Every child is a brilliant learner. Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. presents Dr. JoQueta Handy, an Integrative Medicine Practitioner who opens new pathways to educate children with autism. Dr. JoQueta has an immense passion for helping these children succeed in the classroom. She explains that every child is full of learning potential; we just need to step back and let them show us how they learn best. Join in the conversation and discover Dr. JoQueta’s medical journey over the decades. She has developed a holistic strategy, which begins with nutrition, to bring out the children’s unique strengths. Her progress is sure to aid not only those with learning disabilities but humanity as a whole. Tune in!
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Every Child Is Brilliant: Helping Children With Autism With Dr. JoQueta Handy
Dr. JoQueta Handy is a speaker, author, educator and integrative medicine practitioner who was opening new pathways to educate children with learning disabilities. Dr. Handy’s methodology is a result of extensive research showing that learning disabled individuals are exceptional in their capability to learn. They can be especially gifted in visual learning and are capable of reaching astonishing levels of potential if they are educated in an appropriate way. Dr. Handy has developed a holistic strategy that begins with nutritional protocols and progresses to employ the specialized visual and kinesthetic strategies that can leverage these individual’s unique and tremendous strengths.
Welcome. Thank you for being here.
Thank you. I am happy to be with you. This is great.
I’m very excited that my colleague, Mark, introduced us. I’m looking forward to hear more about what you do. Could you start us off by telling us about how you got into the work that you’re doing and what drives your passion for it?
The way I met Mark was through Brilliant Blends which is an adaptogen-based company. The way that I got started in doing that is from 30 years of working with autistic children and their families. My Master’s Degree was in Speech-Language Pathology. Pretty much right out of grad school, I went to New York and I was working on a government grant with Lovaas, which is now called ABA. We were sent into Borough Park, Brooklyn and working with families with children in the 0 to 3 range. These babies were so sick and this was in ‘92. I had no idea what was wrong with them and they were saying, “This is autism.”
I don’t remember learning about autism in grad school. I went to Boston University. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention or something that day. I saw these babies and these parents struggling so much. All that these parents had are these giant bottles of Kirkman Labs vitamin B. They were saying, “This is just a B vitamin deficiency.” It wasn’t. I knew that that wasn’t right but I didn’t know why it wasn’t right. I’d always had a passion for nutrition. I started going back and taking classes in nutrition and natural medicine. I got my first certification in 1994 to work as a naturopath. I began incorporating that into my practice. In ‘96, I moved to California and was partnering with a child development specialist.
I began seeing more autistic children and families. My passion had always been to see the children be successful in the classroom. It was combining nutrition, using supplementation, herbs, vitamins, lots of different things, and working with sensory integration, training, and language development. Fast forward, I ended up building five different schools for children with autism and their families around my passion for seeing them be successful in the way that I believed that they could learn the best. We called it Brilliant Learning because my philosophy is always that every child is a brilliant learner. We just need to step back and let them show us how they learn best. From there, we moved into the pandemic and I had been obsessed with Johns Hopkins’ James Fadiman’s research out of Stanford for years.
They were all working with psilocybin. Having the background with autistic children and that gut-brain connection but most of all, how do we work on that sensory system, with the brain and around brain chemistry. I became obsessed with learning more about psilocybin and psychedelics and how they work with the brain. When the pandemic hit, I started seeing more teenagers in my practice who had tried to commit suicide and were labeled with medication-resistive depression. Even in some circles, it’s considered a fatal diagnosis and I was like, “This is unbelievable this level of stress that we’re seeing, and this level of psychotropic drugs that these teenagers and young people are being given.”
Every child is a brilliant learner. We just need to step back and let them show us how they learn best.
That was one of the things in my background with autism. A lot of autistic children don’t do well with medication. We have to think outside of the box and use other tools. That’s where I had spent 30 years working. I felt like I had to do something. What can I do? Psilocybin isn’t legal so I worked on two different formulations called Adapt and Thrive. I started a company called Brilliant Blends. That is 100% legal adaptogen blends. Adapt is all around reducing anxiety, calmness and memory.
I wanted to honor what autistic children have taught me. They have been my greatest teachers. They have changed the way that I practiced and look at human beings. In honoring them, Adapt is the most researched adaptogen for ASD children, but what works for an ASD child works for everybody. ASD children are here to teach us what we’re doing wrong, which they’ve clearly done with our food, medicine and environment. Thrive is all around honoring their parents. Fifty percent of the parents with an ASD child and a special needs child have PTSD. Thrive is all around mood elevation, energy level, focus and attention. It works for everyone. That’s where I am now in a nutshell and how I got here, and it has been a wonderful journey.
