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Three Siblings Recover from Autism: A Lesson in the Power of Digestive Health

Siblings Tony, Grace and Kate beat the odds and have recovered from autism. Now, 10 yr old has written his own book, 8 yr old Grace teaches her sister’s home school lessons, and at just 4 yrs old, Kate is learning to read.

Did you know that 80% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract? That’s right. The friendly microflora that make up your inner ecosystem are responsible for keeping you well. They extract nutrients from the food you eat and they actually can manufacture important vitamins, like B vitamins, folate, and Vitamin K. They help keep your intestines fresh and clean and help stimulate peristaltic movement. They protect you from illness, help balance your moods, and ensure that your energy is thriving.

What’s more, did you know that most of the illnesses afflicting our population today are actually a reflection of an imbalance in the gut? Whether you suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgiaadrenal fatigue, allergiesobesity, bacterial, viral or fungal infections, parasites, arthritis, diabetesautism or even cancer– chances are that these symptoms are rooted in a digestive system that has been damaged over time by inner and outer toxins.

Repairing your digestive health is an essential first step to recovering your immunity and reversing illness. With a healthy gut, abundant in beneficial bacteria and yeasts, you will have a powerful tool to conquer what ails you.

Donna Gates, founder of Body Ecology, has coached hundreds of families through autism recovery, and never fails to find an underlying candida yeast infection, and toxic digestive system. When families begin making dietary changes to improve their digestion, they experience a relief in many autistic symptoms and the child begins to progress socially and developmentally.

But, if you are close to someone who is in the midst of recovering from autism, then you know it can be a difficult journey, to say the least. Many people struggle to improve their diets, but don’t know where to begin. And this is true for everyone…even if you don’t have a child with autism.

Today, we are pleased to share an interview with Wyndie. You can find Wyndie moderating BEDROK (Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids), our support group for parents who want to learn how to create healthier, happier kids. Wyndie has three children who are now completely recovered from autism. She graciously took the time to tell us how she managed to make the necessary dietary changes to help her children get well.

Each time one child recovers from this complicated illness, we are reminded that each of us has control over our own individual health, and that if you make positive changes in your diet, you can heal too.

Q: Wyndie, will you share your children’s ages and when they were diagnosed with autism?

A: I have three kiddos.  Tony, age 10; Grace, age 8; and Kate, age 4.

Tony was diagnosed at age 6, Grace at age 4.  Kate did not get an official diagnosis from the doctor because at 10 months of age, she was showing multiple symptoms of autism, and we knew we were going to treat her the same way as the big kids -- so we didn’t pursue the diagnosis with her.

Q: Can you tell us how you knew that changing your diet would help your family?

A: When Kate was born, she was allergic to everything I was eating (My diet consisted almost entirely of sugar and carbohydrates, and I was breastfeeding), so I had to change my diet to help her allergy situation.  As I kept track of my eating and her bodily functions and skin results, I quickly saw a correlation between my diet and her behavior.
This led me to keep food journals for the bigger kids.

Tracking their diets and behaviors made it inescapably clear that what they ate had a huge effect on their behaviors and moods.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see my own health improve!

I really didn’t realize how foggy my brain was until it cleared while eating well.

Q: What were the first Body Ecology steps you took and what results did you see?

A: I didn’t think I had it in me to prepare the foods I needed to make these changes for my family. At first, I just wished for a pill that would fix all of our problems. But, my health coach insisted that I pay for her services with cultured vegetables. So, I made cultured vegetables first. And, then she had me give them to my kids.

We experienced immediate die-off symptoms when I introduced the CVs (cultured vegetables). For us this meant tantrums, escalated “undesirable” behaviors, and fevers.

But soon, skin problems went away, behaviors improved and eye contact was established.  Their thinking and speech became clearer.

Very quickly, Kate worked herself up to drinking 1½ quarts of young coconut kefir per day and tremendous healing happened to her during that period.

Q. What advice can you give all of us for beginning The Diet when a family has more than one child with allergies and food sensitivities?

A: Journal EVERYTHING.  It is so difficult to remember who did well (or didn’t do well) with what food. Having it all written down also helps you see the progress.  Sometimes progress is too slow to really see when you live with it day to day.

Journaling helps you see when someone is doing better with tolerating a certain food. And helps you see that symptoms are really going away.

Go slow and tailor the fermented foods—using the ones your child does best on.

