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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Is seeing a holistic docter who specializes in autism a waste?

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     I am the mom of a very sweet 9 year old boy who falls on the spectrum.  I guess I'm pretty lucky as he doesnt really have any behaviors.  He struggles with language has some tic behavior.  He has mild social problems.  My main issue is he is in a mainstream classroom.  He has an IEP but I just want to feel that I'm giving him the best shot possible.   He struggles in school and will not focus and stay on task. I made an appointment for him to see a holistic docter that specializes in autism.  He treats the medical aspect of autism with ideas such as supplement and change of diet. My husband feels it's a waste of time.  Does anyone have any opinions on the subject?

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Replies (21-30):
NatureMomof3
by Member on Jan. 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM
1 mom liked this

All 3 of my kids, one ASD, see a pediatrician who proviodes biomedical treatment for kids on the spectrum as well as ADHD, Anxiety and other disorders. She has a regular pediatric practice and accepts our insurance. I like having all of my kids see the same doctor and taking our insurance! Diet and nutrition therapy has worked wonders for all of the kids. My daughter was struggling with anxiety and we found out she and her brother (who has ASD) had similar underlying medical issues (yeast, PANDAS, etc.).  Our family was already on an organic, all natural diet so the diet changes weren't all that drastic for us.

I would meet the doctor and see what you think. Getting a nutritional panel run only requires a blood draw and stool sample. You could start with that and see what the results are and what the doctor suggests. When I decided to try it, I thought it would be a waste of time, but I had this voice in the back of my head that I had to look into it or I would wonder "what if" for years. I'm glad I gave it a try. I put myself on the same regime and I'm off my arthritis meds now as well. 

humbledmom310
by Kelly on Jan. 13, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Okay... so obviously my comment was not written in response to YOUR personal situation with your child so I do not really understand why you are getting so defensive. If your DAN doctor is on the uppity up and you did your research and it is helping your child ..... that's Great. :)

  I believe that there are some children (very small percentage ) who may have the physiological problems who really need these sort of treatments. The rest are being swept into a FAD made popular by certain doctors that understand the need in us mothers to feel like we are some how in control over what is going on with our children. They prey on this need and give us a way to feel like we are actually doing something to help our children and for a huge cost . Plus a lot of these treatments can be down right dangerous . There are reasons why this sort of medical therapy is not usually advocated by the medical profession and it is not because they do not understand it .

I am not a total idiot either... I went to college. I do my research before I open my mouth. I do not claim to be be an expert but i definitely know enough to have my own personal opinion. So I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this particular topic . I do wish you nothing but the best for you and your child.

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

I just don't like this attitude that if you are doing these treatments then you are somehow being duped because of "ignorance" and that we can't possibly understand as mere "layman" I would never just do things without researching them thoroughly, especially when if concerns my daughter's health. I have read upwards of 30 books on the topic and research daily to inform myself. The information is out there, if you chose to accept it is your decision. I got no support from my pediatrician other than telling me which drugs we could put my 4 year old on, no way! I chose to see a dan doctor because I wanted to know more about my daughters health, and she is non-verbal, she is not able to express if she has a sore stomach, or other ailments. We didn't need allergy testing, we did heavy metal testing, and an organic acids test, which were very telling for her health. I don't think any dan doctor is going to recommend antibiotics, its rather the opposite usually, dealing with the consequences of the family doctor's overuse of them by repopulating the gut with good bacteria. There is scientific data to back up every treatment I have done on my daughter. Your family doctor is not trained in nutrition, they receive less than one week on it in medical school. I resent when people who don't chose to research and understand try to undermine what these good doctors are doing helping these kids. Its not a fad, its becoming known because its successful.

 

VioletsMomTown
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

I'm sorry, I did get defensive :) I just feel like these docs get a bad rap, when they have dedicated their careers to helping kids with autism. I love my daughters dan doctor, so I get defensive of her, she's a great person and a mom too. I will agree to disagree, fairly, because we have never had a dangerous thing recommended to us to do, everything has been life changing in the best way. I wish you the best too, ok? I just get passionate about helping people, and its close to my heart.

