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Top 5 Supplements / Vitamins for Autism

On last nights “Natural Approaches to Autism” Webinar, the overwhelming questions was, “What supplements should my child be taking.”  With clients, I often give them the supplements that their child should ideally be on and then… a top priority list.  So, this is the “Top 5 List,” in order of our experience and preference*.  Visit www.beckycash.com if you would like to set up an appointment for a more personalized set of recommendations based on your personal situation.

  1. Pre and Probiotics:  The vast majority of children and adults on the autism spectrum are shown to have digestive issues.  Many have had digestive issues so long that you literally have to ask them if they have a stomach ache or have gone to the bathroom that day to know that they are having problems.  And if they are non-verbal, this becomes a bigger challenge.  Probiotics replace the good flora in the intestines, that have died off because of poor eating, medications, leaky gut syndrome and many other culprits.  In our home, we tell our children that these good flora are the soldiers that keep our whole body healthy.  You need a good probiotic that guarantees delivery of the bacteria to the intestines.   A pre-biotic powder is also recommended as you begin to replace and feed these good bacteria.
  2. Multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement–  This is where I must be clear that NOT ALL SUPPLEMENTS are equal and a store bought chewable, gummy or gumball may actually do more harm than good with our children.  I say harm, because not only are the nutrients in these supplements not readily available to absorb in the body (making them more likely to flush down the toilet), but many actually contain chemicals that leach in our children’s digestive tracts.  We recommend a few different options because we know there are different dietary limits and our children can be very picky.   Please contact us if you need more help with choosing.
  3.  Fish Oils – For our children on the spectrum, pure fish oils are recommended to help with concentration, brain function, and inflammation that is often missed in the gut.  Amazingly, fish oil is the top recommended supplement by the entire medical community and is now widely recommended for women during pregnancy, both as an anti-inflammatory; as well as, to boost babies brain development.  When working with clients, I recommend an omega capsule that can be chewed by many children, but can also be swallowed or pierced and mixed in applesauce, juice or any neutralizing food.  A word of caution.  I often have families tell me they tried a flavored fish oil and their child would Not take the product.  Upon questioning, I learn that they went strait for the flavored and never tried a pure fish oil without flavoring.  We find that many of our children actually prefer the pure, non-rancid supplement to flavored products that often have odd textures.
  4. Calcium Magnesium–  Calcium Magnesium supplements may actually be recommended for many of our children and family members because of the poor diets associated with autism or a Casein Free diet, but this supplement is so much more.  Magnesium has been proven to slow down the heart rate, calming down hyper-activity and has also been shown as a catalyst in helping to curb or reduce bed wetting.  One of our children has restless leg syndrome and magnesium is often recommended by neurologists to help with the leg tremors associated with this condition.  For parents of hyperactive children, calcium magnesium can definitely be a welcome addition.  The brand we recommend can be found in flavored chewable or in a crushable tablet that can also be swallowed.
  5. Protein Powder–  We have been using Protein Powder with our children for many years, but were amazed as our children became older, at how their bodies actually craved the plant based protein.  We actually began to see difference in cognition and energy based on whether or not they had a “shake” and what time of day it was at.  Many of our clients also report that they see a significant difference in their children’s concentration and focus if they drink the protein for breakfast.  One mom told us that her food budget reduced and her stress level went down.  This happened because her children were no longer craving the bowls of carb loaded cereal and snacks and hour after eating and were concentrating so much better.  As our daughter became more vocal and higher functioning, she would report leg cramps on days when she had not had the protein.  Recent urine and saliva testing, through our doctor, showed us that our 11 year old with aspergers, who does not drink the shakes, has a protein deficiency because her body does not absorb other forms of protein in dairy and foods.  We recommend beginning with Non-GMO soy protein or Whey Protein for children and adults with a soy sensitivity or allergy.  These are organic forms of protein powder and come in several flavors.

While we generalize on supplements in our article, we work with and recommend a couple different brands in our office.  Many families will report that they purchased various brands and did not see results.  After years of going to conferences, studying and researching, we have become very careful to only work with brands that can prove bio-availability, testing and that we are willing to give our own child.  If you would like to work with us to develop a supplementation program or to schedule a consultation, please Contact Us.  You can learn more about our clinic at www.beckycash.com.

