Charlotte’s journey through Autism continues to teach our family powerful, life long lessons about how to manage our health. As we work to improve Charlotte’s overall health and reduce her stress, her Autism and sensory processing symptoms are minimized. She continues to emerge victorious from an internal battle of stressors and toxins that were working diligently to take her body down.
I started this blog last year when I knew that I had this important story to tell. As I began to research our relatively common circumstances with such a relatively simple intervention, I expected to see many Autism and Paleo success stories. But to this day, ours stands as one in a lone few in the vast pages of a simple Google search.
When we began to treat Charlotte’s Autism with a Paleo diet, I searched for a community of sorts, a niche within the Paleo community that could give us a pat on the back, provide some science to back our success, and generally help us feel that we belong somewhere.
When I couldn’t find it, I created it, and when Robb Wolf updated his website, I noticed a spot for Autism success stories and knew that we belonged there. I scripted our story, provided a link it to this site, and submitted it in about 20 minutes, as not to lose my nerve. And as I follow the numbers, I am relieved to find more and more individuals come to this blog every day seeking a commuity within a community that provides support and information to connect the dots in their child’s health and do all they can to solve the mystery that is Autism.
Our personal story may be enough to inspire you to try Paleo for the sake of your child, but I am still a realist and I know how difficult it is to silence the skeptical voice of your pediatrican or relative, especially if you are new to Paleo. I continue to listen carefully in podcasts and blog articles for studies, science, or some level of proof of how Paleo helps Autism so that I could illustrate just how powerful and effective this intervention could be for you and your family. In addition, I really wanted to give you some fancy scientific words that you could bust out at the next function when your child’s bunless burger and fruit salad seem out place.
My prayers were answered. When I saw the Mark’s Daily Apple post entitled Autism: A Brain or Whole Body Disorder in my email in box, I got chills. Finally, somebody was talking to me. An instant cure for isolation in abyss of the Autism community was a load of information directly relating to our life was spelled out by Mark Sisson.
Paleo/Primal leader, Mark Sisson took an empathetic and straightforward approach in this powerful post, reaching out to those of us who are effected by the epidemic of Autism, while discussing complexity the conditions.
Mark lays out some developing science and theories, referencing a book called The Autism Revolution written by Martha Herbert, a Harvard pediatric neurologist. I ordered the book and now am on my second reading with pages and pages of notes that validate our journey. I’ve learned so much about why Charlotte’s health has improved, why her symptoms have improved, and most importantly how to continue to help her.
Dr. Herbert’s strategies center around the idea that Autism as a symptom of the entire body and all of its systems. She provides science and research through the stories of individuals, like Charlotte, who have shown improvements in their symptoms as a direct result of improvements in their overall health.
If you choose to read the book, you may find that Dr. Herbert’s style and message is similar to what you will find here on this blog. On page xii of the introduction, she refers to her work as “a book of success stories that makes sense biologically.” This instantly resonated with me as my goal for Peace Love Paleo is to eventually become a community of many more success stories, not just ours. Like no other book or article I’ve ever read, her thinking and research clearly lines up with our experiences and successes.
Dr. Herbert describes Autism “not a genetic tragedy, but rather an unfolding and unprecedented challenge related to many other health and environmental crises”. She wants to help you “understand that your child’s brain is not broken or impaired but challenged, overwhelmed, and obstructed.”
In addition, she works to instill a sense of gratitude and encourages you, as the parent, to “see your child as a teacher who will bring out how extraordinary you are and see too how much you can do when faced with an extraordinary challenge.” This is like music to my ears.
As we’ve learned in the past few months, she demonstrates how nutrients need to be an available resource to handle whatever challenges may come along in our children.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is searching for some readable science to back the connection between Autism and Paleo, needs to be inspired by stories of triumph over this disorder, or just wants to learn more about what Autism really is.
This book and Mark’s post will help define the focus of this blog. My plan is to present their information to you in usable and digestible chunks over the next few months. If you are coming off of a summer like I have, you need to be restored, inspired, and validated. I will do my best to give you tools to make that happen.
If I haven’t said it lately, thank you for being a part of this community within a community. Your comments and feedback inspire me to continue to share our story and give you what you may need to stay inspired and encouraged. Please keep the comments, questions, and stories coming. It’s not an easy road we’re traveling. Let’s continue to seek comfort in each other’s experiences and resources like Dr. Herbert’s book.
We had MAJOR success!! My youngest, adopted at the age of 3.5 and came to us with ASD and SPD diagnosis (ASD was preliminary). Worked for 2.5 years with OT and ST with minimal results. We were having near daily meltdowns that would last Hours! I was devastated. When I went paleo this January, and my autoimmune symptoms disappeared, I realized that this might be helpful to my kids (all adopted at older ages) who had been exposed to who knows what, so we put them on it too. Within the first 8 weeks, my oldest was complete weaned off her ADHD meds, and my youngest caught up 18 months in development and no longer qualified for OT! She is now ahead on most things, and at the age of 6 is reading (albeit slowly) on a 2nd grade level and doing 3rd grade math. Coming from a child who needed help to remember how to write her own name and was spending 10+ hours screaming and countless more stimming, this is massive improvement! I don’t remember the last meltdown we had, or even the last time I caught her stimming! thanks for writing this! I’m reporting on my Facebook. Also, I’m in the process of reading Curing the New Childhood Epidemics: the 4A disorders (hope I got that right!)
Megan, thank you so much for sharing your story! What an amazing family you have. Kudos to you for improving the health of your kids!
Reblogged this on Natural Living Mamma and commented:
I love to hear success stories of people successfully treating conditions like Autism, ADD, ADHD, and other neurological dis-orders with proper diet and nutrition! Paleo and GAPS have both been so helpful to so many people with conditions like these. I am glad to have found this page and that she has taken the time to share her story.
I love to read about parents taking their families health into their own hands through proper diet be it GAPS or Paleo. I have heard great success for both. I am doing kind of a Paleo/GAPS combination (auto immune paleo?) for my self and the kids are on it as well since my daughter reacts to gluten and my son reacts when I have any dairy (keeps me honest since I am EBFing right now). I can not tell you how much better I feel since starting this journey in April. Love your site and I shared your story on my blog as well 🙂
These success stories are inspiring. I recently saw a billboard that said “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little something extra.” Thanks for taking the time to share your “extra” with us!
You’re welcome 🙂 My theory is that a small bit of inspiration and shared experiences always help!