A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam




After Annie’s regression, I saw some encouraging gains from starting her on the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet (GF/CF) and some basic supplements. I had read all about the Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) protocol and was anxious to try it. I knew I was at the point where I needed professional help in order to get Annie to the “next level.” So, I found a DAN! doctor and made an appointment as soon as possible.

The doctor’s first step was to order tons of lab testing – blood, stool, urine, etc. The results confirmed what I already knew; Annie was a sick little girl!

Since Annie was already on the GF/CF Diet, her doctor wanted to begin by addressing her food allergies. According to the lab test, Annie was allergic (“sensitive”) to just about everything. Her doctor asked me to eliminate all the foods she was allergic to for 60 days. This was another drastic diet change. On top of eliminating gluten and casein, I no longer let Annie eat corn, soy, additives/preservatives, food coloring, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, and numerous fruits.

I was overwhelmed. I had to learn to make everything from scratch. This was not easy for me since my idea of cooking was heating something in the microwave or thawing a frozen dinner. Annie seemed to hate everything I made. But after a period of trial and error, and a lot of help from my mom, I finally found new things she would eat. After 60 days on the elimination diet, Annie’s gut issues were significantly better and her language took another jump. Even though her doctor said I could add back in some of the foods Annie was allergic to, I decided to keep her on the diet. I didn’t want to do anything to cause more inflammation to her gut.

Next, the doctor wanted to attack Annie’s yeast (candida). He wrote us a prescription for Diflucan and I filled it right away. But once I had the pills, I was too scared to give them to Annie. I just stared at them every day, but couldn’t bring myself to give them to her.

This was the beginning of what Leah and I call my “supplement graveyard” – where supplements go to die. I have a cabinet, filled with supplements, that I once thought were going to be the “magic bullet” for Annie. But now, I have given up on them for various reasons and yet, I still can’t bring myself to throw them out. They are like my pets. I admit it – I am a supplement hoarder.

But back to Diflucan. From what I had read on the internet, Annie would have to be on and off of Diflucan (or other, even stronger prescription antifungals) for a long time in order to keep the yeast under control. To me, that just didn’t seem like it would be healthy for Annie in the long run. Since I had made a vow to follow my “mom instinct,” I opted not to give her the pills and explained my rationale to my doctor at my next appointment. I asked him if we could try natural antifungals instead. To his credit, he did not make fun of me or put me down and agreed to follow my intuition.

I tried probiotics, grapefruitseed extract, olive leaf extract, monolaurin, caprylic acid, uva ursi, and oregano oil. I tried them in various combinations and potencies. I rotated them. I tried everything to make them work. But the lab tests proved I was doing little more than keeping Annie’s candida in check. It hadn’t gotten worse, but it wasn’t any better either.

My doctor and I were at a stalemate on the yeast issue, so he moved on to other suggestions. He helped me add several key vitamins as indicated by Annie’s lab tests like: Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Magnesium Malate, Zinc, Co Q10, GABA, and Inositol. He told me to give Annie Melatonin and 5HTP to help with her sleep issues (they helped her fall asleep, but then she’d wake up at 2am ready to rock-and-roll). Lastly, he prescribed Methyl B12 shots to be given every 3 days.

From these additions, we saw more exciting progress. Annie’s vocabulary continued to grow, she was more aware, less stimmy, and her sensory issues were better. The most dramatic change came from the B12 shots. After a month of the shots, Annie was back to the social little girl she was before her regression. Once again, she marched right up to kids desperately trying to play and talk with them despite her limited language.

Next, my doctor spoke to us about chelation. He believed Annie could benefit from EDTA suppositories, since she had extraordinarily high levels of lead in her system (along with plenty of other heavy metals). I read about EDTA for myself and learned about the possibilities of chelation disturbing mineral balance in the body and/or the heavy metals doing additional damage to Annie’s brain on their way out of her body. The risks seemed too high, so I declined and asked my doctor if there was anything else we could try.