 

*Based on our experience with both our own children and the families we have been blessed to work with over many years; as well as, recommendations from the Biomedical, Functional and Naturopathic Health Communities.  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Natural Approaches to Autism- Webinar tonight

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nutrition Therapy, Homeopathy… the list goes on and on.  Which therapies are best for your child?  Which ones will actually yield benefits and how do you know which ones to try?  As the mother of 3 children on the autism spectrum, we have used many therapies to help our children on the autism journey.  Tonight, I will present our webinar, “Healing Autism Naturally.”  Topics include:

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What diagnoses fit within the ASD (Autism) family
What traditional medicine has to offer
What natural therapies can be used to help our children and families

 

Be sure to invite your friends and families to http://healthandwealth.adobeconnect.com/autism/ to join us.  Webinar begins at 8:30 p.m. CST.  Space is limited so please arrive early to insure a spot on the webinar.  If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss any of the topics discussed on the webinar, or a nutrition consultation, please fill out the form in the contact section of www.asdperspectives.com .

Becky Cash is the mother of five children and author of the recent book, “Healing Autism Naturally.”  Several of her children are on the autism spectrum and she has used a combination on traditional therapies, diet, and nutritional supplementation to help recover her children from ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders.)

 

ASD and Methylation

Methylation and Autism was a big topic at the Autism One Conference and may be a big piece of the puzzle in figuring out why autism is on the rise.  I first learned about the methylation cycle when my children began seeing a functional medicine doctor, about 3 years ago.  Through testing, the doctor discovered that this pathway was closed to my children and therefore their bodies could not process properly.   Among other things, they were not absorbing iron, b-12 and other nutrients properly.  And so we began the work of opening this pathway.  At that time, our doctor was looking to help our oldest child who just seemed to be getting sicker by the year.  She had already been diagnosed with celiac and thyroid disease and showed signs of mitochondrial disease.   Her processing issues were getting worse and she was very week.  In beginning to open this pathway, we definitely noticed improvements in areas such as emotion and energy.

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Recent research has shown that many children on the autism spectrum may infact have this genetic condition, poor methylation.  So what exactly is the big deal here?  The methylation cycle is actually a series of processes that leads to proper detoxification of the body.  In addition, each process in the cycle requires and allows absorption of key nutrients, such as, folic acid, B12 vitamins and iron.  We can already see why we would have a big problem if this system is not working properly.  At the end of the methylation cycle is the production of glutathione, the strongest naturally produced antioxidant in the body and the antioxidant needed to detox things like heavy metals out of the body.  Since the cycle does not work, we can begin to minimally hypothesize that this could lead to a connection as to why many children on the spectrum are found to have high levels of metals in their body.

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The research supporting poor methylation in children on the autism spectrum is now being looked at and supported by such Northeastern University and John Hopkins Institute; as well as, the Autism Research Institute.  DAN doctors are also creating new treatment protocols to work directly on opening the methylation process and, as I shared, this was a big topic at the Autism One Conference this year.

To learn more about methylation we suggest looking at the following resources.

www.generationrescue.org

www.autism.com

If you would like more information about non-invasive testing for your child, or yourself, please contact me.  We work with a team of functional medicine doctors who use saliva and urine testing to diagnose breakdowns in key processes such as liver, kidney, adrenals, oxidation and many more.  The testing is affordable and can be done from your home.

 

 

 

Autism One Conference re-cap

Wow, what an incredible week we had at the Autism One Conference in Lombard, Illinois.  I commented that I was already overwhelmed an hour after registration and I had not even been to a talk, yet.  To be in a place where everyone works with or has a child with autism, and everyone believes that we can get our children back is an absolutely unbelievable place to be.  I was also blown away by the level of knowledge that penetrated the Westin Hotel for five glorious days.  Please do not get me wrong…  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, cried, laughed and breathed in a way that I have not in so long.

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Over the next couple weeks, I will write about several of the topics discussed at the conference.  You also may see a bit of a stronger tone in the words that I write.  My goal, through nutritional and autism consulting is to truly help families get to the next level in helping their families.  I watched my own child… no I particpated in my own childs’ journey from not being able to walk or talk or be able to go to school or be around too many lights and sounds to where she is today….  a nine year old child entering full time school in the Fall with 26 other students, at grade level.   I worked tirelessly to heal what we now know are rampant health issues in children with autism….  I fought the insurance companies, the public schools, the doctors who could not move forward.  And I believe that the families reading and working with ASDperspectives want health and healing also, for their children, their families, and themselves.

