On the plane to Hawaii, Jovan coped well with all of the distractions and external and environmental stimuli, but when we arrived in Hawaii it was another story. He developed a noise* which was horribly loud and made us jump every time he screamed. He slept only four hours each night while we were in Hawaii and we were devastated when we learned Jovan had experienced a regression.
*(Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement of objects common in individuals with developmental disabilities, but most prevalent in people with autism spectrum disorders).
We didn’t understand what was happening, and we knew we would have to research and figure it out so we could get Jovan back on track. One of our doctors said it was the toxins and radiation from the airplane. This is something I never considered when we decided to take a vacation, and we were so upset that our decision to take a family vacation could result in Jovan's regression.
Jovan's test came back that his system was heavily burdened with toxins that were not releasing from his body, which means he wasn’t detoxing correctly. We had to give Jovan new supplements and start new chelation. Make sure to find the right DAN doctor and/or specialist before beginning a chelation treatment. TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) has an article about chelation and autism.
We knew that even though Jovan was not doing well in certain physical aspects, he was doing amazingly well with his cognitive functions. He was more focused and his motor skills were improving, especially in his gymnastics class. Jovan's physical coordination had progressed to a new ability to jump and run quickly with rapidly improved coordination skills.
He was doing great in school in spite of occasional meltdowns due to not feeling well. He was beginning to type more in school as a method of communication and we knew this was a positive sign.
Jovan's regression was due to high intoxication from the plane's metals and radiation. His body was starting to detox and heal, which can cause excess self-stimulatory behavior. We ordered a microbiology test for Jovan to determine how this regression may have affected his gut. I am normally a very positive person with a great outlook, but because of his regression, I was awaiting the worst news since he had regressed physically. To our happy surprise, when we got our test results back we were thrilled to learn that Jovan no longer had leaky gut! Additionally, the PH in his poop was normal! Our boy is indeed on his way to recovery!
We know we might have to get a more aggressive chelation, and as of now Jovan still has high bacteria in his gut so we need to re-establish more beneficial bacteria in his gut. We will need more Bravo and more fermented vegetables (sauerkraut). We can’t wait to see what’s next and we are excited that after all our hard work Jovan is actually healing! This is proof the Keotgenic diet and Bravo probiotics work.
Jovan's ABA therapists and Dr. Suzanne Goh use an amazing communication/typing device to teach Jovan to communicate through typing. The therapist and Jovan type their texts to each other and then the therapist emails the typed comments and Jovan's typed responses to my husband and I and our ABA team working with Jovan.
Jovan has made incredible progress using this type of therapy, and has grown his communication skills, typing skills and has broadened his vocabulary range. Even his sense of humor shines through this set of typed text between his ABA therapist Melissa and Jovan as he describes his excitement for his upcoming family trip to Hawaii. We are so grateful for the incredible leaps and bounds Jovan has made with his communication skills and can't wait to see what his future holds. While still non-verbal, this communication opens doors for him that we never imagined possible. We're so thankful to his ABA team and we hope this inspires those parents who may be frustrated or losing hope for their own non-verbal autistic children.
This was included in an email to us from Jovan's ABA therapist at CortiaCare (in the following, "M" stands for "Melissa," the ABA therapist, and "J" stands for "Jovan").
M: Anything you want to say about your upcoming trip?
J: Tell mom the trip the best thing the family do!
M: Do you know much about where you are going?
M: Do you want to tell me something about it?
J: Hawaii beautiful place and far away to go there!
M: have you been on a plane before?
M: do you have any questions about it?
J: the plane the best part!
M: you're super excited to get on the plane!
M: have you heard good thing about being on a plane?
J: yes and the boring home the worst
M: so you're super excited to get out and get away
M: are you excited about anything about Hawaii besides the plane?
J: the swimming everyday?
M: I'm not totally sure but I would imagine that you'd get to swim every day or most days. Would you swim in the ocean or are you thinking about the pool?
J: the ocean for me! The pool boring the house has one.
M: so the pool is old news to you?
M: do you have any other thoughts or questions about the trip?
J: how long the trip?
M: do you mean the plane trip the whole trip or both?
J: the whole thing!
M: I think about three weeks give or take a few days. Do you know how long three weeks is?
M: how long?
J: the longest I have been away!
M: three weeks is 21 days. Maybe you'll be there a couple days longer or a couple days less than that. Would you like a calendar while you're there to know how many more days you have left?
J: the body need the calendar but I think the hours go by fast!
M: yes I bet the hours and days will go by fast because you'll be having so much fun but yes your body does need some amount of predictability so I can let mom and dad know to maybe have a calendar or a count down of days to help your body?
J: the body like the idea!
M: do you want to keep talking about this or something else?
J: the talking nice! The tek
M: we have about four minutes left do you want to finish your thought from before?
J: teacher you are the best!
M: who are you talking to or about?
