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Can Autism be Cured?

Can Autism be Cured?

TODAY MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE that Autism is a genetic brain disorder. I’m here to tell you that this isn’t true. The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain. A toxic environment triggers certain genes in people susceptible to this condition. And research supports this position.

Think about it. Rates of autism have skyrocketed over the years, from an estimated 1 child in 3,000 to just 1 in 150 kids today. Sure, wider criteria for diagnosis and better detection might explain some of it but not an increase of this magnitude.

Dramatic scientific discoveries have taken place during the last 10 to 20 years that reveal the true causes of autism, and turn conventional thinking on its head. For example, Martha Herbert, MD, a pediatric neurologist from Harvard Medical School has painted a picture of autism that shows how core abnormalities in body systems like immunity, gut function, and detoxification play a central role in causing the behavioral and mood symptoms of autism.

Recently I treated a 2 ½ year old boy named Sam. He was born healthy but diagnosed with autism after his vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella at 22 months.

Every child with autism has unique genetics, causes or triggers. And it is not usually one thing but a collection of insults, toxins and deficiencies piled on susceptible genetics that leads to biochemical train wrecks we see in these children.

When I first saw him, this little boy was deep in the inner wordless world of autism. Watching him was like watching someone on a psychedelic drug trip. So we dug into his biochemistry and genetics and found many things to account for the problems he was having.

He had very high level of antibodies to gluten. He was allergic not only to wheat, but to dairy, eggs, yeast, and soy — about 28 foods in total. He also had a leaky gut, and his gut was very inflamed. Sam was deficient in zinc, magnesium, and manganese, vitamins A, B12, and D, and omega-3 fats. Like many children with autism, he had trouble making energy in his cells, or mitochondria.

His amino acids — necessary for normal brain function and detoxification — were depleted. And his blood showed high levels of aluminum and lead, while his hair showed very high levels of antimony and arsenic, signs of a very toxic little boy. His levels of sulfur and glutathione were low, indicating that he just couldn’t muster the power to detox all these metals. In fact, his genes showed a major weak spot in glutathione metabolism, which is the body’s main antioxidant and major detoxification highway for getting rid of metals and pesticides.

Sam also had trouble with a key biochemical function called methylation that is required to make normal neurotransmitters and brain chemicals and is critical for helping the body get rid of toxins. This showed up as low levels of homocysteine (signs of problems with folate metabolism) and high methylmalonic acid (signs of problems with B12 metabolism). He also had two genes that set him up for more problems with this system.

Finally, he also had very high levels of oxidative stress or free radical activity, including markers that told me that his brain was inflamed and under free-radical fire.

This may all seem complicated, but it really isn’t. When I see any patient, I simply work through the 7 Keys to UltraWellness (based on functional medicine) to see how everything is connected, create a plan to get to the causes of the problems, and then help each patient deal with all the biochemical and physiological rubble that those causes have left along the road.

To create a roadmap for recovery you just take away what’s bothering the patient and give his body what it is missing and needs to thrive (based on the individual’s biochemical uniqueness). Then the body does the rest. Here is the roadmap I used to help Sam recover.

Step 1: Fix His Gut and Cool the Inflammation There

This step included a number of different tactics including:

  • Taking away gluten and other food allergens
  • Getting rid of his yeast with anti-fungals
  • Killing off the toxic bacteria in his small intestine with special antibiotics
  • Replenishing healthy bacteria with probiotics
  • Helping him digest his food with enzymes

Step 2: Replace the Missing Nutrients to Help His Genes Work Better

In Sam’s case we:

  • Added back zinc, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, B6, B12, and D
  • Supported his brain with omega-3 fats

Step 3: Detoxify and Reduce Oxidative Stress

  • Once his biochemistry and nutrition was tuned up, we helped him detoxify and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Improve nutrition, reduce inflammation, heal the gut, detoxify — this should sound familiar.

As I said before, the keys of UltraWellness can help, no matter what the disease or condition. Biology has basic laws, which we have to follow and understand. All the details of Sam’s story fit into these laws. We just have to dig deep, peel back the layers, and understand what is going on. When we do this the results are nothing short of miraculous…

After following a gluten-free diet and treating his gut for 3 weeks, Sam showed dramatic and remarkable improvement. He was getting back much of his language skills and showing much more connection and relatedness in his interactions.

After 4 months, he was more focused, unstuck and verbal.

After 10 months, his bowels were back to normal, he was verbally fluent, mainstreamed in school and he “lost” his diagnosis of autism.

After 2 years all his abnormal tests were normal including the high metals, gut inflammation and damage to his mitochondria and free radicals.

And more importantly, the child was totally normal. Not every child has such a dramatic recovery but many improve, and some improve dramatically using the approach of functional or systems medicine.

This is just the beginning. Read the full article on Why Current Thinking About Autism Is Completely Wrong.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (88)

  • I teach sustainable design at a private college. Check out the movie “Bag It” about how plastics are affecting all of our lives. Very informative.

