Autism Recovery | Ryan’s Story

Autism Recovery | Ryan’s Story

Ryan’s Story

Moderately Autistic and Possibly Mentally Retarded? Not Anymore!

My Grandson, Ryan, received the diagnoses of “Moderately Autistic” and “Possibly Mentally Retarded” by his Pediatric Neurologist when he just turned 2 years of age. Unless a family faces a similar situation, no one could ever imagine the gut-wrenching feeling his mother, father, and immediate family had. We were devastated to say the least. How did this dreadful thing happen? Ryan was born a perfectly healthy little boy! His weight was 5 lbs. 14 oz. and he had apgars scores of 9 at one minute and 9 at five minutes. Why did this happen? When did this happen? And how did this happen? I am the Grandmother of this precious little boy who will be turning 5 years old in July 2005, and what follows, is the miraculous story of Ryan’s recovery…

My daughter Melanie and her husband Neal tried for years to conceive a child. Melanie had a horrible pregnancy with pre-term labor starting at a very early stage. Consequently, she was ordered to be on bed rest from five months gestation on. When bed rest wasn’t working any longer, she was sent to the hospital where she stayed for 38 days before the baby was born. Ryan made his appearance 4 weeks premature. The baby was born jaundice – in fact very jaundice! Ryan received the routine Hep B vaccine at one day of age. Although his Mom breast fed him, Ryan was an extremely colicky baby for the first four months of his life. When breast milk didn’t agree with him, the Pediatrician told his mother to try commercial formulas. She tried seven in total. To ease all his colic, doctors constantly recommended Mylicon – in fact, they should of bought stock in Mylicon! Ryan’s growth progress was in the 25 percentile of his age group. Basically, he was a small and very thin baby. When his parents approached the Pediatrician(s) with concerns, they were assured he was fine.

When Ryan was sick with the typical cold, sinus infections, sore throat, fevers, tonsillitis, or just congested, he was prescribed Amoxicillin – he was even prescribed Amoxicillin over the phone! With each routine doctor’s visit, Ryan would receive his (must-have) timely vaccinations; not just one or two strains, but three and four at a time. Ryan would get a reaction to these vaccines but the doctors always claimed it was normal. At a year old when Ryan received the Varicella and Prevnar vaccine, he became a very sick child who just screamed constantly. When Ryan was 15 months old, he had his typical Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine and we saw the same type of reactions. He was irritable, cried a lot, had a high temperature, swelling of the injection spot, and just screamed continually. The MMR vaccine, unbeknownst to us, buried him deeper into the Autistic World.

We now began to see drastic changes in Ryan. He no longer spoke. Simple words like Ma-Ma, Da-Da, Bye-Bye were gone. Ryan just grunted. He started to toe walk. He didn’t know his name when called. He lost all eye contact. He did not comprehend when spoken to. Ryan wouldn’t let us cuddle with him or interact with play and completely lost all communications with us. Smaller stores were a no-no for Ryan because he couldn’t handle small spaces and bigger stores were overly stimulating. Large crowds of people were hard for him. Ryan couldn’t handle movement. He was afraid of noise. All Ryan did was fixate on the wheels of his toy vehicles! He would spin in circles. He would flap his hands. Touching various textured items seemed to agitate him and he would refuse to do so. Gagging on different food textures was also getting to be a huge problem. We just couldn’t seem to get Ryan off of baby foods and on to table foods – he would constantly gag, then vomit! When Ryan would try to run he always seemed drunk and would fall. Ryan couldn’t even distinguish when obstacles were in front of him. Ryan would be walking and if we didn’t redirect him, he would literally bang into anything in his path – this was true even with a wall! Melanie and Neal had to cushion everything in the house that would be of hazard to Ryan. Well intended people thought Melanie to be overly protected and neurotic while in fact, all she was trying to do was protect Ryan from unknowingly hurting himself.

When Ryan was 19 months and 3 days old, he had an appointment for a “well visit” with the pediatrician. Melanie begged the doctors to fully examine him. She literally stripped him of his cloths and had him walk – something which was never done. She called his name, tried to interact play, tried to cuddle with him and even tried to feed him a Cheerio which was all in vain. FINALLY, the pediatrician agreed to send a child development agency to the house.