Quoting humbledmom310:

Okay... so obviously my comment was not written in response to YOUR personal situation with your child so I do not really understand why you are getting so defensive. If your DAN doctor is on the uppity up and you did your research and it is helping your child ..... that's Great. :)

  I believe that there are some children (very small percentage ) who may have the physiological problems who really need these sort of treatments. The rest are being swept into a FAD made popular by certain doctors that understand the need in us mothers to feel like we are some how in control over what is going on with our children. They prey on this need and give us a way to feel like we are actually doing something to help our children and for a huge cost . Plus a lot of these treatments can be down right dangerous . There are reasons why this sort of medical therapy is not usually advocated by the medical profession and it is not because they do not understand it .

I am not a total idiot either... I went to college. I do my research before I open my mouth. I do not claim to be be an expert but i definitely know enough to have my own personal opinion. So I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this particular topic . I do wish you nothing but the best for you and your child.

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

I just don't like this attitude that if you are doing these treatments then you are somehow being duped because of "ignorance" and that we can't possibly understand as mere "layman" I would never just do things without researching them thoroughly, especially when if concerns my daughter's health. I have read upwards of 30 books on the topic and research daily to inform myself. The information is out there, if you chose to accept it is your decision. I got no support from my pediatrician other than telling me which drugs we could put my 4 year old on, no way! I chose to see a dan doctor because I wanted to know more about my daughters health, and she is non-verbal, she is not able to express if she has a sore stomach, or other ailments. We didn't need allergy testing, we did heavy metal testing, and an organic acids test, which were very telling for her health. I don't think any dan doctor is going to recommend antibiotics, its rather the opposite usually, dealing with the consequences of the family doctor's overuse of them by repopulating the gut with good bacteria. There is scientific data to back up every treatment I have done on my daughter. Your family doctor is not trained in nutrition, they receive less than one week on it in medical school. I resent when people who don't chose to research and understand try to undermine what these good doctors are doing helping these kids. Its not a fad, its becoming known because its successful.



humbledmom310
by Kelly on Jan. 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I completely understand . :) We are all just trying to find our way through this crazy maze. LOL!! And I do respect the fact that you have put a lot of thought into the choices you make for your daughter. You are doing a Wonderful job!!  :)

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

I'm sorry, I did get defensive :) I just feel like these docs get a bad rap, when they have dedicated their careers to helping kids with autism. I love my daughters dan doctor, so I get defensive of her, she's a great person and a mom too. I will agree to disagree, fairly, because we have never had a dangerous thing recommended to us to do, everything has been life changing in the best way. I wish you the best too, ok? I just get passionate about helping people, and its close to my heart.

Quoting humbledmom310:

Okay... so obviously my comment was not written in response to YOUR personal situation with your child so I do not really understand why you are getting so defensive. If your DAN doctor is on the uppity up and you did your research and it is helping your child ..... that's Great. :)

  I believe that there are some children (very small percentage ) who may have the physiological problems who really need these sort of treatments. The rest are being swept into a FAD made popular by certain doctors that understand the need in us mothers to feel like we are some how in control over what is going on with our children. They prey on this need and give us a way to feel like we are actually doing something to help our children and for a huge cost . Plus a lot of these treatments can be down right dangerous . There are reasons why this sort of medical therapy is not usually advocated by the medical profession and it is not because they do not understand it .

I am not a total idiot either... I went to college. I do my research before I open my mouth. I do not claim to be be an expert but i definitely know enough to have my own personal opinion. So I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this particular topic . I do wish you nothing but the best for you and your child.

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

I just don't like this attitude that if you are doing these treatments then you are somehow being duped because of "ignorance" and that we can't possibly understand as mere "layman" I would never just do things without researching them thoroughly, especially when if concerns my daughter's health. I have read upwards of 30 books on the topic and research daily to inform myself. The information is out there, if you chose to accept it is your decision. I got no support from my pediatrician other than telling me which drugs we could put my 4 year old on, no way! I chose to see a dan doctor because I wanted to know more about my daughters health, and she is non-verbal, she is not able to express if she has a sore stomach, or other ailments. We didn't need allergy testing, we did heavy metal testing, and an organic acids test, which were very telling for her health. I don't think any dan doctor is going to recommend antibiotics, its rather the opposite usually, dealing with the consequences of the family doctor's overuse of them by repopulating the gut with good bacteria. There is scientific data to back up every treatment I have done on my daughter. Your family doctor is not trained in nutrition, they receive less than one week on it in medical school. I resent when people who don't chose to research and understand try to undermine what these good doctors are doing helping these kids. Its not a fad, its becoming known because its successful.

