. We are also starting to cut out alot of sugars and refined flours. And probiotics were an answer to prayer with our youngest daughter who was born several months premature with severe GERD. We started using them against the doctor’s wishes because nothing else worked. They were a miracle for her! I’m curious if you’ve heard of Kefir and what you think of it? It’s a natural probiotic. We have started using it now instead of buying other pill form probiotics. It’s so nice that it is free and replenishes itself almost daily. I really want to look into the nutritional balancing that you talk about! Where is the best place to start? Theresa’s website? My sis in law also has epilepsy, and has really been working on taking the metals out of her body. She found the fillings they put in her teeth when she was younger was a BIG cause of her seizures. It’s all so interesting, isn’t it! Like you said, I don’t know that there is a magical cure all for everyone…we each have our own path and our own things to figure out. But everything we put into our bodies really does make a difference in what comes out! Thank you so much for this post..it really was an answer for my family!!

    • Hi Katie.

      I am so glad you stopped by. I have heard of kefir, but my oldest has a life threatening allergy to dairy and I am off it for awhile so it’s not a great option for us right now. I have a friend who is working on water kefir for me now. Unfortunately, I appear to have an allergic reaction to fermented foods right now in my healing so I am on hold for a bit.

      I would take a look at Theresa’s website if I were you. I also have some articles that she has written that I could forward to you. What is your sister doing to remove the metals? It is my (and Theresa’s) opinion that nutritional balancing method of removing the metals is the only safe way to do it. I also really like zeolite for the same purpose, but I don’t think it will remove all of it w/o the nutritional balancing. I have been so impressed w/ this method that I am thinking about going into it myself in the future (when I can :-)).

      Take care,

  32. I just read a wonderful book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, on natural treatment for autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Schizophrenia. The link she found between all of these was poor gut health. Definitely worth a read!

    • Yes, Julie, that is a very good book.
      I am convinced fully that the basis for a lot of our health issues today is our gut. There is a clear connection b/t the gut and the brain.

  33. Samantha Ryan says:

    Sometimes it seems like an information desert and other times a buffet! Its great to read so many stories of parents thinking and experimenting and fighting for their kids. KUDOS!

    My son is ASD and we’ve done many different things. I refuse to “drink the Kool-Aid” of any one thing until something is proven. After several years off and on GF/CF for my son, I discovered the Paleo Diet after identifying a gluten and dairy sensitivity in myself. That has been an adventure, but fun.

    So many times I heard “I don’t know how you do it” me being a single parent with no support and my response is that God gave me a child that is perfectly made and perfect for me. The rest is just a different shade of parenthood. I feel so lucky to have him and blessed that God continues to cross my paths with other parents who understand and are positive. Keep up the great work!

  34. I haven’t read through the comments to see if anyone has recommended this or not. But, have you looked into the GAPS diet? If your gluten and casein free already, then you know how much that differs from the SAD. Going on the GAPS is just a different diet. Probably extreme from someone eating the SAD, but for someone already GF-CF its just a different extreme diet. It really works!! I have had much success. I’m not sure why most doctors have never heard of it, but all of the ones we have seen have never heard of it.

    • Hi Julie. I have heard of GAPS and read the book about 3-4 years ago. I need to revisit it again and the SCD. We for sure are not on the SAD at all. I remember looking at it for my son, but with all of his life threatening allergies I thought it would be hard to make it work..peanuts, almost all nuts, dairy, egg whites and sesame. Our practitioner is familiar w/ it and says she thinks it really works for some people and not others. It might be worth a shot. Right now I don’t think I could handle a big change like that, but maybe in the future.

  35. I’m a new reader (loving your blog!), and thought I’d share some of my story with you. We are on the GAPS Diet for my son who is/was diagnosed as autistic. We were GFCF for about a year before that. The day after starting GAPS, we noticed vast improvements.. We’ve been on it as a family for roughly 4 months now, and my son quickly went from 3 therapies (Speech, OT, and PT) to only PT which will be over before the year ends. Adults who work with kids on the spectrum have met my son and are shocked of his diagnosis. They’re even more shocked when I tell them that last year he couldn’t originate speech. He was completely echolalic.

    While we use nuts every once in a while, we can easily omit them from our diet. They’re pretty expensive, so we don’t have them too often. We haven’t used peanuts or sesame at all and have yet to give our son anything with casein. We consume a good number of eggs, but mainly the yolks. My son doesn’t eat anywhere near the number of whole eggs as I do, and if I had no choice of using egg whites for him, I think the chia seed gel replacement would be the route I’d go. Of course it’s easy to type that, and unfortunately I don’t have anything other than speculation to offer you with respect to that.

    I hope you don’t mind the testimonial. I saw your concerns regarding GAPS and thought I’d offer some insight. Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

    • Oh Pam – I don’t mind at all. I will for sure revisit the issue. I’ll make a note to take the book out again – can you recommend an easy “go to” list for how to do it and/or what to eat? I’ve read the book before but I was quite overwhelmed at the time. It would be nice to simplify it this time around. Was your son diagnosed with classic autism or Asperger’s? I assume the former, right? Mine is high functioning or Asperger’s. I for sure have gut issues and my whole family does, but his seems to be the worst. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello again, Pam. I just mentioned this to my son and he got very nervous. He knows enough about it to know that it starts with chicken broth and he has kind of a phobia about broth. Lucky me, right? Could you tell me how long one is on broth at the beginning? Maybe if I prep him he’ll be able to do it.

  36. Hi Adrienne,
    Please try GAPS! I have a son, 11 who was healed from autism several years ago with Body Ecology Diet in a little over a year. We stayed on a organic, whole foods diet and used lots of probiotics. A few years ago, we had a SEVERE mold exposure and my son just sort of stalled. Not wanting to do a no sugar diet for 12 months at this stage, we did many other therapies including WAP, vision therapy, HBO, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, ect. We were all sick, so we all did most of the list.
    We still had medical issues from the mold exposure and I was pretty sick of it all and so I got GAPS and read the book. WOW!!!!!!! This makes so much senase. My water broke and I was on IV antibiotics for a full day before I gave birth and so that is why my son had colic and ended up with regressive autism at 28 months! and why Body Ecology Diet worked with him and why the mold threw us all into a series of health issues. November 1st, we started GAPS and I can’t tell you how much healing this diet has done already. Yes, the intro is hard and we stayed on it for 10 days and even now, we eat a list of about 30 foods, but you can be so creative with them. I miss raw foods the most….salads especially. But tomorrow we start juicing and within a month, I expect that we will be eating more or less the full Gaps which is not that hard. The cravings for carbs only lasted a week or so. The broth is amazing and can be made into soups or added to other things to disguise it for kids who don’t like it. The fermented veggies are so good and do amazing things. Last night for a one month treat, I made meatballs from veal, pork and beef, carrot, onion and garlic and a red sauce and put it over spaghetti squash…..it was so good. For Thanksgiving we had roasted duck with plum sauce, celery root and shallots cooked in duck fat and broth, beet, carrot and fennel gratin, steamed greens, squash and walnut crusted pumpkin pie with coconut cream. We are not starving or deprived on this diet. My son is doing amazingly well and is now tells me….thanks mom so much for doing this diet and is completely happy to be on it because it makes him feel so much better.

    • Thanks, Lynn. We’ve been talking about this. I wouldn’t miss the raw foods at all. I don’t care for them. I am going to have to get the book again and review it with my practitioner. We are doing Nutritional Balancing to remove toxins and I am seeing healing in both of us. Our practitioner is familiar with GAPS so I think we’ll be able to have a good conversation about it. Thank you for sharing! And mold issues are horrible! I empathize with you! Did you know that IV antibiotics are loaded w/ aluminum? I am dumping a ton of it right now and I know that it one of my sources. Post to come about that as well.