Also, don’t just rely on allergy testing. It can be inaccurate. IgG (delayed allergy) testing is more accurate than IgE (immediate allergy), but can still be inaccurate. Learn to observe your child’s reactions to what they eat and trust your observations.

As time goes by your child’s nutritional needs will change. Pay close attention and make adjustments as you need to.

In addition, fermenting the foods makes them easier to digest and less likely to cause a reaction in the body.

However, if your child has had a previously observed anaphylactic reaction to food, I would recommend that you still avoid that food.  All three of my children have an anaphylactic reaction to dairy and have not been able to tolerate it in a raw or fermented form. Anaphylactic allergies should be taken very seriously. But, I feel that other allergies/intolerances can be handled on a case-by-case basis, especially if you are working toward reversing the true cause or source of the allergy and have established a healthy inner ecosystem.

I found that I was able to add the foods they were sensitive to back in after they were eating that food in fermented form for a while.  For example, feeding my daughter fermented broccoli reversed her allergy to broccoli and she now eats it steamed or fermented with no problems.

I always hated the idea of cutting out healing foods from their diets without testing them first.  All three of my children had tests showing high allergies to cabbage and coconut meat, (actually the test said coconut – which , I now understand to be an allergy to the meat, but my test just said coconut) but I had never observed a reaction to coconut. So, we fermented those and the children did and still do fine on those.

One child did develop an observable allergic reaction to coconut meat, water and kefir after a year of drinking YCK (young coconut kefir) daily -- so I would advise rotating your fermented foods and drinks.  Most children with multiple allergies need food rotations anyway, so take it a step further and rotate what you ferment.  Have fermented carrots and beets one day, fermented cabbage and onions another, YCK another, and so on.

I know YCK is recommended daily for the children but with multiple food allergies, you have to take the principle of uniqueness one step further, and use food rotation to help avoid developing new allergies.

And finally, ALWAYS go with your gut instinct when dealing with what foods you feel are right for your child.  Just because I say fermented cabbage is suitable for the average person does not mean it is right for your child.
Observe and journal... these two things make a world of difference!

Q: What other therapies have you tried? What was most helpful?

A: We have used Chiropractic Therapy, Neurofeedback, Occupational Therapy, supplements, DAN! protocols and Chelation.  We are still doing Chiropractic, Neurofeedback & minimal supplements.

We are scheduled to start BioVeda allergy treatments next week.  Although the children’s health has improved far beyond what we ever dreamed, we still have overactive immune systems. The BioVeda looks to “calm down” the immune system and relieve them of their allergies.

For my children, an overactive immune system is one that reacts to food all the time.  Their hyper systems are the cause of their multiple and ever changing food allergies.   Most children will not react to touching dairy, but my children will have an anaphylactic reaction in doing so.  This is an overactive immune system – the system is hyper sensitive.

I believe that diet is key and needs to be the foundation of all other therapies used to recover; but most children will need more than just diet.  Very few children have just one puzzle piece.

It’s hard to say which thing helped the most.  I believe it was all of these things working in tandem.  Each intervention brought new improvements.

Q: What does autism recovery mean to you?

A: To me, autism recovery means that there are no signs of autism; a child who is recovered can function in daily life without hindrance.

My son Tony just wrote and published his first book. He also used to be completely unable to talk to people outside of the house because his anxiety was so severe.  But, now he converses clearly and without fear to anyone!

Grace was non-verbal at one time.  She now has full usage of language with no signs of impairment; in fact she’s quite the chatterbox.  She also has great mental clarity and a sweet empathy for those in need.  She has taken it upon herself to teach some of her sister’s home school subjects.

Kate, at the age of 4, keeps up with her sister on her schoolwork; is excelling at logic puzzles, counting, and is on the cusp of reading.  She has a great personality and is a social butterfly.  Her laughter is contagious!

Wyndie home schools her three children and moderates the BEDROK (Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids) message board for families who wish to use Body Ecology to heal from autism, allergies and more. You can email Wyndie at mileski5@att.net for questions and consultations.

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  • Nerissa

    Hi Wyndie,
    I have a 3 yr old son who has been diagnosed with autism. He has been GFCF since January and more recently we started the SCD diet. I just found information on the bedrock diet and Im excited to get him started!

    I was told by his DAN doctor that he has
    a leaky gut with many food sensitivities, one of them to coconut. What that means I don't really know. Can I still give him the coconut kefir without hurting my son further? I realize your not a doctor, but haven gone through this harder than life process, I thought you might have some insight on the topic. Please help!

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