I remember that day so well. As a Grandmother, I was there for support. Two extremely nice women came into the house. Within minutes, they were on the floor with Ryan. They tested and scored him. How we perceived Ryan was completely different than how these women scored him. We knew Ryan had problems but our love for him blinded us to the fact that these problems were greater than we could have ever imagined!

The protocol was to first have Ryan’s eyes examined and a hearing test done – all of which showed negative. Next was the dreaded appointment to officially have Ryan diagnosed by a Pediatric Neurologist. So on July 16, 2002, when Ryan was 2 years and four days old, we received his official diagnosis of “Moderately Autistic” and “Possibly Mentally Retarded.” What a horrible shock! We definitely were not prepared for this or anything remotely close to this diagnosis. After the initial devastating news, we cried for days BUT quickly vowed to do everything we could for this adorable child. We knew we had to act, and act fast! Something just had to be done! We prayed for guidance….and prayed….and prayed….and prayed. To help us get through this, we created a dream for ourselves. Our long range goal (and dream) was to help cure Ryan and enable him to attend a regular Kindergarten class when the time came. We desperately wanted a typical little boy. A boy that could talk, understand, love and enjoy life. We wanted a little boy that knew his Mommy and Daddy. A little boy that would get excited about his birthday, trick-or-treating on Halloween, the Easter Bunny and even Santa Clause on Christmas. We craved the notion of helping Ryan so badly that it actually hurt! We did have our precious little boy but he was locked so deeply in his puzzling body of uncertainty. We just had to find a way to free Ryan from the hands of Autism! We prayed the Neurologist was wrong!

While Melanie and Neal worked with therapists at home, I conducted my own research about Autism. I read numerous books on the subject and searched continually on the internet. We finally began to understand what Autism was – but how could this have possibly happened to Ryan? We began to realized that the “Main Stream Doctor” didn’t understand Autism, nor did they want to learn anything about it, or for that matter, be bothered. The Pediatricians had no advice for us and painted a very grave picture. To make matters worse, they actually recommended that the family save their money to be able to institutionalize Ryan when the time came. How dare them!

We retrieved all hospital and pediatrician records. With the information at hand, we started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Premature birth, extremely jaundice, Hep B vaccination at a day old, use of formulas, weakened immune system, antibiotics, and an array of vaccines containing chemicals and heavy metals, like mercury and aluminum. Combined, this was the formula for a devastating intestinal gut disorder, neurological problems and toxic poisoning.

We knew Ryan’s condition could not be cured with a “Band-Aid” type of solution. We felt that therapies such as Occupational, Speech, Physical, Sensory, and Applied Behavioral Analysis were all great but though research, we also knew we needed more. What we learned was that maybe, just maybe, because of contaminates, Ryan could possibly be allergic to two types of proteins; Gluten and Casein. If so, these proteins would cause havoc within his body, causing opioid activity and crossing the blood-brain barrier which meant neurological problems and drug like conditions! We recognized the fact that we had to repair Ryan’s gut with Dietary Interventions to rebuild his immune system which in turn would improve the neurological problems – and, we needed a special type of doctor to help us rid the mercury and other toxins from his body. We then began to view therapy as a good and useful training tool for Ryan. We looked upon dietary intervention as a way of improving his health while weeding out the contaminating problems that were injected into Ryan for the past two years. If this research theory worked, it would open up a whole new world for Ryan!

We immediately started preparing nutritious organic foods that were gluten and casein free. One special book that was our “Bible” during this time was “Special Diets for Special Kids” by Lisa Lewis. This book is a wonderful guide with explanations and recipes on how to start this special way of eating. When we prepared our foods for Ryan, we had to puree everything enabling Ryan to swallow his food without gagging. We did this type of cooking like an assembly line effect. It was hard work but we continued to do it. This diet seemed to help. What we witnessed was an immediate and excellent reaction to focus and babbling. We felt that we were now on to something!

