A journey of autism recovery told through the eyes of doctors, parents and children.

When diet and environment interventions are used, recovery from autism IS possible.

Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery A Project of Documentaries

Autism treated as a medical condition, recovery IS possible!

The "experts" said Ryan would need to be institutionalized. But they were wrong. That autism diagnosis ripped away every dream we had for his future. Ryan is now an engineer at a major aerospace company. His recovery was not miraculous. It was the result of receiving proper medical care.

Children are recovering from autism, and yet, the general public and most doctors are unaware this is possible. When doctors believe autism is a "developmental disorder" and nothing can be done, children are not treated for the same medical conditions as other kids. But an autism diagnosis no longer has to mean "game over."

-Marcia Hinds (parent)

Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery is a documentary film that captures the success of families and practitioners who are drastically transforming the lives of children with autism by changing the food they eat and the environments they play, learn and live in. Through interviews with parents, children and practitioners audiences explore how biomedical and dietary interventions are dramatically changing how children interact and perform in school. Watch as children experience less temper tantrums and gastrointestinal issues and become skilled communicators again. While recovery looks different for each family and each child, some children are actually losing their autism diagnosis through these applied interventions.

Millions of children are currently suffering from autism, ADHD, and other developmental issues as families search for solutions that help their children regain social function. Since 1975, the rate of autism has risen 500 percent. In the United States, 1 in 6 children have developmental delays. Following these trends, by 2025, half of all children born in the US may be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Michael Ganz, a health professor at Harvard, says it costs $3.2 million to care for a person with autism over their entire life. 35 billion dollars per year are spent on alleviating the affects autism has on financial, social, and familial institutions.

After the release of Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery, families and practitioners will be connected in a supportive network, beginning with our screenings, where they can share inside tips on recovery methods, recipes, personal experiences and stories. This supportive network will have a basis on Restoring Balance's website and social media and will connect new families with local resources of other parents who have been through the process and local doctors that have knowledge of biomedical treatment. The network will then continue to support these relationships so the process continues to grow until everyone has access to the information and local resources for their families.

Some people think we should just accept autism. And that if a child is treated it changes who that kid is. I am still the same person I was, only now I'm happy and can enjoy life. It's hard to understand that children are not receiving proper medical treatment because some people think we should only celebrate autism. When doctors believe the medical issues associated with autism are just part of a "developmental disorder" children are not treated for the same medical conditions as other kids. Is that really OK?"

-Ryan Hinds

Autism is a diagnosis, and a starting point. Join the families, practitioners, and children of Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery in telling the story of their journey to autism recovery. Make a donation to support the postproduction and outreach process of this documentary!

Jennifer and Andrew - Austin, Texas

Jennifer and Andrew knew there were issues with Gideon when he began having screaming bouts, issues sleeping, delays in language, and would only repeat what was said to him, never generating words of his own. Shortly after age 2 Gideon was diagnosed with autism. Their second child, Evie, was also diagnosed on the spectrum. Jennifer and Andrew demonstrate how to take notes on child behavior and making food from scratch with their children. As both children were provided new diets, they became more engaged, and now attend regular classes in school. Jennifer has written a book to detail the journey they went through recovering both of their children.

Dan and Angela - Baltimore, Maryland

Dan and Angela's son James began a habit of banning his head, wasn't talking and had developmental delays. After the diet change James had from the recommendation of a (DAN) Defeat Autism Now doctor, he began to improve dramatically. IT took some time to figure out the other detoxification methods and supplements he needed, but now James attends a mainstream classroom and has lost his autism diagnosis. James and Angela offer parents tips for starting this journey and describe how to make food from scratch. Angela has authored her own cookbook on variations of the GAPS diet and continues to help other families on the joinery after diagnosis.

Rosanne - Los Angeles, California

Theodore spoke many words and hit his developmental goals before he had a regression at age 2. Theodore lost much of his vocabulary and regressed with social interaction and eye contact. A year later his mother Rosanne found a biomedical doctor and they began a gluten free, dairy free diet. Even though it was expensive to start treatment, Rosanne did all she could, even if it meant putting some of his treatment on credit cards. Soon, Theodore began talking more and gradually and his eye contact improved. Theodore now attends school full time in a mainstream classroom.

Support these families and the others in the project in telling the story of their journey to autism recovery. Make a donation to help the postproduction and outreach process of this documentary!

Listen to the BlogTalkRadio interview with Carole Dean and Director Ryan Hetrick on, marketing, distribution and autism recovery.


Postproduction and Outreach Goals

Animation will be a significant piece of the puzzle for this documentary because many biological processes will be explained. The audience will relate and understand the information when it's presented with visual support. Funding will enable us to provide educational opportunities to young adults on the autism spectrum. 6-10 students can rotate through the post-production roles. Students will have an opportunity to log footage, edit interviews, add special effects and animation, while reviewing each other's work.

Restoring Balance has raised $12,000 from crowd funding, private donations and producer investment. The crowdfunding effort was able to springboard the first interviews of the documentary. Several private donations funded the middle of production while the director and producers of the film made an investment to finish it.

