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August, 2010:

Nutrition Consultations for Autism and ADHD

I recently received an e-mail from a friend wanting to help her another friends’ daughter.  They are desperate but it is a story all too familiar for families with children on the autism spectrum.  This little girl, who is in grade school, is impulsive, frustrating other children to the point where they are worried for her safety, and is slipping in school because she cannot sit or focus.  Her parents are broken hearted and just do not know what to do.  They are looking at medication, but have not really tried alternatives.  Sound familiar?

When a child is diagnosed with ADD, ADHD or another Autism Spectrum Disorder, doctors really have little to offer.  I know that when our daughter was diagnosed, our doctors were very sympathetic, but had two options: traditional therapies and western medication.  For our daughters severe sensory issues, medication was not even an option.  Thankfully, we had earlier seen physical symptoms and gone down a nutritional path.  By 10 months old, she, like many of the spectrum, had severe digestive issues and was in alot of pain.  She had stopped making milestones and we associated them with her digestive issues.  She also began to get sick alot.  We were able to deal with many of those issue with supplements.  In addition, her physical therapists noticed a big difference in her ability to concentrate, at 18 months, with her chewable multi before therapy.  Thus began my obsession with getting my now 8 year old healthy.

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Natural Nutritional Therapy, in my opinion, is one of the safest and first interventions that can help our children.  We now offer consulting services to other families looking at nutritional therapies and alternatives and compliments to medication.  While we do believe there is a time and place for medication, much can be done to heal the many physical issues that our children suffer and thus heal their bodies.  To learn more about or to schedule a nutritional consultation for you or your family member on the autism spectrum, contact us at asdperspectives.  Our approach is gentle and we work with each family individually.

Using B supplementation in children….

B vitamins are your happy vitamins.  They reduce stress, balance hormones,  regulate blood sugars and aid the body in a variety of ways.  I first became familiar with them when I was experiencing postpartum depression after my third child was born.  I began taking natural supplements including a multi-vitamin, b-complex supplement and a soy protein replacement.  Within a matter of days I truly felt better than I had ever remembered feeling.

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Flash to several years later when we learned that one of our children was on the autism spectrum and another had thyroid disease, I immediately knew they needed B-supplements.  A functional medicine doctor recommended a sublingual b-vitamin that would absorb quickly through the mounth, for quicker absorption.  Some experts readily recommend sublingual or methyl b-vitamins because they by-pass the digestive tract and go strait into the blood stream, while others argue that this method better works in a injectable form.  Personally, we found the most benefit when our children were old enough to swallow the same b-complex supplement that I took during those postpartum days and beyond.

Dr. Kurt Woeller, a biomedical autism Intervention specialist in California argues that “in terms of clinical research behind it, the methyl B-12 injections are ahead of the other forms.”  This argument actually supports my own teaching that some vitamins work well, when isolated in an injectable form, but do not work so well on their own in another form.  Many of the B-vitamins need each other inorder to absorb properly into the body.  Therefore, taking individual b-supplements are not as effective as taking a b-complex that contains all 8 essentail b-vitamins.  In addition, because b-vitamins are water soluable, they need to constantly be replenished or your body is taxed. 

Especially in conditions such as autism, add, adhd, sensory disorders and endochrine diseases such as thyroid disease, supplementation is vital because stress on the body depletes our stores faster.  So unless you or your child are taking injectable forms of   b-vitamins, we recommend that you consider taking a natural b-complex supplement.  If you are also taking a sublingual under a doctorsrecommendation, the b-complex will help keep your other b-stores working properly so that your body can best use the others that your doctor may recommend. 

For a list of each of the B-vitamins, what they do in your body and symptoms of low b-vitamins, we recommend this link on Wikipedia.

Autism Statistics continue to rise….

I was blown away, this past April, when the Centers for Disease control came out and said that they now believe autism statistics have reached the level of 1 in 100 children.  My first reaction was that not even the autism community dared quote stats that high.  But, with ever growing numbers of children being diagnosed at various points on the spectrum, we are left to wonder, how high will the numbers go before something is done to stop the growth.

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In a study of ten communities, between 2002 and 2006, the center for disease control found an average of 57% increase in the prevelance of autism.  These numbers are staggering.  In some communities, the numbers were even higher.  If we were to be blown away by that increase, 1 in 100 children should definately mobilize the troops.  But, I have not heard the troops being released… have you?  Sure, articles are all over the news, and parenting  newspapers like IndyChild are now dedicating entire sections to helping families find resources in their area….  but I am looking for trumpets blaring, a Presidential Press Conference announcing that the government will finally finance research studies to find a cause- even if the answers lead to pollution and vaccines, and at minimum, a line item in the health care bill that says we will make sure our children will be taken care of and treated for a cure.   Alas, from what I can see, autism is not even in the bill.  I am told it would just be too expensive.  From where I sit, it may be too expensive to not address this National Epidemic now…