When we started the “Gluten and Casein Free” way of eating, Ryan made immediate improvements. The progress he made was great. But unfortunately, for the next few months we saw no new gains – we were definitely at a stand-still now. Distressed, we then decided to implement the Feingold Program (www.feingold.org) and (http://www.feingold.org/programdetails.html)- stricter for Ryan and harder on us. Now we were eliminating artificial flavors, colorings, nitrites, synthetic food additives, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, fragrances and non-food items which contained chemicals that would be unfavorable for Ryan. Again, we were eliminating even more foods from his diet than before. We also had to keep in mind that anything absorbed through the skin would likely cause a reaction as well. What a challenge we faced! We now had to find and purchase dye and scent free soaps and shampoos, gluten free play dough, gluten free crayons, gluten free finger paints and items which Ryan would handle, blow bubbles free of chemicals, eliminate all household cleaning products containing hazardous chemical toxins, avoid perfume and smoke, use organic lawn care products for outdoors, and the list goes on. We were now gluten and casein free, on the Feingold Program and eating all organic foods. All of our efforts certainly helped Ryan to improve but unfortunately, we just saw minor changes in Ryan’s over all health.

In October of 2002, Melanie and I attended a conference for Autism and were fortunate to hear a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor speak. This person happened to be Dr. Sidney Baker – a very well known and highly respected Autism doctor. (Dr. Sidney Baker, 71 Ferry Road, Sag Harbor, New York 11963 Tel. 631-725-7766) When the meeting was over, I instructed Melanie to quickly follow me as we made our way up to meet Dr. Baker. You see, months earlier, we tried to make an appointment with Dr. Baker but were told, because of his semi-retirement, that there were no openings at that time. Now this was our chance! We introduced ourselves to Dr. Baker and just had enough time to ask a few questions. I literally wanted to put Dr. Baker in my pocket and bring him home with us. Oh my gosh – he was so close and yet, we couldn’t reach him for Ryan. That night after arriving home, I sat at the computer and wrote Dr. Baker a letter explaining our longing to help my Grandson and the suffering and anguish Ryan and his family were going through. In other words, I poured my heart out to him! In just a matter of days, Melanie received paperwork from Dr. Baker and an appointment for Ryan.

Our prayers were answered! So on December 2, 2002, during a terrible snow storm, we traveled 5 hours round trip for counsel from Dr. Baker. He was extremely pleased that Ryan was already on the Gluten and Casein Free Diet and the Feingold Program. He further educated us on this dreadful thing called Autism. Dr. Baker recommended that we have certain tests done on Ryan. What we found was that Ryan had a very unbalanced biochemistry condition, nutrient malabsorption, dysbiosis problems of bacteria with a very high suspicion of Candida (yeast). His body was also full of toxic metals; Cadmium, Arsenic and Mercury. The range of Mercury in his body was so elevated that the reference line was actually off the page! By having these tests done, we now felt good about the recovery decisions we made for Ryan. These tests positively showed that we were right on target with our research and previous feelings on how Ryan was affected by Autism. So for the next 11 months, we had Ryan on five different antifungals for Candida, an array of vitamin therapy, shots of Secretin and B-12, and Chelation (detox) for toxic metals. Dr Baker prescribed Glutathione & Allithiam creams for the detox. The creams were rubbed onto Ryan’s arms and feet twice daily and the smell that escaped from his body due to the toxins were absolutely putrid. Some of the medical therapy worked while other methods just made matters worse. The Secretin injection set Ryan back so far that all he said for three months was ou-we, ou-we! After none to minimal improvements, Dr. Baker decided Ryan was not a good candidate for Secretin injections or the anti-fungals! Now please understand that some children do very well on this type of therapy – it just did not work for Ryan. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for others. We also never believed in medicating him with drugs. To us, using drugs was the band-aid effect and would mean that Ryan would never have a chance to recover – his Autism would just be covered up by drugs.

