Autism Diet Consultations with Sandra Desorgher, Psy.D.

World Community Autism Program

General information about nutritional consultations
What is a nutritional consultation?
  • A nutritional consultation is a tool which is used to find out where nutrients from a person’s diet meet, exceed or are deficient in known essential nutrients - proteins (amino acids), fats and carbohydrates as well as vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
  • A nutritional consultation should also include a family history. Diseases, disorders and conditions can provide a lot of information about a persons genetic information which influences or directly controls the way that foods are processed in our bodies.
  • A nutritional consultation should also include race and culture information because how and what we eat now and how we process the nutrients from these foods has been determined in part by our cultural background and genetic information.
  • A nutritional consultation should also include any diagnosis which has been medically determined. Many diseases and inborn errors of metabolism have had specific guidelines developed which support an improved outcome based on the use of specific changes to the diet relative to the population which also have this same diagnosis and those who obtained the best results with the recommended change to diet.
  • A nutritional consultation should also include recommendations which account for the cultural needs of the individual so that when a person chooses not to eat certain foods because of cultural or religious preferences these preferences should be accommodated in the recommendation.
  • A nutritional consultation should include obtaining as much medical information as is available including testing which has occurred that may provide information which is specific and unique for the individual.

Who can provide a nutritional consultation?
  • NM - Doctors of Nutritional Medicine.
  • Dieticians and nutritionists have the basic training to provide a nutritional consultation. Dieticians and nutritionists often see people with a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. Some dieticians and nutritionists specialize in specific conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol metabolism or stroke and heart attack.
  • Nurses have some training in nutrition and many gain additional certification in Food Science and Nutrition.
  • There are many kinds of training and degrees which are obtained by people which provide the basic tools needed to counsel people about their food and nutrition needs including sports medicine, nutrition, nursing. Sometimes people have training based on their primary degree whereas for others the training is their primary degree.
  • Experts in Food Science and Nutrition generally obtain a Masters Degree and some of these people then additionally obtain a doctorate i.e. NM or PhD.

Who needs a nutritional consultation?
  • People often have little or no interest in food science and nutrition and the language used which describes the vitamins, minerals and nutrients which provide their bodies with the substances which are essential for sustaining life and achieving optimal health. For these people who are otherwise healthy it is likely that they naturally obtain a variety of foods which provide their bodies with the essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are widely dispersed in foods and generally easy to obtain.
  • These same people may have an insult or injury which increases their need for some food substances or alternative sources of nutrients. For instance as a person ages they may lose teeth and when they were young magnesium was obtained naturally in their diet from nuts. With missing teeth and dentures it is no longer a pleasure to eat whole nuts and they lose their primary source of magnesium. They may begin to suffer with reflux and constipation. A nutritional consultation should be able to identify the nutrient which is no longer adequately provided by the diet and recommend a different dietary source or supplementation.
  • People who suffer from a specific disease, disorder or condition can benefit from a nutritional consultation. Medical studies may have resulted in findings which can be used to make nutritional recommendations which have resulted in improvements for people who like themselves have this same medical condition. With additional individual information an optimal diet can be recommended.

When should a person seek a nutritional consultation?
  • When he or she is not confident that their diet meets their nutritional needs. This worry may be unnecessary and stress (worry) can interfere with digestion.
  • When an individual has a specific complaint that has not been adequately addressed by their primary care physician. Doctors notoriously have little knowledge and training in nutrition unless this is their specialized field.
  • When food allergies are known or suspected. Taking out problem foods is only one part of the solution. Nutrients which are lost as foods are eliminated need to be replaced with an alternative source from foods or supplements.
  • People who have had medical testing which identify dysregulated digestion including abnormal gut pH, abnormal fatty acid metabolism, insufficient protein digestion and provide information with words that are foreign to the individual.
  • People with specific diseases, disorders and conditions for which other people with the same condition have responded to dietary recommendations and these include but are not exclusive to obesity, ADD, diabetes, CFS, abnormal cholesterol levels, high or low blood pressure, Acute Intermittent Porphyria, chronic diarrhea, constipation, gout, lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, schizophrenia, osteoporosis, chronic bowel and digestive problems, food allergies and food sensitivities.
  • People who have an eating disorder can often benefit from a nutritional consultation.

How do you obtain a nutritional consultation?
  • Once you have decided that you or a family member might benefit from a nutritional consultation then you need to inform your primary care physician who may make a referral for you based on his or her knowledge of your medical history.
  • You can contact your local hospital to find out if the resident dietician accepts clients for private consultation.
  • You can choose also to locate a practitioner in alternative medicine such as a holistic nutritionist who often works with or for an MD or a PhD.
  • You can also locate a practitioner yourself through the phone directory or internet.

Nutrition Consultations specific to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

1. When choosing to obtain a nutritional consult for an individual with an ASD there are some additional problems which need to be considered:
  • Diet is what goes into the individual and not what is written or recommended;
  • Optimal diet for the individual with an ASD requires that the same nutritional guidelines for nutrient intake for the general population be considered, but also that the abnormal metabolism of the individual is understood and addressed in relation to food allergies, food sensitivities, cholesterol regulation, eating disorders, bowel and digestive problems, food preferences and knowledge of the co-occurring conditions which are prevalent with an autism diagnosis.
2. Families seeking a nutritional consultation for a family member with an ASD should consider that there are few dieticians with knowledge specific to autism. People who are trained or who have developed knowledge specific to autism and diet generally include DAN (Defeat Autism Now) practitioners (generally only practicing in the USA) and people who work with these practitioners. Not all of the DAN doctors have knowledge or training specific to the diet needs of this population.

3. Some naturopathic doctors, physicians who specialize in environmental medicine and also homeopathic doctors have significant experience and success in working with people who have an ASD.

A Nutritional Consultation through WCAP

We provide a full nutritional consultation (specialising in autism spectrum disorder)
 US $400
 UK 200

consideration is made for individual circumstances. Not inclusive of travel if applicable.

Please send as much information as possible when requesting a consultation. We also have a form that we request you fill in and email to us:


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