  37. Adrienne, I checked out the Nutritional Balancing site and am impressed by her knowledge of adrenals and toxicity. I completely agree with most of the points she makes in regard to removing toxins and how adrenals exhaustion can become a vicious cycle. According to her site, she follows an Atkins diet, which avoids starchy vegetables, fruits, sugar and is heavy on meat and fat. The diet is similar to WAP and GAPS, but these two add in fermented foods and broths. She lists both Nourishing Traditions and Gut and Psychology Syndrome in her recommended reading. What surprises me is her use of Splenda which is a chlorinated table sugar that is man made. Stevia I can understand, but Splenda, no way! I am going to e-mail her and will let you know what she says.

    • Hi Lynn,
      I have talked with Theresa extensively about Splenda. She thinks Sucralose is OK but not really Splenda. I think she has some solid thinking there. Wow – the other real foodies will be after me if they read this :-). She is very sharp and doesn’t toss things out there lightly. I would have to take notes next time I ask her about it…maybe you will get the answer and can just fwd it to me :). One really balanced thing she says is that if you use a number of different sweeteners in moderation, then if there turns out to be a problem with one of them, you haven’t had as much exposure as if you ate one kind alone. I think she is right on there. And if you follow the Splenda argument that it is chlorinated table sugar….I wonder how many people won’t touch Splenda but drink tap water. And there is plenty of chlorinated tap water in your “organic veggie” – know what I mean? Lettuce is 90%+ water and it is watered by tap water. I need to run now, but I do not necessarily think that Theresa is off base here. I am not sure. Regarding the fermented foods, I know they did not agree with her for a long time. Me neither right now. I have a lot of work to do before I try it again. I get a candida-like reaction. Thanks for your thorough work!

  38. I just stumbled upon your site this morning and I feel so relieved seeing another special needs mom who is NOT doing the whole supplement routine! Our son got diagnosed with autism 5 years ago (he’s now 9). We did gf/cf plus a whole bunch of other -f’s, for almost 3 years, plus did a whole slew of supplements. It was complex and expensive (and I am stay-at-home mom and my husband was farming full time- he had to go back to work because our son’s autism was draining us financially). We saw a biomed doc in Kansas City and we were constantly testing our son, plus doing allergy shots, b12 shots and chelation. Initially, we saw improvements, but at the end of it, he started regressing (after a bout with RSV) so we tried the SCD diet. We were on it for 6 weeks and our son got worse and worse. We scratched the whole thing. We eat a healthy diet (I make everything from scratch and we grow our own organic meat and garden produce). He’s still dairy free and we use olive leaf extract (saw a HUGE improvement from adding this in regularly!), vD, and probiotics. We recently had genetic testing done and discovered that our son’s autism is not typical and is the result of a genetic mutation that occurred at conception. In fact, the geneticist said that he’s never seen a child with our son’s combination of phenotype and symptoms. Our son is very smiley and generally happy (we have some emotional meltdowns- mostly seem to be weather related), he looks you in the eye and he loves being around other kids. His speech is his biggest deficit and he still stims some. I have finally learned (most of the time!) to give it over to the Lord and not to stress over the future. I figure the skies the limit and I will not limit my son in what I think he can or cannot do. He loves farming, so my husband and I are really hoping that he’ll be able to take over the farm someday. Anyway, that’s my little story, but I’m constantly researching and trying ways to improve our health and continue to help my son progress. I’ll definitely be back to your site as I have time!

    • Hello Melinda. Thanks for stopping by and so nice to hear your story. I will say that we are still muddling through all of this and it isn’t easy. We are doing a different kind of supplement treatment now which is Nutritional Balancing. I have seen great changes in me and my youngest is over his regular headaches, but my autistic son is mixed. I regularly have people tell me that he is greatly improved but his anxiety and perseverations have been a big problem recently. However, we have had a TON of stress at home so I am not surprised. I am intrigued by your experience with olive leaf. I think we tried that and both of us got really sick from it. I was thinking it might have been die off. What probiotic do you use? I was just thinking this morning that I would like to do a post on probiotics. I have some interesting experiences with them and would like to put this all together for my readers.

      I sure hope to see you around again!

  39. I’m definitely going to research Nutritional Balancing. Since olive leaf extract is an antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal, my guess is you were experiencing die off. By the time I started to give it to my son regularly (which was about a year ago), we’d already extensively treated him for candida, so I’m positive the bulk of his was gone, hence no die off reaction for him. We’ve discovered that our son cannot, under any circumstances, run a fever. No dr. knows why, but there’s definitely a correlation between him running a fever and major regression. The higher the fever, the worse the regression (like months to YEARS). Part of my thought to giving him the olive leaf was to prevent sickness. My husband and I take capsules and have for several years to prevent sickness (we don’t even get colds anymore!), so I started making tinctures for my kids. I get all of my supplies for the Bulk Herb Store. As for our probiotics, we use Klaire Labs. You have to have a dr. code to buy from them (which we got years ago from our biomed dr.) and they are suppose to be the highest powered on the market. The are super expensive, though!

    • Melinda, I don’t know if you visited Theresa Vernon’s website or not, but she is great. She can be reached at 707-544-0661. I thought I was detoxing as well. So far my detox reactions have been really severe at times. Either the toxicity is awful, or I react horribly, or both.

  40. WOW it sounds like you need a big hug and a cuddle yourself. How courageous I couldn’t imagina how difficult it is to deal with such a problem yourself. I guess the greatest strength in all of us is love which is what you have stated by trying to remain calm. Interesting to hear as well that the body does not release toxins when stressed. I guess alot of us raise our voice reactively now when we are tired. As there is so much frustration and we are running around a million miles an hour without enough time in the day to get everything done. On another note our little dog lost both her eyes to glaucoma and everywhere we looked everyone said to not put obstacles in her way do this and do that. But we decided not to molly cuddle her and guess what she plays football runs around like a lunatic, up stairs, across fields. So I am strong believer sometimes that if we create stress, we can create it around us too. I loved your post and I wish you and your son the very best in the future and I hope verything works out 😉

  41. What a beautiful post.

    I just found your website, as I’m always looking for wholesome recipes for my family, and was touched to read about your efforts to heal your son. I, too, have been working for the past three years to heal my now-9-year-old son with autism. We have been *amazingly* fortunate in our journey, which included many of the approaches you listed- GFCF, whole foods, occupational therapy (not much help with us), and a calm environment. We also tried homeopathy which gave our son’s healing an added boost.

    It took some time, but our son was able to move from high-functioning autism, to mild ADHD in 18 months, and we are beyond thrilled with his progress. Just in the past few months, we were even able to re-introduce gluten and casein into his diet with no reactions. Like you, we feel very blessed, and are grateful to the other parents who have shared their stories about what worked (and didn’t work) for their child. If you’re ever interested in reading about our son’s story, I’d be happy to send you the link.

    All the best to you and your beautiful family. :-)

    • I’d love to hear about your son. Thanks for taking the time to write. We are having a lot of anxiety issues w/ him right now so it’s a particularly rough time. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  42. Even for those not on the spectrum, going GF helps a lot with that sort of behavior. Blessings to you on your journey!

