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Consultancy

  Many people arriving at GAPS for the first time may feel overwhelmed with how to get started or wonder how they will possibly apply the program for fussy eaters.  Most often people discover the GAPS Protocol after already exhausting their resources with different diets or commercial mainstream approaches to relieve and manage their condition.  If you are ready to make a life changing decision for your health (or your child’s health) and are prepared to apply a full commitment to the GAPS Program, then Linda Paterson, ‘Certified GAPS Practitioner’ can assist you.
Linda holds GAPS Consultations by phone/Skype teleconference or in person at the Brisbane based ‘GAPS Nutrition Consultancy Clinic’. Selecting a GAPS Nutrition Consultation with Linda is dependent upon whether you are new to GAPS or whether you require some guidance in ensuring that you are implementing the program appropriately. Please view our consultation packages.

Linda Paterson

Certified GAPS Practitioner

linda-paterson-profile1

Consultation Packages include a free copy of the GAPS Companion and a one time use 10% discount voucher at the GAPS Shop with your first online order.

Package One

GAPS Orientation – Intervention & Implementation

This package is delivered over a two part consultation session with the second consultation taking place two weeks after the initial consultation.

Initial Consultation, Part A: GAPS Getting Started

The initial consultation confirms a better history of your symptoms and explores how they are specifically related to Gut and Psychology Syndrome to design appropriate steps for diet intervention. With a full comprehensive GAPS Orientation, you will gain a better understanding of the GAPS three part protocol, where to access GAPS food and resources, how to prepare and plan GAPS staple food prior to starting the program and what you will expect to experience during the program. Homework tasks will be set at this consultation so that appropriate food preparation and supplies are in good order before the second consultation where plans will be discussed for diet implementation.  Package materials include a Nutrition Analysis (to be completed by the client) a Nutrition Preliminary Preparation Plan and a copy of ‘The GAPS Companion: A Handbook for beginners’.

Duration: 2 Hours (3 hours value)

Part A Consultation Fee: $220.00 Additional fees apply if the consultation is for more than one person or child.

This is then followed by your second appointment two weeks later.

 

Second Consultation, Part B: Implementation

Linda will ensure that you have successfully prepared the foods and resources required to start the diet and discuss your individual intervention strategies and modifications required to implement the diet according to your needs. You will effectively learn how to travel through each stage of the diet, how to manage your symptoms and when to move from one stage to the next. Materials include a Nutrition Intervention Plan to help you navigate your GAPS Journey.

Duration: 1.5 Hours (2.5 hours value)

Part B Consultation Fee $165.00 Additional fees apply if the consultation is for more than one person or child

If your consultation time goes over the allocated time set, practicing fees will be charged in 15 minute intervals at $25 and this will be charged to the customer’s credit card at the end of the consultation appointment.

Package Two

GAPS SAVVY & Follow up

GAPS SAVVY Consultation

This package is delivered over a two hour session and is designed for people who have already gained some understanding of GAPS and have maintained some understanding with the healing foods but require support and guidance in implementing the protocol effectively and correctly. You will learn how to prepare and plan GAPS staple food and how to incorporate them into your daily diet. Overall health and general history will be analysed in order to establish the right intervention plan for you to travel your GAPS journey. Package materials include a Nutrition Analysis (to be completed by the client) a Nutrition Intervention Plan and a copy of ‘The GAPS Companion: A Handbook for beginners’.

Duration: 2 Hours (3 hours value) Resources Included: ‘GAPS Nutrition Intervention Plan’ and ‘The GAPS Companion’

GAPS Savvy Consultation Fee: $285.00 Additional fees apply if the consultation is for more than one person or child

Follow Up Consultations

Follow up Consultations can be booked in advance to ensure appointment availability.

Follow up Consultation Fee: $110.00

If your consultation time goes over the allocated time set, practicing fees will be charged in 15 minute intervals at $25 and this will be charged to the customer’s credit card at the end of the consultation appointment.

Other Consultation Options

General Follow Up Consultations

Follow Up Consultations can be booked in advance to ensure appointment availability.

