Ashley’s Progress

As you may recall if you have been reading along here, last year was really hard for Ashley, and therefor for all of us. Autism gradually reared it’s big bad ugly head over a period of months, until it was all we could do to make it through the day. Then my friend Tom at Nourishing Meals helped me find the cause—a supplement that contained wheat, which I had been giving to Ashley. Ugh.

I got rid of it, and almost immediately the fits vanished, and Ashley began to come back to us. However, she continued to be extremely constipated. We tried everything you can imagine, but nothing did any good. That’s when we learned that you can be doing everything right with diet and supplements, but if you don’t have adequate serotonin it won’t matter.

So we started giving Ashley 5HTP. That helped right away. And the longer she takes it, the more regular she becomes. Who knew? Well, I’m sure some of you knew, and now we all do :-)

She’s doing better than ever. Her speech has been much more detailed, and she’s using vocabulary I didn’t even know she had. Last week she said, “That’s a shame,” when she heard some sad news. My mouth fell open as you can imagine.

And after seeing her big sister get her hair cut two weeks ago she said that she wanted to go get her hair cut too. Check it out:

First real haircut EVER. This is a huge accomplishment. She LOVED it. And like her horseback riding, she was so proud.

Since I’ve been mentioning some of this on Facebook, lots of you have asked exactly what we’re doing that’s working so well. In addition to the 5HTP (and of course her diet!), Ashley is also taking tons of enzymes and probiotics. Tons. Then she’s just taking all the things that she’s always taken like essential fatty acids, B complex, zinc, D, glutathione support, cal/mag citrate, selenium, IntraMin and IntraKid.

Most recently Ashley’s DAN doctor did THIS stool test, and I had to celebrate the day we got the results. Her pH was good, her friendly bacteria was good, and she didn’t have any yeast or inflammation—it was a BIG deal for us :-)

♥, Kelly

UPDATE: A lot of you are asking about brands. Here are some that we use: We use Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Complete and HLC MindLinx (best to rotate probiotics once in a while), NOW Foods Krill oil (I open them for her and she takes it on a spoon), Klaire Vital-Zymes and Thorne 5HTP


  1. says

    That is so exciting to hear. I really enjoy reading your website. I am a huge believer in diet and nutrition, still trying to convince the kids. We are a month long into the whole family being gluten and dairy free. Initially it was to help my son with ADHD, but I’m also hoping it helps my daughter with hormone balances and such. Your website has helped tremendously. What supplements do you use?

  2. Nancy B. says

    I’m so happy to read of Ashley blossoming so!. Don’t forget the part her caring, joyful family plays in her recovery too! Thanks for sharing your insights with all of us.

  3. says

    That’s awesome Kelly! I must ask, have you ever heard of hydrotherapy? Most commonly known as a colonic? I am a Naturopathic medical student and we’ve been learning about hydrotherapy. The case presented to us was an autistic boy. Long story short, he recieved colon hydrotherapy every day and then once a week, for a long time and he got SO much better every time. I am sure you have access to colon hydrotherapy in CO since there’s a good health movement there so you should be able to find an ND or colon hydrotherapist. :) Just thought I’d pass that along :)

  4. says

    I am so glad that you have found what works for Ashley and continue to! As a parent of a child who was diagnosed with ADHD ‘back in the day’ before many people knew about it, I can understand your frustration. Anything we can do to make our children’s lives more fulfilling no matter what their challenges, is awesome! Thanks for sharing with us so we can learn!

  5. Sara H. says

    Just curious if Ashley has been tested for MTHFR and if she is taking methylated B vitamins? You don’t have to answer that of course but since approx. 98% (according to Amy Yasko she has never had a patient that didn’t have MTHFR) of kids with autism test positive for this genetic mutation I just wanted to make sure you are aware of it.

  6. says

    That is just such super exciting news for Ashley and for the rest of your family. It is so awesome to read about her progress in the right direction. I often tell people about your blog at work as I work with children who have autism. I just pray that more parents become as proactive and reactive as you have been for her. She is truly blessed to me in your home where you care so much about what goes in her body. Awesome work Kelly. You such be proud.

  7. says

    That is SO awesome, Kelly! I know how haircuts are. My best friend’s son doesn’t always like going out for a real haircut and will have a meltdown most times. So glad to hear that Ashley had her first one and it looks like she enjoyed it!

  8. Anonymous says

    Have you heard of CEASE Therapy (homeopathic clearing of asd)? I just wanted to mention it to you. That is awesome that your daughter is responding to diet and supplement therapy :) God bless you and your family and thank you for your great healthy blog !!
    ~ Cara

  9. says

    Thanks for clarifying what supplements and brands you use. Helpful.
    How do you know what dosage of 5HTP is appropriate for a child?
    Also, does it come in a liquid? (My daughter does not do well with pills.)

  10. says

    Thank you for all the information! I’m going to look up those supplements. We’ve been in therapies forever and on the diet for almost 3 years but my son has recently started regressing. We even spent all day in the er yesterday because he had a seizure :( Thank you thank you for all the information and your site!

  11. nancy says

    Do you know of Elaine Gotschall B.A., M.Sc. her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal health throught diet?
    The basis is to eat monosachcaride (single sugars) only. This sugar is in its most digested form and is not a burden to the gut. There is an A to Z list you can print.
    Maybe do a comparison to see if removal of some of the di or polysaccarides she may be consuming are also causing problems.
    The chapter on Autism is very informative.
    My quest to have a healthier belly turned for the better after reading your story. I removed all grains.
    But it was the disaccharides & polysaccharides that were the biggest culprits and I learned why through Elaines research.
    Hope this helps you pursue to better her health as Elaine did to help her daughter.

  12. says

    Is the DAN doctor familiar withThe Specific Carbohydrate diet and the scientifics behind its success for Autism? How old is Ashley? How long has the DAN been treating her?

  13. says

    I think you do an amazing job at taking care of Ashley! If only everyone with a child on the spectrum were to focus on nutrition and supplements like you! People would be quite surprised how much of difference it makes. My son has a bit of ADHD and it can be completely controlled with the correct diet!

  14. says

    Hi. I’ve just come across your blog and read a little about Ashley’s journey. My son is recovering from severe eczema and we’ve recently visited a natropath who has helped people with eczema but is also well-known for her work with autism. Dr. Shawna Young has visitors from around the world because of her success especially with autistic children.

    I thought I’d pass the info on to you in case you’re interested in learning more.

    Dr. Young is based in Durango, CO.
    Her website and details:

    I hope this is helpful. :)

  15. says

    Hi Kelly,

    I live in CO and have seen you at my local library promoting your last book. My 7 year old son is now having issues with ADD and my 3 year old is showing signs of it. I want to change their diet, any tips on this transition for kids? Also, do you see a local doctor for Ashley that you could recommend to me? Lastly, these supplements seem costly, do you use one vendor or many? I’m a little overwhelmed and not sure how to start all this! Thanks so much! Best, Kelly P

  16. says

    My son, Declan, is 11 and ASD. So wonderful to read your story and see so many corrolations to our stour with Declan. We moved from probiotics to kefir water and kombucha (which I make both at home). We found that probiotics through foods helped much better than even supplementation. In addition Declan’s constipation issues have been nonexistent in the three years since adding these to his diet. We also stumbled across the same brand of gelatin about three years ago. I used it until I ran out and could not find other than Amazon and did not order. Thanks to your post, I’m definantly ordering today. We can all benefit from adding it back into our diet.

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