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Newsletter: More autism reports

Posted on: December 15, 2010   by  John Cannell, MD


The main reason scientists will not believe case reports about vitamin D improving autism is that scientists know (correctly) that autism is a genetic disease. Everyone knows that genetic diseases are generally untreatable because we don’t know how to remove the bad genes and insert some good ones. I left medical school thinking of my genome as something I inherited at birth and left to my children in the marriage bed, without giving much thought to what my genome does for me in between.

Think of your genes as the brain of your biochemistry, and, more important, that without a properly functioning genome you would be dead before you finished reading this newsletter. Genes are determining your biochemistry as you read this newest case report below of a mother with three autistic children.

In genetic diseases, genes can be completely missing, anatomically malformed, functionally impaired, or improperly regulated. I believe what vitamin D is doing in these autism cases is improving genetic regulation (vitamin D is having the proper genes being turned on or off as needed by the brain) but I do not know if any permanent improvement in functionality is occurring. However, I do know that the brains of these kids are in a race against time, the longer their brains are autistic, the more likely their brains will be permanently and forever damaged.

These case reports from my readers are becoming so common that I ask you, the reader, to contact your Congressperson in Washington and insist they hold hearings on autism and vitamin D during the next Congress.

Dr. Cannell: I wanted to give you an update regarding my 3 children with autism that I have been supplementing with vitamin D3. The last time I emailed you was on 9/21/2010 and I had been supplementing my children for almost 3 weeks. At that time we had begun to see remarkable changes in my then 5 year old son but none in my 8-year old daughters.

The biggest changes at that time were dramatically improved awareness, reduced hyperactivity, and a small increase in speech and language. After that September email to you I began to see some minimal improvement in my twin girls with autism, but now they have begun to show improvements that I want to tell you about.

Linda: Age 8. Diagnosed with moderate autism. About a month after we started the vitamin D3, she pointed to the TV and said “mom, what’s that?”. I was completely amazed and stunned… for several reasons, (1) she never refers to me by “name”, nor attempts to get my attention in that way, (2) she had never before asked me what an object was, (3) she never spontaneously points at objects. When I looked at the TV, she was pointing to a UFO and it made sense that she didn’t know what that object was.

I can say with certainty that that was truly the beginning of her use of spontaneous language. She was somewhat verbal before the vitamin d, but typically she would only communicate wants and needs. She did not make observations nor ask questions. Neither was she able to answer even simple yes/no questions. She could respond to a question if the answer was from a list that she had been taught…such as “can you name some vehicles?”.

All of her speech sounded scripted..and that’s because it was scripted..she had no spontaneous speech whatsoever. She is now talking so much more. Her overall understanding is improving every day. For the first time, I can tell she is “thinking” about what she is hearing. She has started making comments about things in the environment such as “that Christmas tree is beautiful”. She has started trying to bargain with me over things that she doesn’t want to do. While that may typically be annoying to a parent, I am thrilled! It’s as though her understanding has just exploded. She also has suddenly begun to understand the days of the week. I really could go on and on giving examples of how she has suddenly begun doing things that she has never done before…all in a matter of a month or so.

I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the vitamin d has been the key to opening her mind up. I have no idea how it could possibly work, but I have seen the changes with all 3 of my children.

Sarah: Age 8. Diagnosed with very severe autism. She has shown a significant increase in overall awareness. She is more agreeable (less obstinate). She now wants to interact with others. She will turn our faces toward her if she does not think we are paying attention to her. She has spent her entire life pretty successfully blocking others out, but now, she enjoys and seeks out interaction with others. She is much more “available” than she has ever been her entire life. Eye contact has improved dramatically.

Her sleep habits have improved dramatically as well. She would often wake up and roam around the house turning light switches on and off repeatedly. She has not done this in at least a month. She is feeding herself with a fork and drinking from a cup without a straw. She is attempting to talk more, but her articulation is so poor, I often don’t know what she is trying to say. While she is still very much autistic, we are grateful for the improvements that we are seeing.

Jimmy: Age 6. Moderate autism with possible ADHD. Jimmy is continuing to show improvement. He is still so much more alert and aware. He is answering yes/no questions with accuracy. He can chose between two options when presented. He is referring to others by name. He has never been able to remember his sister’s or teacher’s names. We are now hearing spontaneous speech from him with as much as 4–6 word sentences. Eye contact greatly improved. Hyperactivity greatly decreased. Tantrums have decreased in severity and in frequency. I could go on and on with the specific changes we are seeing.

While we still have a very long way to go with each child, it is almost as though a “switch” has been turned on in their brains.

I wanted to also mention that the dosage I had been giving the kids was 10,000 IU/day. Now we are down to 7,000 IU/day. I discovered that a lady who helps me with the children a few nights each week, was mistakenly giving them an entire dropperful (to the 1.0 ml mark) when she prepared their smoothies with the vitamins. This explains the high vitamin d level after the first month of vitamin d supplementation. Now they are back on track and their D3 levels are all within normal limits.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Cannell! I am so excited to see them improving and opening up in front of my eyes. I will continue to keep you posted on their progress. God bless, Emily

Dear Emily: You are welcome. Please contact your Congressperson and ask for hearings on vitamin D and autism in the coming Congress.

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