When you say Adapt and Thrive, it sounds like two separate products. Are they vitamin formulations? Do they have more than just vitamins? What is it that you’re referring to when you say Adapt and then Thrive?
Both of them are adaptogen blends. They are a mushroom blend. We’re stacking things like lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, ashwagandha, bacopa which is not a mushroom, some nootropics and mushrooms as a way of working with brain enhancement, the immune system and the digestive system, so that gut-brain connection. In those clinical situations where we can use microdosing, they work beautifully when we use microdoses of psilocybin with those mushroom blends.
Age range and target symptom patterns, what are you dealing with there?
With straight adaptogen blends of Adapt and Thrive, I’m using that with as young as a three-year-old autistic child that had high anxiety, chewing his nails down until they bled, not sleeping, having lots of issues with constipation, not eating and throwing up. Adapt has been amazing and it works within ten minutes of giving it. Opening up the capsule and adding it to a smoothie for him, all the way up to my 88-year-old mother-in-law who is suffering from a lot of stress and caring for my father-in-law who’s 93 and has dementia.
She had reached out and said, “I’m very stressed. I had developed some skin eczema issues around the stress, not able to sleep and enlarged liver.” Medically, they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. They began using Adapt and Thrive with her. She’s got a great memory but she thinks she doesn’t. She even reported increased memory. We’ve seen wonderful research around Alzheimer’s disease and how adaptogens can help in that area. Across the gamut, from 3 years of age to 88 years old are taking the product right now.
With your work, is it simply giving the product? Are you still doing the speech work and the behavioral work?
For sixteen years, I’ve used quantum biofeedback scanning. We hook up electrodes and we’re scanning the body for frequencies that relate to stress. Our body shows stress way before it ever goes into a disease state. I started using it with autistic children. It became their voice because I’ve always worked with the severe end of autism, the non-verbal aggressive self-injurist. One example, I had a child who was nine years old. Mom had gone out and done a very specific therapy that had cost $4,000. She didn’t have the money to have spent that $4,000 on the therapy. She came in on a Monday morning and was so upset. She was like, “I wasted $4,000 again. Billy’s worse than he’s ever been. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
When we ran the scan on him, Billy had pica and he was obsessed with her cosmetics. I said, “When did he eat lotion?” She’s like, “Friday night.” I said, “It’s a stomach. The stomach lining is irritated.” I addressed that. A couple of days later, Billy was back. It wasn’t that the therapy was bad. The program was wonderful for him. He was right back and receiving the benefits that he had gotten from the therapy. Had we not had this device, it’s very possible that we could have written it off as, “He’s a severely autistic child. What do you expect?” The mom would have lost hope and he wouldn’t have gotten the benefit of the therapy and also have been in pain.
This is a system that I’ve used across the board with all of my patients. I continue to use that now, both from a therapeutic as well as assessment and training side, looking at training the body from a stress aspect. Also, looking at where’s the body responding to stress. I love James Fadiman’s over 40 years of research looking at psychedelics and what he talks about the pill with the skill. Even though we’re using non-psychedelics of Adapt and Thrive, it’s still so important to put that skill with the pill. I’m working with my patients around breathwork. With breathwork, it’s like exercise.
If you don’t like it, you’re not going to do it. I give them several different options and then say, “Which one works best for you?” We use breathwork and a lot of natural medicine tools like infrared sauna, meditation, yoga and partnering with a medical Yogi. He’s amazing. Taking yoga stretching and combining that with where pain and inflammation are in the body, exercise and diet being very important. We’re putting all of those tools together along with using other supplementation that might be needed, simple vitamin and mineral deficiencies, amino acids, but focusing on the adaptogens to help with brain enhancement.
You were talking about this energy scan that you do. Can you name that again?
The big name is called Quantum Biofeedback. I use a software made by Mendeley. Their US office is in Michigan. Their main office is in Budapest. There are several versions of Quantum Biofeedback. I have three systems that we run pretty much all day long at the same time. A common name that a lot of people know when they hear that is SCIO. That was one of the original versions and I have Quest9 and Eductor versions.
What is the procedure like? I’m thinking in terms of these autistic individuals, what do you have to put on the body or how close do they have to be? What’s the actual mechanism like?
