Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/12/2008 09:09:57 PM PDT
Cries from a child shaken from his sleep instantly transformed into shrieks of joy. Little Royce Block had spotted his wicker basket. But it wasn't filled with candy or toys. It contained about 10 medicines he takes every day.
The 2-year-old has autism.
For about a year, Jess Block watched her son live his life without smiling, playing or leaving his stroller.
The condition is not about a delay in a child's development; it's about regression.
"One of the most common stories we hear with most children is that they were born normal," Shah said. "Maybe they were talking and saying some words, then they will completely stop talking."
Shah is one of just a couple dozen in the state who practice the Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, approach.
Instead of using psychiatric drugs to treat these children, the approach incorporates natural therapies.
The most basic treatments include relieving the body of toxins and incorporating a casein- and gluten-free diet.
"The most important thing we do is take out all the foods with casein and gluten," Shah said. "It makes them substantially improve."
For now, Block is just excited to see her baby acting like a normal toddler.
"For every parent it's a joy to see your child grow and develop," she said, "but to see your child stop regressing is just amazing."