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Archive for the ‘Autism Spectrum Treatment’ Category

Autism Facts

  • 1 in 91 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.
  • 1 out of 58 are boys, making it the fastest growing developmental disorder we have ever seen.
  • The economic impact of autism is more than $90 billion and is expected to more than double within the next decade.

The Nutrition Link

Not only has the prevalence of Autism skyrocketed, the rates of asthma, ADHD, and allergies are also growing. One thing that can improve all of these conditions – diet and nutrition. One thing that every child I’ve ever heard of recovering from autism had in common – diet. Some only required an allergy avoidance diet. Others, an allergy avoidance diet plus other nutrition and supplementation, plus therapies. For Jordan, allergy avoidance was the foundation of his diet. We didn’t see anything spectacular developmentally when we avoided his allergies, we had to get super healthy on top of that plus do supplements and detoxing. However, if we hadn’t done the diet (or when it was accidentally broken, everything else we had done (therapies, brain exercises, etc) and the improvements he had made  fell apart.

When I started studying nutrition 3 years ago when our journey with Jordan started, I was shocked to find that everything I had been taught through school, the media and while growing up (such as the food pyramid, milk is a good source of calcium, etc) was flat out wrong. Three things were right. Those three things are…drumroll please – fruits and vegetables are good for you (that’s two). Third, sugar is not good for you! Those are the sum total of accurate things I learned about diet and nutrition throughout all my first 30 years. As I began to learn, the amount of misinformation and conflicting information surrounding nutrition can create a lot of confusion. But after studying, learning trustworthy sources, sources that can’t be trusted, and learning some basic foundational guidelines it became much easier to confidently make truly healthy choices.

To say the least, diet and nutrition are the cornerstones of a healthy body – for everyone, not just children struggling with physical or neurological issues. Next to diet and nutrition (what goes in the body) in importance, is digestion (what you absorb and eliminate). I’d like to invite you to come with me on a journey, sharing some of the things I’ve learned through the research I’ve done to recover Jordan and in my studies to be come a CNHP.  I never know what to share or where to start sharing what I’ve learned, so I’m going to walk through the book, Digestive Wellness for Children by Elizabeth Lipski Ph.D., C.C.N. As I read the first couple chapters I thought, wow, so much of the basics of what I’ve learned the last 3 years are right here, packaged neatly in this book. Of course, I’m not going to plagiarized the book, but each week I’ll review a section of the book and post some highlights, with comments.

So that you know what is coming, below is the Table of Contents. We’ll start slow, in the first 2 1/2 sections and then pick up speed as we make our way through.

PART ONE – AN OVERVIEW OF CHILDREN’S HEALTH ISSUES AND DIGESTION

  • Our Kids: Overfed and Undernourished
  • Chemicals and Convenience: Consumer Be Aware!
  • A Journey Through the Digestive System
  • Enzymes: The Body’s Workhorses
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics: Keys to Healthful Resilience
  • Dybiosis: An Unbalanced Body Ecology
  • Acid-Alkaline Balance: Optimizing Cellular Function

PART TWO – HEALING YOUR CHILD WITH FOOD

  • We Are What We Eat!
  • Making The Change
  • How to Feed Your Kids So They’ll Be Happy and You’ll Be Happy

PART THREE – DIGESTIVE HEALTH ISSUES IN CHILDREN

  • Introduction to Part 3
  • Food and Environmental Sensitivities
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Care and Feeding of Infants and Toddlers
  • Issues of the Mouth, Esophagus, and Stomach
  • Issues of the Small Intestine
  • Issues of the Large Intestine
  • Inflamed or Irritable Bowels

PART FOUR – ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS THAT BENEFIT FROM A HEALTHY GUT

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Autism
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Influenza
  • Migraine

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Here is a link to a video of a leading researcher and doctor talking about aluminum.   Info greatly needed! Will change how you get vaccines and what you cook on!

New Warning About Everyday Poison Linked to Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and Autism.

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The very short answer of how the break the cycle of developing more allergies and heal old allergies…heal the digestive system: the gut, the bugs (bacteria & yeast), the immune system (70-80% of the immune system is in the gut/intestines). To explain HOW to do that will take awhile.