Follow up Consultation Fee for one hour: $80.00

Additional Consulting Fees

Additional Consulting fees cover extra fees for the following:

Additional Assessment fee for an extra person

This option covers additional consultation fees for an extra person. This will cover preliminary preparation time involved in the Nutrition Analysis, Assessment and Intervention plan so that individual needs are identified and met.

Consultation Fee: $65.00

Half Hour Consultation

This option can be used for a short half hour consult if arrangements have been made with Linda ‘Certified GAPS Practitioner’.

Consultation Fee: $65.00

GAPS Support Meetings: Follow up support can also be obtained at scheduled GAPS Support Meetings. Meeting times and dates can be viewed at the GAPS Australia Events Page.

Additional Fees if your consultation goes over the allocated time set

If your consultation time goes over the allocated time set, practicing fees will be charged in 15 minute intervals at $25 and this will be charged to the customer’s credit card at the end of the consultation appointment.

How do I schedule my GAPS Nutrition Consultation?

Please select your preference from our consultation package options from the right side bar. This will lead you to the checkout where you will be prompted to select whether the consultation is for an adult or your child and the number of people requiring assessment. Other questions to be answered will include whether you will be attending the clinic in person, phone or Skype conference.

Once checkout is complete you can expect to be contacted by a representative within 2 working days to provide you with your appointment schedule.  You will also receive a (writable PDF) ‘Nutrition Analysis’ to complete and return via email prior to your appoinment.  All payments are processed online and in advance so that preliminary assessments can be carried out in a timely manner prior to your appointment.

GAPS Nutrition Consultancy Clinic Hours

Clinic Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Clinic Hours: 9.30am – 2pm

Consultation Availability

Consultation bookings need to be made in advance.  Due to the large volume of consultation bookings, there may be a waiting period from  3 – 6 weeks.  Should you wish to make an enquiry into appointment availabilities with Linda, please complete the enquiry form at the Contact Us Page.  If Linda is unable to see you as soon as you would like (due to her long waiting list), we will be happy to refer you to a Certified GAPS Practitioner in your area so please provide us with your location and who the consultation is for and we will forward your details.

About Linda & GAPS Nutrition Consultancy

The GAPS Nutrition Consultancy Program emerged from Linda’s personal experience in effectively treating her own son diagnosed with autism with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Protocol. It was through this experience that Linda identified with the limited amount of support, direction or guidance available to people seeking this information and treatment option. Having been trained by Dr Natasha herself, Linda has since received Certification as a GAPS Practitioner.

Linda is very grateful to her mentor Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride for her wealth of collective knowledge and successful clinical and personal experience in treating thousands of people with GAPS conditions including her own son who has also since recovered from autism. Linda understands the challenges associated with implementing the GAPS Nutrition Protocol for children with specific needs because she has experienced this first hand. She is committed to helping other parents and adults with digestive disorders to understand and navigate the GAPS protocol and implementation of ABA mealtime management programs for fussy eaters.

Linda holds a Bachelor of Health Science with honors in the field of Developmental Disabilities & writing programs for people with specific needs. She has undertaken studies in Nutrition and is an Associate member of the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM). Linda has enjoyed working in both government and non-government health service organisations in the disability and mental health field for over 16 years providing a cross reference of experience associated with a broad variety of mental health issues and developmental disorders.

Linda is an active member of the Weston A Price Foundation and is dedicated to restoring nutrient dense foods to the Australian diet through educating the GAPS protocol and the health dilemma our children are exposed to. Upon commencing the Gaps Nutrition Consultancy Program, Linda’s referral pathways have extended from other ACNEM Doctors where she continues to coach parents, adults and families with a variety of GAPS related health issues and conditions. Linda is working with Dr Natasha on a referral capacity and holds a direct link to her wealth of information and knowledge. Dr Natasha has come to realize that the growth of GAPS followers has become too large for her to manage on her own and has delegated Linda as the official GAPS Practitioner Course Educator across Australia and New Zealand which will provide Practitioners with GAPS Trade Mark Certification.