    • But what if your child has no high levels of gluten, and has no allergies but has ASD where does it come from?
      I have three with ASD…is it really genetic? WHat kinds of treatment are available for those without the same symtoms…

      • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Questions regarding medical conditions cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

        Wishing You the Best of Health!

        Dr. Hyman Staff

      • It’s mercury poisoning! It’s still in vaccines. Andy Cutler protocol brought my little boy out of autism.

  • Hi,
    A friend of mine has a similar situation, the baby was born normal and was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months. I would like to know if there is a possibility that he can be normal again.
    What steps should they take ? Looks like based on your post food plays a major role.


    • Hello Rupa,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Questions regarding medical conditions cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

    • Biomedical interventions are numerous. Look for a DAN doctor (Defeat Autism Now) and start reading on sites like Generation Rescue and The Thinking Mother’s Revolution. Good luck in your search!

      • Hello Jaweed,
        Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your son the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

        You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
        Wishing you and your son the best of health,
        Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Just want to know if you participated in any clinical trials and if you have published any articles on the above information? I am interested in this subject and have read a lot about gluten and diary free diets, but are there any authorities that back up the information you listed? Monica Adams

  • Dear Dr Hyman,

    I have a 5 year old Autistic son. Do you know of anyone in Brisbane, Australia that follows a similar approach to you in treating Autistic children?

    • Hello Nardus,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. To locate a practitioner of functional medicine in your area see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine’s website. Here you will find a place to enter your zip code and look for practitioner’s in your area that have completed the institute’s five-day training course in functional medicine. Understand that not all of the doctors listed here will fit your particular needs. Many different medical professionals complete this training, and you will have to do additional research on your own regarding a particular practitioner’s approach and whether or not it fits your specific medical requirements. This may include calling the practioner’s office, visiting his or her website, and/or scheduling a consultation.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

  • Wow this article is disgusting. Most things in here that you claim to be fact are not! As a mother with an Autistic son I am extremely offended that you are insinuating the cure has been found and is as simple as diet! Most parents of Autistic children have done gluten, casin, free diets and not seen improvements. It may have shown improvements in some, or none at all, as in my case, but definitely NOT a cure. My son has been through extensive testing with a gastrointestinalogist. He has not been found to have any issues stemming from gluten or casin.

    • You are dead on Melissa…my son is high functioning…he has Asperger Syndrome…and when I saw this I just snorted…we did all the dietary stuff and it made not one once of difference. Where we are on the spectrum a “cure” is not necessary. My husband has it and he is a prominent MD and researcher… My mother had it ( less functional, but a wonderful creative person)…my son is brilliant in Honors College and although he has challenges every day and trouble relating to others…he really is perfectly fine as he is, he does not need ‘curing’…and when someone says it’s not genetic? I laugh…we could be the textbook example for the genetic argument. Both my husband and I have it in our blood lines….we didn’t have a name for it until our son was having the typical delays…but then everything fell into place. No Gluten is the fad du jour…total BS if you ask me.

    • Firstly how exactly is the article disgusting? I think you should review the research regarding autism before commenting. In the article the doctor does not say that simply changing diet is going to cure a child. Since every child has a different cause and also resulting issues; there are usually multiple treatments that must be undertaken in order to work towards recovery. Yes some parents have tried gf/cf and have not seen results. What you left out was the fact that some children do not have gut problems but do have other issues such as heavy metal toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, immune challenges, inflammation etc that can be treated. Also some parents may not see results because they do not follow the diet correctly. As well as some not doing the diet because the tests they did to first determine whether treatment was necessary were in fact not the proper tests to conduct. A very good example of this is parents testing for allergies instead of doing the correct test which would be an opiate test (usually done by testing the urine). I hope this information was helpful and that you rethink your statements about this doctor and the information he provided. He is not saying that recovery from autism is simple. How could it be when autism itself is such a complex disorder.

    • Melissa, I can relate to how you feel. Not all children have positive effects. I also see great truth to what is talked about here. There are many children that are misdiagnosed or mild and can greatly benefit from some of these interventions. I have two children on the spectrum and have not gone down this path, but as a mother I am open and willing to try anything even if its a small change or changes one thing. Raising a child with special needs is a journey that requires great strength and encouragement and God has chosen you to do the role! God Bless!

    • Melissa, I’m so sorry you haven’t had immediate results with a GFCF diet. My son did recover with dietary interventions. There are lots of other things to learn beyond just gluten and dairy though. For instance, have you had your son tested for heavy metal poisoning? Have you talked to a DAN doctor? (Defeat Autism Now) I realize that you are still in your journey for healing your son. The fact is, thousands of moms have been able to help their autistic children recover. Maybe getting angry at people who suggest it is possible is not the best use of your energies… peace be on you.

    • Melissa,

      I am very sorry to hear that you have not had much success with a gluten and casein free diet with your son. Please read the above article again and you will notice that what Dr. Hyman suggest goes way beyond this. It also includes adding back in many nutrients that have been depleted from the gut imbalance to help in the healing. Just removal of the offending dietary items will not be enough in such extreme cases as autism. Balancing the gut bacteria, adding mega nutrition to aid cell regeneration, and detoxing metals in the body are essential to healing. I hope that you will contiunue your research along this path and try some of the additional suggestions from Dr. Hyman to add to the elimination diet. I wish you all the best for you and your son.