The Gut: It’s very possible that there is an issue with leaky gut. Where “holes” in the intestinal wall allow large food particles into the blood, where the immune system sees them as invaders (virus, bacteria, or toxin)and attacks, because big things in the blood are virus, bacteria, or toxin, nutrients from food in the blood are suppose to be small. The immune system then says hey, remember that substance for next time and we can conquer it more quickly = allergy reaction the next time the food is eaten.

The Bugs: We all have an inner ecosystem – good and bad bugs in our digestive system. It’s not that some are really bad, we need them, we just need them IN BALANCE. Too many of one type becomes a bad bug and can cause lots of problems. The most common culprit: candida, or yeast. It is their job to eat large food particles so they don’t get into the bloodstream. Lots of large food particles, means more and more yeast are needed, but in the course of doing their job, they can multiply out of control and actually grow into and through our intestinal wall and get into the bloodstream themselves, and into our other organs, etc when they should only be in our gut and in the right proportion to other bugs there. If this is the cause…digestive enzymes to help digest the food are needed to correct the original reason the yeast overgrew in the first place. Yeast can also overgrow because the good bacteria are killed off for some reason. Bacteria are killed by what? ANTIBIOTICS!!! (Think about it “anti” “biotic”. I’m not saying antibiotics are bad, I’m just saying we need to be aware that they kill both bad AND good bacteria and if we must take antibiotics, to make sure we take probiotics as well to help recolonize our gut with good bacteria after being on antibiotics. Personally, I try to find all-natural antibiotics in the form of herbs, essential oils, and things that help our bodies fight the bugs (thereby strengthening the immune system long term) rather than go in and wipe them out with drugs (which used repeatedly, in the long run weakens the immune system because it gets no exercise or experience).

It can be tough at first, but in the long run it sure pays off. My boys used to catch every little thing going around, and Jordan would be sick and completely miserable for 2-3 weeks every time he caught something. Now that I’ve been using natural things and have been working to build his immune system (for him that meant keeping him away from other sick kids for about a year – when you’re sick, it’s hard to heal other chronic issues and strengthen the body & immune system). Last week and this week we’ve been around hacking coughing kids many times and neither of my boys have gotten sick! It’s wonderful!! FYI: it also means limiting (or eliminating) sugar. Sugar depresses the immune system for 5-6 hours after it is eaten.

If there is already an issue with yeast, due to partially digested food, antibiotic, or other medication use. Then it needs to be killed and brought back under control. There are many ways to do this. My favorite is by using enzymes and probiotics. The enzymes eat the yeast rather than killing it and adding toxins to the body through the die-off of the yeast. FYI: yeast feed on sugar and anything the body can readily turn to sugar: wheat, corn, pasta, potatos, dairy, maple syrup, etc. While combatting yeast it may be necessary to seriously cut back (or eliminate) the intake of these foods

FYI: Yeast overgrowth can also be caused by the use of contraception (and hormone imbalances), and steroid based drugs/medications such as acne medication.

The Immune System: this one is very multifaceted and involved. To be completely honest I don’t totally understand this area yet. What I do know is that immune system disregulation is epidemic today, with Th1 and Th2 responses being imbalanced. Th2 is overactive in many, many children (just think asthma & allergies). This means the immune system is always on high alert, fighting, everything. How did this flip happen? Well, it’s not the only reason, but the most common answer for that is: vaccinations.

So, the immune system. That bring us back to the basis of recovery from many things (including: asthma, ADD, allergies, autism spectrum):

1)Stop putting bad things in

2)Put only the best things in as possible (food, body products, scents)

3)Get the bad stuff that is still in the body out.

For more information on this check out the pages about causes and treatment, toxicity, and nutrition.

In the Mean Time: while you work on these 3 things: the gut, the bugs, and the immune system (and the toxicity – stop putting junk in, only put in good stuff, get the bad stuff out), if the child needs a greater variety of foods, the best thing I have found to help is called NAET or BioSET. However, the effectiveness of these techniques is very dependant on the skill and knowledge of the practitioner. Try to find one that others have had success through and who won’t break your bank with a gazillion treatments.