Linda is the Australian Distributor for all GAPS Products and provides trade accounts to GAPS Practitioners and related services. The official GAPS Australia website is an extension of Gaps Nutrition Consultancy where supportive information is provided free to all who wish to learn more about GAPS and explore the protocol and important components of the program. Through this site, GAPS support groups have been established and provided individuals with a valuable support network.

Linda’s GAPS cooking classes have unfolded into a relaxed social gathering where the secrets of our forefathers are shared during the course of exploring and enjoying the taste of nourishing food. Linda likes to structure these classes informally with women and men sharing their skills in the kitchen of her own home.

Linda holds support group meetings for local GAPS members and delivers GAPS Education and Training Seminars to the public. Whilst only a small degree of supplements are utilized in the GAPS Protocol to assist with important imbalances, Linda strongly believes that nourishing nutrition provides the powerhouse of the healing powers if implemented correctly. Linda’s motivation to help others has derived from her own sons success which makes her approach unique and relatable for those wishing to follow the same healing path.

Linda's sons healing journey from ASD

My son was diagnosed with autism when he was three. I first identified the potential for my son’s condition at age two where his language had regressed and he stopped eating all my home made meals, self limiting himself to only a few food items. Soon after this came self harming where he would scratch his face, bite his arms and bang his head on the floor causing scratch marks on his cheeks, bite marks on his arms and hands and bruises to his forehead. Although the first major signs of autism emerged just after the age of two where they continually and progressively got worse, I did identify some earlier problems at around the age of three and five months where I exhausted my own instinctive efforts and resorted to professional support from a baby whisperer due to his severe sleep problems. I cringe when I recall how I became so subservient to the pressure of my sons paediatrician who abruptly advised of the significance in immunising our son with an additional vaccine at 6 weeks followed by two boosters at 10 and 14 weeks for the Meningococcal C vaccine. This vaccine is not advised on the Australian Immunisation Program Schedule until the age of 12 months but our paediatrician created a fear in us with a statement directed to the life threatening risk of contracting meningococcal before the age of 12 months. This then meant that our son received 3 additional vaccinations in comparison to the majority of the remaining Australian Population at a very young age where his immune system could simply not cope with the toxic load. What upsets me today is how I was unaware at the time that this vaccine only covered 3 out of 13 of the Meningococcal C disease and that it did not take into account the many other types of meningococcal diseases. According to the Australian Vaccination Network, the overall risk of death for Meningococcal disease was recorded at 1:1,000,000. Since then we also learnt that Doctors are paid by pharmaceutical companies for the percentage of children they vaccinate. The main concern for us though, was the additional exposure to the Aluminium adjuvant which is used as a preservative consuming just under 50% of the vaccine ingredients. When my son was tested for exposure to toxic chemicals, it was exposure to aluminium poisoning that revealed the most alarming concerns and this scored the highest above all other chemicals stored in his body. At two months of age and onwards his sleep problems emerged and continued to worsen as time went on. He was awake every hour on the hour and there was nothing I could do to console him. All I could do is lain him on the bed next to me but if I were to touch him he would scream and start all over again. I had experienced this sort or avoidant touch behaviour in my work before and when I expressed the idea of autism to my husband, it was quickly dismissed and I also passed my own judgement off as an overreaction due to the lack of additional symptoms categorised with autism spectrum disorder. Having worked with children with disabilities has prepared me well in applying my skills to helping my son; however there is nothing that can prepare a parent for a child who displays behaviours that appear to show you they do not want your love or affection. When your own child does not know your name or pushes your face away, won’t let you console them when they are upset or bangs their head on the floor, bites themselves and claws at their face, a mother feels helpless and depleted. This is the world we shared before we found what we needed to heal our son. I have watched Reilly transform rapidly from a world of his own with no communication and self harming behaviours to an interactive five year old boy gaining quickly on his peers in the areas of social and developmental progress. Apart from early home intervention programs run by myself coupled with speech therapy and support from his fully certified assistance dog, the only changes I have made is the implementation of GAPS supplementation protocol, avoidance of chemicals in its many forms and a strict adherence to the GAPS nutrition protocol