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We look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

 

 

Choosing the rights supplements for your child…

I used to take it for granted that all supplements were created equal.  Actually, I used to take it for granted that anyone even needed nutritional supplements.  My father started off his career working for the FDA and later went into quality assurance for the food and drug industry.  We ate what he brought home from work, grocery store brands and whatever vitamins were left over from testing (ie: generic flinstones).  It was not that he thought these were good vitamins… it was more that there really was not a knowledge as to why supplements were needed.  Today, we have come a long way, but we are still just emerging.  Today, even the American Medical Association  says that anyone who leads a life with stress, does not get enough sleep or does not eat properly, should take a multi-vitamin; however, many doctors still do not know where to lead their patients.

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In the autism community, we know all too well that our children and loved ones have needs far greater than the food guide pyramid.  And in many cases, we know that nutritional supplements can go a long way to healing our childrens’ bodies.  However, we often do not know where to start, what brands are best or even if they are safe.  I took for granted, for many years, that there had to be many safe brands.  I also took for granted that the brands sold by doctors had to atleast be well tested.  I now know that many nutraceutical companies do not do third party research, do not test beyond the minimum standards and many  market to the medical community in the same way that the pharmacuetical companies market there medications. 

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As a mother of three children on the autism spectrum, I hate to give parents more work to do; however, this may be one of the more important assignments.  You need to do your own research to find out the testing standards and efficacy of the products you are using.  When I started calling companies to ask what I thought were basic questions, I received responses such as. “You need to talk to one of the doctors in your area who sells our brand,” “We cannot possibly tell you how many tests we do a year,” “We test for the government recommendations.”  That last one kept me up at night.  The government minimum in an unregulated industry is ludicrous.  THAT company is one of the supplement companies that is most well known in the Autism community and not even my doctor could tell me anything about there standards. 

I used to take it for granted that I could use anything other than a store brand and consider it good enough.  I now routinely trust only one brand, because I have done YEARS of research that has led me to only one brand.  I am completely biased and have no problem admitting so.  After receiving test results, this past year that show that my daughter has barely recognizable levels of yeast, heavy metals and many of the deficiencies so common in the autism community, I use and promote the Shaklee supplements.  As I share in our book, Healing Autism Naturally, our daughter went from needing to be taught to walk and talk to now entering a Catholic School, as a 9 year old, at grade level, in the Fall.  If you would like to learn more about setting up a supplement program, please contact us.

Healing Autism… What do you mean?

Healing autism…. what do you mean? Some of you may laugh when you see this. Other people will cringe and yet others will say, “yeah, what do you mean?” And it is a very good question. While she was not the first to propose the idea that we could recover or heal children with autism,
Jenny McCarthy definitely took the media spotlight when she announced that she had found a way to recover her son from autism. Unfortunately, and maybe intentionally, most of the media got it wrong. Jenny McCarthy, like many of us who believe we can make significant progress in re-claiming our children, was not announcing a cure for autism, she was announcing hope with direction. She was explaining that she, through countless hours of therapy, anger, tears, biomedical approaches, family support, joy and pain, had gotten her son back to the point where he could move forward and enjoy a life filled with hope and promise. ( Because she started very early, her success has be amazing).

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I work with families, every day, who are working to heal and recover their children from autism. So what does it mean to heal or recover a child from autism? It means that while many say a child will NEVER speak, we know that there are treatments that are giving children their voice back. It means that a child who once was a danger to themselves and their siblings can become a calm and loving person who does not need to be removed from the home or to live on medications. It means that a child or adult who once was told they would never read, hold down a job or live outside a group home, can be a carpenter, doctor, mother, husband or store owner. We know first hand because our own daughter had to be taught to walk and talk and will now enter school, in the Fall, almost completely at grade level (she is 9 years old).

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Healing or recovering autism does not mean that we are curing autism. Do not misunderstand me, there are many children and adults who reach the point where they no longer qualify for the medical diagnosis or need school service. But, there are many stages of healing that simply bring our loved ones back to us…. and that is what we mean when we say we are healing and recovering our loved ones from autism.