    • I cannot agree more with you, Melissa! This article is offensive!! Read the research done by CHOP & other hospitals studying autism & see how they’re using MRIs to show that their brains are indeed wired differently from neurotypical people’s. My son is high functioning. He has a milk allergy so we were already casein free & we did GF as well at one time. It didn’t change a thing. We have the best geneticist in the country who sees my son & she said ASD can go along with his genetic disorder (I also have the disorder & my husband has accused me of being just like our son). We’re aware of that & we accept it. We have a great GI doc as part of out team & she doesn’t feel his problems are stemming from his diet. Behavioral therapy helps some, but his tendencies are always there. Shame on this guy for making people believe that all you need to do to cure autism is pay out of pocket for detox treatments & put the people affected on a diet. My neighbours have come up to me with “suggestions” like this. They blamed everything from sugar & red dye, to bad parenting & the need for more institutions. Our lives are hard enough without people writing articles & misinforming the general public.

    • I cannot agree more. I can’t believe that a medical professional is actually spreading this nonsense. I have no food allergies, was forced to eat extremely healthy (and couldn’t enjoy the normal foods children eat) and I was not immunized due to crazy parents and guess what? I showed autistic traits since about 6 months old, however I wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult due to lack of knowledge. Now my son, a 4 year old who has been immunized, is autistic. Looking back, we saw hints as early as 6 months, but knew he was by 12 months. It’s not genetic? I don’t buy it. I’m not saying that it’s the only cause, but I don’t like the fact that this article is telling parents that there isn’t any way for it to be genetic. I also don’t like the insinuation that autism can be cured by changing a diet, which isn’t exactly as easy as it’s portrayed. My son also has GI problems. We’ve addressed those problems the best that we could with a lot of help from health professionals and therapists and guess what, he’s still autistic with no change other than he isn’t having any stomach issues anymore. Autism isn’t a disease, it’s a disorder. It cannot be cured, it can be helped by therapy to change behaviors that don’t come natural. It saddens me when these types of articles are written that are misleading to parents.

      • You accuse your parents of being crazy and not knowledgeable, but you go ahead and vaccinate your son without doing any research on the ingredients. Aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, human and animal DNA….is this supposed to make kids immune systems work efficiently? Sure, there’s a genetic component if you consider our parents and grandparents were also vaccinated and any “traits” passed along, including gut dysbiosis, will only get more acute with each generation. Fix the leaky gut issue and you fix the genetic component.

  • Hi,
    My 18 month old daughter has regressed recently. We have stopped gluten, but she is extreamly picky eater. Has problem with gut too. I am wondering if I can we see Dr Mark Hyman? I live in Minnesota but willing to travel anywhere in the US.
    Thanks for your response.

  • Thank you for this article! As a Speech Therapist I was unable to help many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other gut-brain disorders such as apraxia, eating issues, and ADHD *exactly* for the reasons you’ve mentioned: many kids need to clean out their bodies, heal, and be nourished.
    Years ago I worked with a child who recovered from ASD through diet, detox, and a lot of research and commitment on the part of his family. He no longer needs therapy, and he lost his ASD diagnosis. He is a healthy, happy child now. That changed my life!
    I’ve applied many of the same principles to my own life and I’ve healed from Chronic Fatigue with detox and diet. Like many people with ASD, I’m also sensitive to gluten. No medical test shows it, but a a strict elimination diet is proof enough. When I eat gluten I’m in bed for days with exhaustion, brain fog, body aches, inflammation, and migraines.
    Thanks to the families I’ve worked with, “alternative” approaches to health, and the many Autism groups that support biomedical /functional approaches to healing, I’m doing health coaching now. Now I share my knowledge so more children can improve, and sometimes recover completely from ASD and other childhood disorders.
    Thank you for putting the word out. I’m grateful that we can work to guide families on their healing journeys and help future generations to live healthier lives.

  • Thank you for this common sense article about exploring finding the underlying cause of a disease/disorder. I wish more people were open to this approach for other issues such as depression, auto-immune disorders, etc…I have been trying major depression for a year with this approach and have seen nothing but good results. The main concern with this approach however is, it will not work over night. Everyday there will be improvement, but this is not a quick fix, it is about lifestyle change!

  • That must feel incredibly rewarding to HEAL a child! 🙂 What kinds of anti-fungals do you recommend, Dr H? We’ve tried coconut oil and olive leaf oil, how many hours between dosing with anti-fungal and a probiotic is recommended?

