in conversation with his mother, Kelly:
Matthew’s symptoms: Regression at 15 months, including loss of speech and reduced eye contact, and regression in eating; irritability; reflux; bowel issues; sensory processing disorder; sleep disturbances; chronic ear infections; frequent fevers.
Formal Diagnosis: Autism
Determined Cause: “I do think he had a genetic predisposition for autism based on family history of autoimmune problems, but I think environment is the main culprit in our case. I think his immune system was overloaded by the introduction of many new foods into his diet at 12 months. I think his toxic load was increased when we moved into a brand new home with the exposure to paints, carpets, pesticides, etc. I think that the vaccines he received at his 12-month and 15-month well visits pulled the trigger that caused his overwhelmed immune system to go crazy, and he shut down.”
Helpful Therapies: yeast eradication; M-B12; speech therapy; removal of dairy from his diet; “all of the supplements.”
More on Matthew’s Recovery: "Matt started sleeping through the night one week after removing dairy from his diet. Three months later we removed gluten and he started to speak again for the first time in over a year! Two months after that we saw our DAN! doctor and started yeast eradication, M-B12 injections, and numerous supplements individualized to Matt's needs. He started to thrive! We eventually were able to re-introduce gluten with moderate success. Dairy is still a major problem, so we avoid it whenever possible. In an effort to maintain his balance, we have now removed soy from his diet as well. He is almost 5, and has been dismissed from occupational and speech therapies. He is going to pre-K this fall and is described as ‘slow to warm up’ but otherwise indistinguishable from his peers. We are so thankful for our blessings in his recovery!”
I would like to tell doctors: “Just because some of these kids cannot speak does not mean that they cannot understand language! From my experience, this is one of the biggest misconceptions doctors have. Please do not talk about these kids like they are not ‘there.’ They are present and they know what you are saying. For typical pediatricians, I beg them to get educated on the successful treatments that are helping families like ours. Support our decisions and don't let ‘scientific study’ overrule the reality of what parents are telling you.”
I would like to tell other families: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up! Keep individualizing treatments and find the right protocol that works for your child. Every child has the potential for greatness. It is our responsibility as parents to help them achieve that potential.”