WCAP Goals and Objectives
  1. Redefine Autism as a treatable condition.
  2. Support the definition of autism as a treatable condition through research.
  3. Thoroughly develop a nutrition protocol for autism. 
  4. Teach and educate the community about autism and nutrition.
  5. Incorporate therapy and therapy services which support healing. 
  6. Teach and educate 'therapy' and 'service' integration.
  7. Develop community based programs.
  8. Provide training to people in the community.
  9. Build a support and communication network.
  10. Enable autistic people to develop their potential.


Sara's Diet


World Community Autism Program

Redefining Autism
WCAP aims to develop model programs that can help redefine autism as a treatable yet complex condition affecting millions of people in many ways. Autism was once described as a rare, lifelong psychological condition with no known cause and no proven treatment options. Over the past 15 years, new approaches and philosophies have grown up, offering alternatives to the conventional view. At the same time, what was once a rare and little known condition has sprung into the public eye, with controversies and conflicts raging on all sides. WCAP has been deeply involved in the new movement that seeks to redefine autism as a multi-systemic medical condition through our writings and books, our unique work with lutein-free dietary intervention as well as many years of on-line presence.
  The last few years has seen increasing evidence of a worldwide explosion in autism numbers. The autism 'baby-boom' is already impacting the educational, health and social services, sending financial planning into turmoil and service providers into panic as they try to predict the long-term impact of this demanding and complex condition. Educational planners are caught in the middle, as the numbers approach 1% of the school-age population in some areas. The strategy of full educational inclusion that was adopted in the 70's as an immutable principle has been called into question as schools begin to fight back in legal battles. The medical community has found itself in the center of controversy and accusations over the role of vaccination policy, while more concrete evidence of damage to the gut, changes in the brain, altered immune system, serotonin deregulation, digestive problems, visual and hearing differences, enzyme deficiencies and other signs of biological and metabolic disturbance has reached the point where one of the leading psychologists in the field, Uta Frith, finally described autism as a 'biological condition'.

Autism Consciousness
The definition of autism for many years as a set of unusual behaviors led to the development of behavioral approaches which were seen for a long time as the only way forward. Parents or schools have spent fortunes on ABA therapy. Meanwhile, the discovery of the biological aspect of autism has led to an explosion in dietary and medical approaches. Also, an 'Autism consciousness' movement is now emerging, spearheaded by people with autism who are tired of being treated as 'cases' in need of treatment. Our view is that autists are people with immense potential who have been held back for too long by misunderstanding. The goal of any program must be to improve their chances of fulfilling their true potential. We believe that improving their lives will improve the lives of all of us at the family, academic and community level. As the argument ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ continues we hold with the inevitable truth that it is a little of both.

Dietary Approaches

It is not reasonable to expect that parents who are so determined to help their children would limit their therapeutic approaches to behaviour modification alone. What then are the alternatives to behavioral therapies that parents and practitioners might find available? Primarily these have been diet therapies: gluten and casein removal, anti-yeast and anti-candida diets, allergy diets, vitamin therapies, diets based on the lutein theory and environmental medicine-based approaches to toxic overload. More intense therapies have resulted from immune research and include the use of IV infusions (transfer factor, IVIG and more recently secretin), also allergy and B12 injections and colonic cleansing. Less invasive vitamin, provitamin, minerals and food supplements from DMG to fat soluble vitamin A (fish-liver oil) supplementation have been used. Therapies which have evolved around light and colour theories include the use of Irlen lenses and sensory rooms (snoezelen). Therapies which have evolved around sound and vibration theories include auditory integration (Berard and Tomatis methods), music therapy and sensory integration. Movement therapies have developed as a result of autism being described as a ‘movement disorder’. Communication approaches have been developed, including facilitated communication, computer-based programs and adapted classroom tools. All of these therapies used together or in isolation have resulted in reports of significant and measurable improvements for some individuals and even recovery for others.
  Various types of massage have also been used and scientific research verifies the positive aspects of this approach. In autism such therapies have included the ‘squeeze machine’ developed by Dr. Temple Grandin. We believe that some biological activities can be positively affected by a variety of different approaches.  For instance deep tissue massage or use of the ‘squeeze machine’ or secretin might result in similar biochemical responses.
  Improving the bodies digestion is of primary importance for achieving a positive outcome for the autistic individual. Simple resources available in most countries aide us in applying our methods simply without the use of experimental drugs, invasive therapies or expensive ‘name brand’ programs.