Therapists were in and out of the house on a daily basis. We bought toys younger than Ryan’s age to teach him “again” how to play. Melanie and Neal constantly reinforced therapy sessions and began coaching him through play. We made big foam cushions for Ryan to walk on for balance. A big mattress was placed in the living room to strengthen his muscles through jumping. We bought portable stairs to help Ryan maneuver climbing. We even brought a slide into the house to encourage more climbing with a reward “ride” at the end of Ryan’s climb. We purchased all different types of chewy tubes to help stimulate the muscles in his mouth. We made two different canvas therapy bags; one bag would contain articles such as cotton balls, feathers, spongy and sticky animals, small silk pillows, and ribbons of different fabric to just name a few – all good for tactile while the other bag would contain cognitive items. We practiced weight strengthening. We brushed Ryan’s body for sensory input three to four times a day followed with compressing his joints. To help him fall asleep, Melanie took him on twice daily car rides. And during all of this, we continued his strict gluten and casein free diet making sure we cooked using all organic foods and also continued the Feingold Program.

It was during this time that money was getting tight. Neal had to take on a part-time job to pay the bills…doctors, laboratory tests, organic foods, vitamins, chemical free products, the anti-fungals and chelation medications, and all the extra therapy. Family members tried to help financially but the burden was still on Melanie and Neal. It seemed like centuries ago but it was just 6 months earlier that Ryan was diagnosed, and yet, the household stress was reaching an extremely high point. But when God decided to bless Melanie and Neal with Ryan, he certainly gave Ryan to the right parents. It takes special people to be able to cope with an Autistic child. They both loved him so much that they dug deep within themselves and found the patience and determination to help their son. Melanie would care for Ryan during the day and when Neal came home from work, it was a duel effort. Now with the part-time job, Melanie had Ryan 24-7 and Neal was drained from 10 hours at his full-time job and nights at the part-time job. It was tough – in fact, it was very tough!

It was also during this stressful time that we began to realize Melanie and Neal were losing some of their friendships they had with other people. It seemed that people just did not understand what Autism was and the time and exhausting effort it took to care for a child like Ryan. We knew these people were “afraid” of the term Autism and just didn’t know what to say or how to act. And when Melanie and Neal had to decline invitations to everyday functions like birthday parties, picnics or holidays, no one understood why and thought them to be, just plain neurotic. Ryan just couldn’t handle small places or crowds of people and besides, he was on his special way of eating and couldn’t eat the types of foods that were being served! His diet was a big issue with many well intended people. They truly believed we were being mean, overly protective, playing witch doctor, or just simply not letting Ryan be a normal child. If these people were only in our shoes for just one day and felt the pain that we were enduring, then maybe they would understand! Without much support and only criticism, it was at this time that we started to question ourselves whether we were doing the right thing for Ryan or not. It certainly was a tough and lonely time for us.

In July of 2003, when Ryan turned 3 years old, the Child Developmental Agency tried to shift Melanie and Neal’s thoughts to enrolling Ryan into an Autistic pre-school class. This was due primarily because Ryan no longer was eligible to receive services from the Agency because of his age. After much thought, Melanie and Neal decided against this proposal for Ryan’s sake. We worked too hard implementing the right kinds of food for Ryan to eat while at the same time, making sure to eliminate everything possible that would cause Ryan to have a flare up. We were trying so hard to go forward and just couldn’t take a chance for a set-back. The school, unbeknownst to them, did have chemical issues with their cleaning supplies and the class room had school supplies for children that were unsafe for a child like Ryan. Although Melanie was allowed to bring Ryan’s own school supplies and snacks for him, we were still concerned that Ryan would get into an illegal item, or get a whiff of something that was not appropriate for him. We were still at a very early stage of Ryan’s recovery – just taking baby steps forward. We didn’t want to make a mistake! We just could not take that kind of a chance!

