Combatting Autism
The CDC and Denmark: The Love Fest That Fizzled

There’s Always a Light at the End of Each Tunnel

Darkness_to_light_1600x1200By Zack Peter

I think we can all agree, the road to recovery isn’t an easy one. You don’t just pick up a book, try out one treatment approach, and wham RECOVERY! Things just aren’t that easy. Sure it may suck, but that’s just life. It’s a journey. And milestones aren’t handed, they’re earned.

When it comes to my family, and my brother Ethan (who was diagnosed about eight years ago), it’s the same thing. We’re in the same boat. We’re living out our own journey, that has also come with it’s highs and lows. But today, I’m proud to share that we’ve reached some progress. My trust in the “All roads lead to Rome” rule is slowly starting to paying off.

Just the other day I was out with Mom and Ethan for our weekly Thursday night dinner when Mom told me, “So everyone’s slowly starting to get on board with GFCF diet.”

Flabbergasted, I turned her and said, “Wha-a-at?” I could not believe it. I remember our very first attempt at the diet. My grandparents were against it. Flat out just unsupportive of it. Just a couple of months ago I tired again getting through to my grandfather the importance of diet intervention with autism. It didn’t seem to be that important. They saw “diet” as “restriction.” They didn’t believe Ethan should be restricted in any way. This is an on going struggle that’s been happening for YEARS. So to hear these words coming out of my mother’s mouth were so heavenly. It may seem so minor to have a couple of other family members on board, but to us, that’s huge! These are family members that had gluten with extra gluten and a side of gluten in their house. And when Ethan would come over after school, if he happened to grab a slice of cheese or some cookies, they would turn the other cheek. Or simply claim to not know what foods had gluten or dairy. Or would argue with my mother that the diet had no effect whatsoever; that it was pointless. So hearing that they’re now coming around was so gratifying and the best news I could have received right now.

I’ll be honest, my personal life isn’t in the best place right now. But I still get up every morning and get through my days. No matter how hard they are sometimes. Do I want to give up sometimes? Hell yeah. Just the other week I came home with tears in my eyes after Thursday night dinner because it was clear Ethan was regressing and things just weren’t looking good at all. And to reach this milestone was just what I needed. I was almost ready to give up hope, feeling lost and not sure what the next move was going to be. I was getting ready to go busting down doors to try and reason with my family to really start taking Ethan’s biomed treatment seriously. I was even starting to lose faith in my mother, thinking it wasn’t that important to her. But this is proof that with dedication, persistence, patience, and hope, things will come together. Maybe not as soon as you want, but when they’re meant to be.

Life is a journey. It’s hard, yes. (And not in the way I’m sure you like it.) It gets really rough at times. When it comes to reaching our triumphs, we have to put in the work. We have to put in the time and the energy and utilize that patience. And most importantly, never lose that hope. Just remember, there’s always a light at the end of each tunnel. I can see the light and can’t wait ‘til I arrive!

Just keep going. And please share some of your most memorable milestones with me! It’s through your progress that I still hold hope and I hope through mine, you do as well. Tweet me @JustPlainZack , visit my site at Just Plain Zack or leave a comment.

I can’t wait to read them!




Thank you for your heart-felt post Zach, and thank you for your really inspiring and helpful comment Anne J.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Zach, I cant quite explain it now, but there is something very special about the first hand experiences such as yours. Keep writing.


Very inspiring piece, Zach. Thanks so much!

Anne J.

We have a daughter with both Down Syndrome and autism. She was happy and very high functioning until her MMR and other vaccines at age 5 when she lost everything. Since then, it's been a roller-coaster ride. Biomedical interventions have been a life-saver for her and she's made great improvements, but every time she's had to be put under with anesthesia, she's come out of it in worse shape as far as overall function. So it often feels like 1 step forward, two steps back. After a surgery two years ago, not only did she lose skills, but aggression became a serious problem. We FINALLY discovered Dr. Amy Yasko's protocol and her specific methylation pathway analysis testing. I had heard of her before, but assumed (incorrectly) that her approach was similiar to what we'd already been doing, so never really took a hard look at her work. We are just in the early stages of her protocol, but have already seen dramatic improvements (and our daughter is 20, so it's never too late:). Our daughter is happier, speaking more, learning again, less sensitive to noise again. I'm confident that this was the piece to her puzzle that was missing before. Now that we understand the DNA mutations she was born with and what pathways are effected, we are able to tailor treatments more appropriately and know which ones to avoid for her. We are thrilled (I can't believe it took me so long to discover this)! Prior to the Dr Yasko protocol, our daughter's behavior was deteriorating so rapidly, we feared we would no longer be able to safely keep her in our home. Now, we know she will be able to enjoy her life again. It's never too late to try something new, and I believe rewarding steps forward can be achieved at all ages. Don't ever give up. It IS worth it to keep fighting for our kids.

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