Sara's Diet - a holistic approach to autism treatment
Sara's Diet refers to a holistic therapeutic approach which begins with the removal of lutein from the diet. The efficacy of this approach was discovered by Sandra Desorgher MA in 1994. As well as lutein removal, Sandra's understanding of the autistic individual led to recommendations for cod liver oil supplementation, DMG, essential fatty acids, the use of digestive enzymes, removal of gluten and/or casein, as well as the use of metabolic testing to identify abnormal metabolism, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and food allergies. Some of these recommendations later became included in the DAN protocol. Sandra understands the need for a unique nutritional program tailored to the individual client that includes all known and suspected essential nutrients and trace elements in a balanced diet with minimal use of supplementation in most cases. This ensures healthy functioning of the immune system, the digestive system and proper detoxification, as well as sparing the family the expense of wasted resources and wasted time. It also avoids the stress of the strict GFCF diet by identifying that very few autists need a strict removal of gluten and casein, and for many it is contra-indicated.

Immune system changes effect neurological development and brain chemistry
Research has shown that the amygdala (emotional center of the brain) is involved in immune system responses, and we suspect that continued immune response to a pathogen hinders the development of emotional maturation, language and socialization. Taking away the immune trigger (lutein) allows the amygdala to open up to emotional processes and so begin the road to recovery. Neurotransmitter function (e.g. acetylcholine and serotonin) is also affected by immune system interference. Removing lutein and balacing the diet appropriately improves neurotransmitter functioning leading to improved well-being, digestion, detoxification, sensory feedback and signalling, and hormonal balance.

The role of traditional medicine
Traditional medicine varies greatly in approach. Treatments which gain recognition may eventually be evaluated by the allopathic community in an attempt to ascertain the scientific reason for successful outcomes. One example is therapeutic massage. The role of therapeutic touch as published in the article ‘Coming to our SENSES’ (US NEWS and world report, Jan 13, 1997) includes:
'The skin,' writes pathologist Marc Lappe, 'is both literally and metaphorically the body’s edge - a boundary against an inimical world.' Yet the skin also is an organ that speaks the language of love most clearly - and not just in the erogenous zones. The caress of another person releases hormones that can ease pain and clear the mind. Deprive a child of touch, and his brain and body will stop growing. This new view of the most intimate sense was sparked a decade ago, when child psychologist Tiffany Field showed that premature infants who were massaged for 15 minutes 3 times a day gained weight 47% faster than preemies given standard intensive care nursery treatment, i.e. as little touching as possible. The preemies who were massaged weren’t eating more; they just processed food more efficiently.
Why does it take so long for treatments like this to gain acceptance?  Historically, as allopathic and traditional medicines were torn apart, communication between the practitioners became almost non-existent. Now, the age of Information Technology is bringing these approaches back together. Natural medicine has actually been bridging the gap for generations between these seemingly different approaches. ‘Alternative’ medicine includes a broad spectrum of approaches.

Time for Action
An alternative view of autism—its epidemiology, causes and treatment—was presented at 'Autism 2001: Place For New Medical Discoveries' in Quebec City. The conference, under the honourary chairmanship of Dr. Victor Goldbloom, a pediatrician and former Quebec government minister, was organized by 'Autisme Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches' in collaboration with 'Autisme et troubles envahissants du développement Montréal' (ATEDM), two non-profit autism education and advocacy groups. Sponsors were the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, and the Ministry of Research, Science and Techology, the Quebec Office of the Handicapped and Heritage Canada. Medical Post staff writer Susannah Benady files these reports.