The crowd rise funding campaign also was paired with presentations where parents and other community members met to learn about biomedical treatments for autism and other behavioral challenges. Some of the families who attended stayed in touch and also saw benefit in their children when they began to make changes to diet and environment.

The funding made it possible to document parents and practitioners from around the nation in Arizona, California, Washington, Texas, Maryland, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Carolina and abroad from Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Germany.

This network is only the beginning of our outreach program and what will become an online mixed with grass roots community organization. This will spawn from the website and the screenings that will take place all over the world. This outreach network will provide a resource of video information and connections to autism families and practitioners in a state-by-state location database. There will be an online forum network for all of these communities to share ideas and experiences. A place for the new families to go and be given guidance that the previous parents wish they had.

There will be screenings nationwide hosted by families, autism biomedical practitioners meeting to connect with other interested families. Theater spaces would be rented out for select screenings with local audiences. With these funds we would bring several of the practitioners and families in the documentary to the screenings for Q and A sessions.

Join the families, practitioners, and children of Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery in telling the story of their journey. Make a donation today to support the outreach and networking process of the documentary.

Actors for Autism Sponsors and Supports This Project!

Student Editors and Animators

Patrick, Assistant Editor

Patrick has attended Actors for Autism for 6 years and during that time has gone through the film program and several internship programs. Patrick currently edits a TV show (Furrever Friends) for the Humane Society for GTV6 in Glendale CA. Patrick completes other freelance projects at AFA under the Microenterprise program.

Matt: Assistant Animator

Matt attended Glendale Community College receiving a certificate for digital animation. Matt has attended the Animation program at AFA for 2 years. Matt has showcased 2 short animation projects at AFA's Film Festival these projects were written, animated and edited solely by Matt.

Mark: Assistant Animator and Visual Effects

Mark completed a 2 year program at AFA for Animation and is currently going into his second year in the Visual Effects program. Before AFA Mark received a certificate from Rio Hondo College as an art major.

Autism is a diagnosis, and a starting point. Join the families, practitioners, and children of Restoring Balance: Autism Recovery in telling the story of their journey to autism recovery. Make a donation to support the editing process of this film, and help employ a student editing and animation team!

Production Team

Ryan Hetrick, Producer/Director

Ryan has worked in the behavioral health field with autism spectrum clients for over 11 years, aged from 2 to 30, as a neurocognitive and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. One of the families he worked with began dietary interventions and their child experienced expansions in vocabulary, eye contact and overall social interaction. After years working with children on the autism spectrum, it was easy to see that dietary and biomedical therapies made a large beneficial impact, and Ryan was motivated to make this film after seeing the results firsthand.

Ryan has taught courses in acting, writing, and film editing for children at Actors for Autism. While in Los Angeles, Ryan became a health and nutrition coach, working with teens on the autism spectrum to make nutritional goals achievable.

Dr. Alisa Wolf, Executive Producer

As a parent of a child on the autistic spectrum Dr. Alisa Wolf faced the same challenges many parents face. She started developing programs for local non-profit organizations PAUSE4KIDS and L.A. Unified School District's Arts Community Partnership to fully integrate children with autism in their communities. This led Dr. Wolf to start the non-profit organization, Actors for Autism. Actors for Autism (AfA) is dedicated to providing acting, film, television and theatre programs for children and young adults on the autism spectrum.

Alisa Wolf is a Television and Media Consultant, author, educator, and Producer. Dr. Wolf consults with studio executives and film-makers to educate them about developing programming for film and television. In addition, she coaches actors diagnosed with autism on set.

In her most recent film, Kids With Cameras, Alisa highlights children with autism while they make animated films! While filming, she collaborated with veteran film producer, Alex Rotaru.

As an arts educator Dr. Wolf has developed curricula and implemented programs in acting, film-making, animation, and video game design. She created a social skills program for individuals with disabilities, which incorporates the arts.

Charlie Canfield, Animator

Charlie Canfield is a 4-time Emmy award-winning animator, designer, and director creating sequences for film, documentaries and ads for over 25 years, with an emphasis on digitally hand-drawn animation.

His work ranges from drawn cartoons to computer graphics, special effects, and motion control camera shooting for employers such as Colossal Pictures, Wild Brain Inc, Industrial Light and Magic, Digital Kitchen, Mondo Media, MTV, Nickelodeon, Alpha Cine, and many independent filmmakers.

Awards, nominations and selections include the international film and animation festivals of Ottawa, Zagreb, London, Melbourne, New Zealand, San Francisco, Sundance, Anima Mundi, The world Animation Celebration, and organizations such as The Northern CA Emmy's, The Addy's, and Ad Age.

Shanna Forrestall, Producer

Shanna is an experienced producer with years of experience as an associate producer for a variety of television projects for networks like A&E, The History Channel and TruTV. She has also produced six short films in the US that tackle social issues, and several video projects in India to support a school for disabled children and to raise awareness on the plight of eunuchs in Indian society.

Shanna is a lifelong humanitarian and is most proud of her non-profit work around the world.

