Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make with Autistic Children: Insights from Severe Autism Specialist Lyndsy Moffatt

Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make with Autistic Children: Insights from Severe Autism Specialist Lyndsy Moffatt

Non-verbal autism is a condition affecting a significant number of children across the United States and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 36 children in America are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, 30-35% of people with autism are non-verbal or minimally verbal and it can severely impact a child’s ability to express their needs, thoughts, and emotions. This often leads to frustration and a heightened sense of isolation.

Lyndsy Moffatt is a Severe Autism Specialist with over a decade of experience in supporting families with autism. Her story started when her son, Dominic, exhibited severe non-verbal autism symptoms from an early age. Despite her concerns, doctors initially dismissed his condition as normal, but at age five, Dominic still wasn’t talking, was still in diapers, and had extreme sensory issues and self-harming behaviors. 

Feeling hopeless and unable to secure a timely medical diagnosis, Lyndsy started researching on her own. She stumbled upon an alternative treatment, The GAPS Diet developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, that reversed the majority of her son’s symptoms within six months. “Had I listened to the ‘Autism Experts’ and conventional doctors, my son would probably still be hitting himself 100 times a day,” Lyndsy reflects. “After years and years of painstaking research and trial and error, I finally came across something that helped my child’s autistic symptoms. Who would have thought that the key started with something as basic as his diet?”

Through her experience in seeing her son’s transformation, Lyndsy became a Certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Coach and holistic nutritionist. She has helped hundreds of families reduce and alleviate autism symptoms in their children and created The Free Autism Guide for parents navigating challenges with their child. According to Lyndsy, there are five mistakes parents of children with autism are making and she has insights on how to avoid them.

1. Waiting for a diagnosis to do anything. Lyndsy was told she’d have to wait an entire year to get an appointment with a doctor for an evaluation regarding Dominic’s symptoms. She knew she couldn’t sit around and wait to start helping him. She says that many parents are waiting six months or even longer to get a diagnosis. This critical time could be used to make healthy changes that could lead to significant progress. Lyndsy advises, “You might as well start taking action when you presume your child has autism and get started because that is precious developmental time. Whereas it’s never too late to make changes, waiting a year will cost you later.”

2. Referring to your children as nonverbal or nonspeaking in front of them. Lyndsy wants parents to know, “Your children are listening, whether you think they are or not, and your words have the power to impact their development and growth. Be careful what you believe about their lack of abilities and what you say about them because they will most likely absorb and adopt those beliefs, too.” 

3. Not realizing diet is the key to helping a non-verbal or minimally-verbal child. Lyndsy is the author of The Gut Healing Guide that has been instrumental in helping parents navigate a healthy diet plan for their child. This nutritional protocol is the foundation for correcting imbalances that can exacerbate the negative symptoms of both nonverbal and minimally-verbal autism. Also, feeding a child fast foods and processed foods could be the direct cause for many of the symptoms they may be experiencing since these foods often contain harmful additives. Studies have shown that certain foods can be instrumental at reversing the behavioral abnormalities associated with ASD. 

4. Purchasing synthetic vitamins to supplement The GAPS Diet. Mainstream vitamins are not all created with the best ingredients. According to Lyndsy, “Unfortunately, most brands use harmful synthetic vitamins that cannot be processed by people with autism due to their body’s unique genetic makeup and they often make the problem worse. As a Certified GAPS coach, I help people differentiate the organic whole food based supplements that do exist from the harmful synthetic versions. For instance, many children with autism would benefit from vitamin B12, but most people do not know the difference between natural and synthetic B12. Natural B12 is made from bacteria that grows in soil and in our intestines, as well as some algae and seaweed species. But synthetic B-12 is made from cobalt and cyanide that is fermented together to produce it. The body doesn’t recognize synthetic vitamins the same way it does natural vitamins and often times this can make the behavioral problems even worse.” 

5. Parents ignore their own needs because their child’s care is consuming them. Parents of children with autism often neglect themselves and try to focus on their autistic children’s needs rather than their own. This is a big mistake because healthy and rested parents are much better equipped to support their children effectively. Lyndsy confirms this, “I see many parents that don’t eat healthy and take care of themselves, so they cannot help their child from a superior place. The healthier and happier you can become will have a direct correlation on your child’s health and happiness too.” It is also essential for parents to pay attention to getting proper sleep and eating a healthy diet for themselves. 

Lyndsy Moffatt is well known for her holistic approach to autism spectrum disorder. As a Certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Coach and Founder of SpectrumABLE, she supports parents of children and adults with autism worldwide, helping alleviate autism symptoms through nutrition, detoxification, and mindset while embracing healthier lifestyles. Parents can connect with her on Facebook or through her website. Her work is inspired by her own son’s remarkable transformation from severe nonverbal autism to thriving, achieved through The GAPS Diet and various other protocols she teaches in her online course. She is also a sought-after speaker, sharing her knowledge globally at health events and educational institutions.