inclusive of the introduction Detox diet. We later worked on preparation for school to assist him in catching up with his peers by enrolling him in an early intervention unit 2 short days a week followed by three days at AEIOU (an early intervention program for children with autism supported by some Applied Behavioural Analysis programs). Arriving at this wonderful stage in Reilly’s life is overwhelming and very rewarding however it was not achieved without its challenges. It initially took great leaps and bounds to achieve a diagnosis for Reilly and this was coupled with the search for appropriate treatment options. These options often take parents on a journey that requires a detailed map in order to find the right treatment. Numerous conflicting options are time consuming for parents to navigate. The list of treatment options is endless and I am thankful that we never considered the option to explore drugs like Ritalin for our son or he would not be the same little boy of health today. The choices are exhaustive and making the right decision is paramount. I took my son to several dieticians, health professionals and Doctors to seek the best advice on diet and treatment for ASD however no direction or guidance was presented on the GAPS Protocol and collective advice often conflicted with another. Searching for the right treatment took a great deal of time, effort and money with an ever increasing accumulation of new books. My academic research abilities and knowledge gained through my Health Science degree coupled with my work in the disability and mental health field with the Department of Justice was a valuable resource to me during this time. It was through my own extensive research involving travel to several destinations including flights out of state to attend Autism expositions and a variety of conferences, seminars, workshops and presentations that led me to the discovery of a little yellow book tucked in the corner at a Sydney Autism expo. This yellow book became my bible – The Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride. Prior to GAPS my son was an extremely fussy eater, self limiting his food range to an extreme minimum, resulting in a variety of deficiencies and nutrition problems. I sought guidance in every corner to establish ways to get him to eat the food he needed to improve his nutrition; however nothing I found was of use until I followed the Detox with applied behaviour analysis strategies. After only two weeks on the introduction diet, he was eating everything we gave him and even asked for seconds and thirds. He requested food that we had tried to feed him in the past as if he had eaten them several times before. We would never have believed this possible if we had not seen it with our own eyes. The circles around his eyes have gone, he has gained weight, but more importantly, he is participating in lengthy conversations, socialising in ways never seen before and showing lots of affection and sharing his emotions. The list of improvements goes on but the rest of this story is yet to be revealed as I believe my son will continue to heal and gain developmental ground with his peers as he continues to progress with the GAPS diet. Not only did I take the long way around to get to GAPS by sifting through competing diets and therapies, but I also spent a great deal of time in working out which supplements to use and this took quite a bit of effort in learning all about the right ratios of omega fish oils, essential fatty acids, enzymes and the search for an appropriate Probiotic containing the right broad spectrum strains as outlined in the GAPS book. I was also very grateful to our Doctor and president of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine who supported our journey through the GAPS protocol. The GAPS supplementation protocol in the book did not advise on brands such as Bio-Kult etc or a website where I could access it so I had to make do with what I had at my disposal until I had finally identified which supplements to purchase and where I could purchase them. These included 3 supplements, Bio-Kult the Probiotic made by a team of medical professions including Dr Campbell-Mc Bride at the Cambridge University, Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil. Some people need a digestive enzyme Betaine with added pepsin, however this can be replaced by homemade sauerkraut which is a lactic acid fermentation containing very significant beneficial bacteria whilst stimulating the much needed stomach acid. The new supplements, accompanied by the introduction diet proved to be invaluable. If only I had someone to assist me with all my questions about GAPS from the beginning and show me where to access the supplements in the first place. Learning about the diet involved the reconstruction of how we live as it was a new way of life. Preparation of meals involved organic produce and homemade traditional cooking remedies that eliminate the use of preservatives etc. I needed to learn new cooking skills which took a great deal of trial and error before mastering. It would have been invaluable to have someone to show me how to make sauerkraut, homemade yoghurt, meat bone and vegetable stocks and broth and how to make the right decision in selecting the right cookware and storage containers. I won’t lie, there was a time where I felt I lived in the kitchen and cried to the Gods in Heaven to help me with my struggles but as I began to