In November of 2003, we hit a plateau and became somewhat discouraged. Dr. Sidney Baker who is always supportive and encouraging, advised us to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, (http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/) referred to as the SCD. I really misunderstood the principals of the SCD diet and thought this was more for Celiac problems and not for Autism. Again, Dr. Baker encouraged us to try. He felt that our attempt with dietary intervention originally brought more success to Ryan than the medical intervention did. He told us that all the antifungals in the world would not remove Candida from Ryan’s body if he continued to eat hidden sugars. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet eliminates just that. It also eliminates all grains, lactose, other disacchararide sugars and starches that Ryan would not be able to digest or absorb. Dr. Baker even went to the point of giving us names and phone numbers of other parents whose children were on this new plan of eating. And so, on November 5, 2003, when Ryan was 3 years and 4 months old, we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. We were now gluten and casein free, following the Feingold Program, completely organic and implementing the SCD. Talk about stress! Ryan ate well, in fact, very well. Because we were still pureeing all his foods, we were able to sneak all sorts of good foods into him and this was really a blessing in disguise. We saw improvements in leaps and bounds! And for the first time since Ryan was diagnosed with autism, his body looked solid and he looked like he was gaining weight. We felt great!

Ryan’s speech was slowly developing. His cognitive skills and motor skills were also improving. So now, with everything starting to get better, Melanie and Neal decided to enroll Ryan into preschool. Ryan was evaluated by school officials and on January 29, 2004, when Ryan was 3 years and just over 6 months old, he attended his first “Mainstream” Preschool Class. He did great! Melanie supplied the school with Ryan’s own personal supplies. She made sure he ate only what she provided for him and stayed many days at the back of the class just supervising. He graduated from his first year of preschool on June 9, 2004. Needless to say, watching him on stage with the rest of his class singing songs and showing a picture he made was very overwhelming for me. I cried like a baby and just wished the doctors who told us to save our money to ]institutionalize Ryan when the time came could of been there to see Ryan as a happy typical little boy!

Positively Ryan did much better on the SCD but after eight months, our gut feelings were telling us he needed more. We felt he was too restricted with food choices. We couldn’t seem to advance Ryan to the next level of this diet because he still showed reactions to many food choices. What we discovered was that Ryan had a problem dealing with Salicylates and Phenol plus other food intolerance which we were unable to identify. It is well known that autistic children have all types of digestive problems and it was frustrating to us that we couldn’t get past this with Ryan. Now we had to start thinking about the addition of healing supplements. Although he looked better, acted better and was doing better, Ryan was still missing something but we didn’t know what it was. We felt he needed more and we wanted more for Ryan!

Now I always felt in my heart that God guided us thought every part of this recovery process with Ryan. Every time we would come to a stumbling block and didn’t know what to do, He opened another door for us. This was the case when one night while watching television, we saw a news broadcast about Sensory Learning Therapy. Immediately we inquired about this new technique. It sounded absolutely great to us and we felt Ryan would benefit from it. So in July of 2004, right after Ryan turned four years old, we headed to Boulder, Colorado for Sensory Learning Therapy, (http://www.sensorylearning.com/).

To make the cross country trip to Colorado, we dug deep into our pockets because everything was so expensive. Ryan and Melanie had to stay fourteen days for the complete therapy program. I accompanied them to Colorado and stayed the first seven days while Neal traveled to Colorado for the last seven days of the program. We were all involved. In addition to being fearful of the unknown, we were also nervous not knowing how Ryan would react. Remember, this was a child that did not like closed in spaces, movements or change in routine! In fact, for any Autistic child the plane trip alone would be nerve wracking. We thoroughly prepared ourselves for this trip. We purchased “presents” and took all sorts of “legal” goodies to give Ryan on the plane. Thank God, Ryan did very well. We also cooked and froze his special foods from home, using dry ice to package it and literally carried it on the plane in order not to have it misplaced. We leased age appropriate toys from “Babies Away” for Ryan to play with during our stay. We rented a car and stayed at a Residents Inn with kitchen faculties for 14 nights. We shopped at health food stores and cooked our foods in our hotel room. The trip actually turned out to be not only for Sensory Therapy but also an enjoyable vacation for Ryan, Melanie and Neal.

