Autism, PDD and Related Conditions

About Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Asperger’s and Related Conditions

Choosing a DAN! Practitioner | Changing Your Child’s Diet-A Mother’s Perspective

In recent decades, autism has become increasingly prevalent. Once a rare condition, it is now estimated to affect 1 in 150 children. Although the cause of this epidemic is unknown, there is significant suspicion that toxic insults in early infancy may be implicated.

Fortunately, we know from the pioneering work of Bernard Rimland PhD, William Walsh, PhD, William Philpott MD, Carl Pfeiffer MD, PhD and others that early therapeutic nutritional intervention can lead to positive outcomes in the vast majority of affected individuals, with dramatic improvements occurring in some. EEG Neurofeedback has also been shown to be helpful in many cases.

Dr. Volpe received his training in nutritional protocols for autism from the Autism Research Institute through their DAN (Defeat Autism Now) project. In addition, he confers with top practitioners around the country regarding the latest discoveries in nutritional therapies and protocols. One of his most significant learning experiences has been working with a large number of children with autism, and helping them has become a true passion.

As a nutritionist, Dr. Volpe spends a great deal of time with the parents of these children, providing guidance in difficult areas such as diet modification and developing nutritional programs targeted to each child’s needs. Dr. Volpe is experienced in dealing with the yeast and intestinal bacterial problems that plague many of them. Though natural therapies for these yeast and intestinal bacterial problems are usually very effective, in the rare instance that prescription medicines are required they can be provided through a referral to a physican who collaborates with Dr. Volpe on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Volpe is also experienced in supervising DMSA chelation programs and the Metallothionein (MT) Promotion Protocol.

Evaluation, Treatment and Followup

  • Dr. Volpe performs a comprehensive initial evaluation (one and one-half hours) consisting of an in-depth history and exam. At this appointment, parents will be given preliminary information on dietary modifications and will also be apprised of various treatment options. Appropriate laboratory tests will also be discussed. Even though there are many tests (blood, urine, hair) that can provide valuable information, it is sometimes best to perform them sequentially.
  • The first followup visit (45 minutes) is scheduled when test results are received. In addition to a detailed explanation of the test results, parents will receive a written report and plan based on their child’s results that will include recommended dietary changes and targeted nutritional supplement program.
  • Thereafter, parents are strongly advised to make monthly follow-up appointments (20 to 30 minutes as needed) for the first few months, and less frequently thereafter. Because Dr. Volpe understands the difficulty of making dietary changes and introducing supplements to their children, parents are encouraged to stay in close touch with the office either through email or phone so that challenges can be addressed if and when they occur.

Laboratory Tests

Useful specialty tests include (listed alphabetically):

  • Amino Acids, Urine or Plasma (Doctor’s Data)
  • Food Allergy Panel (MetaMetrix)
  • Hair Mineral Analysis (Doctor’s Data)
  • Stool Panel (Diagnos-Techs)
  • Urine Toxic Elements with Provocation (Doctor’s Data)
  • Urine Kryptopyrrole (Bio-Center Laboratories)

Please note: this list is not comprehensive, and does not include every test that can provide valuable information. Not all these tests are recommended for each individual.

Similar tests performed by other laboratories may not provide the same high quality results.


For additional information, visit the following websites:

Jim Benedict, Spring Meadow Farms, 717.665.6004

Sells ground, non-roasted buckwheat. Most of the buckwheat available from stores is roasted and has a very strong taste. It is commonly used in combination with white flour to add its unique flavor. Used alone toasted buckwheat is too strong for most people. Non-roasted buckwheat has a mild taste and can be used on its own as a gluten-free flour replacement.   Buckwheat flour is made from the seeds of a grass traditionally grown in the Far East. Even though buckwheat is not technically classified as a grain, it is higher in carbohydrate content and lower in protein than wheat or rice and should not be used as a staple.

Blanched Almond Flour from

Although almond flour can be made at home using a food processor, it can be a challenge to obtain the right consistency. This company makes high-quality almond flour. They also do not handle any peanuts at their facility, thereby eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination for those allergic to peanuts.

Health Research Institute/Pfeiffer Treatment Center at

The Autism Research Institute at

Cure Autism Now at

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Complementary
Medicine Forum on Alternative and Innovative Therapies for Children
with Development Disabilities and Brain Injury at

Information regarding immunizations at and

Gluten-free casein-free diet information at

Sensible action for ending mercury-induced neurological disorders at

Dr. Bradstreet’s site at

Books include:

Brain Allergies, William Philpott, MD

Children with Starving Brains, Jacquelyn McCandless, MD

Mental and Elemental Nutrients, Carl Pfeiffer, Ph.D

Autism Treatment Guide, Elizabeth Gerlach

Thinking in Pictures, Temple Grandin

Dancing in the Rain, Annabelle Stehli

Special Diets for Special Kids, Lisa Lewis