How My Brother

Recovered From 

Autism As A Teenager

When I was in high school, I wanted to become a biomedical researcher so that I could find a cure for autism to help my brother and others like him. After interning in a biomedical research lab, however, I quickly realized that I did not like working in a lab environment and became quickly disenchanted with my lofty goals of completing a PhD/MD program.

However, I still wanted to be able to help individuals with autism and founded an organization in college that provided various services and community events for children and young adults on the autism spectrum.

One day, during my research for other programs we could provide, I happened to come across an article that discussed how dietary changes could help individuals with autism, and in many cases lead to a complete recovery.

Could Eating Pizza and Pasta be Harmful?

The article explained that many individuals on the autism spectrum could not properly digest gluten (the protein found in wheat and other grain products) and casein (the protein found in dairy products), which would lead to the formation of undigested peptides in their system. 

These undigested neuropeptides would have a negative effect, causing neurological damage to the individual while at the same time producing a “high effect" from eating these foods that would make them crave the very foods that were causing them harm. 

The article went on to explain that it took about a month to get rid of casein and 6 months to get rid of gluten from the body, so it was important to try the gluten-free, casein-free diet for at least 6 months to see results.

After reading the article, I quickly called my mom back home and told her that we should try it for my brother, who was 16 years old at the time and had high-functioning autism and Asperger’s.

My mom resisted the idea at first claiming that my brother ate a diet that consisted almost exclusively of pizza, spaghetti, and cheese and that it would be impossible to get him to eat other foods (and that he would likely starve in the process).

But since I had never heard about dietary intervention as a treatment for autism before (and none of the countless practitioners we had taken my brother to had ever mentioned it as an option for autism), I felt that this was something we had to at least try and insisted that it could be helpful for my brother.

Dietary Upheaval: Eliminating Pizza and Pasta

Because it takes longer to get rid of gluten from one’s system, my mom began removing items with gluten first (anything containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, gluten-contaminated oats, and other similar grains) and then eventually items that contained casein (items containing milk and milk products) from my brother’s diet.

Of course, my mom also had to follow the diet in order for my brother to agree to do it (and I had to as well at my brother’s insistence even though I no longer lived at home).

My brother’s symptoms gradually began to improve and we continued to research other approaches that could help. My brother began doing sessions of neurofeedback which further alleviated some of his symptoms and seemed to activate new abilities in him that he did not have before.

Healing Eyesight: Getting Rid of Glasses

For instance, my brother began to come up with very specific search queries for things we would never have thought to look up on the internet and he discovered a CD program on Dr. Mercola’s website that provided a natural method of improving one’s eyesight.

Because my brother could be very persistent, he convinced my mom to purchase the CD and to try the program with him and they both stopped wearing glasses and improved their eyesight to 20/20 vision or better.

Around the same time, we also learned about the Body Ecology Diet (created by Donna Gates) which further helped my brother and eventually he switched over to a raw food diet which seemed to help him the most of the diets he had tried.

We also tried various other complementary services that helped him in his progress to recovery.

I believe that each of these different approaches helped my brother to heal and recover from autism and today he is a certified health coach so that he may help others to recover their health.

Recovery is Possible at Any Age

Although I did not end up becoming a biomedical researcher, my brother’s recovery has shown me that it was not necessary to find a cure. And while I had never found a documented case of an individual with autism recovering at such a late age during my research at the time, my brother’s recovery has shown me that it is possible to help individuals with autism recover at any age.

If you would like to learn more about my brother's story, I have prepared a short video to explain more about his story and the steps we used to help him recover.

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