Autism And Nutritional Supplementation

This post is a rather comprehensive commentary. It’s also a bit long.

Most of the commentary is not mine.

I am sharing the information below with the permission of Laurence Becker, whom as small as our wonderful world is, I met at a national convention several years ago.

I had no idea of his involvement with autism or the breadth of his sharing and expertise.

All I knew is that he and I both have daughters who sing and that we kept running into each other over and over all the convention.

I believe his commentary below can be a profound resource for those searching for answers

I have been privileged in my career to work with quite a few autistic children and their families. Mostly in the arena of blood sugar issues, healthy eating, alternatives to medications and general supplementation.

What I can say emphatically is that when a child of any special need is given nutrients that are specific to their challenge – it helps.  It helps without the use of drugs.

If you find this information of value, Laurence Becker has given all of us permission to pass it on – please do!!

Thank you again to Dr. Becker who put all these resources into just one email.

I have additional files that he has since shared with me. Email me if you’d care for me to forward them

This was not an email that came directly to me, but was originally shared by Paula (who also met Dr. Becker at convention) and then again by Brenda in our field.

Bloggers Note: For the sake of this blog and guidelines for posting I have made minor edits when our nutritional company name was mentioned

Autism and Nutrition

This article appears as a chapter in the OFFICIAL AUTISM 101 MANUAL published by Autism Today, 2006.

Contributing Author Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D., Creative Learning Environments
First, let me introduce myself. I am an educator and networker through whom information flows across many different disciplines.  My Ph.D. is from The Union Institute and University in the area of Creative Learning Environments.  I am not a medical doctor.

I have worked since 1977 with Richard Wawro, an internationally known autistic savant artist from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1983, I produced WITH EYES WIDE OPEN, an international, award-winning documentary film about his life and art.

Since 1996, I have shared the work of Christophe Pillault, another autistic savant artist from France. And since 2005 I have worked with Ping Lian, a 12 year old autistic savant artist from Malaysia.

I have also worked since 1992 with a young man who cannot speak, cannot walk, and cannot feed himself.  He is not autistic; he is not a savant.  He is a prodigy, and his physical condition is, as of now, still largely undiagnosed. Marshall Ball, however, is an amazing writer and thinker. KISS OF GOD: The Wisdom of a Silent Child, a collection of his writings, was published in 1999 and in the first three months sold over 200,000 copies.  I wrote the Foreword for the book.

I have had the opportunity to speak at many conferences throughout the years and have shared with many parents and researchers my experiences directly related to the fields of autism, disability, and creativity.  I was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual State Conference on Autism in 2001.  The title of my presentation was “Seeing: Beneath and Beyond.”  I looked at hope, faith, destiny, openness to new learning, nutrition, creativity, and art.

My wife, Rosanne, and I have been involved in nutrition since 1974, and in 2001, we became sales leaders with the number one nutrition company in the United States.

In 1981 & 1982, I was part of the design team for the largest conferences ever held on “Nutrition and Behavior” (at that time violent and criminal behavior and hyperactivity.  Autism was not considered at those conferences.)  Speakers included: Dr. Doris Rapp, Dr. William Crook, Dr. Linus Pauling, and Dr. Bernard Rimland.

Since that time I have shared the work of Dr. Rimland, founder and director of the AUTISM RESEARCH INSTITUTE His Autism Research Review International, a quarterly publication, reviews biomedical and educational research in the field of autism and related disorders. In 2003, Dr. Rimland edited with Dr. Stephen Edelson Treating Autism: Parent Stories of Hope and Success, one of the most important, readable, and useful books I know about.

In addition to 30 chapters written by parents of autistic children, many of whom are medical doctors, telling of their success in treating their children, the book also contains a chart that shows the results of 22,300 responses to a survey on the treatment effectiveness of DRUGS, SUPPLEMENTS, DIETS,  & MISC. THERAPIES OR CONDITIONS. What an incredible source of information for parents and doctors!

Please write ARI to obtain a copy of the survey and the results or to order a copy of the book.  One example of the data is the survey: “Bar graphs depicting the rating of 49 drugs and 8 nutrients by thousands of parents of autistic children

Note that Ritalin, the most frequently used drug, helped only 29% of the children, while making 44% worse (based on 3082 parent surverys

Compare that with the ratings of nutrient therapies

One of the most significant books to enter my life has been Karyn Seroussi’s
UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY OF AUTISM AND PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER: A Mother’s Story of Research & Recovery.  It reads like a detective story.  I was given a copy, and I read the entire book in two days.  It brought together some of the people and information that I had gained in the conferences in 1981 & 1982 and connected them with autism.  It also reaffirmed Dr. Rimland’s statement that “In the past 40 years the most significant research in the field of autism has not been done by men in white lab coats, but by mothers!” I cannot tell you how important this book is.  Each Appendix is filled with resources.  Page 262 has information about the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention. Both authors frequently speak at the DAN (DEFEAT AUTISM NOW) conferences.

