In 1989, I graduated from college and took a job teaching 1st grade in an elementary school. My first year proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding of my five years in the classroom and one that deeply shaped my choice to focus my graduate studies in counseling and psychology
During that first year, I had a little boy in my classroom that was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and an autism spectrum disorder. He was a sweet child and unfortunately, struggled on so many levels.
- Physically, he was smaller than the average 1st grader. He had food allergies, a constant runny nose and wore very thick glasses that had to be held on with a strap.
- Socially, he was awkward. The other children tried to play with him, but he was often in his own world and difficult to connect with.
- Mentally, he was slower than the average child. He was able to learn, but it took him much longer…primarily because he could not focus. He was all over the place. His little brain was distracted by everything; so, focusing long enough to retain information was a big challenge. Twice a day, he would go to the nurse to take medication to try and help manage the symptoms.
I always felt a certain degree of emotional pain when I looked at him. Pain for his struggle and pain for what I knew he would endure socially as the children got older and were less tolerant of his differences. Pain, because we as teachers, doctors and parents did not know how to truly heal the challenges he faced.
In, EPISODE 4 of the Broken Brain series, Dr. Mark Hymen discusses ADHD & Autism. He shares that today, one in ten American kids is on stimulant medication. In fact, the global use of ADHD medication rose 300% from 1993 to 2000. The emotional and financial cost of autism for families and societies is staggering. Now, one in five, or 20% of children have some type of neurodevelopment disorder.
Once again this is not normal! The numbers should be going down and they keep going up. So what is the culprit?
According the research presented in the Broken Brain series, 95 to 100% of autistic children have gastrointestinal dysfunction, and 70% of them have immune system abnormalities. Experts who study autism spectrum disorders and work with autistic patients have seen time and again that these patients suffer from allergies, toxic exposures, infections, and nutritional deficiencies. It has also been noted that autistic children have frequent infections and have often had multiple courses of antibiotics!
As I listened to this information, this little boy immediately came to my mind. He had all of those symptoms, constant allergies, always on antibiotics and allergic to so many foods! What if correcting his stomach imbalance could have cured him of many of his symptoms!?
I will never know, but the good news is we are learning more and more about how to not only affect the degree of these illnesses, but in some cases, cure them all together. Dr. Hymen shared several cases of how treating an imbalance of yeast cured mental and behavioral challenges.
“One beautiful little 9-year-old girl was violent. She would attack her sister, would get kicked out of class 10 times a day, and if she was on the bus home from school they'd have to stop the bus. She would cut her family out of pictures she was in. She didn't have any gut symptoms, but I found that she had a terrible bacterial overgrowth. I treated her gut, and she became sweet, loving and kind; she was no longer disruptive at school and was able to ride the bus home.”
A former patient’s neighbor had a child that developed horrible eczema, and doctors were unsure how to treat it. This former patient knew about Dr. Hymen’s belief systems and asked if he would do a quick consult. In talking to the mom, he learned the child had taken antibiotics for strep throat and a couple of weeks later had broken out in eczema. He told the mother she needed a prescription for Nystatin; a medicine that kills yeasts or fungi, explaining that the growth of the fungi had occurred after the dose of penicillin. The child took it, and a few weeks later, the mom called Dr Hymen and said, "She's all better, and her autism went away!” Dr. Hymen never even knew the child was autistic!
These are just a few examples, but if illnesses like autism and ADHD can be improved or cured by adjusting gut imbalances, we have to ask…what are the possibilities?
I’m only scratching the surface of the information shared about treating ADHD and autism. Again, my hope and goal in sharing this information with you is to keep you aware and informed. If you know of children, parents, or adults who are struggling with ADHD or autism issues, please share this information with them. So much is being learned, and cures are happening. Stayed informed and get educated.
In the meantime, if you are looking for an inexpensive and simple way to lower your stress level, check out my Distress Less audio program. It provides simple actions you can take on a daily basis to lower your stress. Check it out here!
In my next blog, I will discuss traumatic brain injuries…until then, do something relaxing and kind for yourself!