Community Magazine

Can A Child Recover from Autism?

By Matthewspuzzle @matthewspuzzle

I have heard the question Can a Child Recover from Autism? for a very long time. Really ever since Matthew was diagnosed. I really wasn’t sure at the time. Of course I always hoped it was possible and I had heard rumors of some children recovering, but I just didn’t know. Then Jenny McCarthy came out and publicly said her son, Evan, had recovered. Now I know of a few children that have recovered. I actually am friends with one mom that has recovered both of her daughters! So I know it is possible. So then the question became, Can Matthew Recover from Autism?

Over the last 5+ years we have been working on that one question. It has been a crazy ride, lots of ups and downs, and to mix my metaphors, lots of curve balls too. But in the end I do think Matthew has the ability to recover. There is a simple test many parents use to evaluate where their child is on the autism spectrum and to determine if a certain intervention or protocol is making a difference for their child. It is called the Autism Treatment Evalutation Checklist.

The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) was developed by Bernard Rimland and Stephen M. Edelson of the Autism Research Institute, to fill this need, which is especially urgent right now because of the 20 or more studies starting soon to evaluate secretin.

The ATEC is a one-page form designed to be completed by parents, teachers, or caretakers. It consists of 4 subtests: I. Speech/Language Communication (14 items); II. Sociability (20 items); III. Sensory/ Cognitive Awareness (18 items); and IV. Health/Physical/Behavior (25 items).

Users of the ATEC may have it scored free (4 subscores and a total score) by entering the responses via computer to the ATEC form on the website for immediate and free-of-cost scoring. ATEC forms are only accepted online.

Over the years we have used the ATEC to evaluate Matthew. At around age 5 he scored roughly a 64. The scores range from 0 to 180, with 0 to 10 being considered by most as not on the autism spectrum. So the higher the number the more “severe” the autism or the more symptoms are displayed. At that point in life he was considered to be fairly dependent and would not have the ability to live alone if he did not significantly improve. This May we repeated the ATEC, after 5 years of biomedical interventions and he had dropped to a 34! That was a significant improvement and with an ATEC that low it was felt he would be semi-independent as an adult. Of course that is not enough to allow him to go to college, have a career and maybe marry.

After attending AutismOne in Chicago this past May we decided to start working on some things in Matthew’s web of autism (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Martha Herbert, author of The Autism Revolution) that we had never addressed before. This revolved around bacteria, viruses and parasites. We had never thought Matthew had any of these problems, but once we decided to take a closer look, and start treatment, we have seen unparalleled results. We just took the ATEC again and we have reached a 12. Yes, a 12. That is a mere 2 points away from the holy grail of Autism Recovery.  So although we have not fully recovered our son, he is really well on his way. I’m over the moon with this. Stay Well.


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