become more confident in the kitchen I soon found my passion. This does not mean that I am a great cook because I can still cook a hungry mans dinner but now I know what to cook and how to prepare for it and more importantly why I am cooking it. My kitchen became the hub of my home. My most concerning need for support and guidance was when my son had experienced sever die off reactions during the Detox stages. It could have been very easy to stop and give up with the Detox stage because my son had reacted severely to the release of toxins in his body. This is where my idea emerged to become a Nutrition Consultant for GAPS as I knew there had to be parents out their like me who needed this level of support and required some guidance to do it right. I have worked in both the disability and mental health field for over 20 years and have completed a Bachelor degree in Health Science, Leisure and Health, with core subjects derived from developmental disabilities and studies in Nutrition. GAPS is so powerful and I am constantly seeking ways to create community awareness. There is no such service available in Australia and there is very little awareness of the book and diet within the autism and associated health specific community. I have worked with many parents concerned with not only Autism, but with other disorders like immune disorders, OCD, oppositional defiant disorder, schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD and dyslexia, IBS and other digestive problems, depression and women with sever yeast overgrowth who are trying to fall pregnant. Since starting my business my son has started Prep in a mainstream school where he has transitioned nicely and plays in a soccer team on weekends. His hobbies and interests are computers, chess and other outdoor recreational activities and watersports. He is reading books two to three years ahead of his pears. His more recent interest has been inspired by playing piano and I will be looking into this one next. There are absolutely no self harming behaviours or screaming tantrums on the floor. He is a very affectionate and passive little boy loved by all and loves to interact with his peers. Although his speech development is only slightly behind his peers, we have confidence that he will catch up with his peers in good time as he continues to progress with the GAPS Protocol. The success with our own son has motivated me to increase community awareness of the GAPS Protocol and how individuals can identify how they believe GAPS may help their condition. Whilst I understand that GAPS is not something everyone is confident in implementing, we need to at least create the awareness to all so that individuals can make the choice for themselves and seek the support and guidance necessary to implement the protocol as early as possible. GAPS Diet Australia and my GAPS Nutrition Consultancy services has provided the means to achieve this and also acts as a support platform and resource facility for all who seek it. Supportive families make for an easier transition in implementing the GAPS Protocol but I have found that this is not always the case in most situations. There is a high divorce rate in families who have children with Autism. Becoming more organised in the kitchen and setting new routines will assist single parents to adjust to the program more readily. I have been delighted to hear how grandparents and aunties and uncles get involved in playing a small part to support children on the GAPS program. I encourage families to work as a team if possible, one person can do the juicing each morning whilst the other prepares lunches and cooks up some breakfast. In no time at all, your new routine will become a natural part of your life. It is also very important to include your children in the education process of good nutrition and cooking in the kitchen. My son drags a chair to the kitchen every time he hears the kitchen utensils clanging together, he gets his tasting and mixing spoon ready and loves to juice and crack a perfect egg every morning. My daughter submitted a video to A Current Affair for the Top Mini Chef Competition with her brother as an assistant in cooking GAPS recipes. Their application of cooking skills were aired every night on A Current Affair for a week until my daughter was awarded as a finalist and was flown to Sydney to compete with the final 8 contestants. She did very well in winning many kitchen appliances and cookware of which I assisted in finding a nice home for in our kitchen. I know I speak for many others when I say that I am grateful to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride for not only pioneering the way but for teaching us how to do it for ourselves and show us all that with the right level of support and commitment, it is possible! I am delighted to be working with Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride who advised that the best education one can ever have with the GAPS Nutrition Protocol is one who has experienced it firsthand. Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s own son was diagnosed with severe autism and also attends a mainstream school. As a young adult he shows no signs of autism and is studying at college. You can access her story at the GAPS Australia Website under the Consultations page. Thank you for reading my son’s journey and the emergence of GAPS Diet Australia, I hope it brings you closer to starting your own healing journey.

