Bio-medical Treatment: DAN Doctors are the way to go! Pt. 1

Thursday Joshua has his second visit to see Dr. Michael Whitney, a naturopahic DAN doctor in Spokane.  I am so grateful we are connected to him as I really think a biomedical approach is the way to go for autistic treatment.  What is biomedicine you ask?  Well, I Googled it just to come up with a short definition and got this off of

bi·o·med·i·cine  (b-md-sn)


1. The branch of medical science that deals with the ability of humans to tolerate environmental stresses and variations, as in space travel.
2. The application of the principles of the natural sciences, especially biology and physiology, to clinical medicine.
Since our bodies are naturally designed, it only makes sense to see how it should function properly and what is not working correctly with Joshua’s and do what we can to heal his body so he can function as he was meant to.

This boy is valued and is to be treated as such!

A few weeks ago, in fact, just a week after seeing Dr. Whitney the first time, I took Joshua to see Dr. Neff at Coeur d’Alene pediatrics and it was a night and day experience.  I need a pediatrician on board in order to get things signed off for Medicaid with the Katie Beckett Waiver and saw Dr. Neff’s name on some other website while trying to find a doctor familiar with autistic kids.  I wish I had chosen a different doctor as Dr. Neff and I are on different wavelengths.  I’m sure, in trying to be gracious, Dr. Neff is quite knowledgeable about autism, but from my experience with him, he appears to be strictly the “medical model” approach.
The visit started nicely enough, with Joshua laying on the floor as usual.  I have to simply pray for his protection when in medical offices as he’s more than likely being exposed to countless germs down there but fighting him to stay off the floor when he’s also trying to regulate himself, seems an exercise in futility.  My sanity is a terrible thing to waste, too.  Anyway, Dr. Neff came into the appointment and began to take down notes, asking how Joshua’s general health was.  I told him he’s in pretty good health over all.  He asked if his immunizations were up to date and I admitted he was up on his shots with the exception of not finishing the MMR and the Chicken Pox vaccinations.  I told him of our visit with Dr. Whitney and that we had agreed to hold off on them until we could determine if how Joshua’s body was doing over all.  Oh, my.  That set off the fireworks.
Immediately, Dr. Neff went off on the diatribe about how vaccinations don’t cause autism and the studies have shown that, in addition to Wakefield being discredited and his study proven false.  Dr. Neff’s position seems to pretty much mirror this doctor’s :  I attempted to tell the doctor that I didn’t have any real objection to vaccinations but if I could have done anything differently, I would have spaced the vaccinations out for my kids, which is, of course, counter to the American Board of Pediatrics and AMA.
I tried to explain that the previous pediatrician we had, Dr. Beighle, who was also a DAN doctor, had tested Joshua with regards to the amino acid L-Carnitine and discovered his body wasn’t producing it, common in autistic kids, it turns out:  He improved once he started taking the L-Carnitine and 6 months later, his body was producing it on its own and he no longer needed to take it.  I still give it to him on occasion, but the point I was trying to convey to the doctor was since it is known autistic kids can’t process toxins properly, wouldn’t it stand to reason to spread out vaccines and give kids a chance to process these toxins, as well as the countless other toxins they are exposed to on a daily basis?  How are we to know what kids are able to process toxins when they are born on which ones aren’t?  What would be the harm in being cautious and wise as to when vaccines are given?
Additionally, the good doctor had no real qualms about aborted fetal cells being introduced and the rise in autism, albeit, I contributed, a correlation, not a causation.  I must admit, I was impressed he even knew about the issue with aborted fetal cells saying they were no new fetal lines in them currently but from about 40 years ago.  He simply quipped there had also been an increase with more kids eating McDonald’s correlating to an increase in autism rates as well.  (Honestly, his point seemed to contributed to my point about more toxins in the environment and food affecting children’s health…but I didn’t bother mentioning that.)  So, my moral conflict with the ethical dilemma of aborted fetal cells in vaccines and there being no other alternatives didn’t seem to phase him and I could tell I was being classified into the hysterical mother who thinks autism is caused by vaccinations camp, which I tried to assure him that I wasn’t…completely.  I do think they contribute, however, to the over all toxic load the kids are trying to process, hence the need to spread out the vaccinations and not give them 4 or more at a time, which benefits the doctors and pharmaceutical company more than the kids in my opinion.
I tried a different approach after he brought up his belief, echoed in the article above, that autism was a genetic issue.  I reminded him that the studies have shown that autism seems to be caused by genetics in only 15% of those studied and the other 85% is unknown and environmental factors.  Dr. Neff is convinced that other 85%, with better testing, could also be determined to have a genetic cause.  I was amazed that someone who placed little significance on nutritional or biomedical studies due to lack of science to back it up sufficiently, would make such a statement.  I gave him a little bit of credence saying even if it was genetically linked, so are other conditions:  diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc., and we look at nutritional interventions to strengthen and heal the body in those conditions, so why not look at what the bodies are deficient in for autistic kids as well and work to heal those areas?  Our experience with the L-Carnitine as well as the yeast Joshua was producing leading to treating him with Diflucan and giving him a probiotic, and changing his diet, showed that it had made a difference with him and encourages me to continue to look and see what areas Joshua’s body needed additional healing.  Dr. Neff was more interested in the proven medical approaches including behavioral interventions to help autistic kids, and, it seems, not much else.  He wanted to get the records from Seattle Children’s Autism Center to see the lab results, especially regarding the genetic testing that had been done.  I explained my disappointment with the Autism Center with their poor and dare I say, “autistic” communication style with me, and the doctor’s lack of support in seeking out dietary changes as a help.  This, of course was of no relevance and it was clear that Dr. Neff wanted to explore more genetic testing with Joshua.
Before the appointment was over, he did a brief exam with Joshua and was cold and direct with him regarding staying on the exam table.  I was more upset with how cold he was to Joshua than with correcting him and Joshua was uncomfortable, clearly, and couldn’t wait to get out of there.  I felt the same.  Since we need a doctor for the Katie Beckett, I left with the request from him for a 6 week follow up as that would be when the paperwork should be in from Seattle Children’s and prior doctors.  He did instruct me on IBI services and some of the info around OT and Speech Services being included in that, I believe, but not sure if any additional services would be necessary as IBI was quite time intensive.  I was amazed that he didn’t think speech therapy was even necessary with the kids as it often just comes out in the IBI.  Tell that to all the speech therapists I’ve known who work with autistic kids, especially, our beloved Amanda Sepe!

Joshua and the Amazing Amanda Sepe, his speech therapist we had for two years! We miss her!

As I left this appointment, I was upset, disheartened, missing Dr. Beighle, and yet determined not to let this affect Joshua in a negative way.  Joshua was, in my opinion, being considered more a scientific experiment for genetic testing and considering our contentious visit, I was determined to find a better doctor who will work with us and be an advocate, not an adversary.  Above all, I needed to feel respected and Joshua valued, and I didn’t feel that with Dr. Neff.  He was officially fired.
Tune in for Part II to read how I responded to this experience, since this post has gotten ridiculously long….

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at 6:30 pm and is filed under Autism Diet, Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, Diagnosing Autism, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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