I have seen two boys within days of each other diagnosed with ASD. I found both of then are deficient in iodine and sulphur. Interesting, I thought, so that made be go back and check my records. I found that there is, as I suspected a pattern. Many years ago Rosemary Waring wrote about a link between sulphur problems and the autistic spectrum http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232032839_Sulphur_Metabolism_in_Autism.
It is also well known that iodine is important for production of thyroxin, which in turn is vital for brain development. It is also well known that the UK is borderline to deficient in iodine so that deficiency is common see this commentary on a study of 15-16 year old girls in the major cities of the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13034582
Rosemary Waring suggests that the sulphur problem is more likely to be an enzyme fault than an actual deficiency but that in increasing sulphur either as a supplement or in baths from Epsom salts can help.
So has my regime of increasing the levels iodine and sulphur helped the children I have seen on the autistic spectrum? I hear you ask.
Matt (not his real name) age 17 struggling at college. Found to be deficient in many minerals including iodine and sulphur. Main problems were lack of energy, poor motivation, social difficulties. Aged 18 went to university and I lost touch with him for a while. Came back to see me ages 21 having done very well in computer graphics at university. Made many friends but now has eczema and is again lethargic. Found this time to be deficient in selenium which was having a major impact on his ability to breakdown and excrete both his own and environmental chemicals so that they were building up to toxic levels. Soon after treating this deficiency he started his own business with friends and is the major salesman of the team.
Nigel (also not his name) aged 6 struggling at school both with academic work and social skills. Behaviour often erratic. Deficient in iodine and sulphur which was again affecting his biochemistry. This is because the B group vitamins cannot be used in dietary form they have to be “activated”. This process of activation is driven by enzymes, as are all processes in the body. These enzymes need minerals plus other activated B group vitamins. Iodine is essential to activate vitamin B2, Active B2 is essential to activate B6 and folic acid, active B6 is essential in the activation of B5 and folic acid. This means that due to the iodine deficiency Nigel was not activating enough of these very important B group vitamins. Nigel became a more active member at home and at school, a loving brother to his younger sister. Mum says there are now no longer any symptoms of ASD
But it’s not as simple as iodine and sulphur deficiency. Selenium deficiency is a common finding and the UK is also borderline to deficient in selenium. Owen developed normally till aged 15 months when he became withdrawn, his behviour was frequently very difficult for his parents to manage. Mother was convinced that this had something to do with the MMR vaccine and Owen was treated for several years by homeopathy. His symptoms did improve but when he came to see me he still had many difficulties and was not managing at school. He was really only able to learn from one to one tuition but this was not always possible. Owen is now 10 and a well adjusted boy, doing well at school and in many sports. Mum says you can no longer pick him out on the sports field due to his funny posture, movement and lack of involvement. Rugby is his favourite sport befitting of a Welshman.
My belief that ASD is multi-causal is supported by the number I see who had a problem with dairy;, another well documented finding: http://www.peta.org/features/got-autism-learn-link-dairy-products-disease.
Another who had always displayed signs of ASD, though never diagnosed, was found to have coeliac disease and following a diet completely wheat free he became much more sociable and able to chat freely. Talking to any one other than his immediate family was so difficult for him, that away from family he was almost mute.
I’m not saying that these treatments are a cure but from experience treating all likely causes can help tremendously. All of these children are now adults and leading successful lives.