Testimonials

Gaps Nutrition Consultancy Testimonial 2009

“I was initially daunted when I read the Gaps book by Dr N. Campbell-McBride and could not see how I could implement so many aspects of the introductory diet on my own so I was relieved when I learnt that Linda offered a consultancy service to support and guide me through the process. I was so pleased to get a quick response from her when I emailed and found that she was never far away when I sent an S.O.S as I was preparing and working through the protocol.

Linda answered any question that was asked of her and always researched anything that was new to her, being prompt with her reply. Linda helped me understand the reasoning behind the diet at times when I felt I could cut corners that just seemed too hard. Linda really helped me sustain my motivation and cheered me along at every stage I was able to conquer, she really empathised with how tough it was at times as she herself as a mother had travelled this road herself.

I found Linda a warm and supportive mentor who was happy to share ideas and personal experiences of her own to make things easier. If you are doing the gaps protocol, I recommend you invest in all she has to offer which is a lot for the small charge and all the hard work she puts in to getting you accross the line.

” Rosie, Victoria Australia

 

GAPS Testimonial 2010

Dear Linda, last night I read the story you wrote about your son and what you went through. It is incredible to me now, particularly having read your story, how many others have been and are currently going through what we are going through. Every symptom of your sons was and is, identical to my son. The sleeping issues that started at about 6 weeks of age that got worse by the day, the inconsolable screaming, the touching from us that tipped him over the edge…everything.

Reading your story completely overwhelmed me and to be honest, I struggled to get through it. I felt like I was reading about my own little boy. It’s the same for us now too…the GAPS Protocol that we really just stumbled across has changed our life. As with you, our kitchen has so much more meaning now. We are both cooking like you wouldn’t believe and little Jake who only 5 weeks ago would eat almost nothing we gave him, is eating everything we give him and more.

We simply cannot cook quick enough! It has changed our life and his progress is incredible. He is so much calmer, his tantrums and meltdowns have gone from what was 2 or 3 a day to maybe 1 per week. He is engaging in eye contact and starting to listen to answers, asking questions and more. The dark marks around his eyes have gone and in one eye he had what appeared to be a kind of water mark, that to has gone. Even a drop of water on his finger that was sending him reeling is a thing of the past. He is playing in a little childrens pool and loves being squirted with the hose.

On Wednesday, he starts with a psychologist who specialises with Autistic children, for speech and behaviour therapy so I am really hoping that this will bring about the changes that will make to biggest difference to him socially. The affectionate little boy who we feared was gone is very much on his way back to us and we are loving every minute of it. I know I have said it before but, thank you so much for your ongoing support, guidance and advice for without it, I don’t know what state I or my wife, or my son for that matter would be in.

Regards Andrew

 

GAPS Testimonial 2011

Seven weeks into the GAPS journey and there’s one thing for certain – our progress would have been much slower and a lot more confusing had we not consulted with Linda both one week prior to beginning the diet, and again for a recent follow up consultation. There are so many questions I had as a beginner, which Linda answered professionally and with the great wisdom and experience of one who has been there and done that herself. She has been clear, compassionate and refreshingly helpful, moving me gently forward and guiding me back onto the path should I stray a little. And her help didn’t end when the consultation ended.

Linda has been there for me right through, answering all sorts of questions I have come up with. Nothing has been too much trouble for her. Apart from the relief of having someone there to help me through the practical everyday stuff that arose, the greatest comfort I had was that there was someone on the other end of my computer or phone, who was real and who had, in real life, already succeeded in treating her own son’s condition. This made it real for me, it kept me focused and motivated. Especially helpful also, was the GAPS Companion included with our first consultaion. Meticulously compiled by Linda through all of her experience, it is a wealth of extra information. I have found Linda to be friendly, helpful, patient and most kind. Thanks to her assistance and professional guidance, now entering week seven, we have already seen some wonderful results in my little boy with autism.

Anna

Dr Natasha's Story with her own son: The early years

My Son

By Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D.