  • ummm I happen to be married to an Aspie and my mother was an Aspie and I have a son who is an Aspie…you can’t tell me it’s not genetic…I live it every day…

    • ummm well..Aspie’s are different than children with Autism! Autism is not Genetic… live it everyday

    • For those of you who believe in your family it is genetic, that is great, but doesn’t answer it for everyone. There is no autism in my family anywhere, not even close, but we have had a lot of diabetes, cancer, arthritis, all immune system problems
      For those of you who don’t want to change your child, who can see their future with a PHD and simply being quirky and dealing with some social issues, that is great. Some of us are dealing with far harsher situations than that and not treating our children or looking for answers to help them would be negligent. And for some of us, we witnessed direct cause and effect with vaccines or toxins and pursuing this route has paid off substantially.
      If the diet or other interventions didn’t work for you, I am sorry, it is unfortunate that we cannot find one thing that works for every child, but diet for us was life-changing and life-altering. Some of our children react dramatically to diet. Diet for us was a miracle than changed my child from severe to mild, ending all severe behaviors that were self-injurious and made so much more possible in her life. So it is unfair to say because it didn’t work for you it is snake oil. I can’t imagine going backwards to where we were before.
      The insinuation is always that we don’t love our children and can’t “accept them as they are”. What a bunch of BS. No one dealing with a child with cancer or other illnesses has to put up with such insulting and rude behavior. “What you can’t accept that your child has cancer and just love them as they are”? I loved my child when she was progressing normally, and I loved my child when she regressed, and I love her now that she is so much better and 90% recovered. To do less than “everything humanly possible” for her, would have been abuse, not what we have done and the positive changes that has brought about. I don’t make any claims that it works for every child, for you to do the same is wrong, that somehow becaue it didn’t work for your child it is bogus. I believe this article stated this doctor actually does basic tests of blood, allergies, etc. and treats each child individually based on the test results. I can tell you that is very refreshing to hear as I have yet to run across a standard physician willing to do the same. Hell, I can’t get most to even look at some of the issues, they are so afraid of being “Wakefielded” if they even acknowledge gut issues in an autistic child. I had to go it alone, and had great success and an amazing recovery. My daughter is now a High School Cheerleader! That is a huge accomplishment. I always encourage parents to at least give it a try, it might do nothing, or you might just have a nuclear reactor like my daughter. It’s just a diet, not brain surgery, it is worth trying, so are many other non-invasive approaches that even if they do not help, they also “do no Harm”! I can’t believe anyone would not be open to that!

    • I have 3 children, all effected by autism.
      my 18 yrs old daughter is severely autistic and from my first marriage,
      my 2nd child mildly effected (verbal).
      my 3rd child severely autistic, non verbal.

      both my husband were not related to me by blood and had no one effected by autism in the family, neither i have a family member effected by autism.

      I moved in the UK 22 years ago, i had not seen 1 single autistic child or adult when i was living in Pakistan through out my life.
      I now see vans full of autistic children transporting them to school every morning, its 2 in every 100 here in western world.
      I believe its to do with GM food and vaccination they apply here.also the water we drink is not naturally clean.
      Autism is no to very rare in the under develeoped countries with big polulation.

  • My daughter is almost 12. After a difficult labor, she was delivered via c-section when my dr. discovered her umbillical cord was tied in a knot and around her neck. I knew cords around an infants neck was common in alot of deliveries and the children have developed normally, but the knot… we just didn’t know what that would mean later on. Being first time parents, we hoped for the best. Being first time parents we paniced when she was spitting up ALOT, mostly projectile vomit after every bottle feeding, but being first time parents we were regarded with an eye roll and told ‘that was normal’. Being first time parents we did everything we were ‘supposed’ to do – we were on time with every vaccination and again we paniced when she wasn’t meeting this milestone or the next. Another eye roll and a ‘she doesn’t have any siblings, she’s not in daycare so it may take her longer to sit up, crawl or walk or start talking. She was 2 before I stopped listening to the eye rollers, and by the time she was 4 we had been to 3 different developmental specialists – none of whom had given me as much hope as you have with this one article – 7 years later and 7 years too late. I’m mad as hell that we weren’t given this route when Madison was at an age where it wouldn’t be such a drastic change for her like it would be now. Instead we have Autism and we’re told how to work around it, cope, and deal with a non-verbal child. 7 years of guessing what my kid needs when she’s upset; assuming she means this or that but never really knowing if it’s what she’s trying to tell us or not. 7 years of side glances, hushed whispers, pity, misunderstandings, misconceptions, a visit from child social services because somebody reported us for ‘drugging’ our child because she was always ‘out of it and unresponsive’…as a mother, that was pretty scary. 7 years of robbing my kid of just a little normalcy. 7 years worth of ‘I love you, mom’ never verbally spoken out loud…7 years worth of stories she’s never got to tell me. And now I have 7 years worth of regret…for the first time ever. My heart feels as if it’s shattered all over again. I don’t know if we can take away everything she’s ever known – dietary wise. She’s a stong willed, very stubborn girl – we do not adapt to change well. I feel like I’m too late to start a gluten, casin, dairy free diet. The stress of taking all that away seems like it would be too much for her, but then again, living in a disconnect, wordless world is also… So I don’t know what to do or how to even start. Madison has 2 other younger siblings, and it would have to change for them as well just to not tempt my daughter… or tease her with it. And then the down side to that is I’ll be depriving my other 2 kids of a little bit of THEIR normalcy. I’m in a limbo of sorts, arn’t I? Just what am I to do? Am I too late?