The founder and Executive Director at Sensory Learning Center International is Mary Bolles. Mary and her staff literally took us under their wings. They explained to us that Sensory Learning was an innovative approach to developmental learning that unites three modalities (visual, auditory and vestibular) into one intervention allowing individuals to better integrate sensory messages. We were told that when this type of therapy works, things happen and lives change. Therapy was for ½ hour sessions twice a day. I must admit, it was very hard that first day. Ryan wanted nothing to do with this therapy – that first day almost never happened if it weren’t for trained and compassionate therapists! Ryan received his therapy on a moving table (bed) in a completely dark room with just a small light with different colors showing each day plus, he had to wear earphones enabling him to listen to special music. Because the Sensory Learning staff had a great deal of patience, Ryan did outstanding and had fantastic results. Since that time, we have observed major sensory changes in Ryan. He is now able to go into stores without a sensory problem. He can actually ride on the little moving cars outside of stores such as Wal-Mart and is able to ride on a Merry-go-round! His balance has improved greatly and he can even hop on one foot – not great yet but he’s getting there! And thank God, the list just keeps going on!

BUT Mary, again through the grace of God, opened yet another door for us. I sat with her one day and explained my feelings about Ryan’s eating. I explained to her that we already eliminated so many food items from Ryan’s diet in an attempt to rid his body of yeast, bacteria and toxins. With his over all improved health, I was sure we were accomplishing this. The problem we were having was that every time we tried to advance Ryan to the next level of a diet, he would regress! Ryan still had those terrible digestion issues! WHY? Mary, who unbeknownst to me was a Certified Body Ecologist, had just the perfect answer to help Ryan .….”The Body Ecology Diet” by Donna Gates.

So before I boarded the plane to go back home, I purchased the “Body Ecology Diet” book. On the plane I started to read. The trip home was more than five hours in flight, but for me, it still wasn’t long enough. I was so engrossed in this book that I didn’t want to put it down. I read about Kefir – something I never heard of. I was amazed about the benefits of coconut oil, raw butter, cream, and ghee. I learned so much about our bodies inner ecosystem. I read how our body has two brains; the stomach being the second one. I was also surprised to find out that parents can pass down to their new born babies a host of problems like weakened adrenal glands and congested livers that they themselves unknowingly have. I read about primitive eating habits and how the world of technology has ruined our present foods. To say the least, I attained a wealth of knowledge! And during all of my reading, I became more assured that the dietary intervention choice we selected for Ryan these last couple of years was absolutely the right choice to make. And best of all, I now understood what Ryan needed to take him to that next level. No doubt we were traveling the road to success…but to actually push forward into high gear and reach that next level, we definitely needed to implement the “Body Ecology Diet.” I was now ecstatic!

I immediately scheduled a conference call with Donna Gates when I returned home. Donna was wonderful! The first thing she told me to do was to make a coconut kefir drink for Ryan using young green coconuts. She explained to me that Kefir is a microbial-rich food that helps restore the inner ecology and contains strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. She made it clear to me that this drink would produce a growth of beneficial microflora for Ryan – something he so badly needed. And at this point in our conversation, I also recalled what my DAN doctor once told me about the intestines. He explained that the unfriendly yeast (Candida) and bacteria in the intestines basically do to your body what “grubs” do to your nice green lawn. The grubs eat the grass leaving just the dirt. Now, green grass will not grow until you plant the seeds and water daily. That’s exactly what kefir does….it restores the intestines with friendly strains of bacteria and yeast. I now began to realize that this was exactly how Ryan was going to get to that next level – this is what he needed! We already starved the intestines by eliminating all foods that contribute to Candida and bacteria – BUT – what we forgot to do was replant the seeds for beneficial bacteria and yeast. ALL OF THIS WAS NOW FINALLY STARTING TO MAKE SENSE!!! Donna then spoke about the specifics of food combining and she explained some very important cooking techniques I was not aware of. She also explained what Ryan should be eating and when he should be eating it. Donna explained why we should use only Black Current, Cranberry or Pineapple juice to flavor Ryan’s Coconut Kefir Juice. She explained the difference between Sea salt and regular table salt. She enlightened me about the value of Fermented Foods, raw butter and raw cream. And she explained the benefits of Vitality Super Greens. During that conversation, we went through as much as my brain could handle. I was now armed and prepared for when Ryan returned home.

