Every new life brings hope, but what happens when not just one, but two of your children are born with autism? Find out how one mother found hope and lights the way for others.
Jennifer Boddie's son Michael was born 3 months early.
His first year of life included 4 months in the hospital (3 of which were on a breathing machine), antibiotics, blood transfusions, medication and a surgery for a blockage in his intestinal tract.
From the beginning, Jennifer was juicing carrots, since it was the only thing that allowed Michael to eliminate properly.
After overcoming these first hurdles, Michael progressed well over the next two years, meeting all of his milestones. With one exception...he did not walk until he was 2.
Because of his premature birth, Jennifer waited to have him immunized. At the age of 3, Michael received his immunizations and shortly thereafter, his language skills began to drop off.
The diagnosis from his pediatrician was "developmentally delayed," the remedy, various therapies to help him catch up. Not satisfied with that diagnosis, Jennifer sought out other opinions and Michael was formally diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
When her second son, Jonathan was born, she had renewed hope.
"This was a chance for me to heal from everything that went wrong with my first child," Jennifer told us, and everything went smoothly.
Up until the age of 4, Jonathan met all of his developmental milestones. In the middle of his 4th year, Jonathan got his last MMR vaccination (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Perhaps you know what happened next...Jonathan stopped speaking for a whole year. A second diagnosis of autism was a big shock for Jennifer.
So where does a mom turn?
Jennifer wasn't sure, but she was determined to find answers. First, it was an Environmental Doctor with a protocol requiring Jennifer to leave her job and spend $80,000 per year. That did not seem like the way out.
Like many moms, Jennifer turned to the gluten-free/casein-free diet, which she tried for 2 years before starting them on the Body Ecology program. Jennifer became a Body Ecology Coach (CBE) in April 2006 and has since seen amazing changes in her boys (now 13 and 14 years old) in the last year.
"The first thing I noticed after moving from the gluten-free/casein-free diet to the Body Ecology program was cleansing."
Within 3 days, she started noticing changes: Her boys were calmer and more relaxed. Michael's constipation and toilet training improved and Jonathan's difficult behavior began to disappear.
Within less than a year, Jonathon's behavior improved so much that he was weaned off of the antidepressant, Zoloft, and he is currently being weaned off of Risperdal (a drug used to treat irritability associated with autism).
And both kids are still on the less strict, stage 2 of the Body Ecology program. Jennifer expects even more results as she transitions them into stage 1 of the diet.
Having already added 3 of the 7 Body Ecology healthy eating principles, Jennifer is currently working on proper food combining. "I think it is when you get into these principals heavily that you began to see a new, energized body and clearer, more vibrant and more focused mind come into play."
"Anything new feels hard," Jennifer tells us. "You are in your routine and then you have to think about it, then once it becomes a habit, it's easy. It's just something you do."
Jennifer's Body Ecology Approach for Michael and Jonathan
Michael and Jonathan eat generally the same foods, with a few differences, but fermented foods and drinks are staples for both children.
- BE Wholegrains Liquid - Jennifer likes her kids to drink this to add grain-loving bacteria in their system.
- Milk Kefir and Raw Butter - "With the addition of milk kefir and raw butter both of my boys became calmer and more at ease with themselves. They learn and pick up things with less difficulty and sleep better. Jonathan likes to eat his milk kefir with a spoon!"
- Cultured Vegetables - Jennifer typically adds these fermented vegetables to salads or blends them up into salad dressings.
§ Jennifer's creative cultured vegetable tip: put them in a shot glass with some drops of unrefined coconut oil and a couple of drops of Stevia.
- Young Coconut Kefir - Jennifer adds lemon, lime and stevia to Jonathan and Michael's probiotic-rich Young Coconut Kefir for a drink that tastes like Sprite, but with health benefits! Jennifer also uses CocoBiotic, for a convenient alternative to making Young Coconut Kefir.
- Vegetables and Ocean Vegetables - While Michael and Jonathan did not like vegetables at first, Jennifer now includes them in their meals all the time. She credits fermented foods and drinks with helping her boys become accustomed to healthy foods.
"I actually use just about all of the Body Ecology products with my kids and we eat all the Body Ecology foods. With each addition I see new changes," Jennifer says.
Body Ecology Helped Jennifer With Her Own Candida
Jennifer also successfully treated her own health issues with candida by following the Body Ecology diet.
"I knew something was out of balance, but did not have a name for my condition...I feel better today at 38 years old than I did at 20 years old. It's like waking up from a deep fog. I have found that using the fermented foods on a daily basis, that my eating habits have naturally come to a greater balance. At this point I 'crave' green foods, quality proteins, and fermented foods, mostly."
Jennifer Lights the Way for Other Parents
Jennifer has become an active advocate for nutritional healing with Body Ecology principles.
She teaches classes in her community, does Body Ecology consultations and dedicates 3 hours per day to her Body Ecology Yahoo group. "I started the Body Ecology Anti-Viral Diet Yahoo group as a way of assisting people who have serious, active viral conditions and autoimmune disorders." (Information on how to join the Yahoo group is included at the end of this article.)
Jennifer's focus in her Yahoo group is to help people understand how to use Body Ecology's approach to raw foods and helping children with ASD deal with underlying viral conditions.
Jennifer's Advice to Parents of Children with ASD
"Always believe and see the BEST in your children. Hold in your hearts and minds what they can become instead of where they are."
"Let your faith light the way. Don't ever compare yourself to another mom…or your child to another child. In doing so you are tearing yourself apart. Each of our miracles will look a little different."
"From my heart to yours, learn to take care of and LOVE yourselves. The Body Ecology Healing System is NOT about perfection...it is about finding your personal inner balance as it pertains to health"
"I want to thank Donna Gates for her love of children and for sharing her VITAL message with parents of children with ASD. Donna I admire you for your courage and insight in to this epidemic called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Right knowledge put to proper use is POWERFUL! As a parent of two young men with autism, I want you to know that I love you and believe in the work you are doing. This is why I became a CBE.
Jennifer Boddie is passionate about helping others. You can reach her at:
e-mail: [email protected]
To subscribe to Jennifer's Body Ecology Antiviral Diet Yahoo Group, Send an e-mail to: [email protected]
*Make sure your e-mail includes the reason you would like to join the group.
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