Jenny McCarthy answers your questions about parenting a child with autism.
Things I didn't get to on the show that Id like say…
First I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV… This is just what I did for my son and every child is different.
Biomedical Steps I took with Evan…
#1: Food allergy blood test, which is called IGG food allergy test. Many kids come back negative on gluten, including Evan. That's okay. I still needed to remove gluten from his diet and other foods I found out he was allergic to.
#2 Got a D.A.N doctor. I went to www.autism.com.
#3 GF/CF diet and started supplements from Kirkman laboratories, especially Super Nu-Thera multi-vitamin.
#4 Starting anti-fungal meds to kill Candida/fungus. Meds like Diflucan, Nystatin. Evan started to come out of autism completely after I killed CANDIDA!!!
#5 Besides GF/CF I also started sugar-free and yeast-free diet. No fruit or sugar.
#6 No artificial coloring, like RED dye in anything!!! Caused crazy EVAN!!!!!!
#7 Evan is still on the GFCF and IF I take him off or feed him sugars his candida comes back and so do old autism characteristics.
Okay, here are Jenny answers!!
Question: Who is your doctor?
Jenny McCarthy: Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. He is a DAN doctor.
Q: What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
JM: The universe didn't mean for me to do anything else besides what I did. But if I had another child, I would not vaccinate.
Q: What types of tests are done for glucose allergy testing? Is it a blood test or is it more involved?
JM: I am not familiar with glucose allergy testing. I think you mean gluten allergy. If so, it is typically a blood test. But I would test for ALL foods. Also Evan came back NOT allergic to gluten but that does not matter. It still needs to be removed. Once I did remove wheat and dairy from Evan's diet I saw benefits, so I knew I was on the right track. But there is NO cheating. You cant give a little here and there and still expect to see a change. You need to be ALL in or ALL out.
Q: If your child has behavior issues, but hasn't yet been diagnosed, can your diet help them?
JM: I cannot express enough how IMPORTANT diet is to our kids and I mean, with or without a diagnosis I guarantee your child will benefit from eating healthy. If your child has behavior problems but does not fall on the spectrum I would still highly recommend the GF/CF diet.
Q: Hi Jenny and Foxy, after today's show, I immediately want to change my son's diet. But if you cut out wheat, gluten and dairy what is left? What do you feed your kids? And what do you look for on labels? And does this mean we can never go to another restaurant again? Thanks so for doing this show! Its been so inspiring and I definitely feel hope!!
JM: You can eat meat, vegetables, fruit (unless you have a kid with yeast), rice products and more. The hardest part is just getting started but once you find your menu of "regular things" it becomes so easy. I Googled where to find most places that sold GFCF. Orgran is one of my favorite online destinations to get so many things. Also when I go to restaurants with Evan, I usually just boil a hotdog and take it with me. It really becomes no big deal. Q: Have you met with more resistance as your child gets better? How do you handle it when your child has made such improvements that people stop thinking its important to address the rest of the issues?
JM: I'm a little confused with this question but I will say this… As Evan recovered, people would tell me that he was misdiagnosed, which made me happy and pissed at the same time. Evan worked so hard to get where he is today and for anyone to knock that breaks my heart. Now just because he made great improvements does NOT mean I'm going to give up addressing any other issues that might be lingering around. Whenever there is resistance from anyone along my path, that are quickly removed from our healing circle. I always move forward and stay away from road blocks.
Q: Do you know of any websites or resources specifically geared towards fathers to help them learn to deal with their children with autism?
JM: I don't know of any resource specific to fathers supporting fathers but TALK ABOUT CURING AUTISM (TACA) www.TACAnow.org is the best parent to parent support group that I know. TACA is an amazing resource to connect families together and to gain support through the recovery process. Having a support system of families who have been through what you are going through really helps you realize you are not alone. They are also a really great resource for GFCF diet.
I also know parents that have found a lot of information and comfort by going to conferences and meeting other families during their discovery of biomedical interventions for recovery of children with autism. There is a Defeat Autism Now! Conference coming up. This is the group that invented biomedical interventions for children with autism. Its a great place to network. There is one coming up in Oct and I will be speaking there. Go to www.danconference.com.
