Autism and Diet: Award-winning Book

I was overjoyed when I heard tonight that Julie Matthews had won a major national award for her new book. I have listened to Julie and perused their work; I have also their blockbuster DVD on Nourishing the Children that was presented at our recent Cleveland meeting. I am so pleased to introduce her to our international readers. Here is the news release tonight:

Nourishing Hope for Autism, a holistic book that promotes diet as an effective way to help reduce the symptoms of autism, has been named the Most Progressive Health Book of 2009 as part of the Independent Publishers Book Awards.
The author of the book is Julie Matthews, a noted nutritional consultant from San Francisco, who specializes in dietary intervention for autism, ADHD, and other disorders on the autism spectrum.

Matthews espouses the belief that autism is not a mysterious brain disorder, but rather a whole body dysfunction influenced and aggravated by environmental factors, including toxins, inflammation, sedentary behaviors, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, and slow digestive development.
In her book, she offers a logical scientifically based explanation as to how and why diet affects many of the woes so physically obvious in children with autism, and offers parents a guide to the types of foods that could be exacerbating symptoms and those that can help eliminate them.
Virtually all kids with autism have some sort of digestive complaint or complaints, which can include diarrhea, constipation, bloating and stomach aches.  Many get frequent infections and have sleep disturbances.  These symptoms are indicative of  a poorly functioning digestive system,  or a “leaky gut,”  meaning that nutrients are not being absorbed properly. “This leads to nutrient deficiencies, which can affect all cellular function, including poor brain function,” says Matthews.
Substances in food, such as gluten (found in wheat) and casein (found in milk), that cannot be digested adequately produce symptoms such as foggy thinking, insensitivity to pain, emotional withdrawal and irritability, says Matthews.  Among her numerous gut-healing solutions, are removing sugar, starches and yeast-containing foods and adding healing foods, such as probiotics, fish oil, flax, turmeric and ginger. You can find the complete list of dietary recommendations on her website
Nourishing Hope is an appropriate title for this guide for parents, who, it seems, are too often told that there is no hope for their autistic or ADHD child.
“Some parents hesitate to try autism diets – or physicians are slow to suggest them – because they don’t know why and how diet works,” says Matthews. “One recent news report  about  autism diets suggested uncertainly about their efficacy, saying it was uncertain whether diet helps the symptoms of autism, or whether it helps the gut, which in turn affects a relief in autistic symptoms. The insinuation was that since they don’t  know how it’s helping, they don’t know if it’s working at all. This is foolhardy. Don’t limit your potential because some ‘experts’ fail to realize why and how diet works.”
Matthews spreads her message of nourishing hope as a keynote speaker at major autism conferences, including Defeat Autism Now (DAN!), Autism One, Autism Society of America, U.S. Autism and Asperger Assn., and the National Autism Assn.

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