Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You May Not Believe It...

"Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Psalm 37:3
"...verily thou shalt be fed."  That sounds like a wonderful promise to me; one that I have clung to many days through this time.  There are things that I have learned through this experience, but one that I feel that I have had a crash course in (with many tests!) is diet

What does autism have to do with diet?  Just almost everything.  It plays such a big part in the health of a child that it is regarded as a therapy, and the very first intervention.  Wikipedia defines a therapy as, "the attempted remediation of a health problem; a treatment."  Why would a diet be considered a treatment for the autism spectrum disorders?

I found this excellent explanation at the first place I googled: http://www.glutensolutions.com/autism.htm

"Connection between gluten-free, casein-free diets (gfcf) and autism.

Briefly, gluten is a protein, and so is casein. Gluten is a protein fraction found in all wheat, rye, barley, and most oat products. Casein is a protein fraction found in all dairy products. To most Autistic children, gluten and casein are the equivalent of poison. They leak into the gut, undigested, and attach to the opiate receptors of the autistic's brain. Essentially, many autistic children are "drugged" on wheat and milk products, as if they were on a morphine drip.

Although parents have been reporting a connection between autism and diet for decades, there is now a growing body of research that shows that certain foods seem to be affecting the developing brains of some children and causing autistic behaviors. This is not because of allergies, but because many of these children are unable to properly break down certain proteins.
Researchers in England, Norway, and at the University of Florida had previously found peptides (breakdown products of proteins) with opiate activity in the urine of a high percentage of autistic children. Opiates are drugs, like morphine, which affect brain function. These findings have recently been confirmed by researchers at Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. The two main offenders seem to be gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, rye and barley) and casein (milk protein.)"

I'll add one more protein that I learned of from Dr. Devin Houston of Houston Enzymes, and that is a morphine from the heme protein, which is found in red blood cells specifically in red meat. 

As James was growing up, I realized that he was a lot different than my other two children in many ways.  He was beautiful, (still is) and,  although very tempermental at times, he was a very happy little boy.  I overlooked so many things until it was absolutely unavoidable because he seemed so happy.

Would I have ever linked his behavior to food?  Only if  the Lord put the evidence right before my eyes--thank you, Lord!  Looking back now, I can see it clearly.  I especially remember when we would go out to eat at a restaurant.  James would eat a few bites of a very limited selection, then he would get down and stand next to our booth or table for the rest of the meal.  He was wound up like a yo-yo that you had a hard time reeling in--he could not be still.  He had such a charming smile, however, that you had a really hard time stopping his activity. 

Something else James really loved to do before his change of diet was to go to the front of the church at the end of the service and lead some of our girls in several rounds of the hymn, "Halleluia, Thine the Glory," in lots of different voices.  It was hilarious at the time.  Now I look back in disbelief,  realizing that he had such a great time because he was essentially high on drugs instead of being a fun-loving, healthy boy. We called him "fun James," and he had the characteristic actions of someone that was under the influence. He would have a great time...until it was wearing off. Then he would become irrational, angry, and even abusive from the withdrawals. Of course, most people would not recognize the behavior if they were not able to see the whole cycle. Instead, it was viewed as "hyperactivity," and we were viewed as oversensitive.

I will share more of these stories as they come to me, but now I want to give you an assignment: watch for these children!  They can be helped! There are more and more of them everyday, and they don't have to look, or be, an autism spectrum child to react to these proteins.  They can be, "neurotypical," or what we would call normal.  As I said before, I would have never connected food to behavior, but I can recognize a reaction in my children now quickly.   There is a build-up of opiates in these children that affects their actions and attitudes all day every day.  But at every new "dose," there is an increase in aberrant behavior.  Notice bad behaviors; keep a food journal.

Some of the things that the gluten and casein would cause in James:

*reduced eye contact/attention
*slow/slurred speech
*inability to sit still
*hand spinning/flapping
*sweating (due to food allergies)
*general disobedience-unable to share/self-focused
*falling down often, running into things
*running away from us/away from the house

Not all kids exhibit these same behaviors, and some will have others.  James had some quirks that I remember and have heard of with some other ASD kids, like seeing tigers when he ingested these proteins, and having an over-abundant love of Thomas the Train Engine. 

Keep in mind that adults can react to these proteins, also, and when in this manner it culminates as a mind issue such as schizophrenia, paranoia, or some type of personality disturbance.  It would be disturbing to be on a morphine drip 24/7, wouldn't it? 

Not all kids are helped as much as mine with diet, that is why it is called the autism "puzzle."  There are many pieces to put together and mend.  There are other diets and food reactions that make a huge difference in the behavior and attitude of a child.  I'll talk about one that made a huge difference in my nephew, Will's, life and learning next called the Feingold Diet.

Remember that food is not the problem--just a symptom of things that need to be helped.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vaccination Infatuation

I wrote this to one of my friends on facebook and decided to share.

Before I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mother, I was a medical technologist/research scientist working in a molecular genetics laboratory at UT Southwestern Medical in Dallas. I love immunology! I love all of the things I’ve learned about these amazing bodies our Lord created. There came a time, though, when that "possible link" referred to between shots and autism became a definite reality in our lives, as well as many others. That's when it hits home: you lose the greater good-herd immunity mindset and focus on the little individual faces and their precious individual lives. When they’re unable to communicate, when they hurt everyday, when your hopes of who they are to become suddenly crumble into a confused mess, you are only concerned for that one. Each child is priceless!

This is to anyone who will read: is it just the vaccinations that cause a regression? No! Any thinking person understands this, thus the debate. If every child that received a vaccination became autistic, there would be no argument, but that’s not the case. However--it does not mean that it does not happen to some, or that it does not cause a break-down in immunity that will cause problems later down the road. So many things come into play—ability to detoxify, metal load, gut health, environmental exposures, etc. There are papers upon papers that teach you why and how this happens, and studies to prove it. There is research by reputable doctors/scientists published—mostly performed because they had the misfortune of losing a loved-one to autism. Scientific theory is a “well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.” These facts have unfortunately been confirmed over and over through repeat analysis by folks who didn’t even know they were part of the experiment. It’s all there—we just have to listen to the “other side” of the story.

As a researcher who has studied more in the last two years than in all previous years combined, I can say for sure that I don’t know all there is to know, but I can express in-depth myself what is happening to our children’s health to any who would take a minute to listen. What I don’t know, I can tell you where to find it. I believe our family will make a full recovery if God allows- I believe that’s His Will, and am thankful for the journey. I have received quite an education, and have met the most amazing people! They are “important” people who will stop what they are doing halfway across the world from you to receive a phone call or to answer an e-mail. These people love and care for the individual—not just the group.

As a mom, I can confidently say that if there was something potentially hurting one of my children, I would keep that child and all the rest of my children far away from it until I found out more about the source of harm. If my friends left their children with me, I could positively say that this is how they would want me to care for them…take no chances! Why not stop the vaccinations until they are proven safe, instead of continuing to give them until they’re “conclusively” proven dangerous? According to scientific theory there is more than enough evidence of the dangers of vaccinations; most just choose not to see.