At 4 years old, Susan’s son Ben was diagnosed with Autism. After hearing the upsetting news Susan recalls thinking, “everyone knew autism was a lifelong disorder and couldn’t be cured.”
The family was devastated, until they discovered there was in fact a way to help Ben’s autism. The journey to the improvement, however, was long and consisted of a lot of trial and error. The different treatments they tried included: biomedical interventions, speech therapy, occupational therapy and more. These approaches were not the solution for Ben.
Ben started to improve with a home-based child-centered social-relational program called the Son-Rise Program, but the biggest factor for helping Ben’s autism was his diet.
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Maria Rickert Hong, author of Almost Autism: Recovering Children From Sensory Processing Disorder, explains that a gluten-free, dairy-free diet helps children with neurodevelopment disorders. She explains that the gut and the brain are connected. “Most of these kids have gut dysbiosis — an imbalance of good versus bad bacteria, like having too many weeds in your garden. When you have that, the body’s immune system is off.”
The Change in Ben
Susan put her son on an organic, gluten and casein free diet. This diet helped with the gastrointestinal issues that are linked to autism. “As many as 70 percent of children with autism have gastrointestinal issues at some point during childhood or adolescence — and diarrhea, food sensitivity and constipation can cause extreme discomfort, leading to irritability, and erratic or withdrawn behavior.”
The family quickly moved Ben to a Body Ecology Diet, an anti-yeast diet high in grain-like seeds such as amaranth, quinoa, millet and buckwheat. This diet switch helped Ben immediately. He calmed down and began making eye contact. Now, eight years after his initial diagnosis, Ben is more empathetic, “frequently saying ‘I love you’ to his mother, his father and sister.” Don’t allow your child’s initial diagnosis of autism deter you; let Susan’s story teach you that there is hope!
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