Webinar on Recovering from Autism

If you liked my last guest post on healing from Autism spectrum, then you may want to check out this webinar where the author, Beth Secosky, will be outlining recovery strategies for Autism.

Register for and read about the webinar here.

Onward to Health,

When I first started writing, I read a lot about how diet can help with neuro-behavioral conditions. The stories were (and are) everywhere, but I never wrote about it, because I had not crossed paths with that world–until I started coaching. Once I started coaching, I started meeting parents of children with Autism who were treating their children with diet and other gut healing modalities; these were many of the same modalities I was using to heal from colitis. So, I started learning, and last year I had the opportunity to speak at Autism One, which is the largest conference on Autism in the U.S. That is where I met Beth whose story I bring to you today. Beth, a health coach from North Carolina, helped heal her son from Autism using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I hope her story can be an encouragement to you that diet does work wonders.

Onward to Beth’s Story:

SCD and Autism – Miracles Can Happen

Hello! I am a health coach and colleague of Matt’s. Matt and I met recently at a conference and learned of our shared love of SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.)   Matt was so excited by the story of my son’s recovery from autism using SCD, he asked me to write this guest blog with our story of recovery and hope for autism. So here’s the story…

When our then two-year-old son’s teacher asked if the school psychologist could attend our semi-annual parent-teacher conference, I didn’t think twice. Our son had some unusual behaviors she had been observing in the classroom. As the meeting started, the psychologist didn’t mince words opening the meeting with, “Your son has Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism.” WHAT? “We can teach him some rote skills such as making eye contact, and he is so high functioning, he’ll do well. It’s possible he could even have a job and get married someday.” WHAT!

This couldn’t be true. Neither my husband nor I had anything like autism in either of our families. This couldn’t be happening!

Although he had a large vocabulary, he was unable to use language effectively. He spun in circles, stared at objects for long periods of time, couldn’t engage with other children appropriately, was constantly rocking and moving, made uncontrollable noises, became frustrated with transitions, and was sensitive to sound.

Worst of all were the violent tantrums that sometimes lasted for hours. For example, once I accidentally broke a piece off of one his Lego creations, and he cried, screamed and hit for hours. I learned to watch him closely around babies, because he couldn’t tolerate their lack of predictability. He would step on their fingers and or push them.

We found our son the speech and occupational therapy the psychologist recommended. We treated him for years, but saw little improvement if any.

I had read that autism is caused by gut problems, and diet helps – a lot. A proper diet reduces or eliminates gut inflammation which causes the neurological inflammation that leads to autistic behaviors. The science made sense to me. We started with a gluten-free/dairy-free diet. It gave him little relief, but I believed in the science so I kept it up for ten months.

Then, one week after he had a particularly violent tantrum, I decided that I couldn’t go on with the status quo. I had to make something more happen. They say when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Sure enough, as soon as I vowed to improve my son’s life, I met a mom who had recovered her daughter using SCD!

 

The thought of SCD, a diet free of any starchy, sweet or processed foods, was overwhelming. What would we eat if we couldn’t have cereal or potato chips or rice? It took me months to get up the nerve and the fortitude to give SCD a try with my whole family.

Why my whole family? First, my typically developing daughter and I also had health issues that promised to respond well to SCD. Second, I couldn’t bear the thought of restricting my son’s food while the rest of us continued eating pizza and ice cream. That would be like continuing to keep liquor in the home of a recovering alcoholic. Plus, I am convinced to this day that SCD is an amazingly healthy diet for everyone because it eliminates junk food, foods with low nutrient density, and foods that mess with blood sugar.

So, I took off work one Friday to lay the groundwork for SCD using a great book I found at SCDLifestyle.com. Our family started SCD on Saturday. We called it a one month test.

Within a week the miracles started happening! On day two of SCD, my 6 year-old son told me he felt “stupendous.” He probably didn’t remember a day in his life without the severe stomach pain that had plagued him. I was starting to realize that the tantrums may have been triggered by seemingly insignificant issues, but the real cause was gut pain and feeling plain rotten. SCD was making my baby feel better!

At the end of week 1, I knew we were on the right track. We had a neighbor over for dinner, and my son walked right up to her and looked her straight in the eye and chatted with her. I said to her, “OMG, am I crazy or did he just make total eye contact with you and chat with you!” I started pinching myself; it was almost too good to be true.

Then, I looked over to my neighbor’s baby who was lying on the floor. My son was lying on the floor next to the baby smiling and saying “goo goo gaa gaa.” It was such a momentous moment! I remember my neighbor saying, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.” It was all so surreal, I was in shock. I couldn’t cry.

At the end of our “one month test,” we kept right on going. Within 3 months, he was performing so well in his mainstream classroom, the school notified us that he was no longer eligible for special education services. It was the happiest day of my life!

