Autism Breakthrough Experience – read a guest post from Sally Wagter

Autism Breakthrough Experience
Autism Breakthrough Experience

In 2005 our son was diagnosed with autism. My husband and I were devastated. He struggled to talk or communicate in any meaningful way and avoided contact with people as much as possible. He had meltdowns whenever we went shopping and tantrums whenever we had to leave somewhere he wanted to be. He engaged in lots of stimming behaviours, flapping his hands, jumping up and down and mumbling into his hand. We couldn’t take him to birthday parties and had to start avoiding meeting up with other people as it was overwhelming for him. It became very isolating for me as well as being exhausting hard work, dealing with his meltdowns and anti-social ways. Out of desperation we tried lots of therapies and approaches. The school system couldn’t help him. They told me they were ‘dealing with him better’ because they were starting to ignore him and one head teacher told me they could start to teach him when he learnt to conform. But he couldn’t conform. His sensory overload was way too overwhelming for him and he couldn’t cope with the unpredictability, the noises and the expectations of school. Because of all he was dealing with he couldn’t learn so at age 8 he was still on ‘p’ levels. His academic learning was stuck.

Now, at 12, he has friends, he’s part of mainstream drama groups, loves performing on the stage, writes his own songs and musicals, makes films, is responsible enough to stay home alone, clears the house, talks all the time and he and I are really close. He has recently written a 170-page film script, loves making up jokes and he is hosting a talent show this weekend. He said to me yesterday ‘soon your son will be spreading his wings, Mum’. He is taking his grade 2 singing exam in 2 weeks time and can’t wait. His neurology has changed. He functions at a near-typical level most of the time. He is kind, patient, flexible, open for learning and loves life.

How did this happen? It certainly didn’t happen over-night! We found different approaches, the Son-Rise programme, auditory integration therapy, Cease Therapy and biomedical interventions to name a few.
1 Day Workshop In Worthing – 11th July

We are running an Autism Breakthrough Experience workshop on 11th July for parents who have children diagnosed with autism (up to age 16). Here we will share our story and our knowledge of the approaches we have used why they worked. The course will be run by Erik Wagter, a social worker specialised in family support and Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Sally Wagter, a teacher of 19 years who has researched and run our son’s autism programme for the past 8 years.

It is a coaching session to really listen to and empower parents to help their children. Our journey is one of parent-power and we want other parents to know that they have huge resources within themselves to help their children to the next level on their journey with autism.

Even though we’ve already kept the cost for parents as low as possible, we are happy to offer your listeners/readers a very special deal that when they mention the name of PatienTalk.Org they will receive a free ticket with every ticket they purchase.

As you can see, we’ve been on an amazing journey and would love to share this with other parents. We’re happy to do interviews or anything that will make it interesting for you to spread the news of the workshop.

Tim himself is excited about the fact that we are going to share this with other parents to help them with their children.

If you think it will be helpful for other parents to know about this please contact me on 078 777 58598 or send an email to

Please read our story at to see who we are and what we are about.

Autism and methylation – Are you helping to repair your child’s methylation cycle? – a guest post from Dr. Sonya Doherty

Dr. Sonya Doherty
Dr. Sonya Doherty
Welcome to our latest guest post from Dr. Sonya Doherty. You can read the original post on her blog here. Dr. Sonya Doherty is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor who is an active member of the CAND. Sonya Doherty completed her undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario in a Bachelor of Science Honors Kinesiology program.

Biomedical treatment relies heavily on methylation biochemistry for its success. Some of you may be familiar with methylation and the role it plays in autism, ADHD and Down Syndrome. For some, methylation may be a new term. The important thing to know is that if you have a child with suspected or diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, you need to be helping to repair their methylation cycle in as many ways as possible. Are you currently giving your child B12 injections? If so, you are supporting methylation but there a dozens of ways for you to add to the methyl B12 injection benefit. So come take a roller coaster ride with me through the ups and downs and loopty loops of methylation.

What is methylation biochemistry, you ask?