    • I just wanted to say you’re not to late to try the diet change and yes it will be hard for your other children but so worth it .I have a 7 year old son with autism and we started the gluten free and diary free diet a year ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do with our big family of 9 children but if I ask my children now if it was worth it they say yes everytime we would never want to go back to the crying screaming head banging again our son can now tell us what he wants with out getting frustrated he can still not tell us a whole story but he can let us know what he wants and that is so worth missing out on some of the food that we would like to have

  • After reading this article, I’d love to share my thoughts, as more and more I am starting to really see from so many different industries and professionals the push back to natural eating. The harm that the extra additives put in our foods is having such long term detrimental effects to our bodies that so many different sites, and documentaries are trying to bring awareness too. I see articles from the food industries, and health instustries, reastuarants, doctors, therapist and parents.

    I can’t comment at all regarding the vaccines as I do not have enough evidence to support or disprove anything about this topic, however the impact of what food has on our bodies, brain and behavior I don’t think can be ignored. I say this now from personal experience, as a month ago I went on a 14 day strict plant based food diet. I drank and ate only fruits and veggies for 2 weeks strait. Juicing, blending and grilling. I had salads with only lemon and drops of olive oil with roasted butternut squash and zucchinis. After day 4 the flavors were amazing. After two weeks of a natural plant based diet, I tried foods that I otherwise would have eaten or drank prior to the two weeks and they tasted like sugar syrup. In 2 weeks my taste buds changed so dramatically. After the two weeks I started to add fish and chicken, I felt amazing and I had more energy, and slept better. I woke up actually feeling rested. It was a natural high that seemed to boost my spirit and energy level. People asked me – don’t you need protein? Its amazing how much protein you do get from veggies and nuts. If you think back 30 years, people could not afford to eat protein everyday. They maybe had it once a week.

    Then the problem arose where my normal life/work schedule returned, guests came to town and we had other social engagements and I wasn’t able to keep it up as I wasn’t at home able to make my own foods as I did during the two weeks. It was not an easy task. Both mentally and physical preparation of the food. We are fighting against an entire society that pushes processed foods for economic reasons. Everywhere we go it is easier an cheaper to buy processed foods. My kids see ads and restaurants that push unhealthy foods, and crave them.

    During the 2 weeks I was able to get my family to drink superfood juices and get more vegetables into their body through juicing them. My younger son who 7 and on the spectrum, drank more veggies in two weeks then I think he has in his entire life. They saw me do it and were eager to try eating more healthy. It is our job as parents to help teach them the importance of natural foods and healthy eating. It is clearly easier to give in and drive through and pick up a hamburger on the way home from soccer, but it is just so bad for them. I’ll admit I am sort of at a conundrum, as I know the importance of what eating the right food can do for a child, but it is so hard given the pickiness of their tastes, combined with the emotions of a spectrum disorder. During the two weeks of my natural eating, I told them we were only eating natural from now on, no more junk. Then the tears and sadness came from my younger one who said he was going to miss Jack in the Box SO MUCH and he just loved the way it tasted. I felt bad for him, as I have been the one who has allowed this type of eating for so many years and now to just rip it away seems unfair. We compromised to just once a month eating “junk”. But again I find myself taking the easy route of making them a grilled cheese or allowing them to have a Hot Pocket for lunch but making sure they have at least one or two pieces of fruit. At least it’s not Jack in the Box “junk”, but I know it has no where near the nutritional value as real natural foods. Grilled chicken, fruit, salads. All of which my children eat and enjoy. However as a mom who works and tries to keep my boys in all the right extracurricular activities I feel slightly, no extremely overwhelmed at the thought of trying to uphold a pure natural based lifestyle.

    Now trying to find scientfic resarch that actually shows the benefits of this type of diet other than single case studies, correlations or anactdotal evedince seems nearly impossible. Unless we are willing to send our children at age 1 or 2 to a boarding house that served them only only natural based foods and then follow their behavior and developmental outcomes for the next 5 years, and compare it to a control group of kids eating a typical “american” diet, there is no way to really show through clinical resreach the impact the food has. Which is sadly what people need to see to PROVE the effects of this type of diet.

    Based on my two week expierment and how it changed the way I felt and the energy and sleep I was able to get, there has to be a developmental impact for children with the beneifts of good nutrition combined with healthy amounts of sleep on development at such an early age.

    There is such a small population of people who truley value natural foods, and many of them, I catagorize them into the stereotypical “hippie-like” personality where they seem to have such different overall values from what I think my views are it makes it hard for me to include myself in their classification. However more and more people I talk to of which I classify as my peers are starting to talk more about the negative impacts of processed, unnatural foods. It is definitely a topic that is getting more awareness. The problem is really being able to follow this type of lifestyle.

    There are a few restaurants now that offer gluten-free menues or vegan type menu items. I wish there were more restaurants that offer a vairetly of options to people wanting real natural foods. Even if the price was higher, if its an economic issue, let the consumer pay for quality. We need to show our children the importance of natural foods.

