Are You Making These Common Mistakes With Your Child With Autism That May Be Reversing Progress?

Would you like a calmer home environment?

Would you like your child to thrive in today’s world?

Would you like your child to be able to be happy and healthy and fulfill his or her potential?

If your answer is yes to one or more of these questions, keep reading. On my quest to figure out how to help my own brother with autism (and how to help others on the spectrum), I interviewed and trained with some of the top health practitioners in the United States. 

I was surprised to learn that there are a number of common everyday activities that can cause your child to regress and reverse progress even if they have already seen significant gains in development or symptoms.

"One step forward, two steps back."

I remember when I first began speaking with mothers of children with autism, they would often tell me that the journey with their child could be described as “one step forward, two steps back.” As I began to speak with and learn from some of the top practitioners in the field of brain health and autism, I learned that the recovery journey for a child with autism was often not linear.

In fact, many times, there would be a clear or remarkable improvement in the child’s development and/or symptoms, before the child would regress sometimes to a point where they were worst than before they started their recovery process. Have you seen this in your own child?

As I continued my research, I began to put together some common patterns that emerged. Have you noticed any of the following to exacerbate your child’s symptoms?

Taking Your Child Swimming

One practitioner and owner of a clinic for autism in San Diego told me that she had a highly successful clinic using a very unusual (but unfortunately not very replicable) approach to helping children with autism. But what she would notice is that almost every time her patients would start to make significant improvements, or even remarkable recoveries, the family would decide to go on a much-deserved vacation as a family (because they finally could!).

The family would go to a nice place, where they could all relax and take some valuable time to rest and rejuvenate. Perhaps they would go to the Caribbean, or a vacation resort, or a theme park. When they returned from vacation, the child with autism would often have regressed significantly and the parents would be besides themselves, unsure what to do. This was an unfortunate price to pay for what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing trip.

The practitioner was puzzled as to what could have affected each of these children after going on vacation. With the help of the parents, she realized that the kids’ regression symptoms would often begin after going swimming in a chlorinated pool. Some postulate that the chlorine in the pools can stress metabolic pathways and creates toxic compounds called disinfection byproducts (DBPs), particularly affecting the liver, which is already working overtime in a child with autism.

Suffice to say, she started to warn her patients’ parents not to take their child swimming in chlorinated pools. Good alternatives to swimming in a chlorinated pool can include swimming in a clean lake, creek, or natural hot springs.

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