Our COVID-friendly version right now is using what’s called an Oregon Generator. It looks like a big bullet’s going to shoot you, but it has crystals and it goes out 40 feet. It’s an amplification device and I love it. I like it better than the twelve electrodes that we used to hook up to the body around the head, the wrist and the ankles. A lot of my autistic kids didn’t like that to begin with. The Oregon Generator has been great. I enjoy using that. Once we run the scan, it generates a 30-page digital report. In my office, I run two screens so that the client can see exactly what I’m seeing.
We go through that 30-page report together. I take notes on it for them. Even though the report is very comprehensive at 30 pages, it doesn’t have everything. We also go and look at other areas of stress that the body is showing. That is all put on a note page for them. From there, we can also do muscle testing. The system is amazing way better at muscle testing than I am. I doubt myself too much. We can then also look at tests against what came up as stress points in their body, the ingredients of a supplement, find out what is the best solution to work on this issue, and how much should we give.
Before this show, I had a 25-year-old female in my office who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She was doing everything that Western medicine had told her to do and she was getting worse. The highest stress points that came up for her were around parasite overgrowth. That’s what we’re going to move forward and treat for her. Do we need to use an essential oil parasite detox? Do we need to use the homeopathic? Do we need to use a herbal detox? We were able to look by brand, type and know which one would be the best for her body.
That reminds me of several people that I’ve worked with over the years and a couple of people I’ve interviewed for Journey’s Dream these past years who talk about having wonderful results after their patients have expired everything that conventional medicine would throw at them and get worse or no improvement. They discover when they start testing for it that they’ve got a parasite or mold toxicity or something. It’s a matter of removing the toxins and/or the parasites before the body can start to regenerate and heal itself.
That’s one of the things that is so important. Right now, when we’re hearing so much about microdosing, especially in the mental health arena, it’s very popular and they’re saying it’s going to possibly take the place of medication, which could be a good thing because I don’t think medication’s working that well. Not everybody is ready to dive into that. We want to look at the health of the person and see where is that level of health first. What is that level of toxicity? Do we need to clean this up first? What is their diet? If their diet is loaded with white sugar, we’re not going to get the benefit and the change that we want.
Looking at that whole person, that skill with the pill is so important. Using plant medicine is an amazing thing that God has given us. If used in the right way, it can be a huge life changer. If used in the wrong way, just like anything else, even though it can’t be harmful, we’re not going to see the benefits that could come from this amazing plant.
One of the things that have been a pattern in our current conventional allopathic medicine, we look at a list of symptoms and then we throw something at it to try and knock out the symptom, without looking at what’s that symptom and aspect of what’s the cause within the organism from a systemic point of view. I’ve understood that even if people are trained in some of the most wonderful natural remedies, if you’re adopting that conventional approach of “What do I have in my toolkit that will knock out that symptom?” you’re missing the issue of finding what’s at the cause or what’s out of balance in the system.
You can be doing a covering up of the cause by simply squashing symptoms, even if you’re using the most healthy supplements you’ve got. That’s why I liked the approach of being able to diagnose. You have one where you’re talking about the Quantum Biofeedback. You’re looking at the system cause and saying, “We’ve got something that’s way out of whack here. How do we correct that?” If the symptoms still persist, then we can work on them.
The body doesn’t make mistakes. Even if we have high blood pressure and we’re like, “How was that a positive thing? How is that not a mistake?” There’s a reason why that body needs to increase pressure. That’s what we need to look at, just like the 25-year-old that I was mentioning. She’s on steroids, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications. I’m like, “You don’t have any of these issues, but you have pain and inflammation. Let’s try and work on the parasitic condition.” Even looking at parasites, we know that our parasites carried Lyme-like bacteria. You won’t ever test positive on a Lyme test but you can have all the symptoms of having Lyme’s disease just from an overgrowth of parasites.
That was one of the things that came upon her as a high-stress level was a Lyme-like bacteria. Dr. McDonald in 2016 went before Congress and said, “This is a real problem that we’re seeing from parasitic overgrowth.” What took him to perform the autopsies was from brain tumors. He felt that glioblastoma brain tumor, he was seeing a high correlation starting with a parasitic overgrowth and Lyme-like bacteria from that parasitic overgrowth.
Your body doesn’t make mistakes.
When you have someone like this 25-year-old you’re mentioning and you’ve got a parasitic overgrowth, what’s the course of treatment like in terms of time? How long is it to clear up a parasitic overgrowth like that?