He suggested nebulized Glutathione as a way to improve my daughter’s immune system and perhaps, get the body to chelate itself. Well, that process was a nightmare. I had to wrestle Annie to the ground and try to hold a mask on a kid with sensory and anxiety issues! Not fun. And on top of that, it made her horribly hyper and stimmy. I wanted to try oral or topical Glutathione next, but the doctor informed me that they often lead to a yeast outbreak so, I gave up on Glutathione altogether.

Our doctor, bless his heart, was still willing to work with me despite all of my neuroticism. His next suggestion was the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. Once again, I did my homework. But this time, I had a good feeling about it. For some reason, it made sense to me. I felt like inflammation and lack of blood supply to the brain were at the core of Annie’s issues and it seemed logical to me that hyperbaric could really help. I was beyond excited. We drained our savings in order to buy a home hyperbaric chamber. I could not wait to get started. I was fully expecting a miracle.

To be continued…

NOTE: I want to make sure that nobody thinks I am bashing DAN! doctors or the DAN! protocol. The DAN! doctors I’ve encountered are amazing human beings who truly want to help children with autism (in fact most of them have children with autism themselves). I know the DAN! protocol has recovered or improved the lives of many children and families struggling with autism. For Annie, I believe the DAN! interventions we did improved her health dramatically and laid the foundation for what was to come.

FOR PARTS 1-5 of ANNIE’S STORY: https://ventography.wordpress.com/category/annies-story/

For information on:

DAN! protocol: http://www.healthinducedautism.com/overview-of-dan-approach.html

Elimination diets: http://www.healthinducedautism.com/elimination-diet-allergy-diet-information.html

Allergy therapy: http://www.healthinducedautism.com/allergy-therapy.html

Candida treatment: http://www.healthinducedautism.com/candida-yeast.html


Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.


  1. I did well for awhile. Lost about 35 pounds. I didn’t feel a lot different, though. I still have gut problems, but I’d say, compared to childhood IBS, etc. they are much improved. Candida is ever present. I’ve tried vegetables and fish only for a few weeks, but then I just can’t continue. For me, to function I need many supplements, exercise, acupuncture, massage, chiropractor, avoiding sugars/processed foods, etc. But I get exhausted just trying to do all that. I did find a research paper on hyper-joint-mobility syndrome — my natural path doctor thinks that matches up with me. I have many other physical diagnosis, as well. With the hyper-joint condition specific enzymes? or something or another are missing in the digestive track. It was interesting. My son isn’t keen on the sauna — Sam


    • Interesting… I’ve never heard of hyper joint mobility syndrome. I’ll have to read about it. Yes – candida is a never ending battle. I am starting to work on my own candida issues and it has made my skin break out horribly (lovely to be old with acne). Too bad your son doesn’t like the sauna. I am going to sell my hyperbaric chamber eventually and hopefully use the money to get a sauna. But I will be heartbroken if Annie ends up hating it for some reason. -Molly


  2. I hear a lot of familiarity in your story. Interestingly enough, I went through almost all the same protocols, when I was trying to heal my gut. I even got the Yeast medicine, Diflucan, and didn’t use it. Did the oregano — broke out in hives. I even did Lyme Disease protocol at $400 bucks a month in herbs. I have a graveyard of supplements from acupuncturist, chiropractor, natural doctor, store, etc. I finally threw some out that were two years old– but it was hard.
    Curious if you’ve tried farinfared sauna for detoxing your child. I have one…..need to be using it. Thanks for the update. Look forward to hearing about wonderful and dynamic changes.


    • Is your gut healed today? What do you think finally made the difference? I’ve thought about doing the Lyme Disease protocol on myself but it sounds like the side effects can be pretty brutal and I can’t afford to be “out of commission” right now. I tried infrared sauna one time for Annie and she loved it! But the place is an hour away so I haven’t committed to taking Annie on a regular basis. If I ever hit the lottery, a sauna is tops on my list to buy. I think it’s a safe way to keep toxins from building up. Does your son like your sauna? -Molly


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