A Tragic Loss

Dr Bradstreet AutismOne 2015I was not privileged to meet Dr Bradstreet, I have learned of him from his patients and from his highly informed talks at Autism One in May 2015.[1] I can assume his message to us might be something like this: “Be a difference maker, even if it costs you everything.” Dr Bradstreet was by no means perfect – he was a man who struggled – as we all do. Yet, he was brave in the face of adversity, he was compassionate with those overlooked by society, he demonstrated strength and hope and sought to bring healing and inspiration to many despite enormous obstacles. May his life inspire many to great levels of courage.

A Tribute to a Man Whose Work I Admire

We may not understand how and why Jeff Bradstreet died. But countless families can tell you why he lived.[2]

Dr Bradstreet didn’t claim to have the last word or know everything, but he valiantly explored and experimented with many treatment options and brought healing to many who had been given a diagnosis of ASD. He tirelessly researched ALL the science available on the topic of autism. His depth of knowledge of all the factors related to autism, and the personalized treatment protocols for individual children were epic. He was a walking PubMed reference resource. His primary goal was to understand what was going on in the body and brain of children trapped in a non-responsive body that had been discarded by mainstream practitioners. He focused on helping parents and caregivers understand that the many overwhelming behaviors displayed by their autistic child had a physical cause and when symptoms were diagnosed and treated, behavior improved.

He was thrust into the autism arena through the reality of autism he experienced with his own son. He candidly describes his journey of having a six-year-old non-verbal, self-injurious, fecal obsessed and fecal smearing son for whom no one would have given any hope of education. He relates his long journey towards healing involving many novel treatments and proudly shared the announcement that his son had just graduated from high school on 25 May 2015 at age 21 AND had been accepted to a college in Florida. Perhaps only those closely associated with a severely autistic child can understand the enormity of such an accomplishment.

The death of Dr Bradstreet is a tragic loss to all.

He was a man with answers, hope, and great insight into healing autism. He didn’t claim to have 100% cure rates and he recognized that many methods that achieved great success for some children might not work for others. Each child was unique. He possessed great optimism that he would find even more answers, better personalized healing programs and faster, more effective healing for many more families through the amazing collaborations he had going with several different partners on the cutting edge of brain research.

Dr Bradstreet demonstrated incredible love for the children and families that he served. He understood their pain because he shared it. He listened to the mothers and encouraged them to be active participants in observing the symptoms and effective treatments for their own children. He called them “Dr Mom.” He said they had earned their degree. He shared love, healing and hope with all who came into contact with him.

Dr Bradstreet wasn’t too worried about pandering to mainstream thinking. He sought effective healing modalities. He was willing to experiment and think outside the box. He sought wisdom from others and collaborated widely with great innovation. He recognized many evil forces in the world that had collided to cause severe illness to an incredible number of children – impacting the entire family. He recognized evil forces colluding in cover-up and harmful drug based treatment promotion and the acceptance of lifelong sickness and labels. He worked tirelessly against the malaise brought on families overwhelmed by the burden of severe autism. He brought restored hope for healing.

Every life cut short – especially a vital life overflowing with helping others and making the world a better place – is tragic. Sorrow is natural. As we reflect on the pain of life, God wants to use it to lead us to a better place.

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There is no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Life is too short to hate or to allow bitterness to fester. Evil is real. Ignorance of the evil abounds. Our best opposition is love. We love others as we share truth – even in the face of opposition. Dr Bradstreet demonstrated this. He chose a life of honor. He sought truth. He did not seek mainstream praise and popularity. He sought justice and brought hope and healing to many.

Dr Bradstreet will be sorely missed by his family and his many patients. He will be missed by his collaborative partners with whom he designed unique healing modalities. I pray that through this tragic loss, the healing protocols he pioneered will be multiplied exponentially among those who currently suffer with any type of autism/brain injury. I pray that there will be great triumph as we remember his life and the help he brought to so many.

I pray new brave doctors will rise up to continue his bold research in autism cures.

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother with a passion for health, Jesus and joy. 