  • What type of physician do we see to determine alergies, leaky gut, vitamin deficiencies, etc.? Our developmental pediatrician disagrees with these types of interventions however I know that in attempting to remove gluten from my sons diet that we all have seen an improvement, including his teachers! I am just not sure which direction to go in and quite honestly the DANI Doctors are not within my budget. We have insurance but DANI Doctors do not take insurance. We live in Virginia.

    Thank you!!

    Robin Davis

  • Oh Ami, it’s never too late for positive change! I can only imagine the upheaval that these changes will create, but people can live totally ‘normal’ mainstream lives. Will your kids potentially resist? Sure. Will life be EXTREMELY difficult at point? I have no doubt. But kids will adapt and they will understand, maybe not initally, but eventually. Don’t despair and more importantly, don’t hesitate! Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Take care

  • hi dr.mark hyman,
    i been a big fan of yours,i have read and promotes all of your ‘ultra’ series 🙂
    i am in dubai now, and going to volunteer for the autism center here, could you give me some advice on how and what i should be talking there ( i have volunteered to teach EFT there). can i have the privilege of quoting from you – your website with due credits and reference.
    keep up the great good work and looking forward for more from you and a reply to this 🙂
    warm regards,
    take best care,

  • My son is 5yrs age and have autisum, and speech not developed well and have behaviour disorders too. we are from India from the state of kerala we can come there if you can help our son for a normal life. expecting your reply please.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    My question is: Can these same solutions be used on a older child? I worked with teen agers that have autism. Their ages are from 11 to 16; various degrees of autism. Is there any help for them? I’m just curious about it. I have just started to read the different articles on autism. Can there a solution to aid in their journey of being educated in our society’s education system. I woudl really appreciate any comment on it.

    Thanks again.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. YQuestions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • How can youbknow your child is allergic to egg, wheat or dairy . Will it show reaction (rash / swelling etc) . Or do you need a blood test to check?

  • Hi,
    My son shows early signs of autism, he just turned two a week ago.
    Would you please help us in detailed steps that should be followed.
    We would appreciate if you can provide an appointment.
    I could be reached @ my e-mail address provided

    Thank You

  • I am so much interested in Dr. Hyman work, unfortunately he does not base/or leave in UK. what can I do?

  • My daughter is 5 years old and is on the spectrum. We live on the island of Jamaica where not much attention is given to children with autism. More than 95% of the population has never heard of autism and therefore knows not how to react to an autistic person. I would love to help my daughter to recover as it is strenuous on me and the family. Is there any way I could reach Dr. Hyman to assist my baby girl.

    • Hi Mesha,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you and your daughter the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Lets find a cure !! Why is there nobody trying do to do this? I don’t understand.

    • Because it’s an industry. Industries make money from the people who need them. Medical industry. Cures have been around for a long time. But the medical industry does it’s best to cover them up. Check out Gerson Therapy.

  • The American Medical Association is bought and paid for by pharmaceutical interests.

    There is much more money is keeping you on a treadmill of meds treating your syptoms than actually curing the underlying cause.

    No one can deny this fundamental flaw in Modern medicine. The system is based on money, not on curing people.

    You would have to be a fool to not support any persons or doctors trying to showcase real care based on treating and improving a patients health in an effort to assist their bodies to healing.

  • Vaccine Industry Watchdog Obtains CDC Documents That Show Statistically Significant Risks of Autism Associated with Vaccine Preservative Thimerosal. Biochemist Brian Hooker, scientific advisor to A Shot of Truth, reveals CDC knew of risks for over a decade.

  • It really upsets me that people think autism is “curable” It upsets me because people treat it like it’s not a big deal and say “Oh they’ll grow out of it” or think it’s fixable with a change of diet. Every child is different. It’s very easy to say to change up their diet to gluten/casein free but if a child has sensory issues it’s not always easy to switch up their food because in the case of my 3 yr old son, he simply won’t try new foods no matter how long I present that food to him. I’m sure the older a child gets it is very possible for them to become verbal and I’m also sure it’s possible that they will learn new things along the way. My dad had a stroke 2 years ago and lost his speech. Changing his diet won’t make him talk. Not only that, my dad is a vegetarian. I believe there is something in the brains of people with autism that causes the delays. Vaccines don’t cause it. Gluten food doesn’t cause it just to name a few. But then again, I’m not a doctor what do I know? I can say my son was in the hospital for 2 weeks right after birth in NICU because they THOUGHT he was having seizures….with numerous EEG and MRI scans nothing proved this but they did notice something in the brain waves as a cause for concern. 3 years later we have an autism diagnosis. So with that being said I believe children are born with autism and it doesn’t develop because of gluten filled foods or vaccines.

  • Good gut health is the key to curing all ailments. Every physical dis-ease starts in the alimentary canal. Regular flushing out of toxins is crucial to creating an inner environment that will allow the body to operate properly, including healing itself.

    Just because you are vegetarian doesn’t mean you are toxin free or healthy. And many problems like strokes can be avoided in the first place, by flushing the body out regularly. I’m not sure if it is recommended for children, but one thing that really works and is very cheap is a salt water flush with himalayan or sea salt and pure, clean water. As far as babies are concerned, they are the flesh and blood of the mother. Perhaps these pregnant moms were also toxic. I’m not trying to anger anyone. I’m simply making a suggestion.

