SOURCE: The LaValle Metabolic Institute

April 23, 2008 15:29 ET

Christopher's Crusade: Local Clinic Takes Fresh Approach to Autism

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - The hardest moment in a mother's life is when a doctor says something is wrong with your child. Knowing what to do next can sometimes prove to be even more difficult.

April is National Autism Awareness Month and according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. Christopher Manos, now 6, was diagnosed with autism when he was just 3 years old. Yet instead of placing blame and focusing on how it happened, Christopher Manos' mother, Lyn Manos, started searching for solutions.

After researching autism treatment programs all across the country, Lyn Manos found one right in her own backyard. The LaValle Metabolic Institute (LMI) is one of the only clinics in Cincinnati to offer an intense nutritional approach to anyone on the autism spectrum, from mild to severe, led by Dr. Maureen Pelletier. It is the same program actress Jenny McCarthy has been vocal about after she put her autistic son on the program.

"The program Christopher is enrolled in is based on the premise that nutrition, intestinal disorders, detoxification and other metabolic issues impact behavior, attention, speech and the general health of children with autism," says Jim LaValle, founder of LMI. "It includes a very strict diet regimen that virtually eliminates anything with gluten and dairy from Christopher's meals." LaValle says since the diet is so restrictive it is also necessary to add back certain vitamins and minerals through supplementation.

Since starting this program at LMI, Lyn Manos has seen noticeable progression in Christopher Manos' wellbeing such as, increased verbal skills and increased performance day to day. Christopher Manos visits LMI four times a year and meets with a team of experts to assess his progress and adjust his diet and supplements as necessary. His team includes LaValle, board certified clinical nutritionist and pharmacist, as well as, Pelletier, who specializes in Christopher Manos' treatment program. Though cautious at first, Christopher Manos' pediatrician was supportive of whatever measures Lyn Manos wanted to try in an effort to find what would work best for Christopher Manos and acknowledges the drastic improvement in Christopher Manos' wellbeing. Lyn Manos admits the challenges of the program but says the payoff is worth the effort.

"If Christopher was diabetic his life would be dependent on a strict diet," says Lyn Manos. "For me, autism is the same; when he is not on this diet, he is definitely affected."

Although there is currently no documented cure for autism, there are treatments for children on the autism spectrum. The Manos' crusade doesn't end here. In fact, Lyn Manos is the co-chair of the "Walk Now for Autism," along with her husband John Manos, and was an integral part of brining the walk to Cincinnati for the first time ever. The event is on Saturday, May 3, at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, registration begins at 7:30 am and the walk begins at 9:00 am.

You can learn more about the program Christopher Manos enrolled in at: http://www.lmihealth.com, or call the LaValle Metabolic Institute for eligibility at 513-924-5300.

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