Susan Watts, RN, BScN, RHN
You may be interested in knowing why I opened the Autism Intervention Clinic. Since my nurse's training at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, I have held the belief that children are the responsibility of an entire community. With the rising rates of autism, it became obvious to me that "something" had gone awry with the health of our children.
In 2004, I attended a seminar in Toronto sponsored by the Autism Canada Foundation. Elaine Gottschall spoke on The Gut/Brain/Diet Connection and Autism. She recounted how her daughter's illness with "incurable" ulcerative colitis and subsequent recovery through dietary intervention, motivated Elaine to return to university at the age of 50 to study the digestive tract.
After the seminar, I spoke with a mother who had travelled from the United States to hear Elaine's presentation. This mom had a recently-diagnosed autistic child who had not spoken a word for the first three years of his life. On an Internet search, she learned that eliminating certain foods in her child's diet may be helpful for his condition. The mom immediately removed gluten and dairy. Within one week, he started to talk!
This chance encounter started me on a mission to learn all I could about this gut-brain connection. Unlike the message from the conventional medical community with words such as "incurable" and "permanent", there was obviously a new message of hope out there -- AUTISM IS TREATABLE!
Susan graduated from the Hospital for Sick Children (RN) and subsequently, obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BScN) at the University of British Columbia. To further her education, she studied nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and obtained a diploma as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN).
The majority of Susan's career has been in community nursing with the Victorian Order of Nurses, both in Newfoundland and Ontario. Prior to opening her Clinic, she worked in the natural health industry as medical liaison with consumer response, marketing and new product development for Purity Life Health Products.
In order to expand her knowledge base in biomedical intervention for autism, Susan attends the annual AutismOne conference in Chicago where international researchers, professionals and parents come together to learn the latest developments for healing and recovery. She has attended specialized practitioner training in Chicago (Defeat Autism Now!) and Toronto (Autism Canada). Susan took the Autism Research Institute's Nutrition Seminar (Dallas, Texas) in order to develop a strategy for the nutritional evaluation and treatment of patients with ASD.
As a member in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario (www.cno.org Registration #693094), Susan practices under the following CNO Guidelines: Complementary Therapies and Independent Practice. She is a member of her professional association, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO).