EMF and Autism

  • Peter Sullivan, Founder, Clear Light Ventures

    Families with autistic children are already overburdened and overloaded on all levels. There are many interventions that one can do, but several of these are expensive and time consuming. Over the last 15 years, I have used the EMF (electromagnetic field) reduction protocol with my children; it has helped them tremendously and they are developing into remarkable young men. Many ASD children can greatly benefit from an environment that is free of electromagnetic fields or one with reduced EMF. This protocol is simple, effective and parents can try it for free.

    After everything I’ve done over the last 15 years, this was the most effective, and in retrospect, if I had known about it at the beginning, I would have started with this protocol.  The protocol is fairly simple and can be taught to children.  The hard part is believing that it will work and changing a long held assumption that electromagnetic fields and wireless radiation are completely safe.  This is something that I truly believed as an engineer and designer in Silicon Valley.  It took me several years to release this tightly held assumption.

    For a period early in my career I was a troubleshooter in customer support for a company that made high-end workstations and supercomputers.  When something was broken, we’d replace the most likely suspect parts.  If the first couple board replacements didn’t work, we’d systematically replace every part until the system worked perfectly.   If a larger problem happened in manufacturing and the defect rate of a new product increased, again, we would systematically look at everything that changed, not only with every part, but also with the manufacturing environment.  The first clean rooms were built in Silicon Valley to reduce chemical contamination and electrostatic discharge.  Along the way, as chips became smaller and smaller, special rooms had to be created to minimize vibration, electrical noise and micro-surges that interfered with the machines that traced the microscopic circuits and wires that make up the chips and boards inside the computers.

    Many things in our environment have changed and made it harder for our children to develop normally and to their full potential.  Our children are now born with, on average, almost 300 man-made chemicals in their bodies. My experience is that efforts to reduce toxins are effective, but also take a great deal of time, effort, diligence and cost.

    A Simple Protocol

    Dr. Toril Jelter in California has pioneered a simple protocol to reduce exposure to constant sources of wireless radiation and electrical noise. Over 80% of her patients show measurable improvement in 2 weeks.  This protocol is simple enough that you can do it on your own:

    Turn these four common sources of constant wireless radiation and electrical noise off at night for at least 12 hrs:

    1) Baby Monitors: Unplug for the duration of the trial.

    2) Cordless phone base stations: Unplug the cordless phone base station (the largest unit that usually has the answering machine and physical phone line going into it.) Some people put this on an electrical timer.

    3) Wi-Fi: Use a timer for the plug or software configuration to turn off at night.

    4) Bedroom Electrical Circuit Breaker: Find the circuit breaker that controls the electrical outlets in the child’s bedroom.  Turning that off at night will reduce the majority of exposure to field effects and electrical noise (commonly called “dirty electricity”).

    Before you do these things, you may want to get some baseline data on your child. Take a few photos and some short videos to document how he or she moves.  Dr. Jelter asks her parents to fill out this survey before the trial and after two weeks.

    What to Expect

    The majority of children will slowly and steadily improve as they sleep better.  We know that wireless exposure can drive down melatonin, glutathione and increase oxidation and inflammation.  For most children, removing this constant interference allows their bodies to heal and become more coherent.  A small number of children will show a dramatic improvement after just a few nights of sleeping well.

    83% of the children in Dr. Jelter’s trials have shown measurable improvement after just 2 weeks, and the improvement continued on for months after the trial.  The 2-week trial was designed to convince skeptical parents, many of them who are engineers in high tech, that this would work.  Once they see that it does, they often go on to reduce other sources of wireless and EMF.

    In 17% of the cases, the children showed no measurable improvement.  This does not rule out EMF exposure as a factor.  It may mean that EMF levels are from other less common sources, or from external sources in the neighborhood, such as a neighbor’s wi-fi signal, or a cell tower. In these cases, a building biologist or other professional trained in EMF measurement and mitigation might be required to evaluate the home.  If EMFs are fully eliminated, then one should continue to evaluate other functional medicine factors such as toxins, diet, gut health, infections and inflammation.

    I sincerely hope that this protocol helps your ASD child. If this protocol works for you, please share this document with your network. If you have any questions, please email me at



    Peter Sullivan is an environmental health advocate, autism funder and writer. He lives in Los Altos, California with his wife and two boys. A previous version of this article appeared on his website www.clearlightventures.com



    Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a Pathophysiological Link, Part 1 and Part 2by Dr. Martha Herbert (pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School) and Cindy Sage (co-editor of the BioInitiative Reports) in Pathophysiology 2013 Calming Behavior in Children with Autism and ADHD by Katie Springer (2014)

    Additional Resources

    Find a local Building Biologist to test for EMF’s in your home

    The Real Reason Electronics Are Effecting Our Sleep by Peter Sullivan (2014)


    Understanding Autism - Peter Sullivan (2013)

    Dirty Electrical Noise - Peter Sullivan (2013)


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