Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Donna Williams – The Importance Of Recognising Gut, Metabolic and Auto-Immune Disorders in Autism Fruit Salads

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Donna Williams 26 photo


PAUL ISAACS: What in your view is the importance in understanding people on the spectrum who have very specific gut, metabolic and autoimmune disorders (as part of their fruit salad) like yourself?

DONNA WILLIAMS: More recent studies have been finding that around 30-50% of those diagnosed with classical autism have different gut, immune, metabolic disorders. Where any child is failing to gain weight, is not growing, showing signs associated with malnutrition, bowel issues, allergy symptoms, behaviors indicating possible neuropathic pain, headaches, migraine, unexplained fever or signs of autonomic dysfunction then gut, immune, metabolic disorders should be considered and checked out.

Neuro-immune dysfunction can present as autism but once the health issues are addressed on an ongoing basis the child has a change to restore some neurological equilibrium which may put development back on track for them.

Every person with autism deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. For those with addressable health issues, addressing these may be a big part of that.

For those without addressable health disorders this may mean helping that person to stretch their abilities where possible, adapting to that person’s disabilities or teaching them to communicate or advocate about their differences.

It is essential we do not project any one size fits all health reality onto all people with autism. It is as inhumane and wasteful to project health issues onto those who don’t have them as it is to ignore the health issues of those who do have these through fobbing everything off as ‘that’s just part of their autism’.


Thanks Donna for your insight and wisdom 🙂


Paul Isaacs  2014


Author: Paul Isaacs

Paul was branded as a “naughty & difficult child” at school. He was classically autistic and non-verbal due to speech articulation difficulties. He had complex sensory issues and appeared both deaf and blind. He gained functional speech around the age of 7 or 8 years old. He went through the mainstream school system with no additional help or recognition of his autism. Consequently, he did not achieve his academic or his social potential and had very low self-esteem. At age 11, Paul was referred to the children’s mental health service with childhood depression where he was regarded as “developmentally underage” and having speech problems. As an adult, Paul had a string of unsuccessful jobs, and his mental health suffered. He developed both Borderline and Schizotypal Personality Disorders in early 2007. He was referred to mental health services and misdiagnosed with “Asperger traits with a complex personality”, which did not satisfy Paul or his family. A local autism organisation put Paul in touch with an experienced psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with Autism at 24 years old. In 2012 Paul was also diagnosed with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome by an Irlen Consultant who confirmed that he also had face, object and meaning blindness – conditions which Paul describes eloquently in his speeches and training sessions. He also has dyslexia, dyscalculia and also a dissociative disorder. Having started working as an local autism organisation as a public speaker in 2010, Paul joined their mission to promote autism awareness. His hope is that others will not have to suffer as he did. Now also a core member of our Training Team, Paul continues to enhance true understanding of autism at every opportunity. Paul has released and published 5 books on the subject of autism published by Chipmunka publishing and has contributed to other books too. Having overcome many challenges to achieve the success that he now enjoys, Paul’s message is that Autism is a complex mix of ability and disability. He firmly believes that every Autistic person should have the opportunity to reach their potential and be regarded as a valued member of society. Apart from autism related blogs Paul also write about movies, fashion, art and anything that is of interest. As of August 2015 Paul now works as a freelance speaker, training and consultant in and around the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire area. If you are interested please contact him via email at

One thought on “Donna Williams – The Importance Of Recognising Gut, Metabolic and Auto-Immune Disorders in Autism Fruit Salads

  1. Pingback: Most Common “Pieces” in People’s Autism “Fruit Salad | Paul Isaacs' Blog

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