Women take folic acid when they are pregnant because the folate cycle is responsible for making all the cells in the body.  Women who have folate cycle impairments are 4.7 times as likely to have a child diagnosed with ASD.  Before you cringe (mom), these methylation  and folate cycle issues can be caused by epigenetic damage.  So, if your grandmother smoked or ate tuna filled with mercury, your child could have an increased risk of a neurodevelopmental disorder.  Back to methylation…

Directly next to the folate cycle is the methylation cycle.  Ninety percent of children diagnosed with autism have demonstrated methylation impairment.  Metals like lead and mercury can further damage the body’s ability to methylate DNA.  Methylation IS the process of development.  When babies are conceived, they are not methylated.  Healthy methylation = healthy, neurotypical children.  Impaired methylation leads to increased risk of tongue ties, birth defects, speech delay, autism, ADHD etc.


Methylation is needed for:

  • RNA and DNA (genetic material responsible for every function in the body)
  • Immune system regulation
  • Detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances
  • Making GLUTATHIONE (the body’s main detoxification enzyme responsible for removing mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, tin, aluminum and antimony)
  • Production and function of proteins
  • Regulating inflammation
  • Making neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine
  • Producing melatonin, CoQ10, carnitine, creatine,  and choline

Now that we understand the importance of methylation, let’s look at how you can (AND NEED) to support your child.

Methylation Treatments

Methyl B12 injections

  • Has your child benefitted from B12 injections?   In my practice, 92% of children respond to injection therapy.  Research from the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute has shown that methyl B12, when injected helps to support methylation and production of glutathione.  If your child has benefited, make sure to read through the other supports listed below.  If your child has NOT benefited after trying B12 injections, the three most common reasons are elevated levels of heavy metals, the wrong diet and/or low level viral infection.



  • The diet that best supports the methylation cycle is the “paleo” diet. Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.  Meat should be hormone and antibiotic free.  Vegetables and fruit should be organic whenever possible.  The methylation cycle helps the body detoxify harmful chemicals like PCBs found in pesticides.  Reducing the body’s overall toxic load help to repair the methylation cycle.  Grains are fortified with synthetic folic acid.  Folic acid sounds important to the folate cycle, doesn’t it?  The problem is that children diagnosed with autism often (40-70% of the time) have trouble converting synthetic folic acid to methyl folate which is needed to “spin” the methylation wheel and help to make glutathione.


  • Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant. Depletion of up to 80% has been linked to ASD.  One of the most important jobs of the methylation cycle is to produce glutathione which detoxifies metals, chemicals and hormones.  Glutathione is needed to protect the brain from toxicity and is, in fact, the rate limiting step to a child’s development.  A child’s brain can only develop as far as their glutathione will take them.

Methyl folate

  • Most biomedical parents would agree that one of the hardest parts of treatment is “the diet”. Take population of kids who have sensory issues around food, and add in dysregulated dopamine which contributes to food addiction.  Now try to remove foods that children are using to help calm an overly stressed brain.  The problem with carbohydrates, dairy and sugar are that they help kids feel good, but it is short term and short lived… leading to the next craving cycle.  It is crucial to interrupt this cycle that is toxic to the brain.  Many studies have shown that carbohydrate restriction helps improve brain function.  Ask Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, if you don’t believe me!  So… why NO GRAINS!!!!????   Grains are fortified with synthetic folic acid which dramatically slows down the brains ability to heal from damage or inflammation.


Methyl folate

  • If you picture the folate cycle, snuggled up to the methylation cycle, you can imagine that any influx of methyl donors could be beneficial. Adding additional methyl folate to a child’s treatment protocol helps in a number of different ways.   The methyl group from methyl folate is given to SAMe, whose job it is to deliver methyl to 200 essential pathways in the body.  Methyl folate is also very important in treating children who have been diagnosed with Cerebral Folate Deficiency, a cause of autism spectrum disorder and seizures.


  • SAMe is what I like to call a worker bee. After receiving methyl donors, SAMe delivers methyl to 200 pathways in the body including ones needed to make carnitine, creatine and phosphotidylcholine.Low carnitine levels have been identified in children diagnosed with autism.  Carnitine supplementation improves delivery of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids needed to support language, social and cognitive development.  Phosphatidylcholine is important in cell membrane health and repair.  Toxins can damage the cell membrane, which contributes to inflammation as it is broken down.  Repair of the cell membrane is an important part of improving sensory issues and motor planning issues in children with autism, ADHD and sensory integration disorder.


