It’s So Possible

January 4, 2018

With up to 1 in 58 children in America diagnosed on the spectrum of Autism Disorders, we are facing a monumental societal crisis when all these young men and women come of age. At COEM, we are seeing our first generation of older teenagers and 20-something individuals exhibiting the full spectrum of developmental delays. Often they have had very devoted parents who have tried at all costs to keep their child progressing towards normal learning, normal functioning, and age-appropriate social skills. Behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and reading therapy have all been maximized, even through one-on-one teacher’s aides at school.

Yet the results are not optimal.

Since his first years out of medical school, Dr. Lieberman has specialized in the “underachieving child.” Long before the term “biochemical approach” was coined, he was working to optimize brain function in children who weren’t meeting normal developmental milestones. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, he already recognized the role of nutrient deficiencies and food allergies (often inherited) in producing abnormal thinking, mood, and behavior in these children. His forward thinking is all the more remarkable considering that at that time developmental delays were considered to be a form of mental retardation, or a psychological disorder caused by a mother deficient in proper maternal care!

As Dr. Bernard Rimland and other pioneers unravelled the mysteries of Autism Spectrum disorders, Dr. Lieberman quickly followed their lead and began applying new research findings to help affected children. He has continued to refine his Developmental Delay Program over the last 20 years, gradually expanding to include an emphasis on specific diets, plus supplemental nutrients, addressing methylation and detoxification deficits, and reducing the allergic load. The problem of yeast-related illness in altered brain chemistry is also treated, whenever necessary.

For those parents who REALLY devote themselves to applying the FULL recommended program early in their child’s life, it is truly amazing what is possible. Sadly, many parents believe that their child will outgrow many of the cognitive and behavioral difficulties, given enough time and school intervention through new learning techniques. Unfortunately that is rarely true. Abnormal brain chemistry can’t heal through physical maturation or even special learning programs. Other parents believe that it’s just too difficult to implement diet changes (“My child is so strong-willed!”) or to provide consistent supplementation (“It’s too expensive, and what if it doesn’t work?”)

These reluctant parents haven’t seen what is possible when the right methods are applied consistently and persistently over time, so they stop short, always managing and coping on their current track, but without their child making optimal progress. We only wish they could know, like we have seen at COEM, that SO much more is possible for these children. And for those parents who have taken the leap of faith and climbed that steep learning curve necessary to implement a full biomedical approach to autism spectrum disorders, we applaud you!

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