1. GFCF diet is so hard – “I don’t know what to feed my child, it’s so expensive, my kid will only drink milk and eat chocolate biscuits, I don’t know where to buy GFCF substitutes, I’m frustrated because my son doesn’t like the taste, it’s taking so long to convert him fully to rice milk because he can taste the difference, it’s so hard to do this diet because we don’t have the brands like in the U.S.”
Yes, it is hard. The first couple of months are really tough. But once you find your favorite brand of milk, your son is happy because those GFCF chocolate animal cookies and rice crackers are yummy, you serve him more rice based meals rather than pizza and cheese sandwiches and you’ve successfully converted him fully to casein free milk, it eventually gets easier and easier. It’s actually easier for us in malaysia, there’s GFCF foods all around us. Asian foods are traditionally rice flour based and uses coconut milk instead of dairy. The benefits are huge and well worth the effort. Many parents have successfully implemented the diet, so can you. Check out this link for more info on GFCF diet
2. It’s a bunch of quack – “These doctors are all quacks and just trying to scam your money, there’s no evidence that biomedical works, I’m afraid it will make my child worse, my friend told me it didn’t work for her son, biomedical is expensive, I tried it for a couple of months and I didn’t see any improvements”
75% of children will benefit from biomedical intervention. A number of them go on to recover fully from Autism. Please read this wonderful article by the Autism Research Institute on the causes of Autism and the treatment options http://www.autism.com/autism/first/adviceforparents.htm
Before you discard biomedical treatments, please read through all the research that has been done by the Autism Research Institute http://www.autism.com Please watch the videos of parents testimonials of how biomedical intervention recovered their children http://www.recoveryvideos.com Please read the books on how these parents recovered their kids – Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy. Read the medical treatment guides such as Children with Starving Brains by Jaquelyn McCandless and Effective Biomedical Treatment by Dr Jon Pangborn.
Insurance will not cover anything that falls under Autism. However, your insurance will cover medical costs for gastrointestinal issues, allergies and other medical issues. But mostly the financial burden will be borne by the parents. The treatment costs will vary and yes, they can get very high. However, Paul and I view it more as a long-term investment in our child’s future. The gains are huge, but it takes time to mature. Everyone has to work within their means, the financial burden is staggering for any family with a special needs child.
Just because a particular treatment helped my child, doesn’t mean it’s right for yours. And if it didn’t work for your friend’s son, doesn’t mean it will not work for yours. Autism is such a complex disorder that 2 months is not going to cut it. GFCF diet alone is not enough, you must take the baseline supplements, consult a DAN doctor, do all the tests, faithfully take the 2nd tier supplements and much more. Commit fully for at least 6 months to 1 year before giving up. You need to meticulously keep a journal and always keep going to the next level. Finally, you will never know if biomedical intervention will help your child if you never try it.
3. Biomedical is dangerous – “Chelation caused a child’s death”
Chelation (pronounced key-lay-shun) is the process of detoxifying heavy metals from the body. It’s the most `controversial’ and unfortunately the most well known treatment associated with biomedical. Most people think that biomedical is chelation only and tend to stay away from biomedical because of the risks involved in it. Yes, there is always a risk in any medical treatment. However, chelation is only a part of biomedical. There are many other treatments that constitutes biomedical intervention. Chelation is usually a treatment left last or at least to be considered only after undergoing many other initial treatments. Some children improve so well on the other treatments that chelation was not necessary.
Even with the help of an experienced DAN doctor, the parent should always do your own research. Don’t be afraid to question the doctor, double check everything. Paul and I are lucky to have finally found a wonderful and trusted doctor in Dr Erwin Kay in Singapore. And we also consult with a very experienced and senior doctor in Dr Mark Westaway who was previously based in Australia but is now a consultant in a prestigious hospital in the UK. We get second and third opinions on just about everything. We take meticulous notes and keep a journal on every supplement Maya takes and her reaction to it. And we learn from other parents who have gone through this journey before us.
The case of 5 year old Abubakar Tariq who died whilst undergoing chelation treatment needs to clarified. Most don’t realize that the child’s death was due to human error – the medical practitioner gave him the wrong medication. The chelation agent Calcium Disodium EDTA was supposed to be used, instead the doctor administered Disodium EDTA instead. Both medications have similar names, both are colorless and it was a mistake resulting in his death. This is an unfortunate and extremely sad outcome for Abubakar’s family and my heart goes out to them. Please read the full report here http://www.autism-pdd.net/testdump/test5198.htm
Some of the treatments I’ve tried brought no changes, some made Maya sick or regress, but some
have made significant improvement in her. Treat your child’s underlying medical issues, prioritize
which to treat first, start one at a time. Don’t give up on biomedical when a treatment failed to show
the results you expected – educate yourself, implement, keep a log, investigate, try again, move on.
It is a long-term `investment’, so expect highs and lows. Accept the fact that there will be infractions
and mistakes made by yourself and others. Forgive and move on. The cost of biomedical treatment
is never ending. Prioritize, budget and give yourself realistic goals.