Nourishing Hope for Autism

By Julie Matthews, CNC
Julie Matthews' book, Nourishing Hope for Autism, is foundational for parents of a child with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorder, such as ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, learning disabilities and developmental delays. Not only does she detail the impact of environmental factors and biochemical impact on a child's developing brain, but she also discusses the impact of nutrients and special diets in improving symptoms in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

This comprehensive book belongs on the bookshelf of every parent of a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder. Published in 2008, it was one of the very first books to put together the effects of nutrition, environmental factors and biochemical imbalances in these children.

One of the first pages in the book is a flow chart that shows the following:

Biochemical imbalances => neurological disorder => genetic, biochemical and environmental factors => common physiological symptoms => nutritional strategies and opportunities => impact of nutrients => diet options for autism => holistic nutrition approach.

There’s no one thing that causes autism; instead, there are a variety of factors that contribute to a child’s total load so that when they are exposed to a trigger (which can vary from child to child), that trigger then becomes the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. In the book, Julie discusses some of these contributory factors, such as:

These contributory factors can lead to common physiological symptoms such as:

Julie is one of the first well known holistic nutritionists to explore the positive impact of nutrients on the symptoms of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. These nutrients include:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Amino acids
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Gastrointestinal supplements
  • Other supplements

Julie is most well known for her work in educating parents about the positive effects of special diets for these children. Her focus is on bioindividual nutrition, meaning what works for one child isn’t always what works for another. Her compendium of nutritional strategies helps a parent to compare and choose among the following special diets:

All of these lead to Julie’s holistic approach to nutrition in improving the health and symptoms of these children. Add this book to your reference library, as you will refer to it time and time again.