Angela Taylor, MS, CNS, LDN is Board-Certified in Clinical Nutrition and is the author of The BrainFood Cookbook. She successfully recovered her son from autism using the SCD/GAPS/Paleo diet. She resides in Baltimore, MD and holds three degrees from John Hopkins University. Angela is a Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and works with clients via Skype and in-person in Baltimore. She also serves as Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins University teaching Clinical Nutrition.

Find a Biomedical Doctor

Doctor and child

Active until 2011, Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) was the premier biomedical autism treatment resource. There is a great next step for families living with autism called MAPS: The Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs. Below are some useful links to help you locate an autism practitioner:

Generation Rescue Practitioner List:

Old DAN! list from 2009:

TACA’s article on MAPS doctors & DAN! Doctors:

TACA’s article – Why Are MAPS Doctors So Expensive?


eyelightsThese special “sunglasses” have embedded red LED lights that flash at a prescribed interval to improve brain function. Eyelights excite the receptors at the back of the retina, which in turn fire to the brain stem in three different areas. Eyelights are being worn by children with learning disabilities in order to keep them more attentive and focused in the classroom. Personally, I find that I cannot take James into the grocery store without them!

What worked best for us:
Blue lens color
Daily usage:
R side top flashing (Serotonin Production) = 6 minutes
R side bottom flashing (Dopamine Production) = 3 minutes

eyelights_lens_colorsCost: about $150

Fish Oil for Kids

Fish Oil – DHA/EPA for brain development

Unless children get lots of sea foods in their diet, their brains are starving for the Omega-3s DHA/EPA (found in fish and fish oil). I encourage you to read the research/stories told by world traveler and researcher Dr. Weston A. Price of traditional (primitive) cultures who recognized the vital importance of foods from the sea for children (and pregnant women). Mountain tribes in the Andes would hike down 12,000 feet to get sea products. Other stories tell of peoples who would trade for these sea foods with neighboring tribes even when they were at war with each other. Any high-quality fish oil would be an excellent choice – to give you some ideas the products listed below are the fish oils that my son took when he was younger and/or the ones he is taking now.  

mercola_kids_krill_oilMercola Krill Oil for Kids supplements are “size 4” capsules – which are the smallest capsule size available (about the size of a tic-tac) so they are a great way to teach your child to swallow capsules!

Childrens_DHA_EPANutriWest makes an excellent Fish Oil for kids Children’s DHA/EPA which is theoretically chewable – it has a nice orange flavor to me – but tastes yucky to some kids. So James swallows the fish-shaped gummy capsules. He currently takes 3/day but I’ve also heard excellent results from parents who only give one/day.

Case Study: My niece with ADHD was doing expensive tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center and still struggling in school. One month after starting a mere one capsule/day of Children’s DHA/EPA she obtained straight A’s. And no more tutoring.

If your child can swallow large capsules, Pure Encapsulations offers an eco-friendly supercritical CO2 extracted DHA fish oil concentrate. DHA Ultimate contains a whopping 395mg DHA / 94 mg EPA per capsule.

If you are curious to know what are your child's actual blood levels of Omega-3s, I recommend the OmegaCheck test from SpectraCell. (OmegaCheck can be ordered as a standalone test, or it is included as part of the CardioMetabolic Panel)

Please remember that 
no matter your dreams or obstacles, you have the power to change your child’s life. I sincerely hope our resources can help you do just that.

Son-Rise Program®

playing parentsThe Son-Rise Program® teaches a specific and comprehensive system of treatment and education designed to help families and caregivers enable their children to dramatically improve in all areas of learning, development, communication and skill acquisition. It offers highly effective educational techniques, strategies and principles for designing, implementing and maintaining a stimulating, high-energy, one-on-one, home-based, child-centered program.

The Son-Rise Program® innovated an educational treatment modality which included joining children instead of going against them. The program places parents as key teachers, therapists and directors of their own programs and utilizes the home as the most nurturing environment in which to help their children. The Son-Rise Program® suggests that respect and deep caring would be the most important factor impacting a child’s motivation to learn, and from the beginning has made love and acceptance a meaningful part of every teaching process. Employing this attitude, first seek to create bonding and a safe environment. Then apply Son-Rise Program® educational strategies:

  • Joining in a child’s repetitive and ritualistic behaviors supplies the key to unlocking the mystery of these behaviors and facilitates eye contact, social development and the inclusion of others in play.
  • Utilizing a child’s own motivation advances learning and builds the foundation for education and skill acquisition.
  • Teaching through interactive play results in effective and meaningful socialization and communication.
  • Using energy, excitement and enthusiasm engages the child and inspires a continuous love of learning and interaction.
  • Employing a nonjudgmental and optimistic attitude maximizes the child’s enjoyment, attention and desire throughout their Son-Rise Program®.
  • Placing the parent as the child’s most important and lasting resource provides a consistent and compelling focus for training, education and inspiration.
  • Creating a safe, distraction-free work/play area facilitates the optimal environment for learning and growth.