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Quick update on Jordan’s progress. It’s been a month and a half since the new doctor and his new supplements protocol was supposed to start. After being much discouraged because NONE of the supplements from the new doctor will enter beyond Jordan’s lips (and it’s two months between appointments), I went searching – on my own again 🙂  I came across a supplement called Liver Life.

Liver Life, it is made by BioRay and is the precursor to the chelating (pulls heavy metals from the body) supplement NDF and NDF+, which we’ll probably try at a later date when he’s ready for it. It is an herbal tincture and is designed to decongest the liver, allowing acids and toxins to drain from the body (opening Phase I and Phase II detoxification pathways). That’s why this is a precursor to chelation. It’s not wise to start pulling metals out of the tissues until the body can efficiently eliminate them! Liver Life also helps to regulate the acid/alkaline balance in the body and decrease certain types of allergy reaction.

Jordan has been on it for 2 weeks now. After the 3rd day on it we saw some great improvements. He is more alert, understands more about what is going on around him, follows conversations some, is adding words to his vocabulary more, and in the last couple of days has started adding connecting words!  This is very exciting. When Jordan started on the prescription anti-fungals (he was only on them for a month before I discontinued them) he lost all his connecting words and they haven’t come back. He had been saying things like, “I fell down” or “Here you go, Mommy” as he handed me something, but since the prescription anti-fungals and subsequent regaining of the language he lost while on them, he now says things like, “fall bump head hurts” or “sitting truck” instead of “sitting on the truck.” It’s been 3 months since he’s been totally off anti-fungals and the connector words hadn’t come back. But in the last couple days, I’ve heard “on” “in” and “the”!!! He also has a new twinkle in his eye and has lost some of that sullen puppy dog look he’s had most of his life!  Exciting times here, hopeful with the possibilities for the new supplements. They are all natural, appear to be effective, and Jordan can’t even taste it in his juice! We’ll see what the new doctor has to say about the new supplement I added next week when we consult – yikes.Jordan and hair sticking up_edited-1

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Jordan’s issues became apparent when he was 3 weeks old and started vomiting, spitting up (reflux), screaming for 5 hours a day/ night, had rashes, diarrhea, green and mucousy bowel movements and was just plain miserable. We quickly discovered he had multiple food allergies and were able to determine what they were and eliminate them from my diet (he was nursing). The screaming stopped, the vomiting stopped, the reflux ceased.

At one year old when he needed to start eating solid foods on his own – he had exclusively nursed up to this point – it became obvious he was allergic to all food (except a plain, baked sweet potato).  He reached normal developmental milestones like crawling and walking through about 13 or 14 months of age. But, by 18 months it was obvious he had a speech and developmental – cognitive, emotional and behavioral – delay (but allergies can do that). During this time I researched everything I could find on the causes of food allergies. We greened our house and environment as much as possible, removing toxins and changing our diet to organic whole foods as much as we could.

It was when he was around 18 months that I learned the causes of allergies, asthma, autism, and ADD/ADHD are the same! So I started reading everything I could on the causes of autism, figuring, since the causes are the same and there is tons of information on autism, I’d read about the causes of autism and be able to help my son with his food allergies, since there isn’t much information specifically on the causes of allergies. The more I read on autism the freakier it got for me. Jordan’s physical symptoms matched that of many autistic kids: multiple food allergies, diarrhea and constipation, tantrums, fear, super sensitive hearing, yeast issues, leaky gut…could Jordan have autism?

Socially he’s always connected with me, always looked in my eyes, desired to communicate. The one or two autistic kids I’d seen in my life before this were very severe (although I didn’t know that) and that’s what I thought autism was.  I knew something was wrong with Jordan, but was it autism? I struggled with how to tell people what was going on with him, especially in a brief sentence. So I started to say he had autistic-like problems.  He shared the same physical problems and symptoms as a huge number of autistic kids, but did that make it autism?   Well, no, it doesn’t. Autism is classified as a neurological disorder, not a physical disorder, so it’s diagnosed by cognitive, social, and behavioral symptoms, not by physical symptoms or issues. And that is where the two camps of autism are at war right now. One side believes autism is a neurological disorder, nothing can be done except some therapies to try to socialize and teach them. The other side believes autism is a physically-based disease that can be improved, reversed and even cured by addressing those underlying physical problems through biomedical treatments.

