Autism Spectrum Disorders
Please note: I use nutrition to support children with and without Autism, but I do NOT treat the condition of Autism by either nutritional therapy or any other means.
Autism, we are told is a mental disorder and is one of the conditions grouped under the heading ASD. There are three main areas of difficulty which all autistic people share. There are difficulties with social communication, imagination and social interaction as well as difficulties in learning and life style practical processes.
The Autism Research Institute (ARI) San Diego, California, has done much work since the 1980’s and has postulated in many of its research papers that Autism is a medical condition that affects the brain and which needs to be addressed. In fact, it’s the integration of all the sciences that is vital in understanding and working with all the varied health issues and problems that affect children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. When trying to understand the underlying causes of the symptoms associated with ASD, one needs to have evidenced based information which can only be obtained from laboratory test and scientific research. This needs to be coupled with clinical experience and an emphasis on nutritional interventions.
The nutritional intervention in autism is crucial since the digestive tract is the vehicle by which nutrient assimilation takes place. Maria is deeply committed to the alleviation of suffering not only by autistic children but also their entire families.
Nutritional therapy uses a wide range of tools to assess and potentially identify nutritional imbalances and to understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach can address nutritional imbalances and help support the body to optimum health..
Since the understanding that Autism is a mental illness, the role that neurotransmitters play in autism, their health and their performance is crucial. Dr. Michael Murray author of many, many books and published articles states in his lecture on Digestive Enzymes: Clinical considerations in IBS, SIBO, Dysbiosis and the Leaky Gut states that ”the gut is the central hub to all body function. 70% of the immune system is found in the gut and 90% of all neurotransmitters are formed in the gastro intestinal tract”. The health of the gut is of paramount importance and since many children in the ASD suffer from gut related disorders, Maria follows the research and best practice in nutritional therapy when working with them.
The nutritional therapy approach may not help every child but many thousands on the spectrum have been helped to gain a better quality of life, some slightly, some dramatically. Since no two children are alike there are no guaranteed outcomes however by improving brain and body health, it can make it easier for the body to cope and may improve the efficacy of other interventions such as ABA (applied Behaviour Analysis), Speech therapy, Sensory Integration and other related therapies. Since Nutritional and biomedical strategies aim to enhance the “body and brain” connections, Maria is passionate about helping the children and young adults she works with to reach their full potential.
Once starting on the nutritional biomedical journey, commitment to the programme is vital to obtain positive results. A partial approach is best not started at all. The journey can be very hard, very long, but any positive outcomes will be well worth it. The child’s health, happiness and potential are the final goals. Evaluation of the diet, the monitoring of toxic metals in the body and the rate of detoxification as well as re-balancing the gut flora and re-establishing proper gut function, has appeared to be the way forward as has been evidenced in many children.
Prior to appointment, the Children’s Questionnaire needs to be completed as well as a 7-day Diet Diary. The children’s questionnaire is available once appointment has been made. The Diet Diary may be downloaded under the Downloads tag.
Autism Research Institute courses attended:
Defeat Autism Now 2007 Spring Seminar Alexandra, Virginia. Sequential Clinician’s Seminar
Defeat Autism Now 2008 Spring Seminar, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Sequential Clinician’s Seminar
Defeat Autism Now 2009 October 2009, Dallas, Texas. Science Sessions and Clinical Seminar
Autism Solutions, Klinghardt Institute, October 2015,London,
Caudwell Children’s Charity
Caudwell Children is a UK children’s charity which provides support to children with disabilities and their families. The range of conditions supported is very wide. They are opening the Caudwell International Children’s Centre at Keele University in Staffordshire. It is a multi-disciplinary centre for assessment, family support services and research.
0345 300 1348