Biomedical Possibilities & Treatments
The following list is of possible biomedical treatments to look into with a doctor to help heal your child’s body and see progress in other areas of their life. The Bly family has used most of these biomedical treatments with our son, Trae and seen great improvements and progress.
We believe that giving families as many options as possible will help find the course of action that will give their child the best chance to make progress and develop. These options include 1) traditional therapies 2) biomedical factors and 3) medications.
1. Start a gluten-free, casein-free or dairy free diet
When Trae was three he started to communicate with us on what he wanted to eat and drink. We were thrilled! However, all he was asking to have were dairy products. It wasn’t until he started having massive tantrums and pulling his hair out that we realized that it was the dairy that was causing him so many issues and troubles. One day after removing dairy Trae was back to himself. No more tantrums or fits. Two years later we had the opportunity to listen to Kristin Selby Gonzalez from Enzymedica (now President/Chairman of Autism Hope Alliance). She gave us more information on enzymes and told us more about the child’s diet and how important it was especially for children on the spectrum. After the meeting we started to be more focused on the food he was eating and began removing gluten from his diet as well.
Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Diet- www.gfcfdiet.com
2. Work on continuing to help heal your child’s gut
A crucial part of your child’s stomach is the lining of their intestine. The lining needs to be a good barrier for the food so that it doesn’t enter the blood stream until it has been fully digested. When the intestine is damaged, potentially harmful large food molecules can enter the bloodstream. This condition is commonly known as a “leaky gut”. Many children with ADHD or autism have problems with their intestinal lining. Our kids that are on the spectrum also may not have enough digestive enzymes. The kinds of foods that cause the most issues for these children are proteins, specifically proteins from milk, wheat and soy.
Yeast has a big connection with autism and can result from candida (type of yeast) overgrowth in your child’s system. This may lead to a variety of behaviors (ex. sensory issues, negative behavior, meltdowns). Yeast releases toxic chemicals. These toxins can irritate the intestinal lining and contribute to the “leaky gut”.
Many children react well to treatments of the yeast overgrowth. Trae had three times the amount of yeast in his system than he should have. Treatments in helping fight the yeast are probiotics, antifungal medications and/or supplements. Focusing on limiting sugars is helpful in treating the overgrowth of yeast as well because sugar feeds yeast.
The features that are more common in autism and can be found in ADHD on occasion are peptides that have an opiate-like effect on the brain similar to morphine. Casein and gluten are the most common foods that can result in these opiate-like substances. Soy can also be a source of these opiates. When a child’s lining is “leaky”, these peptides can enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain, having an opiate-like effect.
Like Trae, many children crave dairy and wheat products. These cravings may be similar to drug-seeking types of behaviors. A child may not want other foods because they don’t give the brain the same “high” as the opiate-producing foods. This may also account for the behaviors such as irritability and rage that may be seen in the child when dairy and gluten are initially removed from the diet. The child is somewhat having drug-withdrawal symptoms.
The opiate-like peptides show the same effects of drugs like morphine and have been shown to react with the areas of the brain that are involved in speech and auditory processing. These opiate-like effects on the brain could also result in social withdrawal. A child may “zone out” or “be in his or her own world”. The child may laugh for no apparent reason and may also have a high pain tolerance since the opiates are good painkillers. Pamela J Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H, M.S., L.D.N -“The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook”
You can do this by implementing the following into your child’s system:
- Digestive Enzymes- www.enzymestuff.com
3. Meet with a Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs -(MAPS) Doctor- www.medmaps.org
The Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) program has been developed by leading physicians, scientists, researchers and experts in the area of pediatric special needs, environmental medicine, GI issues, pediatrics, neurological disorders, genetics, nutrition and mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as other related fields.
Answering the call of both parents seeking qualified genetics care for their special needs children and doctors seeking further education in the field, they have come together to provide comprehensive education and fellowship of medical professionals for the treatment of children with Neuro-developemental disorders and related chronic complex conditions associated with autism spectrum disorders.
They are a group of professionals who offer a Comprehensive Education & Fellowship to Medical Professionals for the care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related chronic complex conditions.
The rapidly increasing scientific evidence-based material that supports the medical treatment of autism spectrum related medical disorders is evolving and passed on to practitioners in a systematic, in-depth course of study, in order to have the greatest impact on this medically complex pediatric population.
More information on MAPS doctors can be found at www.medmaps.org
4. Conduct medical tests to look into food intolerances and other items that your child’s body may not be able to breakdown (ex. stool, urine and blood tests)
Initially, we ran several tests for Trae to get a baseline for what his body was lacking in nutrition and detect allergens/food sensitivities, and determine the amount of yeast in his system. Based on the results, vitamins and supplements were recommended accordingly and yeast was treated. Today, we continue to monitor his yeast once or twice a year, and we consider other testing if there is a dramatic change in his behavior.
5. With the help of your doctor or a MAPS doctor, start to increase your child’s nutrient levels through vitamins and supplements (ex. multi-vitamins, B6, magnesium, fish oils, amino acids, glutathione)
As a result of Trae’s nutritional testing we were able to determine specific vitamins his body was deficient in and his doctor suggested supplements to help with his specific behaviors (anxiety, focus, behavioral support). We continue a variety of vitamins and supplements today and adjust as needed.
6. Start to remove metals & toxins from your child’s body (again…with the help of your MAPS doctor)
- Anti-yeast protocols
When biomedical treatments are done in conjunction with certain traditional therapies, they have shown to support the progress for children or individuals on the autism spectrum. Some of those therapies include:
- Early Intervention Programs
- Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Sensory Integration
- Music Therapy
- Social Skills Therapy
***The Bly family has used Early Intervention programs, speech, physical, occupational, hippotherapy and neurofeedback therapies to go along with the different biomedical treatments to help Trae and his progress over the past several years. We truly believe that a mixture of traditional therapies along with biomedical treatments are the best approach to helping your child and seeing the most progress possible as he/she gets older.