You can guess which camp I’m in 🙂 Because of Jordan’s extreme sensitivity to foods and other substances, I quickly learned that toxins affect him greatly. It’s easy to see and doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Even just the other day I put sunscreen on him – I knew better. I shouldn’t have. But, I was afraid he would get sunburnt being in water out in full sun for awhile. The only sunscreen available was full of chemicals. (I failed to prepare and have a less toxic one available). That night he was crying and wouldn’t fall asleep like he normally does and fussed for hours past his bedtime. With him, it is easy to see when his toxic burden is getting to great. His eyes swell, he gets lines under them, and he gets fussy and miserable. Forget swimming in a chlorinated pool. He can only handle so many toxins at once and with the amount we are surrounded with in our everyday lives, it’s no wonder the rate of autism is increasing at epidemic rates. Autism is an environmental illness due to the toxic burden put on our bodies and our kids are paying a heavy price.

So, does Jordan have autism?  I’ve never had him formally diagnosed,  I don’t see the point. But from the diagnostic tools I’ve been able to use online, he comes out as having pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD – NOS). It is a form of autism and is certainly on the autism spectrum of disorders. PDD-NOS encompasses a wide range and sometimes can be used as a “soft” diagnosis by practitioners who don’t have the heart to tell parents their child has autism. However, in Jordan’s case I would agree that it’s PDD-NOS. He doesn’t fit classic autism or Asperger’s. Some of his symptoms are severe, where other areas he seems unaffected. Some of the symptoms where he seems unaffected or nearly so are the defining characteristics of these other diagnoses. I still have a difficult time saying he has autism, or even PDD. I prefer to say he has some developmental delays, sensory issues, or food allergies depending on the situation. Even better, I say he has yeast overgrowth, leaky gut, malabsorption of nutrients, a malfunctioning and weak immune system, and heavy metal toxicity because that’s what the real issues are.

 Here are a few statistics from Generation Rescue:

  • Autism now impacts 1 in 150 children, up from 1 in 10,000 in the 1970s. That is an increase of 6,000%.
  • 1 in 150 children have autism. 1 in 12 children have ADHD. 1 in 6 children have a learning disorder.
  • Autism is an environmental illness caused by an overload of toxic metals, bacteria, viruses, and chronic inflammation.
  •  Many children with autism share the same physical symptoms including gastrointestinal distress, food allergies, immune issues, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and sleep disturbances.
  •  In the 1980s, the recommended vaccine schedule was 10 shots by age 6. Today, it is 36 shots.
  • The U.S. gives more vaccines at an earlier age than any country in the world.
  • Children with autism test for higher amounts of toxic metals in their system than their neurotypical peers.
  • Typically, doctors do not tell parents about biomedical treatment. They find out about it from other parents and the web.  
  •  There are more than 400 doctors in the US dedicated to treating children with autism biomedically.
  • Biomedical treatment consists of diet changes and vitamin, mineral and other supplementation.
  • Vaccines are not mandatory for school. It is a parent’s choice to decide what and when to vaccinate.

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I’ve delayed in posting about Jordan’s new protocol from Dr. P because I’m having a difficult time getting some of the new supplements into him. I’m trying to be creative – juice, popsicles, smoothies, mixed with meat, mixed with salsa, mixed with applesauce – but some of these supplements are just not working. So, here is the new protocol and if you have any ideas for how to get supplements into a toddler, please share! !! The ones I’m struggling with are capsules which have to be opened and have a VERY strong (and undesirable) flavor (and smell). It is the anti-fungals and the Butyrate.