[1] Dr Bradstreet, Autism One Conference, May 2015, How Close Are We To An Autism Cure? Part 1

[2] Sheila Rogers DeMare, MS, Founder and Director of the nonprofit Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy (ACN), is a leader in the field of integrative therapies for neuropsychiatric and behavioral disorders. http://latitudes.org/tragic-loss-of-jeffrey-bradstreet-md/

3 thoughts on “A Tragic Loss

  1. For someone who never knew Jeff Bradstreet personally you have very precisely and correctly described his character as one who was fighting in the ‘trenches’ with all of us, particularly those of us searching for answers to ‘Autism’. He became part of our families, which brought us ALL together as family which was a HUGE comfort to all who are dealing with ‘Autism’. Dr. Bradstreet was a light in the darkness for me, who knew that ‘something’ caused my son to suddenly become ‘Autistic’ but was time after time told that there was no treatment, no cure and that I was wasting my time. I began referring to myself as ‘the Lone Ranger’. My son reacted very similarly to his 18 month vaccines as his son did, poop smearing and all. Before those vaccines he was known as Mr. Personality. After vaccines he became an empty shell who made absolutely no eye contact, stopped responding to the human voice and ran through the house or laid, rolling on the floor screaming at all hours of the night. When I met Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, I felt a sense of relief to finally find someone who knew what I knew in my heart…that something caused this sudden change in my son, so there must be some way to reverse it. Dr. Jeff began treating my son in 1998, traveling across the state to administer therapies for autistic children. Knowing my struggles as a single parent he offered to treat my son as a ministry and never charged me a dime. He prayed before each treatment, which immediately calmed my son who was 7 at the time. Many times I knew Dr. B had been up all night searching for answers, particularly for classic non-responders such as my son. But he forged onward. I know this was a huge frustration for Dr. B, as he understood as I did, that ‘time was of the essence’. My son has improved, makes very good eye contact and began smiling again, he has the most beautiful smile, but he is still very much ‘autistic’ at age 24 with no academic skills, little social or personal care skills although he now toilets appropriately. I regret getting overwhelmed and burned out several years ago, as I focused my attention on battling local education systems, and fell away from researching treatments. I was very disappointed when Dr. Bradstreet moved and opened his wellness center in GA. I could not afford fly my son there and didn’t have a dependable vehicle that would make it there safely. I do realize now that Dr. B would have likely found a way for me to get him there. I also regret not following his treatments the last several years. I believe my son would be so much farther along, but no one except a single parent of an autistic child would have a clue what the frustration feels like, trying to find answers, and dealing with the erratic, senseless behaviors of a severely autistic child. Dr. Bradstreet summed it up correctly when he stated that we suffer from PTSD. You feel the need to ‘shut down’ to survive the stress and frustration you feel. I do have lots of conference videos to catch up on and I intend on doing so, but I am years behind. Jeffs work will live on. I feel that he was very close to his dream goal of finding treatments/therapies that would help all to improve and very possibly recover. Such a TRAGIC loss. Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet was a faithful man of God and would never commit suicide. He had NO REASON to. However the people responsible for his death may find themselves strongly considering it. They will NEVER have peace in this world or the next. Jeff Bradstreet IS AT PEACE FOREVER! Praise God.

    • It is impossible for anyone who has not been through this experience to truly understand the depths of physical, mental and emotional anguish of your journey. I certainly don’t have answers, but I pray you will draw close to the one who has ALL the answers. My utmost prayer would be that every family impacted by autism would be able to receive the same healing described in the Gospels and the book of Acts, as Jesus and His disciples set people free from the evil oppression in their day.

      I am sure you have probably exhausted yourself in praying for healing and seeking healing in whatever means offered hope. I pray with you that you will be strengthened in your heart and soul and find victory and peace in the midst of your challenge. I pray that you will be led to helpful answers for your precious son – a child of God and of great worth in His sight.

      Becky

  2. Thank you Becky, I can say that I remember one day as I cried out to God as I was driving, pleading for Him to heal my boy because I know He can do it in an instant…. I got a revelation that it does not matter in ‘this world’… This life is like a split second compared to everlasting life with Him. Lindy

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