Health By Nature…Where Clean Meets Green!


Autism & Nutrition–Part 1

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This article appears as the beginning of a chapter in the OFFICIAL AUTISM 101 MANUAL published by Autism Today, 2006. I will be posting Part 2 containing the rest of the chapter tomorrow.

Contributing Author Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D., Creative Learning Environments

AUTISM AND NUTRITION: RESOURCES AVAILABLE


First, let me introduce myself. I am an educator and networker through whom information flows across many different disciplines. My Ph.D. is from The Union Institute and University in the area of Creative Learning Environments. I am not a medical doctor. I have worked since 1977 with Richard Wawro, an internationally known autistic savant artist from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1983, I produced WITH EYES WIDE OPEN, an international, award- winning documentary film about his life and art. Since 1996, I have shared the work of Christophe Pillault, another autistic savant artist from France. And since 2005 I have worked with Ping Lian, a 12 year old autistic savant artist from Malaysia. I have also worked since 1992 with a young man who cannot speak, cannot walk, and cannot feed himself. He is not autistic; he is not a savant. He is a prodigy, and his physical condition is, as of now, still largely undiagnosed. Marshall Ball, however, is an amazing writer and thinker. KISS OF GOD: The Wisdom of a Silent Child, a collection of his writings, was published in 1999 and in the first three months sold over 200,000 copies. I wrote the Foreword for the book. I have had the opportunity to speak at many conferences throughout the years and have shared with many parents and researchers my experiences directly related to the fields of autism, disability, and creativity. I was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual State Conference on Autism in 2001. The title of my presentation was “Seeing: Beneath and Beyond.” I looked at hope, faith, destiny, openness to new learning, nutrition, creativity, and art. My wife, Rosanne, and I have been involved with nutrition since 1974, and in 2001, we became Directors of our business within the Shaklee Corporation. In 1981 & 1982, I was part of the design team for the largest conferences ever held on “Nutrition and Behavior” (at that time violent and criminal behavior and hyperactivity. Autism was not considered at those conferences.) Speakers included: Dr. Doris Rapp, Dr. William Crook, Dr. Linus Pauling, and Dr. Bernard Rimland. Since that time I have shared the work of Dr. Rimland, founder and director of the AUTISM RESEARCH INSTITUTE, 4182 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116. See www.autism.com/ari. His Autism Research Review International, a quarterly publication, reviews biomedical and educational research in the field of autism and related disorders. In 2003, Dr. Rimland edited with Dr. Stephen Edelson TREATING AUTISM: Parent Stories of Hope and Success, one of the most important, readable, and useful books I know about. In addition to 30 chapters written by parents of autistic children, many of whom are medical doctors, telling of their success in treating their children, the book also contains a chart that shows the results of 22,300 responses to a survey on the treatment effectiveness of DRUGS, SUPPLEMENTS, DIETS, & MISC. THERAPIES OR CONDITIONS. What an incredible source of information for parents and doctors! Write ARI to obtain a copy of the survey and the results or to order a copy of the book. One example of the data is the survey: “Bar graphs depicting the rating of 49 drugs and 8 nutrients by thousands of parents of autistic children note that Ritalin, the most frequently used drug, helped only 29% of the children, while making 44% worse (based on 3082 parent surverys). Compare that with the ratings of nutrient therapies.


One of the most significant books to enter my life has been Karyn Seroussi’s UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF AUTISM AND PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER: A Mother’s Story of Research & Recovery. It reads like a detective story. I was given a copy, and I read the entire book in two days. It brought together some of the people and information that I had gained in the conferences in 1981 & 1982 and connected them with autism. It also reaffirmed Dr. Rimland’s statement that “In the past 40 years the most significant research in the field of autism has not been done by men in white lab coats, but by mothers!” I cannot tell you how important this book is. Each Appendix is filled with resources. Page 262 has information about the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention. Both authors frequently speak at the DAN (DEFEAT AUTISM NOW) conferences. see www.autismNDI.com. At a FUTURE HORIZONS conference I received Vol. 1 No. 1 of YOUR LIFE by the Living Sensibly Foundation, a newsletter with articles by Karyn Seroussi and Lisa S. Lewis, Ph.D., author of SPECIAL DIETS FOR SPECIAL KIDS. Contact FUTURE HORIZONS, 721 W. Abraham Street, Arlington, TX 76013, 817-277-0727 for information about this resource and a list of publications.