Verbal Behavior (VB)

The Verbal Behavior (VB) methodology was created to address the language deficiency of kids while utilizing the science of ABA. Here is an excellent Verbal Behavior Training Manual.

Verbal Behavior Therapy teaches communication using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and the theories of behaviorist B.F. Skinner. By design, Verbal Behavior Therapy motivates a child, adolescent or adult to learn language by connecting words with their purposes. The student learns that words can help obtain desired objects or other results.

Therapy avoids focusing on words as mere labels (cat, car, etc.) Rather, the student learns how to use language to make requests and communicate ideas. To put it another way, this intervention focuses on understanding why we use words.

In his book Verbal Behavior, Skinner classified language into types, or “operants.” Each has a different function. Verbal Behavior Therapy focuses on four word types. They are:

  • Mand. A request. Example: “Cookie,” to ask for a cookie.
  • Tact. A comment used to share an experience or draw attention. Example: “airplane” to point out an airplane.
  • Intraverbal. A word used to answer a question or otherwise respond. Example: Where do you go to school? “Castle Park Elementary.”
  • Echoic. A repeated, or echoed, word. Example: “Cookie?” “Cookie!” (important as the student needs to imitate to learn)

Cookies StackedVerbal Behavior Therapy begins by teaching mands, or requests, as the most basic type of language. For example, the individual with autism learns that saying “cookie” can produce a cookie. Immediately after the student makes such a request, the therapist reinforces the lesson by repeating the word and presenting the requested item. The therapist then uses the word again in the same or similar context.

Importantly, students don’t have to say the actual word to receive the desired item. In the beginning, they simply need to signal requests by any means. Pointing at the item represents a good start.

This helps the student understand that communicating produces positive results. The therapist builds on this understanding to help the student shape the communication toward saying or signing the actual word.

Importantly, Verbal Behavior Therapy uses “errorless learning.” The therapist provides immediate and frequent prompts to help improve the student’s communication. These prompts become less intrusive as quickly as possible, until the student no longer needs prompting. Take, for example, the student who wants a cookie. The therapist may hold the cookie in front of the student’s face and say “cookie,” to prompt a response from the child. Next, the therapist would hold up the cookie and make a “c” sound, to prompt the response. After that, the therapist might simply hold a cookie in the child’s line of sight and wait for the request. The ultimate goal, in this example, is for the student to say “cookie” when he or she wants a cookie – without any prompting.

In a typical Verbal Behavior Therapy session, the teacher asks a series of questions that combine easy and hard requests. This increases the frequency of success and reduces frustration. Ideally, the teacher varies the situations and instructions in ways that catch and sustain the student’s interest.

Most programs involve a minimum of one to three hours of therapy per week. More-intensive programs can involve many more hours. In addition, instructors train parents and other caregivers to use verbal-behavior principles throughout the student’s daily life.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

pecs-notebookThe Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) uses picture cards to communicate. It’s a great way to encourage/teach non-verbal kids to start communicating by pointing at the cards. Here is a pdf of our actual PECS notebook for you to use as an example.

PECS begins by teaching an individual to give a picture of a desired item to a “communicative partner”, who immediately honors the exchange as a request. The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and how to put them together in sentences. In the more advanced phases, individuals are taught to answer questions and to comment.

The PECS teaching protocol is based on B.F. Skinner’s book, Verbal Behavior, such that functional verbal operants are systematically taught using prompting and reinforcement strategies that will lead to independent communication. Verbal prompts are not used, thus building immediate initiation and avoiding prompt dependency.

PECS has been successful with individuals of all ages demonstrating a variety of communicative, cognitive and physical difficulties. Some learners using PECS also develop speech. Others may transition to a voice output system. The body of research supporting the effectiveness of PECS continues to expand, with research from countries around the world.

You can make your own PECS at home by taking pictures with your phone (or from the internet), printing/typing the word underneath each image, cut into squares, laminate, cut into squares again. Put velcro on back and put into a notebook.