  43. Hi Adrienne,
    I just found your blog through the healthy home economist. I love your approach to healing your son!!! We have a ten year old daughter with PDD. We have tried many things with her. Right now we are working with Dr. James Neubrander. He recommends the GFCF diet and supplements and meds to get rid of the yeast. She is also on daily M-B12 shots. He also had us try the hyperbaric chamber. He is very scientifically based and orders tests along the way to see how the treatments are working. I haven’t seen a huge change in my daughter since we started this two years ago. My husband is convinced that he sees changes in her. I’m concerned because her stimming is off the charts right now. We also tried the GFCF diet twice with her. Once for a year and once for nine months. I didn’t see any change in her. Also, now that she is older, it is extremely difficult to keep her form getting restricted foods. She also has terrible constipation! Even massive doses of pro and prebiotics haven’t helped! Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks and keep up the good fight! You are doing a wonderful job with your son!! God bless you!!!!

    • Hi there. I personally avoided the candida meds. Supps are much safer, in my opinion. Did you try sugar free? About the constipation, there is a probiotic that I LOVE. But it might be being discontinued. Check out the link to Strata Flora on my Store page. It really helps. I have another bathroom help that I hope to share w/ readers soon. If you don’t see it soon, email me and I can send you more info.

      Ummm..otherwise, if it were me, I’d for sure top all sugar and all refined grains and even fruit. I am very happy w/ our practitioner. I of course can’t tell you what to do but you might want to check out my post on adrenal fatigue and look up Theresa Vernon. Her info is there.


  44. Thanks so much!!! I will check those things out!! Thanks for your honesty and compassion!!!

  45. My son is 18 now, and had at autism diagnosis at age 3. He has made a complete recovery, recently graduated from high school, and has joined the Army – he’ll be leaving for boot camp on Sunday.
    The things that made the main difference in his life were speech and Occupational therapy, which I engaged in as training, and used 24/7 the rest of the time, starting at about 18 months.
    At three, he was still profoundly affected, and I was introduced to Touch Pressure/Joint Compression therapy as a way to help him with sensory issues. This was a life changing practice for my son and when I asked his therapists why they didn’t tell me about this earlier (he was still waking up four or five times a night at age three, which was corrected within a week of starting the therapy), they said it was because most parent’s won’t do it, because of the time committment. I was kind of outraged but too busy catching up on three years of sleep to do anything about it. Within one week of starting the therapy he began sleeping through the night, and within two weeks he began putting together three-word sentences for the first time. Things progressed rapidly from there.
    We weren’t really doing any real food, but my son made known to me that he wanted some dietary changes. As it turns out, his body prefers meat and real fats over vegetables and carbohydrates. Once, when I tried to make him eat a vegetable (green beans, which he still hates) he hollered, “YOU CAN ONLY FEED ME COOKIES, CANDY AND MEAT!” Meat it was.
    As he got older, we switched to whole milk from 2%, to butter from margarine (!), from using modern fats to traditional ones, and eventually from whole milk to raw milk. Regarding allergies, I’d like to say that allergies can vary from person to person. If casein and gluten worked for your son, that’s awesome, but they are pretty individual, so it’s important to find out what your child’s particular sensitivities are and work on those. I would also like to say that cholesterol is a healing food.
    At the age of 9, my son told his first lie (you parents of autistic children will understand what a triumph this is), and soon thereafter made his first genuine, unprompted apology. In 5th grade, he asked to stop receiving services at school, because it made him feel as though he were different from the other kids. In 9th grade, he was removed from the special education program altogether. When I asked the staff how often this happens, they said, “never”.
    Today, my son is an awesome young man. He is slightly socially immature, which is fine, and he is one of my favorite people on all the earth. Frankly, if everyone could be more like him, we’d have a much better planet. He has a great sense of humor, several good friends, a relationship – a real one, with God, and is a very caring son. He wants to get married and have children, and not wait too long to do it. Though he’ll need to meet a girl, first. I guess I worry that he won’t be able to meet her emotional needs. I think she’ll need to be the type of person who asks for what she wants, which can be a rare quality in the under 30 female of our species, who always seem to want men to read their minds. But if he treats her half as well as he treats me (and he’d better), all she need do is ask, and he’ll treat her like a queen. And no, I’m not giving out his number. 😀

  46. So many families and so many stories. Thanks for this blog, which makes me feel less alone. Our son, aged 4, has just been diagnosed as having Asperger’s. He’s had a year and a half of occupational therapy and speech therapy; we’ve been advised to do more of this. We’ve been off gluten, dairy & eggs, after blood tests showed that these were the baddies, 8 months ago. He had vitamin therapy but as the (pricey)bottles ran out, we didn’t ever replace them, except for a multivitamin and vitamin D. He’s also taken homeopathic meds. Which of these explain that he’s doing slightly better? (Fewer melt-downs, and shorter ones. Progress in the language department.) Could you tell us how you’re getting enough calcium into your son? I’m a little bit worried about this part.

    • Hi Julie.

      I get concerned abt calcium but there are different theories on that. With Nutritional Balancing he is taking a supp that has Ca in it. He eats a good amount of leafies usually. Sardines are great too. Does that help? You can purchase inexpensive Ca supps but you need to do research on balancing w/ Mg and D3.

    • Thanks for your kind words….by the way :). I’m going to start speech w/ my son soon.

  47. Thank you, Adrienne, for your speedy reply! We do eat sardines, but should probably eat more. Our son drinks rice milk, which is supposed to have some calcium…but who knows what else it has in it? Then, there are almonds, but we haven’t been soaking and drying them so I don’t know if they count as helpful. Everyone keeps telling me about kale, but that seems hard to come by in France, where we live (and where the approach to autism is incidentally supposed to be more Dark Ages than anyplace else in the Western World.) That’s lucky that your son willingly eats his leafy greens. And now we’re going to try your ice cream recipes. Thanks again!

    • Julie,

      Try looking at other leafies to see if you can get them. You could plant kale – can you have a garden? It grows super easy and your son might like my Kale Chips. If you are into saving money, you could just make your own rice milk (I have a recipe for that as well) and you can add your own calcium as need be. It is much cheaper that way. Sesame is a good source, by so far my son is allergic. Blessings!

  48. Hi! I have a 20-year old with Aspergers. He drives, works part-time and goes to the community college part-time. We have found that “juicing” has been really beneficial. Our son eats organic foods & snacks (expect for pizza). It would be great to connect with someone in the Austin area. Thanks!

  49. Hi Adrienne!
    Thank you so much for posting your Autism blog! I found it incredibly useful! I have an 8 month old baby. I worry that she may have AS because I was really malnourished in the first trimester and lost about 20 lbs. maybe malnourishment affected her? However, by the grace of God she was born! She smiles back when smiled at. She barley let’s an unfamiliar face hold her. She is fine with her dad, grandparents, and my siblings carrying her. However, whenever she sees me, she always reaches out to me to hold her. Every times she sees a baby or child under 4 feet, she gets really excited and wants to touch their face.

    She has received the first few immunization shot (about 7). I’ve decided to postpone it until she starts talking and behaving like her “normal” peers.

    I have a question for you. I am curious about your 2nd son. Have you consented him to have any immunization shots? If he has received any would you mind sharing which ones?

    I wanted to share this article I found about a lady who found a “cure” for her son’s AS condition. I hope you find it useful as well! God bless you!

    • Hi Marie. I only gave my son the HIB and a flu shot (I think) before I realized what was going on w/ my 1st son since he hadn’t been diagnosed yet. I am thinking about a few others but am consulting w/ my physician on this. There is a book that has an interesting chart in the back about a slowed down approach to vaccines. Here it is: Healing the Four Childhood Epidemics.

    • Very interesting. I had one practitioner tell me not to give my son coconut at all but I didn’t listen. Though now his anxiety is awful and I don’t know what to do. Sigh.

