Nourishing Hope Success Story: Getting Your Hopes Up With James


 [This is part of our series: Getting Your Hopes Up: Stories of Healing Thru Diet and Nutrition – stories directly from mothers and fathers, on their experience using food and nutrition to help heal their child with autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays.]

We have a new story of hope to share with you! Angela and Dan’s son James’ success story of hope and healing shows us how the determination of his loving parents combined with the GAPS diet, fish oil, and other interventions give us hope. They were determined to get James off his IEP, and that they did. James is now thriving!

Early signs for James:

James would often exhibit autistic behaviors such as flapping his hands, toe walking, and banging his head on the ground when frustrated. After receiving his one-year vaccinations, he ran a fever for 3 weeks, after which we obtained a permanent vaccine waiver. When he was age 2, James was diagnosed as having expressive speech in the 6th percentile. “As parents, when we spoke to him, he literally couldn’t understand what we were saying to him. He would repeat everything that was said to him (echolalia) without understanding a word of it. He did not point at objects. He did not talk very often, and when he did speak he used one word utterances like “cracker” or “train.” He never asked us any questions. He would run around aimlessly in circles. Potty training was not even a consideration. He would obsessively play with trains for hours. He had no interest in opening Christmas presents, literally dropping them on the ground and walking away. He would play by himself, even in a room full of children.”

James’ behaviors at the age of 2-3 years old:

Introduction to Gluten Free/Casein Free and GAPS:

The first thing James’ parents tried was the Gluten Free/Casein Free(GFCF) diet. This worked great to eliminate stimming behaviors such as hand flapping and tow walking. But still the echolalia and general lack of comprehension persisted.

Angela had read some testimonials from other moms about how the strict GAPS diet had helped their children, so she started it. She cooked everything from scratch, including our salad dressing. “We continued with our same speech therapist (who used PECS) and we did “homemade” ABA several hours weekly. (Used the books How Do I Teach This Kid and Behavioral Interventions for Young Children with Autism) I breastfed until age 4, and insisted on daily naps. Within a year (age 4) James was enrolled in regular preschool, speaking in complete sentences, using pronouns correctly, potty trained, playing with friends, and asking us who/what/when/where/why questions!”

This level of recovery was wonderful, and James’ parents considered his Autism recovery to be a success. They learned about additional therapies and decided to give them a try, with the goal of eliminating his IEP (for ADHD).

Finding hope with other interventions:

In addition to staying on the GAPS diet, James’ parents added fish oil, probiotics, several other vitamin supplements, weekly chiropractic, low level laser therapy, homeopathy, MNRI, FIR Sauna + detox footbath, eliminated our microwave, WiFi and Cordless Phones, neurofeedback, parasite “zapping”, Reiki, Theta Healing, Craniosacral Therapy, Berard AIT, eliminated florescent lighting at home and school. “By age 6 we dissolved his IEP completely.”

James after GAPS at the age of 4: 

Continuing on his healing  journey:

James’ mom Angela continues to maintain several protocols for his continued well being. “We are still following a strict Organic Gluten Free diet, which is mostly GAPS/Paleo. We continue with fish oil, vitamin supplements, chiropractic. We monitor Vitamin D, Iron and Lead with traditional lab testing; monitor micronutrient, thyroid, and omega status twice/year with SpectraCell testing; and monitor gut health with twice/year stool testing from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory. Even now, labs still show a low-level of leaky gut so we give Just Thrive probiotic 1/day (clinically proven to reduce leaky but)”.

It takes a concerted effort:

Angela made some suggestions on some of the more critical changes to make. “Of course if the family has the means, I’d advise them to try all the same things we did. But if resources are limited the bare minimum is vaccine waiver, GAPS diet, fish oil, multivitamins, chiropractic, homeopathy, PECS, ABA, MNRI, Just Thrive probiotic. Complete recovery is most likely when a massive recovery effort is embarked upon before age 5. Streamline your life so you can focus your entire energy on your young child’s recovery. If your own ADHD or health issues are interfering with your ability to care for your child, by all means address those issues as well. 100% effort now will pay off down the road – which will allow your child to reach his fullest potential, and allow you to ultimately regain your life back.”

Angela’s final words of advice for parents:

“Get rid of all non-GAPS food in your house. Kids need vegetables to be healthy –  minimum of 4 veggie servings/day – to maximize flavor make a tasty salad dressing or coat with ghee & sea salt. If you are struggling to implement your child’s therapies hire a specialized coach. For a preschool aged child aim for 14 hours sleep daily. Use a whole-house water filter to minimize chemical exposure from tap water. Pause having additional children until your autistic child is fully recovered, otherwise you won’t have the time/energy for his/her recovery. Read Dr. Mercola’s The EMF Extinction when it comes out in 2018.”

James is now 11 and enrolled in a competitive private school. He is getting all A’s, play trumpet, does Kung Fu, has many friends, and plays on the school’s soccer team!

Here we are, another family who tried many different approaches to diet and lifestyle, and found hope! Do you have a story of hope you would like to share with our readers? Let us know, and we will work with you to get it published.

Wishing continued Nourishing Hope for James, and for all our families!

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.