Q: Jenny, one thing you said was your son's body had too much candida. Do you think maybe yeast and something in the shots (like maybe the form of mercury in them) might interact with each other and cause autism?
JM: That's an amazing question. Quite often we hear the community say, "It's a combination of genetics and the environment." I didn't really think about autism as being an infection (fungal such as yeast, bacterial, viral) that might make children more susceptible to toxins in vaccines or toxins in the environment until I watched Stan Kurtz's recent USAAA presentation on www.recoveryvideos.com. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND checking it. This is exactly where I stand. Q: Do you have any suggestions about what you did when switching to the diet?
JM: Most people recommend getting rid of dairy first. Be careful because even though labels say "lactose free" you have to check the back for the work CASEIN. Do not buy if Casein is in the ingredients. Then after about a week or so move into getting rid of gluten. There are so many things at Whole Foods that you can find that your child can eat. I will be making a "getting started on the diet" list for Oprah.com in the next week of exactly the foods you can buy. In the meantime type in GF/CF on Google and you will see many online stores to choose from. My favorite is orgran.com. Also TACAnow.org even has kid recipes!!
Q: Can you tell me more about the signs that were obvious to you in retrospect? Especially any signs prior to your baby turning 1 year old?
JM: Evan was completely on target with all milestones in the first year of life. I always said you had to work a little harder to get him to laugh, but for the most part there were no obvious signs.
Q: What do you mean by window? Is there an age the window is shut for good?
JM: I was referring to a window of time. The best outcomes seem to happen with early intervention from ages 2 to 6. The window does NOT close. Kids and even adults can get better with treatment. Besides diet, supplements and detox I also recommend a therapy called RDI. Its like a behavior therapy but teaches the parent to become the therapist. It does great things for ALL ages of kids on the spectrum. More info at rdiconnect.com. Q: Does the "window" mean the gluten-free, casein free diet won't help an older child?
JM:It could help at any age. It did wonders for me!!!!
Q: Have the makeup of vaccinations changed since the parents' generation received them as children?
JM: I'm not a vaccine expert, but there are many more vaccines in the pediatric schedule today than when our parents were growing up. When I look at the actual ingredients of the vaccines it scares me. Aluminum, ether, chicken embryo, human aborted fetal tissue, mercury, formaldehyde and more. Take a peek at Unlocking Autism's website: unlockingautism.org/vaccines/ingredients.asp.
Q: What does a doctor do in an evaluation to determine if a child has autism?
JM: I am not an evaluation expert, but there are certain types of doctors that specialize in these evaluations and they typically are not the average pediatricians. They are often PhD's who have years of experience in testing for the symptoms of autism based on certain criteria like language, social interaction, stereotypical behaviors and more.
Q: Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your stories. I have an 18 month old son, and I have declined his MMR vaccine due to the autism link. My question is did your son play with their toys in the intended fashion (moving cars and making vroom noise!) before their vaccinations? Were they talking before? My son doesn't have any detectable words yet, but he does love playing with his toys. His pediatrician had me worried about his lack of speech, but other moms have told me this is normal.
JM: Evan lined up his toys a lot. He liked spinning objects and flapped his hands a lot. I'm so proud you followed your mommy instinct and held off on MMR. I would still get an evaluation done if any autism characteristics sound familiar. Speech delay alone is not a huge red flag but speech delay with loss of eye contact and other characteristics I've just mentioned are. Keep up with the great mommy instinct!
Q: Do you know of any ongoing campaigns to encourage the CDC or other organizations to take a closer look at the link between autism and vaccinations? Where can I get involved?
JM:There are several camps of organizations concerned about vaccines. Some are concerned about mercury like www.nonmercury.org and generationrescue.org and other that are concerned about the vaccines themselves like www.nvic.org, to name a few.
Q: How well did your children adjust to the gluten-free, casein free diet?
JM: Because he could only eat the foods that I put in front of him I knew sooner or later he would eat. It was a struggle at first but let's face it, sooner or later they get REALLY hungry and they're gonna eat what you give them. You just need to be strong. Eventually he adjusted and now only prefers GFCF.
God bless and keep the questions coming! I will be here! …xo Jenny McCarthy