J: Melissa you!
M: thank you my friend. I think that you are a wonderful boy to teach and I have to say today I am very overcome with amazing pride with how far you've come. Do you remember when we started typing?
M: it was hard.
J: the worst!
M: look at how far you've come! Are you done for the day?
When I opened the conversation, Jovan was resistant to talking about what the plane ride entails. He did type “The plane ride the mom nervous!”.
Here are some tips that I think could help:
-Write out a schedule/checklist in a notebook of all of the transitions and steps involved in the airport/airplane process and check it off as you go.
-Set a timer for the flight duration and show Jovan periodically throughout.
-Make a “loose” schedule for the flight in terms of activities he may do, trips to the bathroom, snacks/supplements and use this to structure/pass the time.
-Have a calendar with you on the trip so that he can see how many days are remaining.
Have a great trip and enjoy your time together! Please take pictures if you can. I would love to use them in session with Jovan when he returns.
Thanks so much.
I have to admit that we, as a family, forgot how much Jovan used to suffer with the symptoms of his non-verbal autism only a few years ago. Jovan was in such pain when he was younger. He had such horrible headaches that he would pound his own head and punch his jaw as a result of his pain and frustration. He would wake up at all hours of the night crying with anxiety, walking up and down our house hallways (this occurred almost every night for years.)
Arturo and I didn't know how to help him. We would stay awake with him all night. We would cry ourselves to sleep, not knowing how we could help him. It was so difficult that we assumed the nightly routine of staying awake with Jovan, taking turns watching him (and worrying) until he would finally fall asleep.
When we started the protocol and changed Jovan's diet, he began to sleep longer durations during the night, his headaches were less frequent and his instances of aggression diminished. Finally, with great thanks to the protocol, Jovan's bad nights of anxiously pacing our hallways in the middle of the night stopped.
Jovan still occasionally wakes up at night because maybe he's only warm or thirsty, but never in pain as he was before he began the protocol and he goes right back to sleep. Our sweet Jovan now sleeps peacefully through the entire night. This has been, by far, one of our family's greatest successes. It may seem like a small achievement, yet it's a huge blessing to our family. These small changes are all a part of Jovan heading toward the road to recovery.
Video below: A very difficult night before Jovan began the protocol. Warning, this video is actual footage of Jovan visibly upset, making repetitive hand motions to his lower jaw and crying.
Video below: Better days for our sweet boy Jovan. These are peaceful times due to Jovan's protocol.
Who I Am
I'm a full-time mom, full-time mortgage loan officer and branch manager. Please learn more about me from my "About Me" page.
Dr. Shawn Centers
Dr. Shawn Centers has been a inspiration. If it weren't for him we would not be where we are with Jovan. Dr. Centers helped point us in the right direction and helped us understand candida, toxins, essential oils, light therapy, and BARS therapy. He also helped guide us with GAPS diet. The helpful therapies Dr. Centers does for Jovan are a continued support along Jovan's road to healing. I encourage those with questions to reach out to Dr. Centers.
Our Story of Jovan's Journey
Hello my name is Stephany and I want to share Jovan’s story. My son Jovan was diagnosed with autism at 1 year and eight months old. He was non-verbal and was unable to make eye contact. He was a picky eater and had very bad coordination problems and sensory issues.
As Jovan grew his autism issues became more severe. He started sleeping less than four hours per night. His self-injury problems worsened. I struggled to find help for Jovan. Our pediatrician was not helpful. Jovan was constantly sick and was prescribed repeated doses of antibiotics and steroids. With these medicines Jovan’s hand-flapping and head-banging became constant.
My husband and I didn’t know what to do at that point. I was consistently told that diet didn’t matter and that there was no proof that diet changes worked to solve any problems Jovan presented. Over and over again, I was put down for looking for ways to help my son. The conventional medicine therapies only wanted to drug up my son and told me diet didn’t matter.
At that time, Jovan was home-schooled. He was receiving ABA services which were teaching him to cope with everyday life. It was evident to my husband and I that Jovan was not feeling well. His constant headaches and weariness prevented him from walking for long periods of time and he could not handle home-schooling tasks nor playing outdoors, for long periods of time.
We started a gluten-free diet and then an MSG-free diet just to see if we could get Jovan to feel better. When Jovan turned five years old, we finally saw some differences from the minor diet changes we made.
We visited homeopathic doctors who suggested we juice as a family and stay away from sugar. Jovan started to show improvements, although we didn’t see significant changes. Jovan was still getting sick constantly and still hitting himself.
We later learned that our juices had to be only vegetable-based and not fruit-based since fruits contain sugar. We didn’t know any better what would work best for Jovan and we learned as we went along. But, having Jovan juice changed his palate and he was no longer a picky eater, which was a huge accomplishment for our family. It was such a positive change and would later help us with the ketogenic diet.
