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Today's Family Magazine

How eliminating toxin exposure can help your child with autism spectrum disorder

By Dr. Jessica Hutchins and Dr. Daniel Neides

As the incidence of autism rapidly rises and with so much research and discussion involving the genetic basis of this collection of symptoms, you might think there’s no need to mull over “the cause” - it’s simply genetic, right?  Our genes haven’t changed much over the past 20-30 years so why would we blame genetics for the very real substantial increase in the rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?

What has changed dramatically is the exposure to man-made toxins, including electromagnetic frequencies.  Sure, there may be a genetic predisposition to have a low threshold for toxins to cause symptoms and disease and even for a certain gene to correlate with a reduced ability to clear a certain toxin, but without the toxins, the incidence would drop dramatically.  The beauty of our current understanding of autism is in putting the power back in the hands of the individual and family.  You have much more control over your environment than your genetics.

Certainly, this knowledge is useful for prevention, but also for treatment.  We have the power to limit our toxin exposure in many areas of our lives and then to find out what other disruptions have been created as a result and treat those.  It’s easier to divide and conquer the toxins by grouping them by foods, exposure in the home, exposure outside of the home, and internally produced toxins.

Food and diet are the easiest to control:
• Implement an organic diet (stay away from the dirty dozen -
• Decrease inflammatory fats (vegetable oils, most fried foods, rancid oils)
• Avoid artificial dyes and preservatives
• Avoid casein/dairy and gluten

Exposure in the home:
• Avoid chemical pesticides on your lawn or in your house
• Use natural house cleaners or make your own with vinegar/essential oils
• Use nontoxic personal care products (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, lotion)
• Get rid of all synthetic fragrances (candles, Febreze, plug-ins)
• Filter water (including fluoride)- you can test your water and find a filter that meets your specific needs at 
• Filter air with HEPA filter
• Remediate any mold damage or water leaks
• Turn Wi-Fi off at night
• Sleep at least 6 feet away from your cell phone

Exposure out of the home:
• If vaccinating, avoid toxic adjuvants (mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum)
• For kids already with an autism diagnosis, we recommend avoiding vaccines
• Be mindful of living near conventional farms, freeways, factories, cell towers

Exposure internally produced:
• Test for and treat any dysbiosis (overgrowth of yeast, bacteria, parasites in the gut)
• Provide a calm, peaceful home environment (stress hormones are big toxins)
• Optimize vitamin and mineral levels
• Test for and help the body eliminate any chronic infections like viruses

You can help your little one deal with the unavoidable toxins with things like:
• Epsom salt baths
• Exercise/movement
• Dry brushing/lymph squeeze
• Probiotics
• Good quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement
• Eating a rainbow of colors/healthy diet

To make the adjustment easier try tackling things one at a time if need be.  As cleaning supplies and personal care products run out, replace them with nontoxic options.  Use the app ‘EWG Healthy Living’ to help you decipher what’s truly nontoxic.  When making food changes, get the entire family on board.  Find others who support you on this mission to create the healthiest environment possible for yourself, your children, your entire family.

Dr. Hutchins and Dr. Neides of Inspire Wellness, a functional medicine practice in Beachwood can help you get to the root cause of autism.  Start now, you don't need a doctor’s appointment to start living clean!   You can schedule an appointment by calling (216) 965-9303.

Editor's note: It is the goal of Today's Family to offer information on a variety of health topics from a variety of sources.  This information is intended only as a starting point for discussion.  Consult with your physician before starting any healthcare programs.