Thursday, December 29, 2005

Autism Increasingly Common--Parents Find that Diet and Supplements Help

Autism is "the fastest growing developmental disability among children. The number of children diagnosed with autism has risen from one in 2,000 15 years ago to one in 250 two years ago to 1 in 166 today."
(Autism ever more common: Mother assures parents there is hope, By TAMMY BOULD, The Register-Mail, Sunday, December 18, 2005)

The number of anecdotal cases of autistic children being helped by diets and supplements continues to grow and more and more parents are trying this approach despite the skepticism of doctors. For example, four-year-old Tyler Ferris of Galesburg, Illinois has autism and is helped by a special diet and supplements. (Autism ever more common). Joe and Selina Farrell of Orange County, California, started their son Joseph on a wheat- and dairy-free diet. "After some months, they said, Joseph began to think more clearly and had less self-stimulating behavior seen in autistic children." (Sunday, December 25, 2005, Alternative Approach: Parents of some autistic kids are at odds with many experts over the efficacy of nontraditional treatments, By JENIFER B. MCKIM, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER)

More parents nationwide are trying a wheat- and dairy-free diet to treat autism, many under the supervision of doctors trained by the Autism Research Institute. A conference held by Defeat Autism Now, a project of the Autism Research Institute that promotes the DAN! diet to treat autism, included a discussion of the "debated theory that autistic symptoms can be caused by intestinal and immune-system problems that prompt toxins to affect the brain."

More and more research has made connections between the diseases of modern civilization, immune system malfunctions (autoimmune illness), gastrointestinal problems and modern foods. If doctors were aware of the latest science in autism, evolutionary nutrition, and paleolithic anthropology, they might not doubt the parents of autistic children so much.

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