I would do a two-step. We’re going to do a two-week parasitic detox using a homeopathic. The homeopathic that I use are from Europe. I’ve had much better luck with those than ones from the US. I’m using a homeopathic parasitic detox. We’re going to follow that after two weeks with an eight-week Lyme detox. All in all, we’re talking about ten weeks, but she should start to see significant improvement and reduction in pain and inflammation in the next six weeks. That would be my guess.
This Quantum Biofeedback device that you have, is it commonly used? I don’t think I’ve heard that particular brand or type before. Do you know many other practitioners that use it?
Not as many in the US but it is fully FDA-approved as a level-two biofeedback device. Here in the US, we aren’t allowed to use it in our hospitals. It’s used in seventeen other countries and they use it as a full-blown medical device. When I went to Budapest in 2019 and I was there with doctors from all over Europe, it was amazing to see the difference in the way that it’s being used there. I was one of the only ones that wasn’t an MD or a psychiatrist. It was used a lot in psychiatry within their hospitals. France and Spain were the two biggest recognized countries there at this conference that were using the device. It was all doctors and medical clinics.
This particular device, does it use part of it for diagnostic and part of it for treatment?
In the FDA, we’re not allowed to say diagnostic or treatment, but we can say training and looking at stress. In other countries, they can use those terms. We have to say that it’s training the body.
Identify the area of stress and then it can train the body to balance that out. You’ll have multiple sessions with it after you’ve identified the areas of stress to help the patient’s body get trained to deal with that stress differently.
Another part that is amazing is it’s largely based on Chinese medicine or Eastern medicine. In Chinese medicine, it says for every disease state, there’s an emotion that is linked to that. For instance, we know the liver is very much around anger and fear when we have liver inflammation or a liver problem. There’s a doctor here in Orange County, California, where I am. She’s seeing 48 new cancer patients a day. She is an MD but she treats at a center where they use more alternative methods. I had the wonderful opportunity to run a scan on her. She was saying the first thing she does with her cancer patients is say, “We need to look at fear and anger in your body, and the emotional side before I can ever help you medically.”
In Europe, that’s one of the primary ways. They say, “For any disease state you’re going to work on, 50% of it needs to be addressing the emotions.” Here in the US, we forget that so much, “Let’s just give you a pill and go on your way. You’ll be fine.” As we move into using more plant medicines and seeing them being legalized in Oregon and in different cities in the US, it’s so important to look at the methods that we’re using with these patients. There’s going to be a big rethink in psychiatric medicine. I hope there is in mental health.
There’s a groundswell that’s going. Hopefully, it will grow. It’s certainly not coming from the top down because that entire field has been aligned with and trained by the medical model of chasing the symptoms which is the pharmaceutical approach.
What’s interesting right now is if you look at the stocks are going crazy. Even though it’s not legalized, they have a patent on the idea, which I did not know that you could do. The top five stocks right now in psychedelics are with big pharmaceutical companies. Our model needs to change to match that. Hopefully, it will instead of crashing and burning. Our pharmaceutical companies are moving forward in a different way. I’m not sure how it’s going to end up.
If you think about when somebody does a search for JoQueta Handy, you get all kinds of results. What is it something about an aspect of your work that we haven’t even touched on yet that you want to make sure we put in this interview? You do a lot of different things. What aspect of your work do you want to talk about?
Plant medicine is one of our best medicines right now and an untapped resource. I want to provide education versus people who are going out, trying it and experimenting with it because it is an amazing plant if used in the right way. Our executives right now, they’re one of the most curious in the group. Instead of brain enhancement to work harder and work longer, what we need is education around how do we make this world better?
How do we make it more beautiful? How do we come together as a community versus, “I’m using this to advance in my career.” With our patients who are having to take medication right now, educating them on a way that there are some alternatives. I don’t necessarily think that comes from sitting in a therapy session, not in any way to put down a therapist and the amazing work that they’re doing. When we’re working with plant medicine, it is a little bit different. It’s not like, “Sorry, your hour is up. Let’s go.”
Again, not just giving it as a pill but putting the skill with it. When we can combine it with amazing things like breathwork, learning how to control and work with the nervous system, exercise and diet, we’re going to see some amazing changes. On that end, MyBrilliantBlends.com is the website that has information not only about myself. The company was started with my son, Zach. It came from hands-on and having lived this with Zach. He had craniosynostosis when he was born, which means that 2 out of the 3 soft spots or Fontanelles in his brain were fully fused, so the brain had no place to grow. At five weeks of age, he had a full craniotomy. They made eleven incisions into Zach’s head and they split it like an eggshell.
