I appreciate The Post and Courier running the recent article "Autism or lead poisoning?" Hats off to Mindy Allen, who looked for and found answers to her son's autism diagnosis and his suffering.

The article states that Dr. Jane Charles, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at MUSC, "warns that many alternative treatment plans are not based on scientific evidence, nor covered by insurance or Medicaid. And she recommends that a therapist observing behavior in patients be 'blinded' to information about any changes in diet or supplementation to avoid bias."

It is very disturbing to me that most doctors and medical professionals look down on those who are seeking alternative treatments, and discourage and intimidate them.

Instead parents are offered, for the most part, treatment with medications as their only option.

As a mother of a child with special needs who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, autism and a partial seizure disorder, I kept my eyes and mind open to helping my child.

Mindy Allen stated, "I was in pain because he was in pain." I also was in pain because my daughter was in pain. I know what this is like.

Watching your child suffer and feeling totally helpless to help your child is torturous, to say the least. There is stark contrast between the motivation of a desperate parent to that of a medical professional treating a patient.

I, too, had to turn to alternative solutions for my daughter's seizures. MUSC just told me they were "idiopathic," meaning there is no known reason for them, and the only treatments they could offer me were debilitating drugs or a rigorous, very limited, and short-term diet.

Five years ago, through much searching and prayer, our daughter's seizures started decreasing the first day the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet was implemented. Within two weeks, the seizures were totally eliminated.

This diet was much easier and healthier, and it could be used long-term.

I had the long-distance help and guidance of a neurologist out of England who opened an autism clinic as the result of her own son's recovery from autism, partially through this diet, and outlined the diet for others.

In her own journey, this neurologist went back to school and received a masters in nutrition. Her eyes and mind were open.

The elimination of my daughter's seizures, along with the changes in her demeanor and ability to learn were so dramatic that there was no concern that her therapists might be "biased" because they knew she was on a special diet. They have been excited to pass the information on to other parents.

Observing my daughter throughout this journey, MUSC refused to give my name or any information that literally changed my child's life, and ours, to other parents.

Why should others be deprived of this possibly valuable information?

Parents deserve the information that gives them options beyond drugs. They deserve to make choices.

And they should use discernment and sense in their consideration of any treatment.

They are their child's best and often, only advocates.

Parents have no agenda other than doing what works for their child, whether it means using the conventional medical system or an alternative form of treatment, and whether it's covered by insurance or Medicaid.

It's all about ending their child's suffering.

It's time that the medical field recognizes and teaches the role of diet in our health, and the possible effects that many toxins in our environment have in our bodies, that is based on sound scientific research.

It's time that parents be presented with any and all information and options discovered, so that they can explore these options for themselves to help find the answers for which they are so desperate.

There should be no other agenda.

Wendy Fitzhenry

Brigadier Drive