  50. Aww I’m very sorry that it did not help significantly for you :(….
    Hey Adrienne I just have one little question for you. Please do not take this in any negative way. I am just really curious. If you would prefer to keep it private, I will understand justt fine.
    I just want to know if your pregnancy with your first son was a pleasant one? (Would you say you ate healthily for the entire pregnancy? Had low stress levels? No complications whatsoever?)
    I promise I am not trying to be condescending. I would really like to know.:) thank you so much for your time! I am truly greatful!

    • Hi Marie. I don’t see how I could take that condescendingly at all. I was not eating as healthy with my first pregnancy but it went fairly well. In fact, my horrible spring allergies were gone. I had fairly high stress since I was working and am a Type A personality and have always been pretty intense. I had no complications at all except the delivery was horrible. I had him at home and probably will share the story at some point. My second pregnancy was horrible. I think it is b/c I was copper toxic. I was horribly nauseous for all 9 months. I am eating healthier now than ever. But I THOUGHT I was eating healthy then. I had no idea how bad sugar was at the time. And refined flour. I was almost completely vegetarian. I was basically just beginning another step into learning about how to really eat. Bless you.

  51. Have you looked into Dr. Klinghardts protocols and information regarding autism? I highly recommend his approach! He is big into EMF’s and creating an EMF free bedroom. Just a thought for your son and you. If you google Klinghardt Academy you can access lots of his writings. (Or go to betterhealthguy website). Peace.

    • Another reader mentioned this. we don’t have that much in the way of EMF’s but thank you. I am convinced it is getting harder and harder to eliminate them w/ the towers everywhere. Sigh.

  52. Oh I have been so blessed to have found your site..I think you are doing an awesome job… My nephew they believe has Asperger’s I have been able to see the candida problem and when he was little he had food allergies which he has ate normal since he got older but I think the candida causes the allergies and he still has problems that make me think the food and yeast stuff is not gone.. I am curious if your son had vaccines? there is a high connection with the vaccine rates and autism. just curious if you had looked into that.. there are homeopathic detoxes out there for vaccines. I haven’t looked in to them much but I have seen them.. And for the supplement stuff I don’t know if you have heard of it but you can do muscle testing to see if the product is good for you or not.. if you were interested in it I could email you to tell you what I know about it.. It has a proper name that I don’t remember my house just calls it muscle testing..

    • Hi there. I wrote a post on vaccines and my son – if you search you can find it. Search “vaccines”. Yes, I have heard of muscle testing but I don’t know what to think about it. If you have something good go ahead and send it. Thanks.

  53. Wow….very informative. Most of the information I knew but came across some regarding the adrenal system that I need to take a look into. Also the candida we battled, so this could be manifesting itself again into the issues we are having. I cant stress anymore than what you did Adrienne about the Low and Slow. With all kids, not just autistic children.

  54. Hi! I would love for you to do a post on probiotics. We use klaire ther biotic complete for my son and my daughter. My daughter (4) is somewhere along the lines of aspergers. My son (2) has terrible eczema that is currently being healed through a version of GAPS. He cannot tolerate nuts or eggs along with a ton of other foods, but rotating the foods he can tolerate has done wonders! We are all on an elimination rotation diet at present. I must say it is exhausting. My son eats mostly the cabbage family at present while my daughter is IgG sensitive to the cabbage family. And I’m sensitive to every spice!!

    We are fortunate these sensitivities are not life threatening, but I am curious if you have done the elimination and rotation bit. If so, what did you think and how did it help/not help? I started holistic healing with my children just over a year ago. I am exhausted from the constant research and food preparation. We have so many sensitivities I don’t know how we can focus on candida. We’ve been GFCFSF for a year, whole foods and almost no processed foods. We are currently grain free along with countless foods at present. I will say once I removed coconut from my daughter’s diet her tantrums were way better.

    I love your blog and am ecstatic that you are sharing your journey with all of us! Please know we are all Cheering you on and supporting you while we move along with similar health issues. I am so thankful for the Internet and the ability to communicate with other smart moms that are continually healing their kids.

    All the best and God bless!

    • Hi there! I have done a post on probiotics but I haven’t heard of yours – the one that you mentioned. I am experimenting w/ a new kind. Were you looking for info on how they work or info on what kind is good?

  55. What kind is good, thanks!

    • Did you find my post? Try searching for probiotics in the search bar. :). If you would like more info on the one that I am using now I would be happy to correspond via email – wholenewmom at gmail dot com.

  56. My 8 year old son has been on the GAPS protocol for 18 months and it has saved our lives. He stopped stimming. He stopped crying constantly. His body language relaxed. He became able to talk about something other than his special interest. He acquired friends. He was able to start school again. He began sleeping through the night. His insomnia disappeared. His meltdowns have gone from 3 or 4 a week to maybe one per month. He looks me in the eye. He is no longer constipated. He talks about his feelings. He no longer feels pain and tingling on his head and hands. He no longer has full on panic attacks (though he is still struggling with some situational anxiety). But very very best of all, he started giggling and smiling once again.
    I BESEECH YOU TO INVESTIGATE THE GAPS PROTOCOL. IF YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN ARE ILL. The earlier you start the better the outcome. GAPS is a challenge to master but still much easier than the stress of watching your child disintegrate or live in distress.
    Every human should be taught in school what your intestines do for your body. It’s insane but medical doctors have no nutritional training or any schooling on gut mechanics (unless it’s their specialty). Your guts aren’t just important to your health, they ARE your health. They generate your immune response, cull out toxins, viruses and heavy metals. They are intimately tied to your mental health (they generate most of the serotonin our brain needs for example), they host a living foreign genetically independent ecology that doesn’t just aid in digestion but is responsible for breaking down and assimilating most of what you absorb from food. You would die without what is growing and living in your guts. The complicated majesty of your gut ecology is staggering. When it breaks down, YOU break down (psychiatric diseases, vitamin deficiencies, food intolerances, auto-immune diseases, allergies, eczema, autism etc etc etc etc).
    Systemic chronic yeast infections, constipation and chronic illness (treated with longterm back to back antibiotics for years on end) in my own life left me with an out of balance gut ecology. Our babies have sterile guts at birth and the intestines are seeded with the mother’s gut flora. We pass on the healthy or unhealthy gut flora to our children – then the modern world continues to assault their internal ecology. I believe autism is nearly always the result of a systemic collapse of gut functionality.

  57. My third ds does some things now and then that remind me of autism. Some people really see it, others not so much. When he took swimming lessons, the instructor told me to have him tested for sure. (He had been-and was not diagnosed)But the sensory stimulation of water sent him into such a “zone” that was almost in another world. Music has been interesting, too. Classical calms, while a recent trip to a mini-golf park completely overwhelmed him. He was racing around and unable to concentrate at all.
    We do work with a alternative practitioner and he takes some supplements like probiotics and EFA’s, essential oils, etc. Those things have helped. She had us do GF/CF for a while and he hated it so much. I was relieved to be done, but I wonder if it was long enough. I’ve considered doing GAPS for a while.
    He did not have any vax at all-was born at home-no meds. But I did have an emergency appendectomy during my first trimester-lots of morphine, some Lortab(which I cannot handle at all) an epidural for the surgery and an amnesiac when that didn’t work. So, a true mess!
    I intend to look up this Nutritional Balancing idea!
    Thanks for your website!

  58. Lo and Slow! That is brilliant and so true. Something I struggle with. As my anxiety levels go up, so do my sons. Then he acts out more and I get more frustrated. Still working on this but thanks for the reminder.
    We are gluten free/cassin free, about to start OT, speech etc.