We would love to hear your comments. If you or someone you know would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about this or any of the topics we discuss, please contact us.

Schooling Autism

My son returned home, from a class field trip on Wednesday, all abuzz.  Apparently the parent chaperones had been reading their  e-mail on their phones when the school newsletter came out announcing teacher changes.  My son was busy proclaiming which teacher was retiring and which teachers were going to new classes and how this affected who (he has aspergers so was completely clueless to my anxiety level that was increasing with every word)… all I heard was that the teacher we were working with for my 9 year old daughter was going to 1st grade.  My heart jumped and my head screamed as I rushed to the computer.  My fears were confirmed…

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Now if you have a child with autism, you understand.  We found a teacher that desperately wanted to help in the transition of my daughter from an intensive ABA therapy setting to Catholic school and now… she was switching grades.  I immediately         e-mailed the principal and then busied myself as I was just heading out the door to give a talk to parents on nutritional approaches to autism.

I did not get far when the phone rang, and would you believe, there on the other line was the principal I so dearly love.  She wanted to assure me that the teachers going to 3rd and 4th grade (yes, they are giving my daughter a split grade to meet her needs), had already met and were completely ready to meet all my daughters needs.  All I could think was, “you called me to comfort me?”  “You placed teachers based on my daughters’ needs.”  “You actually care that much about my child.”  Of coarse, this was nothing new to us.  The teachers and staff at our school have always gone above and beyond to not just educate but love my children.

So as another year comes to an end, my word is “blessed.”  I pray that you find a blessing among the chaos of your life.  Is it a teacher, doctor, family member, babysitter, new therapy or just the flowers sprouting outside?  You are one of our blessings.  Thank you for reading our messages and being a part of our family.

Watch out for our “teacher/ school of the year contest,” and “pediatrician of the yeare,” coming soon.

Homeschooling Autism…

As the mother of five children, three of whom are on the autism spectrum, I know all too well that children learn differently.  And I am not just talking about children on the spectrum.  In her article, in the New Brighton Homeschool examiner, Renee Nichols shares the story of one young many who found his place in homeschooling.  In her article, Renee quotes Jonathan,

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When asked about his thoughts on school he stated, ” Most of the time it is challenging and hard to get through without the right help. Different kids need different things that teachers can’t supply or sometimes refuse to.” When asked what types of help make a difference he shared, ” For me, the help I need is understanding and time. When I was in public school I would never be able to finish my tests in time and they would take it and not let me ever finish and I would get a low grade. They need to understand that I don’t always get what they are saying. One time I asked the teacher how to round and she said you should have paid attention in class and never helped me. I have Asperger’s and ADHD and most of the time it is very hard to concentrate. I can be easily distracted and my head won’t let me focus. They think I am just ignoring them and carelessly doing something besides school but the truth is it comes with my challenges and they will not listen to me.”

Renee Nichols goes on to explain that Jonathan is now homeschooled and feels much more in control of his own ability to learn.  Part of what I do in consulting with familes is to help them determine the best educational route for their child.  Many families feel paralyzed into a decision.  Money, occupation and peer pressure from others who always think they know best can break the best parent when deciding what is best for the beautiful child they have raised since birth.  Families are often amazed to find out that a private school or homeschooling or a therapeutic school, or even just a better IEP in a public school really are possible.
To read the rest of Renee Nichols article in the New Brighton Homeschool Examiner, click here.
To learn more about our nutrition and autism consulting services, contact us at www.asdperspectives.com

A Mothers' Day Prayer…

A prayer for all of the Mothers’ with children with autism..

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will begin your day with peace in your heart.

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This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will have a sense that your children are safe.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that the therapy bills will be paid and that your home will be warm.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will receive flowers painted in bright shades by little hands that you have held so often.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that that you will know your childs’ love, even if they cannot tell you.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that the world will be calm as you hold your child tight.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will learn that taking care of yourself is not neglecting your family.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will have the help and support you need.

This Mother’s Day, I pray, that you will be one day closer to healing for your family.

Most of all, this Mother’s Day I pray, that you will know you are not alone, that you are loved and that your child is one day better because of you.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

A bit of odd information for Lucy's Readers

Closer to Lucy is giving away a copy of Healing Autism Naturally this week.  While we do not typically post odd information, we thought we would post this odd entry to make her smile…  Thanks Lucy.

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