Autism: We're not waiting for the government

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 in Autism

From Adventures in Autism Blog

Ginger Taylor wasn’t sure what she could do to help her son, Chandler, when he first was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 2.

But after the Brunswick, Maine, woman discovered how much he benefited from chelation therapy, as well as a gluten- and casein-free and special carbohydrate diet, Taylor found the answer to her prayers.

She said her son, now 6, is well on the road to recovery.

Chandler receives biweekly, 15-minute intravenous treatments at the Chelation Medical Center in Gray, Maine, to remove lead, mercury and other toxic metals from his body. The treatments use a fluid containing agents that help remove the metals from the bloodstream. He also receives “Myers” cocktails to restore minerals and vitamins to his system, Taylor said.


Courtesy photo Chandler Taylor, 6, of Brunswick, Maine, gets biweekly chelation treatments at the Chelation Medical Center in Gray, Maine, to treat his autism.

The family’s health insurance will not cover the procedure, the cocktail or special diet supplements. Taylor said they pay $300 weekly for everything, but the results have been worth it.


Courtesy photo Scott Taylor of Brunswick, Maine, plays with his son, Chandler, 6. Chandler was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 2 and his parents said a combination of chelation treatment, a gluten-free and casein-free diet and a special carbohydrate diet have helped him develop better speech and learning skills.

“In the first two weeks he had dramatic improvement, and he started potty training. He has better eye contact, and his words took off,” Taylor said. “He went from speaking four-word sentences to four sentences.”

She said her son also started playing better with his older brother, Webster, 7, and her neighbor’s children, who are the same age as Chandler. With the help of an aide, he also has attended kindergarten in the Brunswick public schools and she is hopeful he’ll do well when he attends first grade this fall.

The National Institutes of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., proposed doing a chelation treatment study earlier this month to determine how it helps children diagnosed with autism. If the study is approved, it would mark the first time the federal government has taken a close look at an alternative treatment for autism.

While Taylor said she’s pleased the federal government wants to study the benefits of chelation as an autism treatment, she said the NIMH should have done so long ago.

“Parents have been reporting for years that it has been helping their kids,” Taylor said.

She also said the danger associated with chelation has been exaggerated, calling it safe if administered properly by a doctor certified by a chelation board.

“We’re not waiting for the government to do anything,” she said.

Doctors with Defeat Autism Now!, or DAN, believe children with autism are unable to break down metals such as mercury and lead the same way normal developing children do because their immune systems are compromised.

They believe gluten- and casein-free diets, which don’t use wheat and dairy products, and alternative treatments like chelation, can remove toxic metals from children and eventually let them function normally.

Taylor said her son benefited from the diet and chelation almost immediately after he started it in California, where the family lived before moving to Maine in 2006.

She said her son “started calling me mommy again for the first time in 10 months.”

Unlike a standard blood test doctors use to detect high levels of lead and mercury, Taylor said a chelation test focuses on urine. In Chandler’s case, his first chelation test showed he had high levels of lead and mercury, she said.

She said the family stopped chelation for nearly two years and had his urine tested again for metals after they moved to Maine. The test showed he again had elevated levels of mercury, lead and toxins, she said.

She said she believes her son may have ingested lead from mouthing toys later recalled for having lead paint. She said her son also may have ingested lead paint from the window frames of their Maine home.

She said she’s not sure if her son will completely recover from autism, but believes chelation treatments have made a huge difference.

“We are going to keep doing it until all the metals are gone,” she said.