It’s now been three years since we started the SCD diet, and my son never asks to go off it. He remembers the pain he experienced before and doesn’t ever want to go there again.   Having to take his own food to parties and eating differently than everyone else is a small price to pay for being in control of his own behavior, feeling good and being free of pain. Plus, he is proud of his healthy food choices.

According to the ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist), he is now considered “recovered” from autism! An ATEC of 30 or less is considered mild autism. An ATEC score of 10 or less is considered not autistic. Four years ago when we started the GFCF diet, his score was 75. Today, it is a 9!

He does still have Attention Deficit Disorder and dysgraphia, and we continue to work with integrative physicians to find the last pieces of his health/behavior puzzle. We have also worked with a Relationship Development Intervention therapist (RDI) who helped us give him the developmental skills he missed during his first years of life. His ADHD and other more minor challenges are slowly resolving.

Thanks to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, herbs/supplements and RDI, his future is bright and full of POSSIBILITIES! What hopes and dreams would you reach for if you could recover your (or your child’s) health? It’s time to give SCD a try. It will improve the quality of your life immeasurably.

BethSecosky is a health coach with POSSIBILITIES Health Coaching. She helps parents whose children have Autism Spectrum Disorder eliminate their child’s symptoms by providing information about strategies that work and providing support, focus and accountability. With Beth’s support, her clients’ children are able to live a more normal life – and the rest of the family can too.For a FREE copy of Beth’s “1-Page Blueprint for Healing My Son and Others From Autism,” click HERE.

Bread Squares with Jam

I’ve been taking a little mental health break from the blog for the past month, and I will probably continue to do so at least until January; however, I wanted to share this with you. I just couldn’t resist.

In the beginning of November, I had my first successful non-SCD experiment: Sprouted Wheat. Why sprouted wheat? Because I hate nut flour, and because my elimination diet showed that my body doesn’t tolerate nuts right now anyway; because I love bread; and because I have generally been without symptoms for long enough now that I was willing to try an excursion, an SCD excursion to be precise. I wanted to try it because sprouts (not SCD legal) are super-foods, and because, after 2.5 years without it, I wanted some bread dammit.

So my wife and I sprouted some wheat berries, dried them at low temperature, ground them into flour, and made a simple soda bread: (sprouted) wheat flour, water, salt, baking soda, and a squidge of honey. I made it like a flat bread, only about 1/2″ thick and cut it into squares. It’s great with homemade jam. I tried these bread squares with homemade jam for a week in the beginning of November and… Eureka! Turns out my body (including my sickly colon) loves sprouted wheat! I’ve been eating modest amounts of it for a month now with no adverse effects. So in celebration of my first non-SCD food victory, I have written a poem that I’d like to share with you. It’s both in celebration of my success with sprouted wheat, and a tribute to my favorite author. I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the author as you read the poem. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I call it “Bread Squares with Jam.” Read the rest of this entry

Note: I couldn’t have written this post, nor could I have tweaked my diet to see results without closely tracking my diet and tracking my symptoms.

 

In this post, I will share yet more evidence that diet is essential to the management and treatment of inflammatory bowel (Crohn’s and Colitis). It is also essential, I believe, to the management of IBS, and many other idiopathic (of unknown origin) conditions, but I don’t have time for that here.

I have been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for a little over two years now. As I have alluded to in past posts, the diet has gotten me most of the way (80-90%) back to normal—but it didn’t get me fully back to normal.

For two years, I’ve been saying that the SCD, while the foundational component of my treatment, is not the only treatment I will need to fully heal. Today, I may change my tune some…Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry

SCD Lifestyle Interview: Personalize your SCD

Diet is the foundation of healing from inflammatory conditions.

For inflammatory bowel (Crohn’s and Colitis), celiac, IBS, GERD, and other digestive issues, dietary changes are foundational in the healing process; no treatment will work long-term without dietary changes. However, with proper dietary adjustments, you can recover (heal) from these conditions by creating an internal environment that is conducive to healing. For some, diet alone alleviates their symptoms, for others diet is just the beginning of their healing journey; either way, you cannot heal from IBD without changing your diet. I can’t stress that enough.

I’ve introduced the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in other posts. Get a primer on the diet here. If you haven’t begun to use diet to address your bowel dis-ease, then now is the time to start. If you are struggling with diet, the SCD is the most credible dietary change for IBD that I know (GAPS being a close second). It takes time and discipline, but the rewards (of a healthy, medication free life) are immeasurable.

The Podcast

Today I introduce a podcast with Jordan Reasoner and Steve Wright, from SCD Lifestyle. Both Steve and Jordan have used the SCD to heal from their digestive ailments, and have since written a book, a guide, which walks people through the first 90 days of the SCD, in a safe, systematic fashion. Using their methods of personalizing the SCD, Jordan and Steve have coached people to significant health improvements. Read the rest of this entry

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