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We all want happy, healthy children that fulfill their missions in life. This mother found the answers for her son's health outside of mainstream medicine and today, leads the way for others.
"If I told you diet could improve or cure autism, most people would say, 'yeah, right -- then why aren't the doctors telling us that?'"
Diane Farr's words definitely ring true...while the mainstream medical community is learning more about the link to diet and autism, there is still very little information or support to help parents find answers.
In a time when the rates of autism are growing from 1 in 10,000 to 1 child out of 166,1 more and more parents are turning to the natural alternatives to find the answers they need.
And it's not just autism, it's any illness that seems "incurable" in the eyes of the medical mainstream.
Diane Farr, a Certified Body Ecologist went through just such a journey when her son, Thomas, developed troubling symptoms that none of his doctors could specifically diagnose.
"Thomas was my first child, so I didn't know anything was wrong until my friend came to visit with her child." Diane recounts two pivotal visits with friends who had kids the same age as Thomas.
The first time a friend visited was before Thomas got his MMR shot (measles, mumps and rubella). Prior to getting these vaccinations, Thomas was meeting all of his developmental milestones and it showed as she watched the two children during her friend's visit.
Everything changed after the MMR and DTAP, according to Diane. Thomas had been getting a lot of colds and ear infections as a 2-year old, so they took him for these vaccinations during a window when he was well.
After the vaccines, Thomas stopped meeting his milestones. In fact, the day after his vaccines, he stopped eating.
He went from eating healthy foods to wanting only junk foods.
Diane described his diet as: watered down V8 splash, tofu hot dogs, cheese crackers, fig newtons, dried cereal and milk. She could no longer get him to eat vegetables and she could tell he was addicted to sugar.
And that wasn't all. Thomas stopped talking, playing with toys, interacting with other children and following directions, wanting only to watch Toy Story over and over again.
Diane and her husband turned to doctors, but no one knew what to make of the symptoms. In fact, some told her that sometimes kids just stop talking.
So they turned to speech therapy and continued to search for answers…until the next visit from a friend with a child Thomas' age. During this visit, the main thing that struck Diane was that her friend's child followed directions.
She knew she had to find more answers and turned to the internet and some books, where she realized her son was moderately autistic. At 32 months of age, he was cognitively and expressively at level of a 10 month old. A one year old talked and interacted more than he did, Diane told us.
The prognosis, according to doctors, was that autistic children may only have 50 words, don't have friendships, will never fall in love and will someday need to be institutionalized.
This was not a future Diane would accept without a fight.
It was about this time that she learned about Body Ecology. Having heard of Body Ecology's success with autistic children, Diane began working with Donna Gates and a couple of other parents to tailor a program for Thomas.
For Diane, what happened next was a miracle.
Within 3 - 4 days after starting the Body Ecology program, Thomas copied something he saw in video: a child whispering in someone's ear. Thomas leaned over and whispered in her ear.
Today, Thomas is 6 years old and well. He is smart, with the reading skills of a 3rd grader and math skills way beyond those of a 1st grader.
These days, even though Thomas is age-appropriate in his speech, he still gets speech therapy to help with planning his sentences, the only small reminder of what is now in his past. In fact, his teachers cannot believe that Thomas once had autism as they watch this popular, well-behaved boy interact in school.
While Thomas was once sensitive to many foods, like gluten and casein, Diane tells us he can pretty much eat anything today.
Diane remembers a lot of time in the kitchen in the beginning, taking things step by step to incorporate Body Ecology principles. It took her 6 months to remove sugar from Thomas' diet.
Since kids really like juice, Diane believes that Young Coconut Kefir is a great way to help them heal. She started out with 10% unsweetened cranberry juice, 90% V8 splash and just a teaspoon of Young Coconut Kefir to get Thomas used to the taste. From there, she added more and more until he was drinking 1 - 2 cups per day.
"Far from perfect" is how Diane described her kids' diets today, but they always have Young Coconut Kefir, cod liver oil and their sugars are limited.
People always tell Diane how happy her children are and she attributes it to the healthy microflora in their guts, producing plenty of serotonin (often referred to as the "happy hormone").
And maybe that will be the case as more and more parents are joining BEDROK (Body Ecology DietRecovering Our Kids) to seek answers from a group passionate about helping children heal. BEDROK was started by Donna Gates and parents like Diane years ago, just as Diane was beginning Thomas' healing journey. Today, there are over 700 parents in this online support group.
While the goal is to heal kids with autism, more parents are joining to get support with other issues like eczema and asthma. As Diane said, they want to treat the underlying cause, rather than look to drugs to treat symptoms.
Over the years, the BEDROK parents are finding that there are some common immune-related issues in the grandparents and mothers of children with autism.
It could be that grandparents had Parkinson's or eczema and the mothers had chronic fatigue. Many of the mothers are blood type A, more sensitive when it comes to health and digestion. The BEDROK parents are starting to realize how important it is to follow the Body Ecology program before birth to prepare for a healthy, happy child.
When asked what final words of wisdom she wanted to share, Diane said, "If you don't like what the doctors tell you, find your own answers. Listen to your heart. Never give up. If you others tell you that you can't do it, pray for God to give you the strength and wisdom to find the answers. The answers are out there. There are plenty of women who'd love to help, especially in BEDROK. Never give up."
Diane is channeling her passion to help others as moderator of the BEDROK Forum. We applaud Diane and all of the parents like her, who tirelessly seek out answers to heal their children.
1 Kirby, David. 1 in Every 166 Children Has Autism. AutismToday.com http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/1_in_6.htm
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