  59. Saw this…the oil cured my H Pylori…so i thought i would share…U probably already know about this…but here it is http://coconutoil.com/aspergers-disorder-success-with-coconut-oil-and-diet/ may God continue to bless u & ur family

  60. I have autism, I am 18 years old. I like your post because I approve of the therapies you used and it doesn’t talk a lot about a “cure”. My personal opinion is that autism isn’t caused by toxins or anything, it’s genetic, but it comes with being more vulnerable to a lot of toxins. I don’t think vaccines make people autistic, I think they make autistic people very sick. It is very sad about your son’s panic attacks. I’m glad they got better. I really wish people could say that vaccines are no good without bringing up that they cause autism, because that implies that autism is bad, and autistic people face a lot of discrimination anyways. But I do GFCF – gluten gives me horrible stomachaches and dairy makes me depressed and gives me stomachaches. And I try to avoid toxic things :) I wish that the subjects of leading a natural, whole foods lifestyle and seeing autism in a more positive light were more compatible.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Bethany. You are right in that there are many things that are positive about autism. There are a lot of things I would not wish to see changed about my son. At the same time, there are issues he still struggles with that I wish would go away. That being said, I agree that there is not one thing that causes autism–but many factors. You might be interested in my post about I Am Thankful For Autism.

  61. my son was diagnosed with PPD NOS. I worked my but off trying to find the cure to his suffering..he was in severe physical pain from his gut as well as severe violent behavior…..
    healing is possible….I also am engaged (and madly in love)to a man who is aspergers….and we have had many a discussion about the autism personality verses the many health issues caused by enviromental toxins…

  62. My Boyfriend has Asperger’s he is now 49 yrs old , I met him 7 yrs ago and I believe that my love in God in Jesus has helped me tremendously in dealing with this. He has changed so much bc of my Love towards him, my patience and peace in Loving him. He use to be more socially awkward before not as much now like a 60-70% improvement I would say. He has also been eating healthy for over 2 yrs I believe this has also helped him alot as well. I just keep praying for his salvation and the day he let’s Jesus into his heart and accepts him as his Lord and savior. I believe that day is close and coming soon. thank you Lord Thank You Jesus I believe this with all my heart.

  63. That’s great that you’ve found some things to help. I’m curious if you or anyone else knows of an essential oil or other alternative medicine for schizophrenia? My younger sister was recently diagnosed with this, as she started hearing voices. She has never been violent, just heard voices that would tell her to do things like open doors, etc. It scared her. She’s been on meds for 6 months now and she can barely function. She mostly sleeps all day and it’s so sad to see her like that. Any ideas?

    • I will get back to you after I hear my the oils company I recommend, but I have done a ton of reading about gluten and schizophrenia and there appears to be a huge correlation. Have you looked into that? I can’t medically advise, but I personally think whole gluten-free grains are a much better way to go. I avoid processed starch for my whole family.

    • Jenny,

      I just heard back from the owner of Native American Nutritionals. This is what he recommends:

      Sacred Frankincense and Ylang Ylang are my top choices — We have the Brain Storm that has those oils and others. Also maybe the Grounding Blend would be good.

      Here is the post where you can find their company: Announcing Best Essential Oils Company

      • Thanks for the replies. I have seen an article about gluten being linked to schizophrenia. It is very interesting. I told my Mom about it, but I think she was unsure how to even start that battle. I will look into that more and also the oils that were recommended. Thanks!

        • Hi Jenny. Just start little by little. All of my recipes (except one, I think) are gluten free. And I really think a healthy gut is crucial so if it were me, I would get her on a good probiotic (check out this post for what I am taking now) and just start making some of the things I have on my blog. I would love to help as I can. Please keep in touch. I believe the data is that in mental institutions there are 5 times the number of celiacs as in the normal population.

  64. Jennifer says:

    The GAPS diet has been great for my kids and I. Huge behavior improvements for my son on the spectrum.

  65. I love to see that you are working so hard and being so patient. I know that working with children and adults with autism can be tiring and sometimes frustrating. Another therapy that you may look into is Music Therapy. I am a music therapist and have been working with children with autism and it really helps them. I know you like to research, so feel free to check out musictherapy.org to get more information!

  66. Hi Adrienne,
    I’ve been following you for your recipes for a while now. But have just been reading your blog posts about your son and his Autism diagnoses and I’d really love some advice, or to know where I can go for advice. I have 3 children, and I am worried about my middle child, who is 4 and a half now. I have brought up my concerns with my child health nurse and she believes that he is fine. A lot of people think he is fine and blame my gentle parenting style for his tantrums but after reading this I am not so sure.
    Since he was a newborn, he was a very irritable baby, I would often spend more time rocking him than he would actually sleep. I don’t know how I got through that period in my life, I just remember it as a haze of constant exhaustion and stress. He is still quite irritable. I think he has improved slighty over the last year. But he does get very upset over small things, like have wet clothes, even just a drip. He is a bit funny about what clothes he wears – he has to wear a jumper with a hoodie or a beanie, he will not go out anywhere without something to wear on his head. He has a very high pitched voice and does not understand volume control of his voice. He does almost always have a rash on his tummy – which I’ve always thought was eczema. And the tantrums…. if he doesn’t get what he wants there is no consoling him. I have tried everything from ignoring him to cuddling him to talking/singing to time out to smacking (which goes against every fibre in my being) but none of it works. He is quite naughty and everyone thinks I let him get away with murder but the truth is I am just trying to pick my battles. A huge problem we have is he has a psychological aversion to doing number 2s in the toilet. His dad and I are worried, because he needs to go to school next year and we don’t know how it will go if he can’t do 2’s in the toilet. He has a problem with constipation, but also holds it in for as long as possible until he basically can’t anymore. He will sit on the toilet, and do 1’s in the toilet. but if I try to get him on the toilet when he needs to do 2’s he panics and the urge to go is no longer there. I’ve sought out help for this from my health nurse and my GP and they just tell us to keep being supportive and encourage him but it’s starting to go on a bit too long and I’m worried about him.
    He also seems to have panic attacks. Sometimes I just have to hold him while his body is completely rigid and he is repetitively screaming and hyperventilating and I just try to calm him down. I also worry that he doesn’t make eye contact enough, and sometimes doesn’t respond when he is spoken to, and he gets overwhelmed by some instructions. He also gets some language mixed up – he often says “he” instead of “she, or “mister” instead of “mrs”. I’m not sure if that’s an indicator of anything, or just normal 4 yr old stuff. I think he also has a lot of trouble with empathy, which I know every 4 yr old the world revolves around them, but I think my boy is different. If his little 2 yr old brother hurts himself and cries, my 4 yr old boy will just sit there and look at him without reacting, I find this a little unsettling.
    That said, after reading the list of symtoms for Aspergers, I don’t think my boy has all the symptoms to have a diagnoses. He is quite fine socially and does play imaginatively. Are there lesser degrees of Aspergers? I just want to understand my boy and help him if he needs it. I don’t know what to do or who to ask.

    • Wow. Thanks for commenting. I have to be careful b/c I can’t diagnose but there are other things on the autistic spectrum that you could consider….like PDD-NOS. I am not as familiar w/ those but that would possibly be a good place to start. As far as the school issue, have you considered homeschooling? I know it’s a big step but it’s a good way to take that stress off of yourself.