At a FUTURE HORIZONS conference I received Vol. 1 No. 1 of YOUR LIFE by the Living Sensibly Foundation, a newsletter with articles by Karyn Seroussi and Lisa S. Lewis, Ph.D., author of Special Diet for Special Kids

In 2003 I met for the first time Raun Kaufman, subject of SON RISE: The Miracle Continues. I had first encountered SON RISE in 1978 while living in rural Maine and was introduced to the word “autism” for the first time.   The book documents the development of the Option Institute and the Son Rise approach to treatment.

An excellent VHS produced by the BBC titled I WANT MY LITTLE BOY BACK is a stunning presentation of the method of treatment.

The second person I met was Annabel Stehli, author of THE SOUND OF A MIRACLE, which describes her journey with her autistic daughter Georgie.  They found the miracle which transformed Georgie through the work of Guy Berard, M.D. who developed Auditory Integration Training. The book is an incredibly moving account of Annabel’s journey to find the key to unlock her daughter’s prison.

New on the conference scene and joining the acknowledged scientific leader DAN conferences founded by Dr. Bernard Rimland is the CASD (Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders) Conferences.  Organized by Kazuko A. Irie-Curtin, the CASD conferences have in a very short time brought together some of the leading researchers in the field of autism.

Check their web site
Also see Dr. Amy Yasko at

I hope these resources will provide you with valuable new information in your own journey to,
as Karyn Serrousi says, “track down and slay the beast that has invaded my child’s body.”

Another recent book (2005), EVIDENCE OF HARM, by David Kirby explores in great depth the relationship between vaccinations and autism.

Resources for Art and Autism:
Sandy McMurray at

Karen Simmons author of SURROUNDED BY MIRACLES, produced ARTISM, Art by Those with Autism and a CD Peace of Mind for Autism ( or 1-877-482-1555.
See also Autism Today. Released in 2006 is

See also“Living in the Spectrum vol 1: Autism & Ausperger’s is a CD produced by Lecia Macryn at

Look at the art of autistic savant artist Richard Wawro, who passed away in February 2006. The M.I.N.D. Institute has published a book of its permanent art collection. It is a wonderful book that contains a biography of each savant artist and a full color reproduction of the art.

Also see Dr. Darold A. Treffert’s for artist Chirstophe Pillault, 12 year-old savant artist Ping Lian of Malaysia, and many other savant artists.

I have the feature article in the July 2006, issue of KALEIDOSCOPE Magazine (Exploring the experience of disability through literature and the fine arts)  on the topic of the portrayal of disability in film.

Many new and wonderful films are coming out seemingly each month.  The latest to be added to my list of must see films is KEEPER OF THE KOHN about the life of Peter Kohn.

For a copy of a film course that I developed including many of these extraordinary people, email me at

As you discover new and helpful resources, I hope you will share them with me. This listing of resources is constantly being updated.  I look forward to adding yours.

My life has been blessed by so many people, and the synchronicities are almost overwhelming at times.  But “IF we be TRUE to the integrity of the moment, who knows, what or where, wonders, beasts, adventures will sweep us UP into their flood!”

Persons are gifts…wrapped. Each meeting of persons in an exchange of gifts.”

I have written a two-page statement to point people in the right direction.  While it does not talk about specific nutritional supplements to use with children who have autism spectrum disorders, it does provide a broader context of the research and knowledge in the field.

Some of the nutrients mentioned in the Parent Survey used by Dr. Rimland are: Calcium, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B3 & B6, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc, Digestive Enzymes, Fatty Acid, and St.John’s Wort.

The parent survey gives parents a broad knowledge of what a large number of other parents have tried and the behavioral changes that they have experienced. Our company can be used to provide the supplements used in the survey in a number of instances.

I am confident that the purity of the ingredients used in our high quality nutritional supplements and the nature of the processing of the ingredients is unmatched in the supplement industry. Our company has been at the forefront of the science of nutritional supplements for 50 years.

Blogger Note: See Nutrients for Optimal Learning and Behavior

One other and final resource needs to be mentioned: THE WILDEST COLTS MAKE THE BEST HORSES by John Breeding, Ph.D. From the book jacketThis timely book calls for a halt to the epidemic drugging of young people in our society today for so-called ADHD.  John Breeding is  a clear, strong advocate for young people and a great ally to parents wanting support to resist pressure to label and drug their children.  He offers a wealth of information and guidance to concerned adults on biopsychiatry, on schools, and on counseling children. “The truth about Ritalin, ADHD, and other ‘Disruptive Behavior Disorders.”

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some of my experience with you.

Please feel free to duplicate this material.

Laurence A. Becker, Ph.D.

Thank you so much again Dr. Becker!

flickr image happy face image drawn by a 5 yr old – soooo makes me smile!

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Author
708.482.0678 ~ Websites:
Nutrition, Weight Loss, and Green Clean

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