This inspiring story was written in February 2003 before Dr Natasha had completed her book ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’.

Dr. Campbell-McBride, a neurologist who also holds a Master’s degree in nutrition, lives in Cambridge, UK, with her husband and two sons (one son was born in the autumn of 1992 and was later diagnosed with autism). Her clinic treats children with autism from around the world, and she is currently working on a book on effective autism treatments.

My son is 10 years old. He is in a mainstream school, doing well. His academic achievements are within normal range for 10-year-olds, although math is not his strong point. He can be clumsy as far as social skills are concerned, but he has friends, and children generally like him. He can be naïve and hyperactive at times, but amazingly mature at other times. His language is excellent with a wider-than-usual vocabulary, and he likes to write poetry and short stories. He is learning to play piano and is doing very well, particularly at composing his own music. No one would suspect what this child and his parents have been through. Nobody who meets him now would ever think of autism in connection with this boy. All this is now. I have been asked to look into the past and describe how we got here. It is always painful for a mother to recall those years of desperation and hard work with an autistic child. It is particularly painful to realize all the things you were doing wrong. If only we knew then what we know now! If only we had done this and that, when he was smaller, he may have developed very differently. However, I do not regret for a moment the mind-blowing educational journey my son took me through.

When he was born, I was an M.D. trained in neurology with seven years’ working experience. But as they say, doctors make the worst patients. When it comes to your own child, you are just as prone to denial and blindness as any other parent. Apart from that, as all the parents of autistic children discover, doctors know very little about autism. They are taught how to diagnose it, but when it comes to treatment, official medicine has nothing to offer. On the contrary, it is hell bent on convincing you that there is nothing you can do and that any other opinion is quackery. So, being a doctor has given me no advantage at all. Our son was diagnosed autistic at the age of three. After the initial shock and grieving my husband and I started to learn as much as we could about autism. In those days there wasn’t as much information available on the subject as there is now, but at least there was something offering our son hope.

I remember that somebody gave us a phone number for Dr. Rimland in California. We had a long conversation with him and as a result our son was on an ABA program by the age of 3 1/2. At the same time he started taking DMG. This conversation with Dr. Rimland was like a ray of sunshine in our lives. Here was a person who knew so much about autism and who was prepared to share his knowledge with us and help us. Here was a parent who did not accept the official position on autism and who had devoted his life to changing that position. I am sure that there are thousands of families around the world forever grateful to this man. I want to add my family to that list.

From the very beginning the ABA program was performing absolute miracles with our boy. I will never forget our first workshop with our excellent ABA consultant, who had flown to us from the U.S. At the end of an exhausting two days of training, she said that in three months’ time she expected our son to speak in small sentences. All of us, including our five therapists, thought that she was dreaming, because our boy had no speech and his understanding of language was very questionable. But to our huge surprise, she was right! We have meticulously recorded that period in our son’s life on video. In three months’ time we were able to have quite a sensible conversation with him.

As our son was moving through his ABA program I devoted my time to learning as much as possible about biology, biochemistry, and nutrition in autism. It was clear to me that our son’s extreme fussiness with food—and as a result, very poor diet—had a lot to do with his autism. I went back to university and took a master of sciences degree in human nutrition. I devoted particular attention to studying the digestive system’s pathology and how to treat it by natural means. The reason for my interest was the fact that our son’s digestive system almost never functioned normally. Beginning the day we introduced solids into his diet, he went through a period of severe constipation, which eventually turned into constant diarrhea. Again, consulting with official medicine was a complete disappointment. Apart from symptomatic drugs with lots of side effects, it could offer our boy nothing to help with his digestive problems, constant fungal nappy rash or tremendous feeding difficulties. At the same time it was clear to me that his immune system was in disarray due to his poor nutrition. Like many autistic children he went through ear infections, chest infections, impetigo, and fungal thrush. And of course, all my medical colleagues offered were antibiotics and more antibiotics.

