Does this sound like your child?
“He cries, screams or tantrums or is angry uncontrollably for no known reason for long periods of time.”
“He becomes VERY upset when told no or things don’t go his way.”
This is exactly what some parents have told me about their child.
And how does it affect the family?
“We revolve our lives around special food, being mindful about activities that are good or bad for him, causing much stress and lost sleep researching solutions.”
“Many of these behaviors make it very difficult to think, and stay calm and rational in the household.”
While it’s challenging when your child goes into full tantrum mode, it can be made more so by not having a clue why – when it seems like it’s out of the blue. And so you start walking on eggshells, doing everything possible for your child to NOT have that meltdown.
As I stated in my previous blog on hyperactivity, we humans rarely do something for no reason.
Why do you think your child has these behaviors?
You know your child better than anyone. But if you can’t think of what is at the bottom of the behaviors, read on.
Have you stopped to consider that it could actually be a biological reason, some kind of discomfort happening inside the body? If you have, good for you! If you haven’t, brain inflammation resulting from disrupted biochemistry in and between cells, is likely the at the core of the issue.
Studies link all of the following toxins as causative factors in autism and brain inflammation, which halts proper brain development.
- Aluminum found in common childhood injections 
- Fluoride found in many public drinking water supplies 
- Mercury 
- Viral infection or injection in mom while pregnant 
- Flam retardants like PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether) 
- Food chemicals called excitotoxins, because they stimulate the brain adversely, such as glutamate 
- Environmental neurotoxins of lead, cadmium, arsenic and other metals 
- Exposure of mom while pregnant, to environmental toxins and maternal stress 
All disease begins in the gut, so said Hippocrates. And modern science is proving that to be true, with the most recent discovery being the role our microbiome plays in our overall health. Research points to behavioral manifestations in kids on the autism spectrum as a result of GI problems , while GI symptoms in children with autism are linked to a greater use of oral antibiotics early in life.
We can see the gut is all important! How is your child’s gut?
If your child is pushing on his belly, holds her belly, has a distended belly, has foul smelling gas or stools, or is weepy, clingy, cries for no reason or is quick to anger, consider helping your child’s digestive system.
I would begin by choosing a good probiotic and/or adding fermented foods like sauerkraut and dairy-free kefir.
Yes, genetics are also at play, both those inherited and those affected by the environment, also known as epigenetics. Some children have genetic variations in those genes that control the detoxification process. This makes it more difficult to get rid of regular cellular waste as well as toxins your child has been exposed to.
Genetics is a whole topic unto itself and I won't go into it here, even though I studied it and was involved in the sequencing of the human genome! Gene expression changes based on the environment. Fixing your child's gut by changing his diet will begin to have an effect on the microbes in the gut as well as the genes they – and your child – express.
There’s no one cause
I see again and again in my clinical practice – underlying biochemical and systemic issues that, when added together, create the state of autism. Or at least create lots of dysfunction inside the body, particularly the digestive system, brain and many types of cells.
I think researchers are looking for that one thing that causes autism, like genetics. But after listening to hundreds of doctors and researchers speak at conferences, trainings, the research, and my own clinical experience, I’ve found there is no one thing.
There is no one magic pill to help with autism.
Autism is a state in the body created by many different disrupted parts. And all the behaviors are a result of these parts not working well on their own or together.
Can the autism behaviors change?
If dysfunction in the body is corrected, do the autism behaviors change?
The body is changing all the time based on input from the environment, from the food that enters the body to the environment around us. The brain is able to change too!
Nothing has been more inspiring to me than the transformation of Arthur Boorman, Gulf War Veteran, shown below.
I learned early on in my yoga practice, “You’re never too old, never too sick, never too bad, it's never too late, to start again.” – Bikram Choudary
I know that if this man and many others can overcome issues in the body, your child can too!
How long does it take?
This is the million dollar question!
Like Arthur in the video above, the transformation didn’t happen overnight. The same is true for your child or anyone with autism or any other chronic illness.
First, it is absolutely possible to shift. Believe this.
Second, it takes time to unravel all that’s happening in the body. How much time depends on the person’s body and lifetime exposures and experiences.
Where do I start?
The best place to start is with an assessment.
- What is actually underlying your child’s behaviors?
- What is causing the neuroinflammation?
- What is in the gut creating issues?
- Are there food allergies or sensitivities?
- Are there nutrient deficiencies?
- Are there chronic infections?
These can be done through diagnostic testing. Muscle testing, or energy testing, can also be used to determine what is in the body, where it is and what will best eliminate it.
Please work with a specialist who can help you determine the underlying issues at play. By working with an experienced professions, you will end up saving time and money as you go through the process of helping your child!
Once you have some understanding of what is contributing to the dysfunction, you can correct it. It's now that we proceed in a step-wise fashion to shift the chemicals, the biochemistry, the cellular connectivity, the brain, the gut – and the behaviors automatically change.
Stop adding challenges for the body.
Step 1. The first thing to do, whether you have assessments or not, is to change your child’s diet to one of whole, organic foods. You need to take away the stressors that keep putting more stress on, and toxicity in, to the body. Keep in mind that what is one person’s fuel can be another person’s toxin.
A diet of gluten free, dairy free and soy free is a great start! Eighty percent of kids who do this start to act differently, even within a couple of days!
Step 2. Stop putting other toxins into/onto the body. This can be a slow process; take the time you need. You’ll want to go through your house and get rid of all chemicals that could impact your child. Start with what you put directly on his or her body: shampoo, lotions, soaps, other skin care products.
Step 3. Eliminate toxic chemicals like air fresheners, chemical cleaners and home pesticides and herbicides, like RoundUp. Look for and eliminate mold in the house. The next step is to eliminate products with fire retardants, glues and off-gassing chemicals (like new furniture or laminates, flooring with toxic glue, anything plastic-y smelling).
Even some closed bottles of cleaners sitting under the sink or in the garage can affect a sensitive child.
Make sure elimination is regular.
Step 4. Make sure your child is pooping 1-4 times each day, a solid, formed snake-like stool. If this isn’t what your child’s stool looks like, your child needs help with constipation. Or perhaps your child goes too many times each day, and has runny stools. The gut microbiome needs some help. Probiotics can be very useful here!
Step 5. Your child’s drainage must be flowing. Drain means to empty, cause a liquid to flow out of. The liquids that flow in your child’s body either carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells – the blood – or carry waste and toxins away from cells to the liver to be processed and eliminated – the lymph.
The lymphatic system must be flowing well. And all the organs that where lymph flows, like the liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive tract, must be open and flowing also. I find this to be a KEY reason why autism behaviors persist, even with a clean diet, supplements and the many hours of therapy each week.
This is exactly where we work with children to have the greatest impact on behaviors.
Clean out the backlog of waste.
Step 6. After the drainage systems are open, and only then, can true detoxification occur. Stores of toxins leave the cells, are processed and then eliminated through the stool.
These are main steps, which each contain little baby steps. If not done in the right order, the right timing, behaviors could actually get worse! I've seen many parents' frustration that their child backslides when detoxification begins, because they have not done the right steps to prepare the body. Or parents are afraid to detoxify based on the bad results other parents share.
I can guarantee that if you take these steps, your child’s behaviors will shift so much! And you will see who your child truly is underneath all the behaviors. If you are ready to take on helping your child at a truly foundational level, with guidance throughout the process, please reach out to us. This is what we do all day, each week, year after year.
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- Arthur Boorman, Disabled Veteran, Walks Again After Discovering Yoga, Huffpost, Tara Kelly, May 4, 2012