Our daily schedule looks like this (or should look like this if I could get them all into him):

BREAKFAST AMOUNT
OSR  
Electrolyte Synergy ½ scoop
Phosphatidyl Choline (4:1 Oil) 1 tsp
Butyrate 1 capsule
L-Glutamine 1 capsule
Kandidaplex/GI Microb-X OR Probiotic 1 capsule
Enzymes 1 capsule
   
BETWEEN MEALS – empty stomach  
B Brain 1 capsule
Cell Clear 1 capsule
#4 FungDX OR Probiotic 1 capsule
   
LUNCH (or DINNER)  
Butyrate 1 capsule
L-Glutamine 1 capsule
Kandidaplex/GIMicrob-X OR Probiotic 1 capsule
Cod Liver Oil 1 tsp
Enzymes 1 capsule
   
BETWEEN MEALS – empty stomach  
Cell Clear 1 capsule
#4FungDX OR Probiotic 1 capsule
   
DINNER  
Enzymes 1 capsule
(Any missed at lunch)  
   
BED TIME – empty stomach  
BioClear 2 capsules
   
   

Here is a listing of the supplements, what they are and what they do

DAILY SUPPLEMENT DOSAGE PER DAY SPECIFICATION INSTRUCTIONS/DESCRIPTION
OSR (25 mg – 1 scoop)  25 milligrams to 1 scoop   25 milligrams for 1 month then 1 scoop thereafter Heavy Metal Chelator Do not start for at least 1 month. Start anti-fungals and brain support first.
Butyrate (Sodium Potassium)  2 capsules Daily with food Fatty Acid (helps clear toxins from cell; calm GI Inflammation; switch Th1/Th2 response)
Phosphatidyl Choline(4:1 Oil w/ PC) 1 tsp Daily with food Fatty Acids
Electrolyte Synergy  ½ scoop Daily with food Electrolytes & Minerals
L-Glutamine  1 capsule Twice/day with food Amino Acid
Vital Zymes  1 capsule Every Meal with food Digestive Enzyme
Cod Liver Oil   ½-1 tsp Daily   Fatty Acids
Probiotic  1 tablet Twice/day 2+ hours away from anti-fungals Gut Bacteria
         
Cell Clear  1 capsule Twice/day Empty stomach Multi-Vitamin Amino AcidsProteins
B-Brain  1 capsule Daily Empty stomach Wait until others are started so can see changes.
          
BioClear 2 capsules Daily Always before bed; empty stomach Binding Agent – to capture and escort toxins out of the body
          
ANTI-FUNGALS  ROTATE – 1 WEEK ON, THEN SWITCH TO THE NEXT
Kandidaplex  2 capsules Twice/day with food Anti-fungal
GIMicrob-X  2 capsules Twice/day with food Anti-fungal
#4 FungDX  2 capsules Twice/day Empty stomach Anti-fungal

 

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One of the most frustrating things about the disorders on the Autism Spectrum (anything from ADD, asthma, allergies, sensory integration disorder, pervasive developmental disorder,  to severe autism) is that most all medical information declares that there is no known cause. In regards strictly to Autism, the medical community forcefully says that it is not caused by vaccines (of course the research is paid for by the pharmaceutical companies who want to sell millions of their vaccines), they spend lots of money researching genetics, but all in all, they say they do not know what causes it. Yes, genetics is a cause, but only in about 5% of cases. Well, what about the other 95%? This 95% is why the prevalence of it has exploded to epidemic proportions in recent years. It’s the same reason why allergies and sensory disorders are exploding too.

A few statistics on Autism:

  • 1 in 150 children in the US now have Autism
  • 4:1 ratio of boys to girls
  • 1 in 94 boys in the US have Autism
  • Fastest growing developmental disability
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than cancer, diabetes, Down’s Syndrome and AIDS combined
  • $100 Billion annual costs
  • In 10 years the annual costs are projected at 200-400 billion.
  • Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3rds with early intervention
  • A family with a child with autism will fund 3 to 5 million dollars of services throughout the lifetime of the child
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of most of the more prevalent childhood disorders
  • Approximately 1 million individuals in the US have autism

(From Generation Rescue)

Those are the currently published statistics, and some of those numbers, like the 1:150, are old. The ratio is dropping, and it’s dropping fast.