A month into the Body Ecology Diet (also known as the BED), Ryan was flourishing. What we were witnessing was incredible! This was definitely the missing link for Ryan! I like to call this “The Frosting on Ryan’s Cake.” Ryan’s language thoroughly exploded! Prior to the BED, Ryan still had problems with enunciating the first letter of words. Mommy was ommy, Daddy was addy etc. His vocabulary was very limited and sounds such as grunting were frequently heard. NOT ANY MORE! Ryan was talking up a storm. He was actually putting sentences together! He started to sing songs and understand stories on Barney and Sesame Street. Ryan became more organized with play and started to use imagination play which was something he never did. He gave up his fixation for wheels, no more stimming, and he no longer is oblivious to his surroundings. Ryan now gets excited about all sorts of events, constantly asks inquisitive questions, and is active and involved in everyday functions. It’s like Ryan is doing double time just catching up on everything that he couldn’t do while he was locked away in his body of autism. What a wonderful feeling! He has even been called the Mayor of his class…because he is very sociable. He mingles with everyone, smiles all the time and has a wonderful gentle-hearted way about himself. His Pediatric Neurologist and Developmental Doctor were so pleased and absolutely amazed. They never thought they would see this type of reversal pattern in Ryan. They really never thought it could be done! What a blessing for a little boy who just 2 ½ years earlier received such a grave and devastating diagnosis.

Yes, definitely yes, we continue every day with the Body Ecology Diet and all the principals attached. This is Ryan’s Frosting – his way of life! Along with Ryan’s staple diet of all kinds of veggies, protein, and cultured foods, Ryan can now splurge and eat just about anything – in moderation of course. He enjoys raw butter and cream, he has his special kefir smoothies, and French fries cooked in coconut oil. He enjoys his special pudding, cookies, cupcakes, cake, muffins, lollipops, popcorn, pretzels, chips and homemade ice-cream to name a few. And it’s amazing to us how Ryan knows the difference between “junk” food and good food. He doesn’t crave or eat foods which are bad for him. If someone does offer him illegal foods, he may take one bite then quickly puts it down. He just doesn’t like it! And when you stop to think of “Ryan’s way” of eating, it was exactly like our ancestors before us….all natural, unprocessed, clean, healthy foods! It’s the Body Ecology way and nothing could be better!

This is not the end of the story for Ryan but just the beginning. The beginning of a healthy and happy life. With “The Frosting on Ryan’s Cake,” we now see a bright, happy child emerging everyday. Our long range goal (and dream) has already been met. Ryan will attend a typical kindergarten class in September! We have our little boy back! Ryan can talk, understand, love and enjoy life now. I cannot express in words what this actually means to our family. We feel so humble and grateful to God for his continued guidance. We are also thankful to all the dedicated and qualified doctors (especially Dr. Sidney Baker) and therapists (especially Mary Bolles) who helped us along the way. And we are now, and always will be grateful to Donna Gates – for caring and sharing. Without her knowledge and gift of giving to others, I certainly wouldn’t be writing Ryan’s recovery story today!

I put this story to pen and paper in hopes it might encourage parents, family and care takers who care for a loved one under the autistic spectrum. I cannot deny that our journey hasn’t been a rough one. There were many days that I would sit at the table and cry – not knowing what to do next or where to get the strength to do it. Believe me, our family has been there and we know what other families are going through. If you took the time to read Ryan’s complete story, Autism must be affecting you somehow – whether it might be a loved one in your own family, a dear friend you know, or just an acquaintance. No matter what the situation might be, big or small, please pass this story on! Dig deep for strength and pray for guidance and help someone affected by Autism! Implement a diet rich in good, wholesome foods and use fermented drinks and cultured foods – implement a diet like our ancestors use to have – a diet like the Body Ecology Diet. Believe in what you are doing and understand that everyone definitely will receive some degree of success with the Body Ecology Diet because this diet heals. Please don’t be the caretaker or parent that feels they can’t do it or is afraid to try – please don’t do this to an affected human being!

May God bless you as He has done to us, Deanna

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