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The Responder    

Hi! I wanted to share an update with everyone about my four year old niece.  I just spent 
the morning with her at Chuck E. Cheese. I just cannot believe how well she is doing!

When she was 3 years old she was very hard to deal with.  We could not communicate with 
her.  She could not say "mommy",  she could not say  "yes"  or  "no" or even nod her head. 
She did not understand. We would take her places and she would scream uncontrollable. 
It was hard for her to make a transition. She had to always carry something with her. 
She would latch on to something and carry it for days!

She had hardly any speech. She would always "jargon"! She did not socialize! She rolled 
around on the ground in her own world. She would scream if you looked at her or tried to 
talk to her.  She had horrible eye contact.  She didn't understand what was going on 
around her.

When she was 15 months old she was fine, she smiled at us, had great eye contact, had 
some speech, use to say "hi" and look at you. Three to six months after she received her 
MMR shot she slowly started to loose her words, slowly stopped being social, and slowly 
lost her eye contact. By the time she was 3 years old she was evaluated at a 6 - 9 month 
level.  She would always have  temper tantrums,  no one would know what she  wanted. 
My niece was put in a special preschool and received speech and occupational therapy. 
My family was very optimistic. She was getting better but very, very slowly.

In October we saw DATELINE about the secretin and the same day on a local news 
program got a phone number to Dr. B. for more information about secretin. My sister 
called and a few days later went to a seminar of his. At the seminar he convinced my 
sister to put my niece on the casein and gluten free diet! By December she was so much 
better! We thought this is it! We found what works. We couldn't understand why we 
weren't told to do this diet 2 years ago when she was first diagnosed.

On December 9th my niece received 1 vial of secretin. Within 24 hours we could see 
a difference. She asked "why?", started to write her name, started to write her name, 
and she started to draw detailed pictures of things. We could not believe it. My sister 
is not planning on getting anymore.

In the last 4 months my niece has dramatically improved!! Today she tries to play with 
other children. She draws detailed pictures and tells you a story about her picture! 
At Chuck E. Cheese today I could not believe how clear she was. She looks perfect. 
You can not tell there is a problem! She looks at things around her and notices people 
like a normal 4 year old does.

I asked her to help my 2 year old daughter up in the tubes at Chuck E. Cheese. She took 
my daughter's hand and was helping her around and talking and smiling at her. My 2 year 
old loves her! Her speech is still behind. But she communicates her thoughts and wants. 
She just started asking this week "What's this?" Unbelievable! :)

 My sister talked to Dr. B. the other day.  He wants my sister to talk at the Orlando 
Conference in May! He wants her to tell everyone about my niece.  Dr. B. told my sister 
that he feels by the time she enters first grade in September 2000 you will not be able 
to tell there was a problem. He said "She had characteristics of classic autism at 3 years 
old, but today I don't even consider her PDD." Dr. B. calls her a "responder" because she 
has responded so well from the diet and secretin.

If it was not for Dr. B. and convincing us to do the diet I do not know where my niece 
would be today.  My sister that my niece continues to improve so much because of the 
casein and gluten free diet she is on.  It can take up to a year to clean out her body. 
There is a really good book about this diet by Lisa Lewis called "Special Diets for 
Special Kids". We just want other parents to know our story.

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