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Reported February 19, 2008

Detoxifying Autistic Children

By Meghan Yost, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- One out of every 150 children is diagnosed with autism, a number increasing by 10 percent to 17 percent every year. But now, biomedical treatments that heal the body through nutrition and detoxification are showing promising results.

While no one knows what causes autism, researchers agree genetics and environmental factors play a key role. According to Lauren W. Underwood, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist for Science Systems and Applications, Inc. in Lanham, Md., and a mother of a recovering autistic child, biomedical interventions get the body functioning better so it can respond to other autism therapies. “Things that go wrong biomedically can affect behavioral interventions,” Dr. Underwood told Ivanhoe.
 
Many biomedical treatments focus on removing environmental toxins, like lead, from the body. “Over 27 million toys have been recalled due to toxic lead paint and only a fraction of the toys being sold have been tested for lead,” David S. Berger, M.D., a pediatrician at Wholistic Pediatrics in Tampa, Fla., told Ivanhoe. “There have been reports that up to 30 percent of inexpensive toys purchased at local retailers contain high levels of lead but have not been recalled,” he said.

To remove metals like lead and mercury from autistic children, Dr. Berger uses chelation. It involves giving medicine that attracts toxins and excretes them through the urine or feces.

Angela Shoemaker, a parent to physician liaison specializing in autism, knows the benefits of biomedical treatments firsthand. At three years old, her autistic son Joshua was almost completely nonverbal and suffered from daily vomiting, excessive urination, and constant diarrhea. After just four months of intense biomedical intervention and chelation, Joshua made a dramatic recovery.

“Joshua became completely verbal,” Shoemaker told Ivanhoe. “He was able to engage in full two-way conversations. He began pointing, waving and he taught himself how to ride a big wheel in one day.” His vomiting, excessive urination, and diarrhea also completely stopped. Today, at five years old, Shoemaker says, “Joshua is significantly recovered from autism and will be starting mainstream schools this next year without any aids.”

Shoemaker warns biomedical interventions that work exceptionally for one child may not work as well in another. “Be patient yet persistent,” she encourages. “It can take time to find the protocol that is most effective for your child.”

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interviews with David S. Berger, M.D., Angela Shoemaker, and Lauren W. Underwood, Ph.D., and Autism Orlando Biennial Conference 2008, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 14 -17, 2008

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