In 2003 I met for the first time Raun Kaufman, subject of SON RISE: The Miracle Continues, 1994. I had first encountered SON RISE in 1978 while living in rural Maine and was introduced to the word “autism” for the first time. The book documents the development of the Option Institute and the Son Rise approach to treatment. www.son-rise.org email sonrise@option.org An excellent VHS produced by the BBC titled I WANT MY LITTLE BOY BACK is a stunning presentation of the method of treatment. The second person I met was Annabel Stehli, author of THE SOUND OF A MIRACLE, which describes her journey with her autistic daughter Georgie. They found the miracle which transformed Georgie through the work of Guy Berard, M.D. who developed Auditory Integration Training. The book is an incredibly moving account of Annabel’s journey to find the key to unlock her daughter’s prison. 860-355-1545 www.georgianainstitute.org email georgianainstitute@snet.net

New on the conference scene and joining the acknowledged scientific leader DAN conferences founded by Dr. Bernard Rimland is the CASD (Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders) Conferences. Organized by Kazuko A. Irie-Curtin, the CASD conferences have in a very short time brought together some of the leading researchers in the field of autism. Check their web site www.casdweb.org Email kazuko@grandecom.net 512-565-4828. Also see Dr. Amy Yasko at www.holistichealth.com

I hope these resources will provide you with valuable new information in your own journey to,

as Karyn Serrousi says, “track down and slay the beast that has invaded my child’s body.” Another recent book (2005), EVIDENCE OF HARM, by David Kirby explores in great depth the relationship between vaccinations and autism.

 

Resources for Art and Autism: Sandy McMurray at www.autismarts.com , Email: autismarts@cs.com. Karen Simmons author of SURROUNDED BY MIRACLES, produced ARTISM, Art by Those with Autism and a CD Peace of Mind for Autism (caretoday@shaw.ca) or 1-877-482-1555. See also Autism Today. Released in 2006 is THE OFFICIAL AUTISM 101 MANUAL. See Amazon.com for information. See also “Living in the Spectrum” vol 1: Autism & Ausperger’s is a CD produced by Lecia Macryn at www.mindscapeproductions.com (248) 288-2242. The art of autistic savant artist Richard Wawro, who passed away in February 2006, may be found at www.wawro.net . The M.I.N.D. Institute has published a book of its permanent art collection. It is a wonderful book that contains a biography of each artist and a full color reproduction of the art. See www.mindinstitute.org. Also see Dr. Darold A. Treffert’s www.savantsyndrome.com/ for artist Chirstophe Pillault, 12 year old savant artist Ping Lian (www.pinglian.com/) of Malaysia, and many other savant artists. I will have the feature article in the July 2006, issue of KALEIDOSCOPE Magazine (Exproring the experience of disability through literature and the fine arts) www.udsakron.org on the topic of the portrayal of disability in film. Many new and wonderful films are coming out seemingly each month. The latest to be added to my list of must see films is KEEPER OF THE KOHN about the life of Peter Kohn, long time field manager of the Middlebury men’s and women’s lacross teams. It’s a real keeper.

As you discover new and helpful resources, I hope you will share them with me. This listing of resources is constantly being updated. I look forward to adding yours. My life has been blessed by so many people, and the synchronicities are almost overwhelming at times. But “IF we be TRUE to the integrity of the moment, who knows, what or where, wonders, beasts, adventures will sweep us UP into their flood!”

“Persons are gifts…wrapped.

Each meeting of persons in an exchange of gifts.”

I have written the previous two-page statement to point people in the right direction. While it does not talk about specific nutritional supplements to use with children who have autism spectrum disorders, it does provide a broader context of the research and knowledge in the field. Some of the nutrients mentioned in the Parent Survey used by Dr. Rimland are: Calcium, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B3 & B6, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, Digestive Enzymes, Fatty Acid, and St.John’s Wort. The parent survey gives parents a broad knowledge of what a large number of other parents have tried and the behavioral changes that they have experienced. Shaklee nutrition can be used to provide the supplements used in the survey in a number of instances. I am confident that the purity of the ingredients used in Shaklee food supplements and the nature of the processing of the ingredients is unmatched in the supplement industry. Shaklee has been at the forefront of the science of nutritional supplements for 50 years.

[See www.shaklee.net/healthbynature]—added by Lisa Hummitsch of “Health By Nature”]

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