By Patricia Crosby for First Coast News.
Jacksonville, FL - When Dr. Julie Buckley talks about autism and
recovery, it's more than just her life's work, it's personal. Dr. Buckley's
8 1/2 year old daughter Dani was diagnosed as profoundly autistic at the age
"I think the thing that will always haunt me, was the waking up in the
morning, the crying and the moaning. As a mom, all I wanted to do was it
make it better," says Dr. Buckley.
And, as a pediatrician Dr. Buckley found a way to make Dani better.
Through research and contacts she learned about DAN which stands for Defeat
Autism Now. She delved back into her medical books and is now one of four
leading DAN doctors in Florida, treating more than 600 children with autism
locally and around the world.
After a few years of using the DAN approach Dani is now considered
gifted in her third grade class. "Her recovery was pretty dramatic, but for
each child recovery happens at a different pace," says Dr. Buckley. "All of
my patients are either in recovery or are recovering, and all are feeling
better," she says.
Amazingly, Dani remembers the time when she couldn't communicate. She
says, "The words just wouldn't come out, they just wouldn't come out. And, I
was pretty much acting up and stuff."
She goes on to say, "Back then, it was very difficult for me to make
friends, now I can make friends. I like to draw, I like neo-pets which is a
virtual pet website." says Dani.
Dani also dreams of being a doctor like her mom one day. And, she has
a dream for other children like her. "Keep on hoping that there one day may
be a cure, so everyone will be the same and no one will call them names,"
With the DAN approach, Dr. Buckley treats her patients with a
combination of enzymes, vitamins, supplements, hyperbarics, physical
therapy, and occupational therapy.
Looking back, Dr. Buckley believes what happened to their family is a
blessing since it encouraged her to look for answers to autism.
"Many parents when they get the diagnosis of autism, they are
devastated. They then get the therapy, and eventually plan for a group home.
That's not what I signed up for. I signed up for the wedding, the
grandchildren, and that's what I want for everybody," says Dr. Buckley.
Autism is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to socialize
and function in society. Right now, there are about 1 1/2 million people
living with autism in America.
If you'd like to learn more about the DAN approach to treating autism,
there is a DAN conference scheduled for Jan. 27 & 28th at the Florida
Community College in the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts. Just
call 1-866-208-0207 or go to www.DANconference.com.
This is a good reminder that our kids can make dramatic gains. It's also a reminder that there are so many "environmental" kids out there that respond very well to biomedical intervention. I could relate to this mom/doc in that her focus was "to make it better". My focus had always been and continues to be Leo's happiness, along with his mental and physical well being. And that goes for his typical sister too.