ARI Conference Recap

What a weekend!  Though I suppose it’s not quite over for us.  We’re at the Denver airport, anxiously waiting our flight home.  Can’t wait to give the kids a hug!!

The Autism Research Institute held a great conference, and Misha and I are coming home with a long list of things to change, implement and further research.  We heard lectures from experts in the fields with many different credentials, PhD, MD, EdD, RDH, MS, LDN, CCN, CN, MA OTR/L, BCBA-D.  It’s impossible to explain everything I discovered, but I’ll try to summarize a few, important, key points I want you all to know about:

  1. Environment is HUGE!   There is stuff in the environment that is bad for us, and we don’t even know it.  These kids (and adults) are sick from the environment.  Environment changes gene expression.  What we eat, the products we use, vaccines, chronic infections, poisons/toxicity/heavy metals, diet, water, dental amalgams, plastic toys, pesticites BPA, electrosmog.  Poisons slow down the metabolic process.  Removing the poisons and clearing the pathways is necessary.  Spectrum kids have challenged detox pathways for all toxins.  As best we can, we need to clean up the environment, remove harmful exposures and build health and resiliency.   Avoid heavy metal exposure wherever you can; convert to non-toxic pesticide option at home; be proactive with school, therapy clinics and parks where your child spends time; consider used (“pre” off gassed) cars and furniture over new; purify the water you drink and the air you breathe; eliminate processed food and beverages and their exposure to plastics; get rid of “stick free” coated pans and skillets.
  2. Biological. There are at least 300-800 genes associated with Autism.  Most of them are not of major affect.  They don’t cause autism, but they can contribute.  More research is needed, but the symptoms of Autism may not be from genetics but from side effects of the debrit.  Children on the spectrum have some biological abnormalities.  There is a genetic predisposition.  Need functional medicine to treat the causes, not symptoms.  Immune dysreguation, inflammation, metabolic/mitochondrial defects.  Kids with Autism need support (supplements) to regulate methylation cycle.
  3. “There is very little in life worth doing that is easy.”  This is going to be a long journey.  Parents need to take care of themselves.  If they are not physically, mentally and emotionally there for their kids, it makes for a difficult situation.  High parental stress results in low family function and poor health…leads to poorer outcomes for affected child.  Kids do and can improve with the right interventions.  The more you try, the more you will find that works.  Families that recover their kids need strength, intuition, intention and grit.  If you are stronger than Autism, you can win, but it takes being strong, smart, intuitive and fearless.  “Even a 1,000 mile journey begins with but a single step.”-Lao Tzu
  4. EAT ONLY ORGANIC!!!  “clean diet.”  What you put in your body is one thing you can control.   Food is information for your body.  Develop a healthy suspicion of food.   When we eat differently, we feel differently.  Food is not always made with your health in mind.  You want to eat/feed your kids nutrient hense food to get the most nutrients per calorie.  In today’s world, Americans get 51% of their calories from flour, and added fats and sugars.  Our body need lots of nutrients to make it work right, and we are blocking ourselves by depriving key nutrients.  Food affects cell growth, inflammation, hormone regulation and more, so if we’re giving our bodies Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs), they send our bodies different messages.  Food is information.  GMO foods can cause infertility and increased infant mortality.  When GMO foods were introduced in 1991, men’s sperm counts have gone down 50%.  Eat more organic foods, Eat a variety of foods, Eat more fruits and vegetables, Eat more nuts and seeds, Use whole grains, gluten free, Cook from scratch, Eat fresh local foods in season, Cooking is self-love, Add herbs and spices, Support your local farmers. **NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, REFINED GRAINS.  Go back to the basics: Organic, ecofriendly, beneficial fats, beans, nuts, seeds, fermented foods. “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”-Hippocrates

So, what causes Autism?  It’s the total load.  Biology and environment, nature and nurture.  Kids are recovering.  It is important to find the right doctor, get the right tests/information, and forge ahead, trying different avenues with the right attitude.

Really, the one thing our family will continue and even tighten up is an all-organic, nutrient dense, wholesome diet.  No GMO foods, a lot of home cooking minimal eating out.  I’m going to make myself cook more, and I’m going to have fun with it.  Ibought an amzing GCCF kid-friendly cookbook at the conference, and I’m ready to try out some recipes.

Misha and I have a list of immediate changes we will implement, but know our journey is long and will continue for years to come.  This conference motivated me and reminded me visualize the positive: Jackson progressing; speaking, playing with friends at the park, being on a t-ball team, playing with Sophie, skiing, going to school, learning happily, graduating from high school and going on to college.

I’ll report back more in the next few days…

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