The only reason we found out about Autism Treatment was when our open-minded Doctor introduced us to another family that she knew who were doing wonders for their son through Biomedical Treatment and she offered to arrange for us to meet. Our Doctor openly admits, there is nothing she can do to help Liam, but by arranging for us to meet with this family she helped us more than she will ever know.
We were surprised to see the family were a young couple like us (although that doesn’t surprise me anymore) with a 6 year old autistic boy, John. The father amazed me with his knowledge of autism, treatment, theory, research, you name it he was a walking Autism encyclopaedia! The mother was passionate, caring and as we mothers are, totally devoted to her son. John was incredible, he was talking (quite posh), telling jokes, responding to what we were saying to him, playing and when I was watching him I got the sense that ‘he shouldn’t be able to do any of this, but somehow he is’ there was something unnatural about it. I don’t mean that to sound like a bad thing, it’s not meant that way, it’s just that you could tell his difficulties were apparent but he was defying them.
The couple gave us a leaflet to the Autism Treatment Trust in Edinburgh which all sounded really good, but lots of thoughts were going through my head such as we can’t afford to go to Edinburgh, how much is this going to cost, is this a scam etc. But then I looked at John who was playing hide and seek behind a curtain and talking loads and looked at Liam who was clung to the door and pulling at my arm to leave and thought if it can work for this family, maybe it will make a difference for mine.
Our journey through autism treatment has not been straightforward. To try and keep the costs down as we were having to self finance this as didn’t qualify for funding, we found a DAN Doctor (Defeat Autism Now) based in Cheshire (nearer to Liverpool than Edinburgh) and put Liam on a Gluten/Casien/Corn/Soya free diet and started using supplements under the guidance of the DAN Doctor. We had Liam’s stool and urine tested and the results showed he had an overgrowth of bad bacteria and dysbiosis (imbalance of gut flora). By then we were giving him 12 supplements a day and limiting his diet. Unfortunately for us, Liam resisted this form of treatment. He limited his already restricted diet even more, to just 3 items of food, causing him to lose weight and body mass. He also used to burst out crying spontaneously and looked to be in pain and discomfort from the laxatives. Thankfully, my mothering instincts kicked in and I realised this wasn’t right for us. I tried going to the DAN Doctor for advice but she wasn’t able to advise on restricted diets and we had no choice but to stop the treatment. This is not the experience of other parents; this is just in the case of Liam.
I had the desire to want to help my son but not the right help, so in the end we made the decision to go to Edinburgh and this is when our family encouraged us to do fundraising activities to help pay for the costs to find the right treatment for Liam.
We started up Time To Talk Liam and raised the money to take Liam to the Autism Treatment Trust in Edinburgh who believe in a combination of biomedical and educational treatment for Autism. Almost immediately upon seeing Liam the Consultant informed us Liam’s problems were mostly behavioural (which explained his resistance to the diet) and referred us to ABA. From our first ABA consultation we realised we had finally found something which works for Liam and we’ve been working hard since to maintain access to it and enjoying the many benefits it’s brought to Liam and to our family.
I would encourage any parents who are considering helping their child through treatments to go to a reputable private clinic and just see what they say, follow your instincts and be prepared to work hard but the rewards are there! Our children can improve.
I can only substantiate the ATT but there are a few others in the UK. For more information about ATT please visit their website: