About Dougie

Dougie came into the world in the usual way — with ten fingers, ten toes, his father’s nose, and as the absolute most beautiful person his parents ever met.

Before Dougie could even scream at the terror of the delivery room’s bright lights, he was grabbed by a team of 13 doctors who sucked fluid from his lungs, measured his vital signs and spoke gibberish back and forth to each other.

He was placed in my epidural-numbed arms, after 10 long minutes of dealing with the white coat wearing men who called him “perfection.”

Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits rang from the speakers above my bed – melting the sound of the many wires and pumps that were still connected to me. I felt so blessed to be a mom, and Dougie was ecstatic to be a baby. He slept in my arms for hours.

Don’t even ask if I slept. He was just too amazing to look at!

Dougie got his first immunization before my epidural even wore off, and I signed consent with numb fingers. I would do everything in my power to keep him healthy and happy!

Dougie took his first steps at 8 months old, while I was out to lunch with a girl friend – isn’t that always the case? He said “uh oh” at 9 months and could identify colors at 12 months. At this point, my husband and I reveled in the wonder of our little genius who ate organic, loved his zucchini and never needed medication!

Then somewhere between 12-24 months, Dougie changed.

He experienced chronic ear and throat infections, and suffered through 5 rounds of back to back antibiotics. He stopped talking. He stopped walking.  He stopped answering to his name. He could stare at the wall for hours. He became insensitive to physical pain. He tantrummed all day and night. Now, our little zucchini loving toddler would only eat PIZZA!

I knew that I was looking at autism.

The one concept that didn’t click with me, though—was the whole “mystery” behind autism theory. I knew that I had a brilliant child and that I would get him back.

So, against pretty much everyone’s advice – Dougie and I took a journey through natural healing, beginning with the Body Ecology Diet. Addressing his digestive tract infection (that began at birth and was worsened by vaccines,illness and antibiotics) helped take care of his pizza cravings, and soon after introducing healing foods like young coconut kefir, his body craved what it really needed. We are now discovering a boy far more brilliant than I could even imagine.

Dougie in 2006 1 Month Raw

When Dougie was 3 and a half he received an official diagnosis of autism, after about a year of evaluating him through the Chicago Public School System. By that time in 2006 after going on a probiotic-rich raw food diet,  Dougie had already started his own cover band, covering songs from stars like Kanye West, Jason Mraz, Gwen Stefani and Elmo.  He also began  reading words. and helping me in the kitchen with green smoothie making.

Dougie March 2010

Dougie is 6 now, and he communicates everything on his mind quite clearly. He spent a year at Waldorf School and loved it. He takes yoga and drum class, helps around the house, dresses himself, plays games, jokes with us, and dispels the myths of the autism label each and every day.

Together, Dougie and I have used energy healing, sensory learning, movement, art and pure love and devotion for each other to help him break through and align with his true self. He is really the greatest healer I know.

We are now beginning an unschooling/ unschooling adventure that we expect to knock our socks off.

For him, I open my heart to other families who wish this kind of joy in their lives.


Gina (Douigie’s Mom)

Gina LaVerde


12 responses to “About Dougie

  1. G..This was beautiful and the song made me cry…..you are such an amazing Mama. Love you!

  2. oh gina! words can not express the impact you and dougie have had on my life!

    you are a shining star!
    love you~

  3. This part of your blog gives me so much HOPE, I like you have a child who was labeled with Autism, he is well on his way to recovery also, he is still non-verbal which is something I struggle with daily, he uses sign language to communucate his needs, which has been a life saver for us and him. I can not wait to post something like this in our blog also! I know that one day I will able, I have no doubts! We are currently doing CEASE therapy (homeopathy) to recover him and hopefully his speech will come eventually. He is 4 years old now and I have yet to hear him call me mommy, very painful but like I said at the beggining I have very high Hopes that one day he will be able to. I will be sure to take advantage of the Kefir recepies you have posted on here, I tried to make my own once but I don’t think I used the right container so it didn’t work 😦 But this time I know it will, thanks for sharing Dougies story, it sure brings HOPE to all who read about him I am sure, I can tell you for me it totally made my day:) Alex will make it, I know he will, God is with me every step of the way, and with other moms like you inspiring us to keep going I know recoevry is the only option here!

    Lucy, mommy to 2 beautiful beings!
    Alex (4yrs old) and Julianna (18 months)

  4. Thanks, your pretty SUPER yourself 🙂

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  9. Unschooling was one of the best things for my sons James and Philip. After third and fourth grade we started doing homeschooling. I realized that didn’t really resonate with us. I then learned about Unschooling and that was it. At first I thought truant officers would be at the door but I didn’t stop. They are now 26 and 24. SELF directed learning or really remembering who we really are has been fantastic. We live in Illinois.

  10. Pingback: Stories of vaccine-injured children

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