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Tales from the Pharma-Free Autism Crypt: Autism and GI Solutions

Posted Dec 17 2009 12:00am

Stomachache By Judy Converse MPH, RD, LD

Are you on Twitter? I’m hooked. Lately I’ve been tweeting items from my practice. Sort of like Tales From The Crypt, only it’s autism, the tales are all 140 characters (the tweet limit), and, they are all true.  Stuff like these actual tweets:

From my case files: Child skipped lunch at school, ate Skittles, then trashed classroom yelling "take no prisoners"

More case files: 14 yo boy w/ FTT & #autism, breaks helmets w/head banging rage: Rx bowel infxns --> gains, grows, stops violent outbursts

More case files: Some parents I work with whose kids recover from #ASD don't want the past revealed to schools, neighbors. Et tu? #FAY

If you’re not into Twitter, #FAY is a searchable tag for “feel autism yet?”

I feel autism. I have felt it since 1996. I didn’t know it was autism. Technically, it wasn’t, because my baby was just a few weeks old. It was big scary problems with infant feeding, growth, digestion, and absorption. I knew those problems had the power to impair a baby’s brain, and injure one developmentally, for life. That’s because at the time, I had two degrees in nutrition, and was a registered dietitian. I’d done rotations in WIC clinics, seen lots of babies. When my newborn son had seizures, vomit, that crazy copious mucousy gold poop, growth regression, infection after infection in his first weeks, hours of non-stop, blue-faced, breathless screaming, tremors, syncope, and insomnia (i.e., awake for 22 hours at a time), my pediatricians told me this was: Normal. The problem wasn’t the baby. The problem was the mom! 

Those may be the five most motivating words I ever heard. I set my jaw then and there. Either my university degrees were a big fat rip off, or I could actually go do something about this. That is what I decided by the time my son was four weeks old. So I did: A practice, books, testimonies before federal and state legislators, articles, blah blah blah. 

Maybe I should just tweet stupid stuff my clients and I have heard over the years from our doctors. These are not-made-up, real comments, from real doctors:

“That gold colored mucous in your son’s stool is probably coming from the diaper.” (This one came from my own pediatrician in Massachusetts, in 1997.)

“Stop loving your child. Stop hugging him. He has no ability to return love. He has autism.” – (This one came from a neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, to a client of mine, in 2003.)

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