Good News for the Alphabet Kids:  How to reverse learning and behavioural disorders without drugs (Expanded and updated third edition)
by Michael Sichel DO, ND, PhD with Greta Sichel
Paperback, 292 pages
$A38 available from

ISBN 978 -980364118

Autism is still largely blamed on genetic rather than environmental causes.  It is true that some people with rare genetic conditions such as Fragile X may have symptoms of autism.  However, the Autism Genome Project, a major study of families of people with autism did not find a genetic cause for autism.

The results of the study are summed up by Boyd Haley, professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, a mercury poisoning expert of international renown who contributed a forward to the Good News for the Alphabet Kids:

“…the bottom line is that no gene or set of genes could be found that caused autism…The result was not surprising.  Any physician should know that genetics alone are incapable of causing such an epidemic among children, whom the author of this book calls,’the Alphabet Kids’ One has to ask, why would federal agencies like the CDC, NIH, and FDA spend millions of dollars looking for a genetic cause for an epidemic among children, that absolutely does not have a genetic causation? The answer is ‘if you don’t want to find something, you look where it isn’t – and to show your sincerity, you spend a lot of money doing it.'”

Fortunately, there are people such as Boyd Haley who have been looking at the real causes of autism – and people like Michael Sichel who have been finding solutions for autism spectrum disorders and other problems that afflict so many children, and affect their health and ability to learn, including ADHD, OCD etc

As an osteopathic and naturopathic physician Michael Sichel is not in denial about one of the main causes of the epidemic of neurodevelopmental problems in today’s children.  He places the blame firmly where it belongs in so many cases; on the vaccine industry and pharmaceutical regulators that have falsely assured parents that vaccinates that contain neurotoxic ingredients can be safely injected into infants and children.

In a forward titled “The why behind our children’s woes”, Sichel writes:

“Incredible as it may seem, the medically qualified Senators on this Senate Committee found the US health industry regulators, pharmaceutical companies and certain branches of modern medicine responsible. Not only responsible, but (in some cases) deliberately falsifying data to protect themselves, allowing highly dangerous substances to be given to our children, despite warnings from some of their own scientists!”

Michael Sichel also quotes from a letter written by Davd Weldon, member of Congress to the Director of the CDc, Dr Julie Gerberding, October 31, 2003:

“‘I have reciewed the transpcipts of a discussion at Simpsonwood, GA, bewteen the author (of a false study), various CDC employees and vaccine industry representatives'”

Sichel continues:

“This discussion was behind behind closed doors, but recorded.  Here are some of the dark secrets they discussed:

•  We can push and pull this data any ay we want
•  There was really no need to do this study, we could havepredicted the outcomes.  (Editor:  the outcomes were these:  a direct correlation was found between amount of exposure to mercury in vaccines and the risk and severity of the disorder.) [original emphasis]
• I will not give thimerosal (mercury containing vaccine preservative) to my grandson until I find out what is going on here.
• This information should be kept confidential aand embargoed.
• The significant association with language delay is quite large (study Chief Writer)”

In recent years mercury-based preservatives such as thimerosal have been largely (although not entirely) phased out of paediatriac vaccines.  However, a large number of vaccines on the market for babies and children still contain aluminium based adjuvants such as aluminium phosphate and/or aluminium hydroxide.  This latter adjuvants is a proven cause of neurological damage in rats, and in my opinion, its injection into babies and children is risky, to say the least.

Fortunately, not every child who becomes autistic, hyperactive or develops other development, learning or behavourial difficulties has to remain so impaired.  The wholistic treatment programmes Sichel has developed can result in significant  improvement in symptoms for many children.

The key to the success of these treatments (often called “biological treatments”) is that they address the biological basis of autistic symptoms and other behavioural symptoms.  The cause(s) of autistic symptoms, hyperactivity etc vary from child to child.  However in children have regressive autism (that is, those children whose initial development was normal prior to their losing acquired skills such a language, toilet training, coordination etc and developing other symptoms of concern) often share common elements in their case histories. These include:

•  Adverse reactions to one or more vaccines
•  A history of ear infections – often recurrent ear infections fom the first year of life onwards, usually treated with antibiotics
•  Bad nappy rash

In the case of children who have suffered acute adverse effects to vaccinations and/or deterioration in general health following vaccination, there are various treatment options.

If the vaccine(s) concerned have contained toxic metals such as mercury or aluminium, therapies to encourage the excretion of these metals can be helpful.  Of course vaccinations are not the only potential source of poisoning with these toxic metals – or metalloids such as arsenic.  A child’s body can begin to become contaminated with these substances in utero, for example if his/her mother has a lot of mercury amalgam fillings or is working at an occupation that exposes her to toxic metals.

