Helping Parents Support Children With Autism
Jul 29, 2015 10:12PM
Anne Maitrepierre Provides New Consulting ServiceAnne Maitrepierre has a very important teacher—her son. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and since then, she has devoted her adult life to finding the best possible treatments and lifestyle choices that give him the opportunity to be healthy and to reach his potential. Armed with this knowledge, Maitrepierre is now on a journey to help other parents and full-time caregivers of children with autism in the greater D.C. metro area.
There were warning signs that something was amiss soon after her son was born in the UK. After a year of seeing doctors and neurologists, the diagnosis was confirmed. She recalls that while the news was traumatic, it also provided definition of what was happening and signaled that it was time to go into “battle mode” for her only child.
She gave up her career as a financial news and political reporter and copy editor both in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, and set aside her master’s degree in journalism, earned from Northwestern University. As she learned, it is important to start confronting autism as soon as her child was diagnosed. While progress can be made at any stage of diagnosis, to engage in this early intervention phase provides the best hope of progress for the child.
This wisdom, gathered over the past 11 years, is available from Maitrepierre to parents and caregivers who are struggling with a new diagnosis or attempting to learn what treatments, diets and other steps can be taken to provide for the child with autism. She offers her services as a consultant, with the capacity to work with parents who speak French, English or Spanish and is now working with a leading provider in the region for holistic medical treatments. Specifically, Maitrepierre helps parents develop a plan of attack to evaluate and change, where needed, the medical, nutritional, emotional and environment elements that are necessary for a family with an autistic child.
She has studied the role of diet and learned that certain foods (and water) can cause undesirable behavior on particular children with autism. She has worked with some of the leading medical doctors, neurologists and nutritionists throughout the United States and Europe to acquire this information for her own son and has seen the benefits.
Maitrepierre can guide parents to the appropriate medical testing and help formulate a diet that will allow the child to be calm. For examples, she notes that “many autistic children, due to an enzymatic dysfunction, cannot process antioxidants or superfoods. While these can be healthy options for most other people, for children who don’t have the enzymes break it down—the food becomes a toxic compound and creates inflammation – which is the root cause of illness.”
Helping parents to create a safe home environment is another important aspect of Maitrepierrees’ research and work. The level of toxicity and mold in a home has the potential of creating undesirable behaviors from an autistic child. Likewise, our modern lifestyle of 24-hour Wi-Fi access also can have significant deleterious effects on most human beings but particularly affect autistic children. Maitrepierre uses her knowledge and understanding to help parents create a sleep sanctuary so the child’s brain has the capacity to repair itself during sleep. This creates less stress for the whole family.
In addition to diet and the home, there are a host of lifestyle changes, many which cost nothing to implement that can be added to the family rituals which can support the autistic family member. Maitrepierre has learned all the tricks and can share them with parents and other family members. She notes that it is important to have the whole family, even siblings and grandparents, on the same team and following the same routines and diets for the autistic child.
Finally, Maitrepierre sees her role as a supporter for parents and care-givers—whether they are new to the diagnosis or have dealt with it for years. The best advice that she got many years ago was from a doctor at a conference. He noted that parents need to de-stress because they can’t help their own child if they, themselves, are not healthy and balanced. With the assistance that Maitrepierre provides, parents can find the help they need and have a ally in their corner.
To learn more about her work and discuss a consultation, contact 301-461-2135 or email [email protected].