I don’t know if that had a bearing. Zach always had a hard time from an emotional standpoint. When he was about fifteen, he started having problems with insomnia and depression. It worsened when he got to college with suicidal thoughts and some very dark times. When COVID hit, he took a nosedive. He was laid off from his job and a girlfriend that brought some pain. I said, “Zach, let’s give this a try.” I didn’t even tell my husband that I was doing this. He’s a chiropractor. He’s a doctor also. Zach came into our office and he was like, “What are you doing with him?” I’m like, “Why?” He was like, “He’s different. He’s empathetic. He has a better awareness of what’s going on around him.”
Empathy was one of the biggest things. When I shared it with him, “We’re doing some adaptogens. We’re doing breathwork. We’ve got Zach’s diet changed and some exercise.” It was during COVID, we were all together so I could oversee the situation but it was amazing. In a week’s time, it made such an impression on Zach that he has continued then on his own to maintain the skill. In October 2020, we started this company together because Zach is a wonderful spokesperson. He’s hands-on. He’s like, “I’ve lived this. I can tell you what it does for me on a daily basis.” It’s been wonderful him being able to share with other twenty-plus-year-olds of, “This is how it changed my life,” and the story has helped them.
My Brilliant Blends is our newest project. I want to help people as much as possible. I will always work with autistic families and children. They’re in my heart. We have Brilliant Learning online, which is for parents and helping with education questions and issues that you may have about your child, and how to recognize that brilliant learner in every child. That one is my passion. MyBrilliantBlends.com is our company and what we want to help is in education and providing the need.
I appreciate your taking the time to meet with us. I know you’re quite busy and I look forward to following up. In my own caseload, I have several people who are on the spectrum and families that struggle with that. We’re always looking for good supplementation. I’ll be directing several people your way. I’m going to look into that Quantum Biofeedback device. That’s a delightful addition in terms of trying to identify where stressors are and then help the body learn to deal with them.
Also, figure out the right solution. It’s taking the place of muscle testing.
In Chinese medicine, for every disease state, there’s an emotion that’s linked to that.
Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a delight and I look forward to our next contact.
Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity. It was a great pleasure.
Dr. Handy has embarked on life and a professional mission to bring this understanding and capability to parents, educators, special needs organizations and governments worldwide. In addition to her book entitled Brilliant Learning, national articles, and keynote presentations, Dr. Handy is in the midst of a national study on the issues of educating the learning disabled and she speaks frequently about her experiences and her findings. In presentations, she addresses the following groups, parents and educators, parental support organizations, special needs, education program faculty and administrators, home education program users, state and national governments and their health and education divisions, special needs associations, and action groups addressing Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome Disorder.
About JoQueta Handy
Dr. JoQueta Handy, is a speaker, author, educator, and integrative medicine practitioner who is opening new pathways to educate children with learning disabilities.
Dr. Handy’s methodology is the result of extensive research showing that learning-disabled individuals are, in fact, exceptional in their capability to learn. They can be especially gifted in visual learning and are capable of reaching astonishing levels of potential if they are educated in an appropriate way. Handy has developed a holistic strategy that begins with nutritional protocols and progresses to employ the specialized visual and kinesthetic strategies that can leverage these individuals’ unique and tremendous strengths.
Dr. Handy has embarked on a life and professional mission to bring this understanding and capability to parents, educators, special needs organizations, and governments worldwide.
In addition to her book, Brilliant Learning, national articles, and keynote presentations, Dr. Handy is in the midst of a national study on the issues of educating the learning disabled and speaks frequently about her experiences and her findings. In presentations, she addresses the concerns of the following groups:
• Parents & Educators
• Parental support organizations
• Special needs education program faculty & Administrators
• Home education program users
• State & National Governments & their health & education divisions
• Special needs associations & action groups addressing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD) Down syndrome (DS) & learning disorders
• Occupational therapy, job preparation & placement organizations
The Brilliant Learning program opens the pathways to understanding that can maximize the potential of every learning-challenged person. Today, ASD affects 1 in 48. Yet our educational methods for assisting those with learning challenges have not changed. Our nation now faces an epidemic of young adults who will be unemployed and unemployable. In addition to the burden placed on our programs for public assistance, the quality of life and satisfaction for these individuals and their families when they are unable to contribute to their full potential will be impacted. The Brilliant Learning methodology is a viable solution. Handy teaches educators throughout the world to leverage the unique strengths and learning abilities of differently-abled students to allow them to reach their maximum potential in learning and in life.
For more information, Changing the Paradigm for Special Needs Education email@example.com
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