Experts call for autism to be redefined as systemic illness
‘Condition thought to be triggered by assault to immature immune system: Researchers are calling for a radical new definition of autism in the wake of evidence presented here that autism is in fact an autoimmune disease, rather than a mental handicap. No longer can the condition just be considered a psychiatric or neurological disorder, they argued. Autism had to be seen as a systemic illness that has gastrointestinal, immunological, endocrinological, psychological and neurological complications. The term "autism" is misleading and should be replaced with a phrase that better describes the child's physical condition. In cases where the immunological vulnerability or toxicity can be identified, and then responds to treatment, children show a marked improvement in their ability to relate to others, as well as in their academic performance. They now believe that autism is triggered by an environmental insult or toxicity that damages the immature and fragile immune system of a fetus, infant or very young child. This causes the immune system to react against body organs. The result is a condition that has a multisystem effect, not just on a patient's neurological system. Most frequently, it is the gastrointestinal system or "second brain" (gut) that shows symptoms. Many of the children also have a long history of susceptibility to infections and experience hormonal imbalance, such as hyperthyroidism and early puberty. Some children even display coagulation and circulatory disorders. Research presented at the conference showed that tests on blood and tissue samples from autistic children have detected autoantibodies to proteins in the brain, gastrointestinal system and other organs. As Dr. Bradstreet puts it: "The child becomes the victim of his immune system." Dr. Andrew Wakefield of London's Royal Free and University College medical school, who has investigated the gastrointestinal symptoms of more than 150 autistic children, said these children "show an aberration of the immune system in some ways similar to people with AIDS."… According to research by Dr. Anne Comi and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Hospital division of pediatric neurology in Baltimore that was cited at the conference, there is a nine-fold increase in the incidence of autism in children born to mothers with immune illnesses. Dr. Ed Yazbak, a pediatric infectious disease specialist from Boston, said research will not find a chromosome responsible for autism. He is a former professor at Brown University now studying the medical histories of children with autism in an effort to determine what triggered their condition. "Research will show there is a genetic predisposition to autism. What we have to find is the environmental insult," he said.

Action versus Inaction
What we have now is a time when allopathic medicine has failed to meet the challenge of autism and as a result inaction appears to be the general course of action for most practitioners. As allopathic medicine evolved, the human body has been categorized and analyzed with specialists being cultivated to provide services in their area exclusively. On the other hand, in the wider field some practitioners of medicine have continued to focus on treating the whole person. This includes practitioners who look for the cause rather than treating just the symptoms of an illness. So, in reports from autism mailing-list archives to persons at conferences and at large in the post-modern world we can find allopathic doctors using traditional American-Indian medicine, healers with degrees in both allopathic and homeopathic medicine combining treatments, a plant pharmacologist looking at the biochemistry of the autistic child, paediatricians studying biochemistry and psychiatrists looking at dietary treatments trying to unlock the doors to this 'devastating lifelong disability’.  We can also find therapists and doctors providing treatments from their own specialization: behavior management, massage and acupuncture, speech therapy, art therapy, nutritional approaches, vitamin therapy and more. We see doctors and lay people developing and offering drugs, movement therapy, auditory integration, Irlen lenses, dolphin therapy and more. We can also find people who take advantage of desperate parents. For instance one doctor offers turmeric at $20.00 per capsule as part of his treatment recommendation. Alternative medicine offers everything from exorcism, crystal healing, light and color therapies to the herbs and potions of the traditional healer. If it were your child would you accept the inaction of most modern doctors who rely on the belief that autism is not treatable or would you opt for a course of action that offered hope of improvement, maybe even recovery?

The development of a new autism program
World Community Autism Program is moving forward with literature and program development that we hope will contribute to a re-allignment of resources towards realistic and powerful options that set free the potential of these individuals.

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