Based on my newly acquired knowledge I changed his diet dramatically. Our ABA consultant helped us work out a system of introducing foods into our son’s diet. Without that system it would have been impossible to change his diet, as he was so finicky with food. Having examined diets that have been successful for children with severe digestive problems, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and chronic malnutrition, I realized that just introducing a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet would not be enough for my son. So I have worked on a far more natural and focused approach, which also excludes gluten and casein. The result was amazing, as if somebody had lifted a toxic fog off his brain. He was much calmer, much more able to learn. His eye contact improved on its own and a lot of self-stimulation disappeared. At the same time we introduced a strong therapeutic probiotic. There was no doubt that his gut flora was abnormal. From early on I have tried to give him various probiotics, available on the market, with no particular results, until I found a formula that worked. It was powerful enough to heal his digestive system to such an extent that we could cheat on the diet on an occasional basis without any problems. At the same time it gave his immune system such a boost that I don’t remember now when he last had a cold.

Now he looks a picture of health with rosy cheeks and bright eyes and he is full of energy. Since then I have developed my own probiotic formula, which works very well for autistic children and people with digestive and immune disorders. It is impossible to overestimate the role of the family in the struggle against autism. I have seen quite a few very sad situations, where one parent is trying to help a child without the support of the other parent. Treating an autistic child is a huge undertaking and united families usually succeed much better. I would like to say that what we have achieved with our son, my husband and I have achieved together. Without my husband’s constant support, intellect, and organizational skills I would not have been able to do half of what I have done in these years. Our son is very lucky to have an excellent dad, of whom he is very fond.

A great part of the successful treatment of autism is the fact that parents of autistic children all talk to each other. This is where we get our strength and inspiration to carry on. Our success became an inspiration for many other families, who were calling me and who were willing to try what we did. That is how my clinic for autistic children started. Having seen hundreds of families from many different countries, I never cease to admire their determination and strength in trying to help their children. I have learned a lot from them and their experiences. A few months ago at the end of a consultation, one of the parents looked at me and asked in a stern voice, “Why haven’t you written a book yet?!” That was followed by a number of other parents telling me that I must write a book on autism. I am working on it now. I feel that it is my duty to share the knowledge and clinical experience that I have accumulated over the years thanks to my son and the many families of autistic children I have met.

I hope, too, that my experience will help others to avoid the mistakes that we have made. We all eventually learn by our mistakes, but time is precious for our children. The earlier we start helping them in the right way, the better chance they get to recover from autism. I believe that every autistic child has a chance, given appropriate help. And do not let anybody tell you that autism is incurable!

Update for Second Edition (November 2005): It is hard to believe that more than two and a half years have passed since our story was published in 2003. My son just turned 13. He is tall and handsome and he is a delight. In my previous story I mentioned that I was writing a book. Well, the book has been out for a year now and is very successful; a third print was done a month ago. It is called “Gut And Psychology Syndrome. Natural treatment for autism, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia” (www.MedInform.co.uk). The book describes in detail how these conditions develop and how to treat them using a solid nutritional protocol. It has a large recipe section to help people start on the diet, as well as chapters on how to deal naturally with ear infections, constipation, toxicity, fussy feeding habits, and other issues.

My son was very proud to contribute to my book—he has written a beautiful poem, which is published at the beginning of the book. We still have not told him about what happened to him in his younger years; we decided to wait until he is older. There are no traces of autism in him now and he is leading a normal life. He is doing well at school and started playing rugby on his school team. His digestive system works like a clock now, though we still adhere to the diet, which I have described in detail in my book. The good news is that my son can have anything now on an occasional basis without it causing problems. However, the whole family is on this diet as it is very healthy and can prevent many health problems (such as weight gain, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune problems, osteoporosis, and allergies) in all members of the family. When we go on holiday we eat what is available, but when we come back home we go back to our diet because it is good for us. Both our children have a considerable knowledge of nutrition now and we often hear them lecturing their friends on what is good for them to eat and what is not. I hope that our story can be an inspiration for parents of autistic children. Never give up on your child, and your child will reward you! © 2007-2008 Autism

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