CAUSES

There are many causes. The contributing factors are different for each child (or at least the 95% of them that isn’t not genetic). But, they all come back to the same thing – toxic overload. Here are the pieces of Jordan’s puzzle that caused his allergies and PDD (pervasive developmental disorder). At least these are the pieces I’ve figured out so far, I could very well find out more in the future. In chronological order (not order of gravity of contribution to his problem).

  1. Aluminum & Other Metals (heavy metal toxicity) – Before I knew I was pregnant, I was having horrible abdominal pain every evening and through the night. I figured out it was trapped gas and started taking antacids like crazy. Guess what? Most antacids contain aluminum. Guess what? I was pregnant with Jordan, less than 10 weeks along (but didn’t know it). There was no blood brain barrier in him yet, the metals had free access to every developing cell of his body, including his brain. We’ve all heard about the dangers of lead poisoning, the scares of lead paint, etc. Same thing, aluminum and other metals just don’t get as much media attention.
  2. Stress & Poor Nutrition – During the pregnancy we moved and were living with family and in-laws alternately. Very stressful, poor eating habits. Also, with the birth of my first child I had 4th degree tears, causing the worst pain of my life during the following months. I was hardly able to stand or sit because of the pain, had to have surgery 4 months later to correct things, and it took 11 months before I could sit down without pain. To say the least, I was stressed about giving birth again. Stress = raised cortisol levels. Raised cortisol levels during pregnancy, especially the 3rd trimester, not good.
  3. Yeast Overgrowth – During pregnancy I had several bouts with yeast infections. This indicated that I had poor gut bacteria and overgrowth of yeast, but I didn’t know that then and only treated the local yeast infection. During the birth process, the baby’s digestive tract is colonized with the gut bacteria from the mother. And, while breastfeeding the baby’s gut bacteria closely resembles the mother’s. Yeast overgrowthin the gut, unchecked, can lead to leaky gut syndrome. With holes in the gut, partially digested foods, proteins particularly (peptides), can enter the bloodstream. These peptides are not recognized by the immune system as food, but resemble foreign invaders such as bacteria or virus. The immune system attacks and you have food allergies. Also these peptides can reach the brain and act as opiates, contributing to some autistic symptoms – how would you act if you were high all the time? Allergies also cause inflammation throughout the body = lots of problems.
  4. Hepatitis B Vaccine & Others – Day one of life Jordan had the hepatitis B vaccine. Guess what is in the hepatitis B vaccine? Aluminum! The known toxic dose of aluminum for a baby is 20 micrograms. The amount in the Hep B vaccine? 250 micrograms! At 2 months he was fully vaccinated with the recommended vaccines. The aluminum content? 1,875 micrograms! (from Dr. Robert Sears who gathered the data from the FDA’s data and web site). I know he has issues with other heavy metals too, it’s just not as obvious how he might have gotten them (although they are in the air, water, food, vaccines, etc) Heavy metals also cause yeast overgrowth problems and yeast actually bind onto the metals. So, until you get rid of the metals, you won’t completely get rid of the yeast problems. Metals also cause allergy problems. Also in vaccines: formaldehyde, antifreeze, arsenic.  Obviously, not good things to put in a baby already struggling with so much junk in him. These early vaccines (Hep B on day 1 of life) can also cause an inflammed gut with a result similar to yeast overgrowth were proteins can cross into the blood, resulting in allergies. They also can overload the immune system creating an overactive Th2 response and underactive Th1 response. 
  5. Environmental Toxins– we’re surrounded by toxins in our air, water, cleaners, personal care products, food (pesticides, metals, chemicals, excitotoxins), perfumes, air fresheners, etc. With all the other toxins in his body, his little system quickly became overwhelmed and couldn’t clean the junk out like most of us are able to and so it just kept accumulating, wrecking havoc with normal body and brain functions.

So far, those are the pieces of our puzzle. Maybe we’ll find more, maybe not. Everyone’s puzzle will be different. But I’m satisfied that I have a good enough grasp of the causes to know the target for healing.

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