A Closer Look at the DAN! Protocol

Standard autism treatments focus on behavior modification techniques, improving developmental delays, speech-language therapy and learning to cope with sensory issues. While these therapies can improve the quality of life for a child with autism, they do nothing about the underlying medical conditions and imbalances that challenge an autistic child’s daily life. The Dan! Protocol is a medical intervention that seeks to correct the physical issues not addressed by traditional autism therapies.

The Dan! Protocol’s overwhelming success comes from its unique, individualized approach as well as its biomedical focus. Since treatment is always preceded by extensive lab work, a Dan! doctor knows the biological deficiencies, imbalances and maladaptive responses for each child before an individualized treatment plan is designed and implemented.

There is not a standard protocol for every child. While many autistic children have similar medical issues such as food intolerances, digestive problems, yeast overgrowth and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, children are always treated according to their individual lab tests. For one child that might mean a gluten-free casein-free diet, digestive enzymes and probiotics to help restore intestinal bacteria balance. Another child might need a strong vitamin and mineral supplement, mb-12 injections, IV glutathione and other chelation methods to address a high level of heavy metals in the body.

Each treatment method has a specific medical reason for being used. Yeast overgrowth impairs digestion and creates malnutrition. Food intolerances cause inflammation, absorption issues and pain. When you correct an autistic child’s medical problems, many undesirable behaviors automatically improve.

What Is DAN!?, What Can I Expect At My DAN! Appointment? and other Frequently Asked Questions


As a parent, making the decision to see a DAN! doctor is a difficult task.  Surely, you will search the internet until the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out where you can find a DAN! doctor, what’s going to happen in your appointment, and the benefits of the DAN! protocol over currently mainstream Autism treatments. This week, we hope to shine a little light on the DAN! protocol, DAN! doctors, and what you can expect at your DAN! appointment.

It becomes more and more evident with research that a biochemical disruption has, at the very least, a small connection to Autism. A great deal of specialists, researchers, and parents of Autism believe that it has quite a large impact on the developmental disorder that is currently affecting 1 in every 110 children in the USA.

Where Can I Find a DAN! Doctor?

A simple internet search will bring up many lists of DAN doctors. (We like this list for US doctors and this one for international doctors) It may be somewhat difficult to get a recommendation from your family doctor depending on his or her personal views on the DAN! protocol and the DAN practice in general. Be prepared to hear reasons why you shouldn’t see a DAN! doctor. Listen to the reasons, but also take a look at the reasons why it may be a good move for your child. After all, isn’t that what it boils down to? What’s best for your child?

What is a DAN! Doctor? What makes them different than a regular pediatrician or family doctor?

If you’re a parent, then you probably just “knew” something was going on inside your child’s body. As parents its just nature to realize if something is wrong. Maybe you made an appointment at your family doctor. If that was the case, you may have walked out with a suggestion to go through a battery of tests. Or, you may have walked out with a prescription for a psychiatric medication that would help calm the symptoms.

Some Autism families decide to use psychiatric drugs prescribed by their family doctor to control Autism symptoms, but these drugs do not balance the biochemical levels. However, with the biochemical connection, some parents decide to choose an alternative medication doctor who can target the specialized biochemical imbalance. These doctors, called “Defeat Autism Now” or DAN! doctors are credentialed doctors who go through DAN! training and develop skills to treat Autism using alternative forms of medical treatments (or DAN! protocol) which explores treatments beyond psychiatric drugs.

DAN! Protocol? What is that?

The Defeat Autism Now! Protocol is a series of alternative medicine solutions for Autism. There are several avenues that a DAN! Doctor may explore, but traditionally, the following plan may be enforced.

Dietary intervention: Omission of Gluten (Wheat) and Casein (Dairy) products from your child’s diet. Additionally omitting junk foods that have refined sugar.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements – To balance out the dietary changes, replacement minerals and vitamins that the body may lack will be supplemented. Some of the vitamins and minerals commonly supplemented:  Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B5.
Chelation – the removal of heavy metals which have proven to be very destructive to the Autistic body
Treatment of intestinal bacteria

What can I expect at my DAN! Doctor Appointment?

A large determining factor of what to expect depends on the doctor. Many parents report a friendly and helpful physician who is just as interested in the road to a cure as you are. Their focus isn’t so much on treating the symptoms of Autism so much as healing the damaged, Autistic body. With this approach, symptom improvement often comes naturally.

Your child will more than likely go through a battery of testing mostly revolving around the state of their internal body. A test for hidden food allergies will be conducted to be sure that any dietary changes that are made as part of your child’s treatment plan are beneficial and not more damaging to them.

You should leave with your questions answered and a customized treatment plan for your child’s needs. If you have questions, ask, ask, ask. Remember, these doctors chose to be DAN! doctors. They believe in this treatment method, and want to see your child healthy.

The DAN! Project

What is “DAN!”?

DAN! stands for “Defeat Autism Now!” and is a project which was initiated by The Autism Research Institute to educate parents, caregivers and therapists about the biomedical approach to healing autism and biomedical testing and research.


The Autism Research Institute (ARI) believe, as do I, that autism is a treatable condition and that psychotropic drugs, with all of their side effects, are not the best way to treat autism spectrum disorders. The ARI, and many physicians and researchers, believe that there are more effective ways to alleviate, and sometimes cure, these disorders.

Mission Statement

The Defeat Autism Now! project’s mission statement is:-
“Defeat Autism Now! is dedicated to the exploration, evaluation and dissemination of scientifically documented biomedical interventions for individuals within the autism spectrum, through the collaborative efforts of clinicians, researchers and parents.”

[Read more…]