  • Dimethylglycine (DMG) and trimethylglycine (TMG) donate methyl groups to the methylation cycle. TMG is needed to recycle homocysteine and help produce SAMe.  If DMG is beneficial for your child, note that long term use will slow methylation.  After a period of DMG supplementation, it is important to start using TMG and SAMe to optimize this vital cycle needed for neurological health.

Dr. Sonya Doherty, MAPS Candiate

Autism and Biomedical – Check out this amazing video of how biomedical treatment has helped four ASD families.

Dr. Sonya Doherty
Dr. Sonya Doherty
As many of you in North America know Autism Canada are running a conference entitled “Changing the Course of Autism 2014”.

One of our regular autism guest bloggers Dr. Sonya Doherty has created this video on biomedical treatment for ASD. You can check out a previous blog she did for us on biomedical treatment here.

Dr. Sonya Doherty is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor who is an active member of the CAND. Sonya Doherty completed her undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario in a Bachelor of Science Honors Kinesiology program.

Autism – what is biomedical treatment for autism? A guest FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) from Dr Sonya Doherty!

Dr. Sonya Doherty
Dr. Sonya Doherty
We are delighted to reproduce the latest in our series of guest blog posts from Dr Sonya Doherty.

Today she offers and introduction to biomedical treatments for autism. As this is a new therapy for me I’m very interested in getting feedback on biomedical treatment for autism from our readers. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.

Doherty writes:-

“1. What is biomedical treatment?

Biomedical treatment is an individualized medical treatment program to prevent and treat developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, OCD, Tourette Syndrome and Speech Language Delay (Apraxia, Dyspraxia).

2. What type childhood disorders can benefit from biomedical treatment?

Biomedical treatment focuses on identifying weaknesses in a child’s body that are obstacles to development. So, any child can benefit from this program because it is the most comprehensive medical treatment plan to optimize brain development. The children who experience the most dramatic changes in language, social, cognitive and behavioural development are the children who are diagnosed with autism. They are the children who need biomedical treatment the most.

3. What is the earliest age you see?

The youngest biomedical patients are those who have siblings diagnosed with autism. Our sibling program focuses on prevention of developmental delays. Children who have a sibling on the autism spectrum are 20% more likely to be diagnosed themselves. They experience higher levels of speech delay, sensory issues, attention and focus problems and behavioural issues. Siblings are more likely to have eczema, allergies, asthma, constipation and sleep issues.

We begin more intensive biomedical treatment at the first sign of significant developmental concerns such as eye contact or visual tracking problems in infants or sensory meltdowns and self-stimulating behaviour in toddlers.

4. Can you begin treatment without a diagnosis?

It is SO UNBELIEVABLY IMPORTANT to act right away. Early intervention increases the likelihood of recovering significant and peer level language, social and cognitive function. Unfortunately, the staggering length of the waitlist means that our little ones begin treatment long before they get a diagnosis and years before they will ever receive any funded treatment. The good news is that the younger kids begin biomedical treatment, the better the outcome.

5. What type of results can parents expect to see? and how quickly?

We expect to see positive changes in 4-12 weeks. Better eye contact, decreased sensory issues, increased attempts to communicate verbally and/or non-verbally. Biomedical treatment is about repair and recovery. This process takes time and to see the best results, the treatment plans should be adjusted and changed every few months as a child moves through different stages. In the beginning, it is essential to stop further damage to the brain. The second step is to repair and then after 1-3 years our patients are on maintenance programs to continue to support their development.

6. Is the cost covered by private insurance coverage?

Many people have private insurance and biomedical treatment visits are covered by naturopathic benefits. It is important to help parents plan a monthly budget for biomedical treatments like methyl B12 injections. There are also important laboratory assessments that are done in the beginning of treatment and re-assessed throughout the process. The average yearly cost is $2000-3000. For the majority of our patients, 1-3 years of biomedical treatment creates development gains that are life changing. Biomedical works by opening doors now, doors that may remain closed because of untreated medical issues.

7. How does a family get started?

Some families like to read books or look at current medical research in this area. For those parents, we encourage them to get our biomedical handbook to get more information or to look online at

Other parents are ready to get started and can begin the process by contacting our clinic.
Sonya Doherty
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, FMAPS (candidate)