Sichel uses hair analysis to screen for toxic metals and also assess deficiencies in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium etc.

In the case of child (or adult) patients whose hair analysis reveals a significant burden of toxic elements such as mercury, lead, aluminium or arsenic, chelation therapy is a useful treatment option.  While many practitioners use oral pharmaceutical chelating agents such as DMSA (Dimercapto Succinic Acid) Michael Sichel prefers an alternative approach.  He imports footpads from Japan that he calls “Footsies”.  Placed on the feet overnight, these encourage the excretion of toxins through the skin – the body’s third kidney according to Chinese medicine.

Michael Sichel often recommends that his patient augment the other ingredients in the Footsies with the addition of coriander leaf tincture and a negatively charged EDTA solution.

Another method by which toxins may be expressed through the skin is by having clay baths.

He also uses a zeolite product as an oral chelation option.  Zeolite binds to heavy metals in  the bowel, facilitating their excretion.  Bentonite clay by mouth is another oral detoxification option, as is transdermal reduced glutathione – applied as a cream.

In the case of Footsies, these are generally used overnight while the patient is sleeping – either slipped into the patient’s socks or taped to the feet if it’s too hot to wear socks.   It’s an unorthodox approach to chelation but one that appears to be very effective, according to both a series of hair analysis results from one patient published in the book – as well as comments from his delighted parents.

This particular patient was a five year old boy with a diagnosis of high functioning autism from a paediatrician,  Despite the “high functioning” label, he had “NIL social skills or language, stimming (head banging, and spinning) and poor eye contact, had gut pains and constipation.”  He had regressive autism with symptoms beginning at 18 months of age following a DPT vaccination.

With “natural biomed therapies” that included treatment for gut problems identified with a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis as well as chelation, after twenty-eight months this little boy was able to transfer from a special school to a normal school.

Michael Sichel also recommends spirulina as a supplement.  It is a source of metallothionein – a protein that helps to chelate heavy metals – as well as being a source of other useful nutrients.

An alkalising food, spirulina also helps to improve the body’s acid-base balance to facilitate chelation. Sichel warns that chelation therapies can be greatly compromised as by an acidic bloodstream.  This is one of the reasons that he recommends a largely vegetarian diet – from experience he has learned that children recover faster on a diet that excludes red meat. (He attributes this to the fact that many children he treats has digestive difficulties and also that residual adrenalin in meat can worsen hyperactivity.)  Sichel also gives alkalising drinks such as Alkanmax or Tri-Salts or advises parents to make up a drinking contain baking soda and citric acid and give this (sweetened with stevia powder) as part of their children’s treatment.

Sichel doesn’t neglect fut health, giving children  a product called Oxycolonic – an oral solution containing two types of “heavy” magnesium that draw fluid from surrounding tissue into the large bowel lumen to rehyrate and then clear impacted faeces.

Probiotics and other treatments to heal leaky gut, if present, are also used,  Michael Sichel also treats an overgrowth of candida when present – opting the starve the yeast of simple sugars as a primary treatment method –  but also uses natural antifungals as an adjunct.  He elicits children’s cooperation in following a sugar-free diet by giving them an illustration of candida, explaining how it makes them ill and exhorting them not to feed their enemy.

The misery that heavy metal poisoning can cause to a children and his or her family is starkly illustrated by the case of a girl who had developed lead poisoning as a result of being exposed for three days of “intense lead-paint dust”.  Subsequently she began to display unusual behaviour, and some months after she was poisoned a blood lead test was done.  it showed no lead – since by 46 days after expoosure, lead has either been either eliminated (via urine, stool) or sequestered in body tissues.

Four years later, the girl, now nine years old was brought to Sichel’s clinic “seriously psychologically damaged [from the lead poisoning]…[the girl] clung to her mother yet tried to attack her, she constantly attacked her sister. She listened to me only for moments, then regressing into rage and fear.  She was a pitiful young girl and I felt deeply for her and also, at presentation, quite helpless.”

Under Michael Sichel’s care a hair analysis showed high lead levels and within a few weeks he was able to stabilise her condition and then refer her to a practitioner closer to her home for further treatment.

Good News for the Alphabet Kids is a book that I would highly recommend to parents who   are concerned about their children’s health or development.  It would similarly be a useful reference for practitioners who are treating anyone with ASD, ADHD and other “mental health” conditions as well as chronic candidiasis.

–  Katherine Smith

This review was first published in issue 2 of The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine.

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