      The empathy thing sounds familiar to me and of course, the tantrums. They were horrid. I personally felt that going all natural, all whole grains, and all gluten free was a huge help but the sugar free was the biggest help. We are now considering grain free (GAPS diet). Have you heard of that? And we were doing a program called Nutritional Balancing that we felt helped but now we are working w/ an herbalist on his thyroid. He says he feels better but last night he had some issues. I am not sure yet but it’s only been a short time. It might be that we need to try GAPS and see how it goes.

      I hope that is helpful. For sure these kiddos have digestive issues though. I would highly recommend that you read my posts on candida and gut health. The course on gut health that I promote will be offered again in October. Also, the probiotic posts that I wrote might be a good thing to consider as well.

    • GPs and nurses are not train to accurately evaluate sensory integration problems. Your son might not fit the diagnosis for being on the spectrum, but some things you mention definitely sound like PDD or possibly on the spectrum. In the end, diagnosis is only good for figuring out what treatments can help.

      Occupational Therapists have some great tools for kids like your son to help him relax and Learn life skills that will help him navigate life. I recommend that you take him to be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. They can help.

  67. Melissa M says:

    I don’t know if you have heard of CEASE therapy or the GAPS diet? We did CEASE therapy with our son. It uses nosodes in homeopathy to clear the vaccines because the immune system gets overloaded and it shuts down the cerebral cortex, resulting in autism. Clear the vaccines or other toxins that have overloaded the child’s gut and cerebral cortex turns back on. Hope this helps. We use Kate Birch, certified CEASE therapist at the Hippocratic Healing Center in Minneapolis, MN.

  68. I just completed your entire essential oil blogs, company choosing and finding that you went with the Native American company. Do they have an oil that is helping your son?

    • I am using lavender at night and used to use Serenity. I am planning on trying Grounding and they have a new blend either there, or coming out soon that is called Focus. Check those out :).

      • Hello,
        1st off love your research on oils!!!!!!!!!!
        2nd since october have you found a mix of oils for your son that help? and do you have any recommendations on books related to autism and oil AND a general i have this use this oil type book?

        Thanks much

      • I am curious how effective you found Focus and Grounding. Also, why did you stop using Serenity? I am interested I purchasing some oils to help my son (not officially diagnosed yet, but we’re working with his teachers and Dr to get some answers) focus in class and with his axiety and aggression.


  69. Hi,

    I just read this and felt an urge to share something with you. I also have a son whom I wish to heal and have done many things so far (he is not autistic, he had an other, but very serious, diagnose. What has helped us a lot might help you though. So, I would recommend you look at Bruno Groenig info, you can find it on the Internet. Or search for Bruno Groening Circle of Friends. Truly amazing, so powerful and has helped a lot of people with varios health issues.
    Wish you all the best, wish your son to be fully healed soon!

  70. I am 53 years old and just found out that I have Asperger’s. (All my life I have felt like I had a mild form of autism and now I see that I did!) I have been off of gluten and dairy for a few years now, and I would tell anyone with Asperger’s to go off of both of those COMPLETELY and see how they feel. If I have even the tiniest drop of either gluten or dairy, my brain is immediately 10 times worse. Coconut oil makes an incredible difference, too, in how my brain functions. When I have a few tablespoons of coconut oil during the day, my brain works and I feel at peace (instead of always being anxious and constantly struggling unsuccessfully to focus.) The difference is amazing.

  71. This post is really helping me understand my child better! We’ve been on this ADHD journey for 3 years and I’ve recently started researching dietary changes (Paleo) that would help his behaviour issues. I’m learning so much lately that I have notes scribbled everywhere of what type of supplements or essential oils I need to get hold of! Thank you for sharing your story and your experiences in such a real and relatable way. It’s helping me put all this info together in a way that I can get my head around it. God bless you and your family!

  72. Hi!
    I’m sooo happy I found your blog! I was going through some essential oils use ideas and run into it. And then I find this post and how you have a child with Aspergers. I have a daughter with the same diagnosis! Anyway, I am happy to read the insights you have on adrenal gland and autism connection. I never really red anything on the subject but I thought about it often. We run a very loud and energetic household, in a positive way. It’ s just the way I am and my daughter also picked up on it, I guess. And I was often thinking if I should be “keeping it low”, lessen the agitation for her… I would be really grateful if you would post more on the subject. Also, I started using essential oils on her to help her calm down and concentrate. Would be glad to hear about your positive oil combinations as well. Greeting from Slovenia, Tina

  73. Mrs.Momof6 says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog through Pinterest.

    I wanted to share with your our story. 6 1/2 years ago our third child was born, a daughter. She was a cranky baby, lots of crying and screaming. She didn’t sleep well, and she didn’t gain weight well. Long story short… she was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder before her 3rd birthday. I tried the Warbringer Brushing protocol, which seemed to give her some relief, but only helped for like 2 hours at a time. Well… I discovered the GAPS diet. I went full force right into it telling myself “I’ll give it a month, if I see results I stay the course”.

    Her change was night and day, she started expressing herself verbally and became less aggressive. It was a miracle! She no longer qualifies for her diagnosis, and on the worst days is like a child with ADHD. We did GAPS without cheating for 1.5 years. Then we slowly trickled off. Now we eat a Traditional Foods diet, with limited grains and sugars.

    My keyboard isn’t working well, so this isn’t a very detailed rendition of her drastic recovery. One thing that she was definitely struggling with was heavy metals. Her detox baths left the tub with a silver ring. At the time I wasn’t sure what that was… but I have since had trouble with mercury toxicity from my fillings… when I took a detox bath, I left that same silver ring. ICK!

    God was so gracious to us to show us an answer for our daughter. I tell everyone I meet about this diet. Feel free to email me if you want, I don’t follow any blogs really, so I might lose track of this place! Hope you have a great day!
    God bless!

    • Wow – thanks. We are making a new move w/ my son. not sure if it will be GAPS but we shall see. What kind of detox bath did you do? Thanks and blessings!

      • Mrs.Momof6 says:

        Hi! The reason the detox bath was so effective was because her body was DUMPING metals fast, due to the GAPS Intro Diet. We simply used 1lb of Epsom Salt to water up to her waist. The water was as warm as she could tolerate, which at that timp wasn’t much due to her sensory issues. Other things that are good detoxes are Bentonite Clay (very good for metals, becausp it not only draws them out, but absorbs them. Big mess in tub, not to be washed down drain!) *my keyboard is REALLY messed up, forgive all the typos. And Seaweed\, and apple cider vinegar, and baking soda. You can rotate these, giving one each night, for a twenty to thirty minute soak. Taking the baths lessens the load of detox on the liver and kidneys, and offers relief from the behavioral stresses that often occur during a powerful detox.

        I would really encourage you to just go full out with GAPS, they have had SO much success, we aren’t the only families who have seen this success. Here is an awesome resource that can make the journey alot easier. http://www.healthhomehappy.com/gaps-recipes She has a menu planner for the Intro, and for the FULL GAPS diet. They will save you alot of headache, they include complete shopping lists for a family of four, plus three meals a day, and recipes the recipes are written directly in the week plan, so you don’t have to go searching for recipes. It is a lifesaver.

        I hope you see a whole new son soon!

        • Thanks! I was already familiar w/ her recipes. Thanks much. We have issues though b/c my son has life threatening allergies to most nuts, dairy and egg. So it would be super tough.

          • Mrs.Momof6 says:

            Oh, I meant to point to the menu planners. Well anyway, it would be VERY hard to do GAPS with those allergies, but I have read about at least two other families that did it. There is a support forum for GAPS diet people on Yahoo… There are some people on there who have done it. Her menu plans won’t be much help to you, because she relies heavily on nuts and eggs.