    Good luck to all and may your journeys in the pursuit of well being be blessed.

    • There is a strong correlation with gut dysbiosis and most disease/disorders to include autism, cancer, diabetes and other autoimmune disorders. Candida overgrowth and other parasites are most often the cause of these problems. Antibiotics, prescription drugs, toxins from vaccines and poor diet are all triggers for candida overgrowth. I’m treating my candida issues successfully with bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and psyllium husk as well as supplementing with strong probiotics. It takes about 90 days to completely rid yourself of these horrible parasites and they may not even be gone after that. It’s important to do these protocols at least once a year after the initial cleanse, especially after a round of antibiotics or Rx medication. The difficult task is getting my daughter and son to take the drinks because of the horrible taste. For them, I use applesauce and add epsom salt, baking soda or borax (yes, it’s safe to bathe or even consume–look it up) to their bathwater. It seems to help as water is very calming and they’re getting much needed minerals absorbed through the skin.

  • You will be happy to know there are more people in the world like you, Nitin. Check out Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Bruce Lipton. They have written books about healing using the methods that you mentioned and are very respected in this new field of healing. Good luck! Never give up!

    • Hello Anunga,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. In order to provide your son the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your son the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hi,

    I was just wondering how much this treatment would cost? And how long the treatment goes on for? Is it lifelong or until my child is cured?

  • My son is diagnosis as ASD .And i want to do his allergic test but over here in Bangladesh we have no such thing .Can you suggest me any place like Thailand or Malaysia where i can do such test and help him out if it.He is just 3 years old .

  • My son is 4 yrs age and diagnosis with ASD; his speech is not developed well and have behaviour disorders too. I am from India from the state of Maharashtra. I would love to help my son to recover as it is strenuous on me and the family. Is there any way I could reach Dr. Hyman to assist my son.

  • This is completely ridiculous, first of all, NEVER use the word ‘normal’ in reference to someone without autism, nobody is ‘normal’ and that will only alienate autistic people (no one likes being called abnormal, it’s just not a nice thing to be called)
    Also, autism is about interaction with people and the environment, very little social interaction is expected of babies, and it is about the age that I’ve seen people saying their child was diagnosed with autism that children are expected to be more social (between 1-2 years old)
    Diagnosis can be difficult to pin down in some situations, my parents would say I was ‘born normal’ and even was ‘normal’ as a child, however now, as a young adult, I have been informally diagnosed (still waiting for a chance to see my doctor, hence I haven’t yet been formally diagnosed) with aspergers
    my diet is fine, I have a very mild nut allergy, I was a physically very healthy child
    I have autism and there is nothing wrong with that.
    I don’t want to be cured, I just want people to understand that sometimes my brain works a little differently to theirs

    • Hello Beaty,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your son the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you and your son the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I’ve worked with several autistic children in therapy since 2001, I believe diet is key in most cases. As a Mobile Therapist, I have seen what is in these children’s lunches. My own mother would cringe if she saw it. One example: two pieces of white bread with mayo and M&Ms. Example two: soda and M&Ms. These mothers were loving their children to death. Meaning, they gave them what they wanted instead of what they needed.
    Others have tried B12 in chewable form, but you can chew a whole bottle of the B12 and not have a positive affect if your body can’t assimilate it. Only B12 shots or B12 sprayed under the tongue seem to work as it gets it right into the blood stream.
    Then there’s Fluoride. It was used by the Nazi’s to lower the intelligence of the population and doctors now give this out in drops to put in our children’s water if there isn’t enough in it already.
    My brother also had a son. His wife was sick during pregnancy and did not eat well. His son has autism.
    I hear many people say, my mother or father had it, but they also learned nutrition and how to cook from these same parents.
    While diet is a major contributor, I still believe the MMR shot is dangerous. And MMR vaccines need modified quick. My own daughter got this shot back in the 90s. An elderly woman stopped me in the grocery store to tell me that my daughter had the measles. It looked like a classic case. She used to be bubbly but after the shot she became serious. Her entire personality changed forever.

    • Actually, Methyl B12 is the only form pregnant women and asd children should be taking. Anyone with the MTHFR genetic marker should be taking Methyl B12 and Folate, not folic acid. I wish I had known this before having my kids, otherwise I would have never taken the prescribed prenantal vitamins and bought a brand that actually helped instead of hurt. Many artificial vitamins can actually rob you of the nutrients they’re supposed to provide. Also, read the ingredients as there are artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners and other things that no one should be consuming, least of all pregnant women. They give you a laundry list of what you’re not supposed to eat but they prescribe medication and cheap prenatals like they’re candy to pregnant women. Now THAT is disgusting!

  • I have 2 kids. One is 9 and has high functioning autism. The other kid is 7 and is so autistic that he can’t eat most foods. I just want my younger son to be cured. I can’t find a treatment in maryland. Somebody help! And when he becomes normal it would be a bad time for me.

    • P.S. I have HFA Myself too. And they do have allergies. My 9 year old has a pollen allergie and the youngest one has dairy, wheat, pollen, and yeast allerges.

