Though there are some individuals who do not respond to these methods, many children on the autistic spectrum have made improvements in their relationship to this world after making these changes.

There have been many questions regarding autism, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), how to treat it, how to manage, how it begins, and any other pertinent information. To avoid confusion, autism and PDD are the same “disease.” Health professionals now refer to this as the autistic spectrum, with high-functioning autistics being classified as PDD. According to information on the UNC Department of Psychiatry's website, symptoms of autism include:

  • Severe delays in language development.
  • Severe delays in understanding social relationships.
  • Inconsistent patterns of sensory responses.
  • Uneven patterns of intellectual functioning.
  • Marked restriction of activity and interests.

Basically, “autism is a developmental disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. This results in severe problems of social relationships, communication, and behavior. Individuals with autism have to painstakingly learn normal patterns of speech and communication, and appropriate ways to relate to people, objects, and events, in a similar manner to those who have had a stroke.”1

Years ago, there was very little cure or success rate with autistic children coming out of their own small world. However, through the work of some pioneering doctors and parents, there are new avenues for therapy that have brought a cure for some, with hope and betterment for others.

Yeast: The first line of defense is to rid the autistic person’s body of yeast. All sugar is taken out of the diet, as are most sweeteners (honey, molasses), and most fruit. A sign of a systemic yeast problem is “grazing” or eating a full meal, then going to the kitchen to eat some more. The person is always hungry and never satisfied, especially craving sweets. For our situation, we chose herbal therapies before the prescription medicine: olive leaf extract, Candida Cleanse (with walnut hull, grapefruit seed extract and caprylic acid), before antifungal medicines (Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, Fluconazole, Nystatin).

Gluten-free / Casein-free (GFCF) Diet: A large percentage of autistic children have opiates in their urine, without being on the drug opium. Through research and testing doctors have found that the molecules of gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) are similar to opium molecules, and some autistic children’s metabolisms are translating the gluten and casein molecules into opiates. (This is a very simplified explanation of the theory.)

The wonderful news is that once removed from the source of opiates, many autistic children become reconnected to the world. They make better eye contact, speech improves, reality is more within their grasp. There are books which cover these concepts in more detail (see bottom of article for resources), with great recipes for whole meals, desserts and snacks, to make at home.

The diet doesn’t have to be as varied as we are used to, and homemade bread is so much better than the store-bought fare – especially for gluten free bread. Be forewarned that most of these children have self-limited themselves to a bread/pasta/milk/fruit diet – pizza is usually their favorite food – but with persistence they will adapt.

Vitamin Therapy: The main vitamins these children need are magnesium, calcium and B-6 – and in megadoses (please research and consult with your doctor to advise on dosages). Super Nu-Thera is a specially formulated vitamin/mineral mixture, used specifically for autistic children. (1-888-KIRKMAN; http://www.autism.com/ari/liquid.html)