Winn Army Community Hospital will host a special autism awareness presentation called “Pulling the Puzzles Apart”, April 30 at 1 p.m., in the hospital auditorium.
The program will be facilitated by Winn ACH Chief Dietitian, Capt. Todd Heer, whose 3-year-old son was diagnosed with autism nearly two years ago. Heer’s goal is to present the findings from the latest Centers for Disease Control report and start a group discussion about successful implementation of dietary changes as a means of treating the symptoms of autism.
As a dietitian and the parent of an autistic child, Heer knows firsthand about how eliminating certain food components, such as gluten and casein, can drastically affect someone with autism.
“When I first started talking to other parents about alternative and complementary approaches to treating autism I found that they used controlled diets first,” said Heer. “There’s limited research to support doing it, but you can’t deny results. I believe it’s important to talk about those things and explain why research is difficult to capture in this group. It all boils down to the spectrum of autism – some people see great benefits and some don’t see any.”
The presentation is open to the public and Heer encourages both families, as well as health care providers to attend.