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    Defeating Autism

    December 10, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and
    Pervasive Developmental Disorder:
    A Mother’s Story of Research & Recovery

    A new friend of mine bought this book for me after I shared with her a small slice of our war against our son’s tic problem. As I told her about how it was immediately apparent to me that going the tradtional route {through doctors and specialists} was going to take too much time, that I already had a hunch concerning his problem, that I resorted to massive amounts of research, she said that my story reminded her of this book.

    Now that I have read two-thirds of it, I can see why. In fact, I think if I had had a child with autism, I could have written this book. Instead, I write a series on tics.

    I have felt like some pieces of our puzzle here weren’t in place. After reading this book, I believe I am on the right track, and I also believe that most of the pieces will fall into place in time.

    I cannot suggest this book highly enough. If you know a parent of an autistic child, a child in the autism spectrum, a child with ADHD, a child with pervasive development disorder {PDD}, a child that is retarded, a child that has learning disabilities, etc., give them this book.

    This book, by the way, really is written like a mystery. I can say from personal experience that it is true to the experience. When I first decided that E.’s tics were related to chemicals, we removed all additives from his food and tried to buy organic as much as we could afford {our long-term garden plan is much more affordable}. He got better. Then he got worse. So we purified our house. We changed cleaners, soaps, and detergents. He got better…and then worse. We removed the rest of the dairy {he was already off milk} and he got better. And then worse. We removed the wheat. And then and only then was he almost completely well.

    I say almost because I think he hangs onto normalcy by a very thin string at times. Other times, he is doing so well that it is hard to imagine that this was ever an issue.

    This book describes an identical process of exploration and discovery. And the author’s theory seems to be that children respond positively to the removal of an allergen or irritant, but then their other allergies or sensitivities rear their ugly heads, and so more trouble-shooting becomes necessary.

    I am not finished, but I’m curious what will be the end. Did she discover the actual cause of regressive autism, or even a subtype of regressive autism? I ask this because I know that my son is sensitive to all of these things, but I also know that that is not normal. God made a world that is good. What has happened to our children that they are unable to live in it? What has changed in the last, say, fifty years or so?

    GM crops? Was the wheat changed? Vaccines? Maybe giving them at younger ages starts some sort of overactive immune function? Genes? Maybe kids are being born with some sort of digestive problem that starts it all? Milk? Is all the medicating of the cows finally wreaking havoc on our children?

    These are the real questions lingering in the back of my mind. The surge in autism is undeniable. I hope that Seroussi {the author} has even a hint at an answer.

    Regardless, I would say to read this book. It is important that families learn to fight these battles ourselves, enlisting the aid of doctors, therapists, nurses, nutritionists, etc., rather than depending on them to solve the problem. It’s just like homeschooling, in a way. No one loves the child like Mom and Dad. No one knows the child like Mom and Dad. More importantly, no one is ultimately accountable for the child like Mom and Dad.

    Do the research. Make the sacrifice. Fight the battle. Maybe win the war, and have a normally functioning child.

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  • Reply Rahime December 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm


    This book sounds like a jewel. I can already think of several people…including myself…who would be interested in reading it.

    I’m glad you read it, and thanks for sharing it.


  • Reply Brandy December 11, 2007 at 4:12 pm


    You are always so encouraging. I appreciate that about you.

    By the way, I absolutely agree that nutrition is not the only way to health, though I do think it is often overlooked, especially by doctors. The author of the book admitted that this approach seems to work only with certain subtypes of autism, not all autism.

    And while I’ve got you here…I would love to hear how your friends were able to battle Lyme’s disease using nutrition! I had Lyme disease for the latter part of my childhood (this is what lead to the reading addiction) and the accompanying fibromyalgia. It was horrible, and we were never able to get it under control with nutrition. We were, however, blessed, to find a doctor in the Los Angeles area (now retired) who was doing amazing things and was able to cure me using the traditional route of long-term antibiotics.

    Since Lyme disease is still in our area, I would love to have nutritional information on hand.

    Merry Christmas, Lydia. 🙂

  • Reply Lydia December 11, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Brandy, you seem like such a brave and strong woman. I really enjoyed reading this account despite the unfortunate circumstances that brought it into your lives.

    It is important that families learn to fight these battles ourselves, enlisting the aid of doctors, therapists, nurses, nutritionists, etc., rather than depending on them to solve the problem. It’s just like homeschooling, in a way. No one loves the child like Mom and Dad. No one knows the child like Mom and Dad. More importantly, no one is ultimately accountable for the child like Mom and Dad.

    I love your perspective here and whole-heartedly agree with it. I can definitely see the relationship with homeschooling too. Homeschooling parents tend to be those who take on the responsibility and believe it is their God-given jurisdiction to direct their own children’s education. I haven’t worked with children much as a nurse (other than the occasional teen who comes in for an appendectomy or something) but I am sure what you describe from a parent’s perspective is true in most cases.

    As a nurse, one of the most incredibly frustrating things to me is taking care of adults who don’t want to take care of themselves. They expect the doctors and nurses to work some miracle cure on them when they come into the hospital and they totally disregard that THEY are the answer to the problem in many ways. So many of the people I care for are completely apathetic and choose to let themselves live a miserable existence by the foolish choices they make. Even if they have a chronic disease process (like diabetes or COPD) they won’t do their part to take care of themselves and work with the medical team to function and live as well as they could. We call these sorts of people “frequent flyers” or “revolving door” patients. As bad as it sounds it is the best way to describe them. As often as they are in here it seems like they had just left before they return. Now, I know there are also patients who genuinely are interested in taking care of themselves and do what they can but for whatever reason they still end up back in the hospital at frequent intervals. You could say I was once one of those patients through no real fault of my own.

    But all that to say that I understand your perspective a little bit and appreciated hearing your story. You and only you (along with your husband) are E’s best advocate and health care director. I think you made some very wise decisions and while natural remedies and diet adjustments don’t always work for health situations (they didn’t for me and we tried as many as we knew of at the time) I am thrilled this has given positive relief to E. and peace of mind to you. I know many other families who have done similar things with diet to treat a myriad of illnesses from Lyme’s disease to lasting weight-loss solutions.

    I won’t go on and on now. Just wanted to add in my meager thoughts and express my appreciation for voicing your story. Have a blessed week as you prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth.


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