Danny Gamez Post Production Supervisor

Danny Gamez has an MFA from UCLA's Graduate School of Film, Television, and Digital Media. He received is Bachelors Degree with Honors from the Tisch School of Arts in New York. He has extensive experience in the film and television industry both in the U.S. and abroad with the BBC in London.

His film credits include; Pleasantville, Seabicuit, Austin Powers and Magnolia for production companies such as Double AA Films, Falcon Lair Fims, Larger Than Life Productions, and New Line Cinema. His television credits include shows on HBO (How To Make it in America, Sex and the City), SHOWTIME (United States of Tara), ABC (Brothers and Sisters), Warner Brothers (The War at Home), NBC (Dateline)

Genevieve Pickard, Cinematography/ Editor/ Social Media Marketing

Genevieve is a photographer, video editor, cinematographer and marketing coordinator in Los Angeles whostarted her career with CBS Channel 6 Orlando. She graduated from Full Sail University"s film and television program. Genevieve coordinates Restoring Balance's social media and contributes to the film's exposure. Genevieve assisted with 25 of the 35 shoots.

Jayme Jennings, Cinematography

Jayme Jennings is a Filmmaker and Artist from Pittsburgh PA, cofounder of Artist Collective/ Media House Birdhome Productions, LLC. He has worked as a Director, Cinematographer, and Art Director in the Pittsburgh Micro- Budget Film Community. Jayme has taken part in producing, directing, filming and editing documentaries in Pittsburgh. Jayme is a graduate of Point Park University's film program. Jayme was behind the camera for 6 of the 35 shoots and guided Restoring Balance on visual style.

T.C. Jones, Story Editor

T.C. Jones is a writer who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the fiction editor at LimeHawk Literary Arts Collective, a NYC based magazine. His fiction work has appeared in the Monarch Review, WhiskeyPaper, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, and others. T. C. is also creator of Jam2Jam, an organization that produces literary, film and musical performance venues for local artists. Jam2Jam collaborates with local organizations to offer community exposure to artist networks.

Charlie Dominick, Assistant Production Manager & Assistant Video Editor

Charlie Dominick is a filmmaker currently developing his first feature length film. He wrote, directed and edited his first short film, Explode, which was screened for audiences in the Pittsburgh and Buffalo region in 2011. Charlie is a Graduate of Point Park University with a bachelor's degree in Filmmaking.

Jeremy Yellon, Production/Fundraising Coordinator

Jeremy started his career as Community Inclusionist, helping people diagnosed with mental issues to improve their social and functional skills. He also worked as Therapeutic Staff Support, assisting parents of children who were non-verbal in motivating and disciplining them in a positive manner. While working in the mental healing field, he worked with people diagnosed with autism and learned how many have dietary and digestive issues.

Jeremy organizes community events with various authors and self-help/empowerment educators on topics such as healthy eating, self-esteem, and communication.

"My 11 year old autistic son was ill with abdominal pain for nine months. He wasn't eating (surviving with Boost through a syringe,) lost 30 pounds, and wouldn't sleep for days from severe pain. We had him to a prominent local children's hospital, which put my son through invasive tests (upper GI, colonoscopy,) endless blood draws, stool studies, etc. Infectious disease and GI specialists met with us who both were totally mystified. Our choices were: start over at another children's hospital five hours away (more invasive testing), or go at this another direction. A few of the basic premises: go organic- no GMO's- and incorporate safe detox from heavy metals accumulated. My son has been following the diet for five months now- and we can happily report he is pain free! We have our boy back!

— Julie, Parent

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$1,231 Raised
15% towards $8,000 Goal

Supported by 23 Donations:

  • Silhouette
    We Olive & Wine Bar Mardi-Gras Fundraiser
  • Gary Y.
    I Gave $100
    Love supporting a great cause! From Gary Ybarra at Gemlife Financial
  • Matt K.
    I Gave $25
  • Erin B.
    I Gave $25
    What an amazing project!
  • Jeremy  Y.
    I Gave $25
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $25
    What amazing stories!
  • Kelly M.
    I Gave $15
  • Brian W.
    I Gave $25
    Help these children!
  • Charlie D.
    Ryan's passion and intense commitment to his vision has inspired me for the past decade.
  • Brian W.
    Great project!
  • Silhouette
  • Nancy S P.
  • Jeff K.
    I Gave $25
    Keep up this important work!
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $50
    Keep up the good work!
  • Jennifer B.
    Amazing work, Ryan!
  • Jeremy  Y.
    I Gave $5.55
    ALL children can and WILL be healthy, free, and conscious soon! We are being our best when we help the next generations!
    I Gave $50
  • Judy S.
    I Gave $25
    A very important cause-I highly support this and hope it inspires others like I have been inspired.
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $25
    would like to see an end to autism!!
  • Hamilton Neuro Immune Treatment Centre of Excellence H.
  • Silhouette
    Can't wait until this information gets out to those who need it!
  • Marcia H.
    Children are recovering from autism and yet most doctors don't even know this is possible. RESTORING BALANCE:AUTISM RECOVERY will change the paradigm.