  • our 4 year old grandson has been diagnosed with not only autism but ADD/H We don’t want him to be medicated but would like to see if we can make him into a healthy boy with natural remedies. Can you suggest the best way to go about this, have read about the things he may be allergic to but are there natural products and other things that can help. They live in the Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia. Natural ways are a little on the ‘sus’ side sos not sure whether to go with essential oils, drops, naturopathy, osteopathy, diet etc. There are so many would be cures out there, but few give out anything really and can be an expensive learning curve.

    • Hi Bernice,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your grandson the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your family the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Dear Doctor,

    I am in SanJose, CA. I have my 2.5 year old daughter having autism. She has not even spoken a single word. We put her in pre-school and going for speech therapy but found no improvement. We contacted Regional Service Center which is ultra slow and they have not came up with any plan for my daughter.

    I am really clueless how to treat her in California and from where i have to start. I asked pediatrician and she is also clueless and she just suggesting speech therapy. Looks like the pediatrician is not up to current trend.

    We really need your advice on how to get a treatment for my daughter. Which hospital provide these treatments?

    • Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. In order to provide your daughter the proper care she needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your family the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hi There,
    I have a son aged 10 years with Autism. We are from India (Hyderabad). Do you have any practitioners in this place/country. If yes, please advice.

    Any reader has answer to my question can also provide advice, Will be thankful to you.


    • Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your family the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My sister Fatima has severe hypo autism since she was born, now she is eight years old and 24/7 hours throughout the day she has extremely severe meltdowns she bites her hand and fingers,she bumps her head on the walls and lies down on the floor kicking her legs, is there anything we can do to control these meltdowns ?

  • is our website to try and help parents and children living with Autism in their lives. We are focused on delivering you the best book we can possible create. When you think of a sunny day and your child is happy, but their is always that thing you should mention. Or that little factoid that could make the difference between an awkward moment and a delightful experience. What do I truly need to know to take care of your child for an hour or two?

  • Hi dear
    im from toronto Canada
    I have 7 years old son with autism
    he is behaving very bad , keep yalling and crying…..I’m clueless to treat my son
    I took him to the pediatrician, he told me that my son needs extra help at school. It looks the doctor was not up to current trend
    please guide me how to help my son
    and he really needs your help, I can’t see him in this condition

    • Hello Hosai,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your son the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center, please see “How to Become a Patient” at You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637-9991.
      Wishing you and your son the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • I was told that my son had immune system disease. His doctor said that he was born with it. there is no cur, and nothing i can do to make him better. He may be just ill all the time in his life. I did not believe what says because human being not really understand everything in our body yet. after left doctor office. i change my son’s diet and daily schedule. I gave 2 cup of soup everyday. such like pig bone, ox tail. fish and other animal bone soup. I slowly cook the soup up to 3 or 4 hours. take oil out when the soup cool. I give him many different foods which no added sugar, bad fat. everything is fresh and healthy. I also take him to outside play a lot. after four month, test results show, his condition improved. he used to ill everyday before i change his diet. after one year his test results show everything normal. Now his is 4 year 4 month old. He is so active and strong. He is not ill anymore. He just jointed swimming team this and he is the youngest team member. He build the lego set which for 8 years. He is so much advance compared to his age group. I have test tomorrow, but spend time to share my story with you. I want encorage you and other parents to try everything that can bring their kids to normal when there is nothing doctor can do to improve the conditions. A right diet, excersize and positive envirment are the keys to cure any disease.

      • So glad to hear someone who used a GAPS diet or Weston A. Price protocol with success. Bone broth soup is very healthy and nourishing for everyone, especially those with leaky gut issues most often found in asd children. I try to make this for my family and follow gluten free/dairy free but it’s not easy when you have picky eaters. We’ve been gluten free for 3 years and added raw milk and grass fed butter to their diets and have seen improvement in teeth. However, it’s not enough to cure my son of his autism. I’m adding in chelation as well as metal detoxing and it’s only been 1 month but I’ve seen slight improvements. He stopped shaking his head from side to side and makes more eye contact. What’s worse is he’s in the terrible 2s and can be very combative. But he remains nonverbal mostly and can only say a handful of words and babbles sometimes. I got the flu shot when I was pregnant with my daughter and found out recently she has SPD. But my son has clear signs of autism and he was never vaccinated. I noticed the regression when he was about 18 months old and he became combative and went into temper tantrums and seems overly upset about loud noises. I hope the therapy with MSM works this time because we don’t live anywhere near doctors who understand autism and I’m sick of dealing with allopathic doctors. So, I’m basically on my own trying to figure out how to cure this disorder because it’s not going to get better if I do nothing. For those of you who think autism is just quirkiness and should be left alone, would you say that to a stroke victim who lost the ability to speak? It happened to my grandmother and you’d better believe she was in speech therapy and was given medications to help her improve. She died at 92 but she showed signs of improvement. These autistic children have a long life ahead of them and they do need help to finding a cure so they can function at their optimum level.

  • sorry, there is a lot of spelling and grammar errors because i typ it so fast. Help you guys can understand.