 

 


KatyTylersMom
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM

We discussed everything our DAN! Doctor was doing with our kids with our regular pediatrician and all she had to say was well none of this looks dangerous, if this is how you'd like to approach your sons health then just keep me informed.  What kills me is that even now with our kids doing SO much better with huge gains in language and being so much more engaged all she has to say is "just keep me informed".  I think this is what bothers me the most about how modern medicine has approached autism: it's either all or nothing and the American Academy of Pediatrics has to specifically tell doctors to start treating the gut and immune problems so often seen with autism.  Shouldn't that just be part of treating a patient?  

Also I hear so often that the DAN! Protocols are "dangerous" and I'm confused as to what part of the GFCF diet, vitamin supplementation, fish oils, and treating yeast and harmful bacterial infections in the gut while providing probiotics, is dangerous?  If its just chelation that is "dangerous" then please address that fear, so that we can explain that most kids don't need chelation, and that it is only done once the child is healthy and has enough nutritional and immune support to handle it.  And that the few deaths attributed to chelation used the wrong agent by mistake, but that using calcium EDTA is free of the dangerous drops in blood calcium levels which caused the deaths.  So what exactly are your concerns?

humbledmom310
by Kelly on Jan. 13, 2013 at 9:43 PM

I really have No concerns. My number one reason for not going down this route is that I do not think it is necessary. My children have not had any physiological conditions that would point me in the direction of any of these biomedical treatments. I believe there are a small percentage of children who have conditions severe enough where they would require such treatments ,but most do not. 

As far as my comment about being dangerous. I was referring to a small percentage of children who may become sick from restricting their diets of certain food nutrition sources and then replacing it with supplements. Especially since many of our children have a very limited nutritional diet to begin with. We were meant to get our nutrition from a food source , not from man made supplements. Even whole food supplements. We need to be helping these children feel comfortable with food and encourage them to try new things ,not give them more hang-ups.

Unless the child has actual physical problems that would suggest these treatments would be necessary ,in which case your pediatrician would recommend.

But...every responsible parent needs to do their own research and make up their own minds. This is just my own personal opinion. :)

Quoting KatyTylersMom:

We discussed everything our DAN! Doctor was doing with our kids with our regular pediatrician and all she had to say was well none of this looks dangerous, if this is how you'd like to approach your sons health then just keep me informed.  What kills me is that even now with our kids doing SO much better with huge gains in language and being so much more engaged all she has to say is "just keep me informed".  I think this is what bothers me the most about how modern medicine has approached autism: it's either all or nothing and the American Academy of Pediatrics has to specifically tell doctors to start treating the gut and immune problems so often seen with autism.  Shouldn't that just be part of treating a patient?  

Also I hear so often that the DAN! Protocols are "dangerous" and I'm confused as to what part of the GFCF diet, vitamin supplementation, fish oils, and treating yeast and harmful bacterial infections in the gut while providing probiotics, is dangerous?  If its just chelation that is "dangerous" then please address that fear, so that we can explain that most kids don't need chelation, and that it is only done once the child is healthy and has enough nutritional and immune support to handle it.  And that the few deaths attributed to chelation used the wrong agent by mistake, but that using calcium EDTA is free of the dangerous drops in blood calcium levels which caused the deaths.  So what exactly are your concerns?

 

Bluerose1482
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Food allergies run in my family, and I can tell you that in the mid 80's and early 90's when my cousins and I were being tested, you had the 'test' done and you had to avoid anything that you tested 'positive' for on the first test for a month (I think) and then they retested you.  I tested for cheese, mold, feathers, milk, corn and nuts.  On retest I was allergic to nothing and sensitive to corn and milk.   So, retesting for allergies is a good call, IMO. 

I'm not sure how they tested your son, but I had a pin-prick test, which is were they lay a pad with a bunch of little pins on it and push it into your back and then look for a reaction. 

Quoting humbledmom310:

I wouldn't say that a holistic doctor would be a waste of your time if there was a reason behind it. If your child is Sick A lot, not sleeping well, chronic constipation or diarrhea, often tired or lethargic, or if your child has unexplained crying and is unable to communicate if something is hurting them. These are symptoms that MAY indicate yeast , bacterial infections, viral infections, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or an excess of heavy metals. Of course these type of situations are few and far between.