The following summer when Jovan turned 7 years old we had had a rough time with his healing process, still. We had chosen to take Jovan to the brain treatment center for MRT treatment and they told us we need to give Jovan sugar so he would have energy for the brain. We were told that course of treatment was helping kids with autism. We saw some improvements in his sleeping pattern and some days he seemed to have better eye contact. Through the course of this treatment over the next few months Jovan gained 30 pounds, which we were told was normal. He also got sick various times with high fevers, which led to a regression due to the antibiotics we had to give him. Again we found ourselves back at a depressing beginning, worried Jovan’s progress was demolished.
As time passed we found another doctor named Dr. Shawn Centers. He educated us about GAPS Diet, which focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to the gut flora.
We had Jovan tested for toxins and candida and we again started to see positive changes, but I had no idea what candida was and how it imbalances the gut.
My husband and I researched the gut. We asked Dr. Shawn Centers about good researchers at the AutismOne conference 2016. We viewed educational videos and found amazing and interesting scientific information. It started making sense to us! We wanted to learn more. We were very fortunate to be able to meet doctors and have them share with us their decades-long research experience that we hoped could help Jovan.
Under the supervision of our doctors, we started Jovan on Bravo. Right away, Jovan began to sleep all night and started losing weight. As time passed we saw that Jovan had a substantial amount of die-off from the Bravo since it was a strong probiotic. We later found out Jovan was highly intoxicated with metals, so we did a microbiome test on him that showed his gut was in really bad shape still due to the toxins not being excreted. Doctors helped us supervise Jovan’s protocol, which included the ketogenic diet, Bravo and supplements.
Finally, we felt all our time and research for Jovan was coming together. We started seeing significant changes in Jovan, and our son’s personality began to emerge.
At that time Jovan was enrolled in Dr. Suzanne Gohs’s clinic for ABA services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. I was told I would see significant changes in homeschooling and with his therapist. And we did! Jovan’s changes started quickly once we had his diet just right and tested his sugars levels and keton levels constantly. But it took time to get to that point.
Even now, we still struggle to get it right. We knew that if we continued to try to help heal our son and persevered through the challenges that we would conquer Jovan’s challenges and find solutions for him as we went along.
Our son is on the road to recovery. Educating ourselves was our biggest task. Changing our eating habits as a family was a monumental change that we needed to do for our son, and for us too. Every little change Jovan makes is huge difference in our lives. Jovan can cooperate and learn when he feels well. This has been our biggest struggle. People want cures but it is not magic and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Bravo and the ketogenic diet work together to help heal the gut and we are true believers that this has greatly helped our son. Jovan started the protocol in June 2016 and his self-injury has gone down 75% since we began the protocol for him. He can now fulfill long table times with the ABA therapist for longer periods of time.
We were not able to teach Jovan how to write due to his motor skills, however, he has successfully learned how to read and type. He now types at the clinic and is able to choose what he would like to read by communicating with his ABA therapist via typing. They are actually helping us communicate with him. Since Jovan started feeling better he started to function and learn. It starts with the gut. Lately Jovan has maintained a strong core, sleeps from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am every night without waking up, plays outside and catches a ball and has better motor skills, and he is very active. He goes to the clinic every day for four hours and then comes home to have ABA therapy for three hours in the evenings. He is able to stay focused and happy. He is repeating words with his speech therapist and trying to say words without getting upset.
The greatest victory is that Jovan does not pound his head as he previously did, his self-injuries have gone down and he no longer makes holes in the wall with his head.
We know we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We see Jovan changing and growing, which builds hope. We know one day he will be healthy as long we maintain his diet and we continue to be persistent.
Dr. Reinwald’s supplements have had a huge impact on detoxifying Jovan, which was one of the most important parts of Jovan's continued recovery. If it weren’t for the Bravo, our son would not have had the chance to progress and heal his gut.
Dr. Beillin has also played a huge role in helping target all of the areas that Jovan needed resolved.
ABA and therapy have helped Jovan start learning and catching up. The past month Jovan has been typing much more and now the therapists are showing my husband how to communicate with Jovan.
Please know that for nine years, we have not been able to communicate with Jovan as he is non-verbal and he only follows directions and uses his iPad for pictures.
One day about four weeks ago, when they were done typing, Jovan’s therapist asked how Jovan felt about communicating with his dad. Jovan, for the first time ever, was able to tell us how he felt and he said, “Today is the best day and I want to remember it forever.” That made my husband and I break down and cry. For the first time we were able to communicate with our son. We can finally start getting to know him for the first time in nine years.
After persistently and strictly following the protocol and the diet, we cannot begin to imagine how Jovan’s progress might grow in the next year since we saw such huge improvements over the past couple of months. Again, with persistence and faith we will continue to the road of recovery.
Hello my name is Stephany and I want to share my story. I am a mother of an autistic child. My son is Jovan, and this is his journey.