Through this journey of recovery I have met some amazing mothers with incredible stories. One of these mothers is my friend, Jillian Chin. She was kind enough to share her story with us. I met her in 2012 when we attended the Son-Rise Program Start-Up at the Autism Treatment Center of America, in Massachusetts. I have and continue to learn so much from her. She has two beautiful little boys and this is the story of their journey to recovery:
Looking back I was clueless. I definitely was leaning more on the insensitive and self-consumed side… until four and a half years ago when I found myself a new mama to a very special boy. At that time I had no idea, what would lie ahead of me. My husband and I were not planning to have kids at the time. We traveled through East Asia and South America the year before and somehow I tested positive for TB exposure (being exposed to the Tuberculosis bacteria).
To prevent any health concerns my doctor prescribed me Isoniazid, an antibiotic that treats active Tuberculosis. Per his suggestion, I took this medication for 6 months. At that time I was ignorant to the fact that antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria but also the probiotic bacteria in our bodies, also disrupting balance in our gut flora. Our gut flora is responsible for healthy digestion and largely for our immunity. I had too much trust in others including the medical system back then. I had been taking Isoniazid for 4 ½ months when I discovered I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was not taking probiotics or knew anything about healthy gut flora. I also didn’t know that babies inherited their mothers gut flora when they pass through the birth canal. My baby ultimately would inherit my damaged gut flora. Not knowing this information, I believed I was healthy but looking back I was very unhealthy.
During my pregnancy I had a couple of health challenges. I had to take painkillers due to a fibroid cyst that grew very large next to my ovaries. I also had a c-section. My beautiful boy was born healthy. However, shortly after he was born we noticed he had gastrointestinal issues. He had constant poop explosions, which we called “Poop Back Mountain” because his poop would literally go up his back almost every time. During the course of the next year my son was in and out of the hospital and the doctor’s office. He often suffered from ear infections, bronchitis, and very high fevers among other discomforts. When my husband and I would express our concerns to our doctors, they often dismissed them. They were leading me to believe I was simply over-reacting until one day I finally decided to go with my instincts and take charge!
Through my own research I was able to learn about genetic mutations that can hinder a person’s methylation cycle. A faulty methylation cycle affects a person’s ability to detoxify, making drugs such as Tylenol, vaccines, environmental toxins, household chemicals, and even foods harmful to the body. That was the case with my oldest son.
When my son was 20 months old he was diagnosed with PDD/NOS, which falls into the Autism Spectrum Disorder umbrella. He was completely non-verbal, had numerous food and environmental allergies. He was allergic to just about everything. Since his diagnosis, we decided to try the gluten-free/casein-free diet and by the time he was 22 months old we were completely gluten and dairy free. By 2 ½ years old, a couple of months after my second son was born, he started the GAPS diet. We almost did not stick with the diet because my son refused to eat for 5 days. Lucky we decided to persevere and eventually he got used to the new food (mainly broths, egg yolk, healthy fats such as ghee and coconut oil, fermented foods, raw juices and veggies). During that time our son experienced what is called die-off. This occurs when the body starts dumping stored toxins it couldn’t detoxify before. Since die-off can sometimes be overwhelming, we helped his body open new detoxification pathways by adding detoxification baths along with the diet. Miraculously about 4 months after we started the diet, eating only organic healing foods, and limiting fruits temporarily as the diet recommends, my son had his first formed stool! When your child only had diarrhea from birth I cannot share enough what a gift that was for us! Seriously, I wanted to show the world the formed stool!!
Over the past year we slowly started to transition to the Weston A. Price diet due to my son’s Mitochondria Dysfunction. We slowly began introducing grains (brown rice, forbidden rice and quinoa) that are soaked for 24 hours before cooked. We also have introduced sprouted grains to his diet, which he eats a few times a week. Fruit was re-introduced. With the GAPS and now Weston A. Price diets my son is slowly thriving again.Our son, Blue, went from being completely non-verbal with no intentional communication, limited eye contact, frequent battles with illness and fevers ranging over 104 degrees to a verbal and very interactive little boy. He loves to give hugs and kisses and enjoys playing with his parents and baby brother.
I believe Autism is in part caused by toxicity overload in the body and gut flora imbalances, also known as gut dysbiosis. Today at 4 years old, my son and our entire family, will start the day with probiotics and Reverse Osmosis water followed by fresh wheatgrass and/or fresh raw juice made in our juicer. We certainly have more work to do to heal but I cannot tell you enough what a positive impact healing foods can have in helping the body to eliminate toxins and heal. Our whole family has benefited from my son’s journey and is now in charge of our own health. Healing foods nourish the body and mind. Once the body is healthier, the brain can stop focusing on health and begin to focus on development and growth once again. This has been the miracle recipe that has transformed our son’s life.
Jillian is an Herbalist, Mother, Researcher and Leader of Blue’s Son-Rise Program