DAN Doctor for Joshua

I have been reading a book by a nutritionist and dietitian named Judy Converse, called Special Needs Kids Eat Right:  Strategies to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Focus, Learn, and Thrive http://www.nutritioncare.net/pages.php?id=10.  I had checked it out of the library and although I hadn’t finished reading it before having to return it, I was quite excited about what I read.  A description off of Judy Converse’s website states:

There’s ten years of clinical experience and professional advice in this book. Implement special diets effectively, overcome picky/rigid eating patterns, get your pediatrician or neurologist on board, choose the right lab tests, sort through supplements, enhance odds for insurance coverage too. Leverage the nutrition /diet piece for your child. For autism, sensory integration, ADHD, and more.

The description on Amazon reads:

Good news for parents of special- needs kids: a proven approach to everyday meals that fosters learning and development.

Any parent of a child with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or other developmental disabilities knows that special-needs kids often have food sensitivities and can be very fussy eaters. Plus, they’ve been told to avoid such common ingredients as gluten and casein, making it even harder to give them the balanced, healthy meals all children need.

Now, Judy Converse, a registered, licensed dietitian, offers new advice and guidance on how to use food as an essential tool for development. Based on the latest research, Special-Needs Kids Eat Right includes:

• Simple substitutions that can be easily customized to suit any child’s needs
• Advice for helping the whole family—along with school staff and caregivers—adjust and take part
• Strategies and tips for staying on track at restaurants, holiday gatherings, school parties and lunches, and overcoming obstacles
• Shopping and resource guides
• A long-term program for measuring progress and making adjustments

I hope to purchase my own book, but in the mean time, I will re-check it out once I’m able to get it back.  What I did read inspired me to go to the Defeat Autism Now website, http://www.defeatautismnow.com/ and I was able to find a pediatrician in the area who actually does integrative medicine.  Talking with another parent from Children’s Therapy of Woodinville, I was encouraged to find a practitioner who would help us on this journey, both on the nutrition/alternative treatment side of things, and the traditional medical side, so as to be able to run the tests that we need done.  This led to getting Joshua in to see Dr. Cheryl Beighle, of the Everett Clinic.  Dr. Beighle is a pediatrician who describes herself as having having specialties/interests in:  Autism, Learning Disabilities including ADHD, Chronic pain (headaches, muscle pain), Depression, Anxiety and Integrative Medicine  (https://www.everettclinic.com/Physicians/Cheryl%20Beighle.ashx?p=1452)

Further more, her Patient/Physician Philosophy enticed me all the more:

I have loved my career as a pediatrician. I chose pediatrics and primary care because of my love of preventative medicine. I believe in empowering families and patients to take the best care of themselves through nutrition, relaxation training, and other preventative strategies. I made the switch to Integrative medicine because of the increased focus on nutrition and ‘natural treatments’ of disease. Chronic diseases in our children; obesity, ADHD, autism, and depression/anxiety have been increasing dramatically in the last 10 years. I believe working with families to provide an Integrated approach to chronic conditions can make a difference.

So, I made an appointment to see the dietitian for the end of August to review how Joshua is doing with his diet, and, I took Josh in to see Dr. Beighle last week.  We had a great appointment, over all.  Joshua was being himself, which is always good.  I gave the doctor all the paperwork on Joshua and spoke to her about the GAPS diet.  She thought it was a good diet and ordered some tests to be done on Joshua, to check his iron and amino acids, among other things, especially in regards to possible Candida.  We had a good talk, which included my experience with the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s.  Although it was a great place to get a diagnosis, I have determined, that it wasn’t a good fit for seeking out treatment for Joshua.  Turns out Dr. Beighle stated that Dr. C. “rolled his eyes” at her as well, when it came to talking about diets and alternative treatments.

As for Joshua, he is now being treated with Diflucan to address the bad yeast in his gut, while also being placed on the probiotic Saccharomyces Boulardii, to help the good yeast.  The probiotic he will need to stay on for about 3 months, while the Diflucan, at least 2 weeks, and if it is helping, for longer.  Joshua was on Florastor Kids in January, but at $13 for only 10, I spoke with the doctor and was able to get him an adult version from another brand called Jarrow Formulas:  Non-Dairy Sacchorromyces Boulardii +MOS.  90 Capsules for $20 and he only needs 1/2 a capsule!  What savings!  When I’m thinking ahead, however, I’m going to purchase what we need from www.Drugstore.com as you can save even more, especially with free shipping on all orders over $25!  In the mean time, some things I’ve noticed this last week is Joshua initially had more diarrhea, which is a side effect of the medicine (and a bummer for someone who is non-verbal and doesn’t initiate using the potty).  This  has improved, however, as I have not only cut back on fruit, but I also started him with the new probiotic.

What is so apparent is how there is no “one size fits all” in getting the right probiotic.  It really is individualized.  I am so grateful to have a doctor help guide us, as well as a nutritionist.  The doctor also recommends I get him on a multi-vitamin, at some point.  This aspect I want to look more into as I seem to recall that if his gut is leaky, the nutrients will just pass through and it will be a waste of the little money we have.  Natural food sources seem to make the most sense, so, finding good recipes for liver is a goal, especially since my dear husband only likes liver in Foie Gras!  Josh’s blood work indicate that he seems to only be deficient in iron and carnitine, and we want to be sure his B-vitamins are at the proper level (again addressed in serving liver).    I had to look up carnitine, to see what that is, and it looks at the glutathione production.  Here is a little write up I found about glutathione production:  http://www.xmission.com/~total/temple/Soapbox/Articles/glutathione.html…I’m still trying to understand what it means, to be honest.  I will be sure and get more information when we see the doctor in two weeks and see what a supplement would involve, as well as see what natural sources there are.  It is a challenge to find what he needs in natural, whole food sources, but I’m grateful that there are so many resources available to help us so his body can heal and, ideally, his brain can function as it was intended to.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2010 at 12:29 am and is filed under Autism Diet, Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info, Sensory Integration Disorder. 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.

4 Responses to “DAN Doctor for Joshua”

  1. Deedee Miller Says:

    I’m glad to read about your experience wth a DAN doctor. I’ve considered that step, but have been hesitant until we get Newt’s education figured out. Since we’ve FINALLY conquered that hurdle last week, I feel like I can move forward with a singularly-focused mind (rather than managed 30 irons in the fire!)

    Everett isn’t a bad drive!

  2. admin Says:

    I think you’d love her. She is of the opinion that the rise in autism has been influenced by not only the diet (all the crap that’s put in food, ie. how it’s processed, etc.) but also all the toxins in the environment. Some, like our boys, have a harder time managing the assault on their system. It really makes sense to me. I wish the organic foods and healthy supplements just weren’t so darn expensive! Challenging for us one income families! I am always racking my brain as to how to help bring in more money without having to give up home schooling while also getting Joshua to his appointments and to school. God is bigger than I am, however! Thanks for your comments!

  3. Steven Harper Says:

    I am not directly affected by autism, but have stumbled across your blog and it looks very interesting, thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of the world. I like this post particularly as I am a strong believer in the power of alternative medicines and natural treatments. I also take a UK version on Florastor, this S. Boulardii probiotic is a real life-saver (I take it for my IBS and feel so much better for it.) Wishing you much strength and courage for your ongoing journey with Joshua.

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Steven. Thus far, Joshua is responding quite well with the S. Boulardii. We got the Jarrow Formulas version, which was more affordable than the Florastor. I did like the Florastor, but being a one income family, we need to save where we can.

    Would you mind having a link for my site on yours? I am sure folks are always looking for good sources of probiotics and would be happy to reciprocate.


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