            I think there is a blog written by a young lady… uhm… GUTSY, she has massive allergies. Check out her blog. This is her website: http://www.mygutsy.com/

            I hope you find some relief. God bless.

        • Mrs.momof6 I have heard of clay detox but not of the others you mentioned. What did it involve exactly and what amounts did you use. My son has sensory issues so I’m not sure if clay would be the way to go right now. Thanks

  74. I am not sure if this was mentioned already, I wasn’t able to read through every response. Has anyone tried raw milk or goat’s milk with their autistic child? I know there are stories from some people with leaky gut issues that did better on raw milk because of the enzymes and good bacteria that have helped them digest the milk better. I know one thing that really made a difference, our son loves hot dogs. We switched to nitrite/nitrate free hot dogs and his eczema disappeared! He is growing and doing well, but we are still unsure if he will ever live on his own. We pray for his salvation and walk with God as well. I agree with the low and slow very much as well. Low stress and slowing down life really helps him to be more regulated.

  75. In a few comments people commented that they had trouble sleeping. Perhaps you would benefit from checking out the book “The Mood Cure.” Another title for the book could be “Amino Acid Deficiencies Cured.” I had insomnia, and in reading the book was led to take 5htp. The insomnia disappeared immediately.

  76. Hi, I am curious about why you stopped Nutritional Balancing and
    what you are doing now. I have a twelve year old son with Asperger’s
    and am trying to heal his gut.

    • Hi there. Sorry I am so late getting back to you. Swamped. I had a thyroid issue come up and felt I needed more specialized attention. I would be happy to refer you to where I am going. I hope to post about it soon. Just email me at wholenewmom at gmail.

  77. Just discovered this website, and wondered if you’ve ever tried neurofeedback for your son’t autism? It’s a non-invasive treatment using computer images and electrodes that help the brain burn new pathways — they are using it for so many brain issues like ADD, anxiety, PTSD, sports injuries, and more. I was completely healed of chronic depression with neuro, and they are having some great success treating autism with it. A friend whose son has Asperger’s tried it, and said she attributes it to a jump in his reading scores in just a 6 month period. You can find out more about it at eeginfo.org, and eegspectrum.org. It’s an alternative treatment that has helped so many people, but it’s not getting the press it deserves. However, you can find some articles if you google it, and even the mainstream Psychology Today gave it a promising nod: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/spectrum-theory/201306/brainwave-neurofeedback-autism-can-it-help

  78. Jaynee way says:

    My son does not have autism but has attachment disorder due to early trauma and anxiety and behaviour problems. He can’t sleep without melatonin at night (not sure I want him on it forever) but adding high dose 9g of omega 3 to his diet has helped him a lot.

    • We are weaning off melatonin right now and trying new things. I should update soon with new info. I am not thrilled w/ it now either. I shd add that to the post – thanks!

  79. Malinda says:

    My question relates to different types of autism, and specifically with the asperger’s that both of my sons and husband have been diagnosed and that my f-n-l likely has as well. I have read much of the research with diets, leaky gut syndromes, etc., and its effect on autism. However, my f-n-l eats well (clean eating before it was ever called that) and still has this, and it has now been passed on to all the males in his lineage thus far. Have you done any research on genetic links to autism and their treatments? All three of my guys have also been diagnosed with and medicated for bipolar disorder (the boys were 8 and 9 years old when they underwent brain scanning to diagnose it). I have done much research but seem to have fallen flat on the genetic link when trying to find alternative treatments.

    • I don’t personally think that there is an autism gene, but I think their bodies might be vulnerable in the same way – so they all have leaky gut, and certain weaknesses. I might be wrong but I think autism is a very complex disorder w/ many causes and certain things the “throw one over the edge” so to speak. I hope that helps.

  80. And you think I’m strong cuz I live off grid?! You, lady, rock! Keep being your son’ s champion!!!

  81. Hi Adrienne, my mom sent me your Essential Oils showdown blog series and I just placed an order withNative American Nutritionals. My husband and I have been learning how to make essential oils and are delving into better understanding the science of how they work. Turns out I also work with Theresa Vernon; have been for two years. I have been reading that you are no longer following the nutritional balancing protocol and I’m very curious to hear what you are doing now. I’m not sure if I’ve missed the post about it.
    Thanks for the important work that you do!

  82. Thank you for such an informative blog. I’m hoping to move towards the GAPS diet. We have just been putting the “pieces together” in the past few months thinking our son sounds very typical of Asperger’s. We prayed, researched, prayed, got good advice, prayed some more, and came to the conclusion that for several reasons we should have him officially evaluated and diagnosed. Surprise, surprise – when I talked to the neuropsych’s office this morning, the young receptionist told me that “since my son is eighteen, then we can’t make an appointment for him. He would have to initiate the evaluation.” Gee – that was frustrating. After feeling some affirmation at understanding why we probably have had more than normal challenges with one of our sons due to what looks like Asperger’s, and asking for help, they tell us, “sorry – we can’t help you.” Incidentally, just last week I dropped $190.00 to have his visual processing checked (to see if he would need vision therapy and/or if that’s the reason he’s very afraid to drive while practicing with his permit). The eye doc’s office gladly made the appointment. I also made his dental appointment (where they found what looks like possibly candida on the inside of his mouth), and both these docs give me all the info. and still keep me in the loop…..and rightly so since he just graduated from school this past June and is still totally dependent on us. Apparently, our lovely, anti-parental rights government has adopted this brilliant idea that once a person turns eighteen, somehow magically that person’s officially an adult. We remind our children that they are “adults-in-training”, trainees have a trainer, and we (and other responsible full-fledged adults) are the trainers. So anyway – I suppose that it’s acceptable for me to make an appointment to check my son’s visual processing, but it’s not okay for me to make an appointment to check is cognitive processing – – hmmm…. My first reaction to finding out that he would have to initiate eval/dx. was that of frustration, but I have to remember that God is sovereign and nothing takes Him by surprise. So – I’m really not just venting; I do have reasons to write here: 1. Considering that I’m probably not the only mother who’s in this boat (I’ve read that many folks with Asperger’s are not diagnosed until young adulthood), do you know of anyone else who was in this predicament and what they did to find help? 2. I wanted to share with other parents that even though homeschooling was challenging on so many levels at times, I would not trade that experience for anything. I believe that providing our children (especially ones that fall outside of the bell curve of “neurotypical”) benefit from a hands-on, uniquely-tailored education which can release them from a. an artificial learning environment (the outside world – even overseas – was our classroom), b. being confined to relating to other children only his own age, and c. being subjected to group think/behavior. The main impetus for us to homeschool (parent-directed, privately-funded) was one of Biblical conviction for us; however, the ancillary benefits that ensued – too numerous to number – were and are a bonus. I did have a gentle discussion with my son about our concerns with him (which surprisingly seemed to go very well), but he’s insisting that he does not need evaluation. I prayed for weeks about how to approach him when I’d have to explain why we’re going to a neuropsych, not knowing until today that I couldn’t make the app’t. At this point, it’s in the Lord’s hands completely (where I guess it always was anyway). If you wouldn’t mind praying, I’d sure appreciate it. Prov. 3:5-6 P.S. just some encouragement…even with all of our son’s challenges – he was able to graduate from high school with some college credits from taking an online university course his senior year. We’ve also noticed that he’s benefiting from an “Adult-In-Training Contract” (with our consistent enforcement of breaches) rather than “whahhhh, whahhh, whah”. Oh – one last thing…let’s remind each other than our children’s hearts are so much more important that any other thing – disabilities, their future “successes”, etc….Praying God’s blessings on you and yours.

