Monday, April 20, 2009

DAN! Conference Update

This is a picture of me with Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. He is the co-author (with Jenny McCarthy) of Healing & Preventing Autism.

WOW! It will seriously take me a month's worth of posts just to begin to cover the conference adequately. It was mind-boggling. The entire time I was there, I was taking notes and trying to make notes of all of the things and I wanted to share here and of all of the resources I want to post regarding recovering kids from Autism and VERY IMPORTANTLY preventing Autism. I do believe, even more now than ever that kids with Autism can and do recover, and that Autism can be prevented.

These doctors that taught the classes were phenomenal. Very approachable, yet clearly brilliant, educationally speaking. In each session I felt like I was sitting in a college biology class. These doctors took what I already knew--

  • Kids with Autism have gut issues.

  • Kids with Autism don't shed toxins well.

  • Kids with Autism have too much yeast and their gut/intestine is permeable, which causes problems with bowels and behaviors.

  • Kids with Autism are often OCD.

  • Dietary changes help kids with Autism.

  • Vitamin & Mineral Supplements helps kids with Autism.

they took all of these issues, plus a ton more and EXPLAINED in physiological terms exactly what is happening in the body and why certain dietary changes and supplement interventions improve our kids so much. I was looking at photos from bowel scopes of normal healthy children vs. children with autism. It is CRAZY the obvious physical difference. The kids with autism had nodules (lumpies) all throughout the intestines, where the 'normal' kids did not. I also slides of brain cells from a study done by Johns Hopkins on brains of Autistic children & neurotypical children who died from drowning. Their brains were different. The kids with Autism had super inflamed brains. I believed this already, but seeing it was something else altogether. The doctor asked us how many feel sometimes like our kids brains are on fire--almost everyone in the massive ballroom raised his or her hand. That is exactly what it feels like. Well, now there is research to prove this inflammation. Again--I haven't even begun to cover the scope and breadth of this weekend. I plan to organize my notes and pass the info along as best I can. It was so valuable.

While the conference was OVERWHELMING, it was also comforting. Mainstream docs, namely pediatricians, often do not know a lot about Autism's physiological problems. Far too often they tell parents that loose stools are just 'part of autism' rather than trying to treat the bowel dysbiosis problem. They mean well, but just do not know. When the child is overly anxious, or exhibiting OCD behaviors or aggression, they do not attempt to find the root cause such as--food reactions, or the presence of PANDAS , yeast overgrowth. Instead very often the answer is to medicate the child with risperdol or klonopin or other sedative drugs that just numb the brain and bandaid the problem rather than trying to find out WHY these kids are having these issues and getting to the root of the problem so that healing can begin. Some kids need these meds, and for some, they serve a great purpose, but it should not be used in PLACE of finding the source of the problem. That's like treating a cancer patient for the pain but forgetting the tumor. You still have to deal with the tumor, even as you manage the pain. Otherwise, what good have you really done the patient? You have simply masked the problem and put it off for another day. It did my soul good to see so many doctors, these bright minds who are treating our children's medical needs, not just behavioral needs. Most of them teach, and I genuinely believe that if the underlying physiological problems are treated, the behavioral problems often resolve or at minimum, get better. This is NOT to discredit therapy. DAN! doctors definitely recommend therapy in conjunction with medical treatment. Again--the focus is a comprehensive approach.

So what drives these doctors like:

Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Unfortunately many of these doctors have children who were diagnosed with Autism. In their quests to help their own children, and to make sense of their own bewildering experiences with Autism, they found a void in the Autism community for educated physicians who would take a deeper look at the epidemic of Autism. Thankfully for the rest of us, these doctors and many more like them have risen to the occasion and continue to search for new information, treatments, and protocols that will heal our children. I'm going to conclude this post with a hats off to these fantastic physicians!


All About the Bailey's said...

Can't wait to read your notes! Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

Wow! I am so looking forward to all the info that you have to share. We are headed to a DAN doctor in May for the first time. Thanks for taking the time to blog about your experiences.

Tothblog said...

Wow. Looking forward to reading more. Love ya!