This webpage has even more PECS links for sourcing images and creating your own PECS.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

To do your own Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy at home:

Typically a small kid-sized table and 2 kid-sized chairs are used for ABA therapy.

Children are given very small treats as “reinforcers” each time they participate / say the word / follow the command / get the right answer. I like to use very small pieces of dried fruit. (for example: cut raisins in half or into quarters) I like to wear the treats in a fanny pack or apron.

aba_bookBehavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals by Catherine Maurice, Gina Green and Stephen C. Luce

how_do_i_teach_this_kidHow Do I Teach This Kid?: Visual Work Tasks for Beginning Learners on the Autism Spectrum by Kimberly A. Henry

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF)


High voltage towersReducing the EMF load in your bedroom (and entire home) will allow your body to reduce inflammation and repair itself while you are sleeping.

To get started:

Got (raw) milk?

milkMany autistic/ADD children react poorly to milk products because of

  1. inability to digest lactose
  2. opiate effect of casein
  3. high rate of IgG allergy to dairy

However if you decide that your child’s gut has reached a sufficient point of healing and you’d like to give dairy a try, here is some food for thought:

Many nutrition experts do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind – ever. Once milk has been pasteurized it’s pretty much “dead,” and offers little in terms of real nutritional value to anyone. (Whether you show signs of intolerance to milk or not.)

Valuable enzymes are destroyed, vitamins (such as A, C, B6 and B12) are diminished, fragile milk proteins are radically transformed from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that can actually worsen your health. Finally the eradication of beneficial bacteria through the pasteurization process actually ends up promoting pathogens.

The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is unpasteurized milk, also known as “raw milk”. It is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and is one of the finest sources of calcium available.

However, many moms I’ve spoken to are “freaked out” about drinking unpasteurized milk, thinking it’s dirty or unsafe. I can personally attest that I’ve consumed exclusively raw milk products for over 6 years, with zero problems. HOWEVER, it is important to get your raw milk from a trusted source. Ask your friends for referrals, and go visit the farm. Is it clean? Are the cows fed exclusively grass, out in a big pasture? Or are they fed grain, confined to small pens or barns, and standing around in their own poop? After what I’ve learned about Big Ag, I wouldn’t dream of drinking pasteurized milk purchased “sight unseen” from the grocery store.

It is important to also note that different breeds of cows yield different milk. “A1” cows are “newer” breeds that experienced a mutation of a particular amino acid (histadine) some 5,000 years ago. Unfortunately, A1 cows include the black and white breeds like Holsteins (and Friesians) that are the most popular breeds in North America. A1 milk contains BCM7 – a powerful opiate that can have a detrimental impact on your body. Histidine only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk.

“A2” cows are the older breeds that do not have this mutation. The amino acid proline in A2 milk has a strong bond to the opiate BCM7, which helps keep it from being released. The older cow breeds, such as Jersey, Guernsey, Asian and African are primarily A2. (However, take note that the milk from A2 cows has been tested and shown to still contain some liberated BCM7.) Goats and sheep also produce the healthier A2 type milk.

You will likely need to find a small local farmer to provide your family with a source of raw A2 milk. Where I live the Amish community is a great resource. You may also find info through or local Weston A. Price chapters Some families have so much difficulty in finding raw milk, they opt to keep their own goat (or Jersey cow) in their backyard.

On GAPS we are only allowed “milk” if it has been fermented into yogurt or kefir. The fermentation process consumes the lactose (milk sugar) which is problematic to GAPS patients. (We cannot cook with yogurt because this essentially pasteurizes it.)

Technically the SCD and GAPS both “allow” hard aged cheeses (because the lactose is consumed during the aging process). However I would advise against them unless they are made with raw milk, and therefore I do not cook with them.

Remember that yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses made with raw milk still contain casein. If you child cannot tolerate casein, then these products won’t work for you.


The one exception to “don’t heat your dairy” is ghee (clarified butter). Since butter contains no lactose, and we remove the milk solids while making ghee, we are allowed to cook with ghee. It has a high smoking point, so ghee is a perfect oil to cook with.

Screentime Lockdown

screentimelockdownMy phone and computer have passwords only I know.

But we lock all other electronics (ipad, game controllers, TV remotes, James’ computer) in a locking file cabinet.
Devices are only unlocked after all homework and chores are done.
All devices re-locked up before bedtime.

tileandtileslimFor bluetooth device tracking (i.e. finding lost, or hidden-by-your-child devices) you might consider super-glueing a “tile” or “tile slim” to them.

(BTW I have a tile on my keychain, and it has saved me countless times.)