    • Thanks for your kind comments. Hmmmmm….I have a friend up the road who has a son who is college age w/ Asperger’s. I would perhaps suggest contacting a group she used to work with -The Gray Center. They might have some ideas for you. I would love to hear if they are able to help you. http://www.thegraycenter.org/

    • I have found a new therapy called brain core therapy – neurofeedback. google it. it is a God send. My son is twenty and I do all the leg work. Of course, I do let him sign himself in to the appointment, but I didn’t have to.

  83. Lill Birnie says:


    I have 3 children, one girl with severe autism, one boy with asperger and ADHD and my youngest boy have the same as our daughter but not as severe.
    As all my children have it i suspect it may be genetically as my mom had asperger and my husbands sister have to boys with asperger and severe autism.

    I dont think any of my children will ever be able to take care of them self but i hope and prey they will get better. I have talked and talked to doctors about putting them on diets but they say that if it is genetically it will not help – we have put our daughter on a wheat free diet as she has had so much stomach troubles since she started to eat food as a baby.- and it has helped so much with her stomich, so we are really glad for that. She is 13 years now and this is the first year she does not need to wear a diaper – our yongest son still wears them (he is 9) . But our middle son with ADHD and asperger is the one who is hardest to deal with as he has so much anger.and do not cope to interact with other kids – he always fights with kids at school so he dont have any friends and all the other kids think he is weird. I dont know how many times i have been called from school to come and get him because they cant handle him.

    I just hope and prey my children will be better.

    • Hi there. I am so so sorry to hear how hard this has been for you. It is a tough thing. I like hearing people say that autism is a gift to learn to live with but they have NO idea how hard it can be. Have you tried dairy and sugar free? I found the sugar to be HUGE.

      We are doing a lot more w/ healing now and it seems to be helping. Blessings to you and yours.

  84. Hi Everyone,

    I am a pre-OT student and I am preparing a research paper on the calming effects of nature on kids with Autism and PDD. For many reasons I think that being in nature–and soothing natural interiors in calm places– can greatly help kids with Autism and PDD. I am looking for your own stories of your kids. Have you noticed a change in your child’s behavior after being in nature?

    Much thanks!
    Rebecca H

    • I think that’s a very good thing to do.

    • Rebecca, I have never replied to one of these, but liked this post, and feel that calm time and time spent outdoors has really helped my son more than any diet/ vitamin intervention (although I am a serious believer in probiotics and healthy gut). I believe my son is ” on the spectrum” for aspergers, although we have never had him diagnosed. We eat an extrememely clean Weston Price style diet, but i do feel that he has made the most gains by both being outdoors and we have found a few sports that he is thriving at individually. We also moved to a tiny town in the mountains of Idaho, he has a tiny class, and much less sensory distractions that most kids have living in a city. When my son was about eight, I was struggling as to whether I should have him diagnosed, not sure if I wanted a label on him. That summer we got him a kayak, and this quirky kid who couldn’t focus on anything and was so nervous would get into a kayak and be normal and focused. We did a seven day raft trip in Utah, and he was normal and thriving. The following winter, he wanted to learn to telemark ski. He had been skiing since age three, but was not learning. His younger siblings we more advanced than he was for some reason. Both my husband and I telemark ski, and he wanted to try it. He is very passive and not very vocal, so we saw it as another opportunity for him to learn an individual sport and thrive. The first day telemarking, it clicked, and he was amazing at nine years old. It was pretty neat to see this kid who was on a basketball team looking so nervous, rocking on the bench, thriving at a sport that is really hard for most adults. He is now fifteen, and seems to have matured enough that it is not very noticeable. He is doing incredible stuff in the outdoors. We do multi day raft trips on the rivers in Idaho, and he rows his own raft through class 4 rapids. He is on a big mountain ski team as the only telemarker, and the ski hill shot some footage of him last year for an ad. He still has some nervous scratching mannerisms, and prefers to stay in the car if we have to go into a crowded store. I am happy that I never put a label on him and love that we took our mountain hippie approach for therapy. The above article is a good one. A slower pace and decreasing stress is essential for everyone. My best friend is a pediatric OT. One of her most recent revelations in working with kids with autism is how stressed out the moms are. They have a stressful week of making therapy appointments, preparing the perfect organic meals, living the rat race, etc. Maybe the reason for the rise in autism is the crazy pace of life we all live. I know moving to a small town and having a slower pace has helped my some thrive. A few years ago, we spent a few days in Salt Lake City, and my son regressed so much in one day. He was so stressed out, had tunnel vision, and was actually rocking and counting in the back seat of the car. These were all mannerisms that he had before we moved to the small town. So, yes Rebecca I think being outdoors and a slower pace would be an excellent topic to study more in depth as you go through your OT training.

  85. Karen Thomas says:

    We went down a very similar path, and in the end, found a combination of diet and supplementation worked well for our son. It’s great to read that you had similar results!!

  86. I am in the beginning chapter of what could be a very long road for a child who is on a spectrum (no diagnosis yet). I have been doing my research besides diet I am finding this supplement that called NAC (N-acetylcysteine) and was wondering if anyone here came across this or tried it and what was your experience.

  87. Hi Adrienne! I have read a lot of your writings and research but never on autism. My brother and his thirty year old son who has autism now lives with me and may for quite a while before they move on to find their own home. Is this something I can still do to help my nephew even tho he is not a little boy anymore. He is very intelligent but still has a part of him that is still like a little boy; mostly on the way thinks about a lot of things. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Joanne Dudley

    • Hi and thanks for writing. What part were you wondering about doing w/ the boy? The “slowing down” part? Of course, it can work for many – I think even I do better when things are more calm:).

  88. Julie Clemmons says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK…I don’t know you well yet, but I can already tell I’m gonna love you girl!!! You have helped in more ways than you can imagine. You, my Sister, ROCK!!!! JC

  89. Have you tried brain core therapy – neurofeed back

    • I have not but I have heard about it.

      • Hi Adrienne,

        Thank you for creating such an informative site with your thoughts shared.

        All the things you’ve done for your son are good suggestions to other parents of children with developmental disorders.
        The last mentioned part – “slowing down” is actually the first technique of RDI (Relationship Development Intervention). I guess you know this intervention method as you are in US. In case you don’t, it’s advisable to find out about it to learn useful techniques to get your child interact better. And if you are familiar with OT and Essential Oils treatments, you may be interested in MNRI (Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration).
        I am the mother of a boy on the spectrum in Vietnam. I have just known about these 2 methods for more than half a year but I have seen both work. These 2 methods also support each other well. I highly recommend them to you. Just take some steps further on our long road ahead.

        Best wishes to you and your family!

  90. So beautifully written. Low and slow is such a nurturing goal. Also, I wanted to share I have an a cappella lullaby album he may (and you!) may enjoy to promote relaxation. It is called Darling Lullabies https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/darling-lullabies/id893354846

    Hugs – Lisa

  91. Jennifer Dyer says:

    I really appreciate what you’ve said here.. I hear about so many cures–just avoid certain foods or use certain supplements and there’ll be huge difference. Some have helped, others not for us, but anything natural we can use to help is a step forward. One step at a time, right?I wondered as I read this if you’ve ever tried diatomeceous earth for candida overgrowth? I’ve used it on myself with amazing results, but have heistated to use it on my daughter. I wondered if you or any of your other readers have tried it?

    Thanks again for the great info. I’ve been through six of your posts tonight, but my daughter keeps coming in to get me. I’ll be back!

    • Hi Jennifer. I haven’t tried that. Interesting. We were just going to use it for ants!!

      It is very hard. We have tried so much and spent so much money……….I’ll write more soon hopefully.

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