If your child is doing well , making progress, and not chronically sick I DO believe it is a waste of time. Whe you are talking about Human Physiology it is not "black and White" . here is an EX. My son was tested for allergies (requested by me) about a year ago. When the blood panel came back it showed allergies in almost everything... wheat, milk, nuts, soy, you name it... Of course I tripped and just new this had to be the reason for my sons Autism. His doctor (like the majority of doctors) does not advocate these DAN doctors and explained to me that these type of blood tests can be misleading . If my son has been consuming larger quantities of milk ,ect. it could actually show up as a food allergy when it actually is not one. Plus the the level of the allergy is a factor too. I however still decided to cut it all out of my sons diet , so for three months I put him on a very strict diet . I decided to go back to my sons doctor and have another allergy panel done, this time I had to pay out of pocket. It came back that , that he had No milk or Wheat Allergy, soy was in the very low point range and the only one that was the same as the last test was the Nuts. Nuts we already new for sure he an allergy because his eyes swell up when ever he eats them.

Anyways...my point is this. These DAN doctors have turned into a Fad and you have to be careful that they are not using your ignorance as a way to make money.  Vitamin shots, anti -biotics ,and other extreme treatments are not neccessary in the majority of these children and can even be dangerous . Blood tests are NOT black and white and can be misleading to the layman. Of course everyone can benefit from good eating habits and a good whole foods vitamin supplement , but you need to look out for the extremes. Nature is balance.

 


Bluerose1482
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 12:36 AM
1 mom liked this

I personally think that the reason that "Autism" is such a trickster is because there are several different underlying conditions that produce similar manifestations that are collectively called "Autism".  I personally believe that there is a subset of "Autism" that is caused or made worse by  'gut issues'.  I came to this conclusion after doing lots of reading on the subject, when my husband stumbled onto a 'holistic medical practitioner' who wanted what I consider obscene amounts of money to treat my son.  After a large amount of research, I decided that there might be something to it. 

I took my son to his pediatrician, and she listened to my concerns and said that her nephew (who is autistic) is treated by a holistic medical practitioner, who is much more affordable than the one my husband found btw.  She said that she has referred several autistic patients, but she didn't feel like it would help my son.  She said that in her experience, improvements were seen in children who were extremely hyper or had attention issues or non-verbal/barely verbal or very with drawn or had frequent stomach issues or seemed sickly in general.  Since my son has none of these symptoms, she felt that it probably wouldn't be helpful.  She also did heavy metal testing, vitamin deficiancy testing and a stool test, i can't remembe what for.  All of that was normal.  I came to the conclusion that it wouldn't help my son.  However, I encourage other people who feel that there is some sort of underlying condition contributing to their child's symptoms (especially if they have one or more of the symptoms listed above) to consider holistic medicine as a way to address those particular issues. 

 

 

VeroKarr
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM
1 mom liked this

Since we got my daughter's diagnose, we've been seen alternative doctors. We kept the pediatrician for everything else, just in case, until we moved to TX. Here we have a holistic doc. 

My experience is that supplements made a HUGE difference. She's doing so much better now. We also got her in a gluten-casein-dye free diet. I think you're doing the right thing. :)

If you want to know more about the supplements we give her, let me know.


Kate00
by Member on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow a lot of interesting comments!  We just started seeing a DAN doctor.  We haven't really gotten far enough into the process to know if it will be helpful but one thing I like is that they are trying to look at some of the possible underlying physical causes of autism (i.e. digestive and gut issues, not having enough of certain vitamins, etc.).  Our pediatrician is great but he just doesn't have the vast knowledge about autism that our DAN doctor has.  I think like any profession there might be some out there that are not good, but I was really impressed (and admittedly surprised) how scientifically based the process has been.  He has ordered tests that look for issues that can be quite common in our kids like yeast.  

If you can, you might want to go to an autism conference with a biomedical emphasis.  While I walked around feeling like I was in over my head the whole time (had to laugh at one workshop where the presenter kept using all this medical jargon and everyone around me was nodding while I could barely follow), it was helpful to see the biomedical side.  I believe that a combination of both - therapy and biomedical approaches - can be really helpful.

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