Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘autism’

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Some days I wonder, “Is it worth it?” It seems like everyday I wake up to do battle. A battle for the well-being of my son. Every meal, every snack, every grocery trip, specialty food stores, supplements, vitamins, everytime I clean or wash something I work to keep things as toxin free as possible and the food allergen free, nutritious, and healing – and that means from scratch with unusual ingredients! And that’s routine, then there are the other battles – the insurance company (they still haven’t paid a penny for his treatments, even mainstream allergy and GI issue treatment), the doctors, friends and society and the perception of what we are doing. Many who think I’m wrong. Battling to find or create a treatment plan that will work for him. Most days it feel like uncharted territory and for us to discover it is the only way to move forward.

The sacrifice of a social life and friends. We don’t often get together with others. Food is usually involved. Most people don’t get excited about dairy free, yeast free, gluten free, color free…do I really need to keep going? And, well, I’ve lived in a cave for 2 years – a cave called allergies, developmental delay, autism, toxins, neurotoxicity, nutrition, health, and recovery. My every waking moment dedicated to the care of my boys and research. Not exactly uplifting topics for casual conversation.  Yet, I don’t have much else to talk about. I can listen. But, I nearly go insane as I listen to new mothers go on and on about how awful their life is with their colicky 6 week old baby and how they can’t sleep through the night and they are so exhausted. Yet, who don’t want any real help – just a pill to cure it.

I’ve become a conspiracy theory person (the kind I use to look at cross-eyed because I thought they were crazy, yup, that’s me now)- Big Pharma (the pharmaceutical companies) having the power to control gov’t, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) vaccine recommendations, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) who still won’t acknowledge that Autism is treatable, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and what they do or don’t approve as safe, and of course the media. Yes, I’ve completely lost my trust in much of the information from these sources. Yet, this is who everyone else listens to so I feel like it’s a battle against all of them (gov’t, it’s agencies, media, pharma, mainstream medicine) plus against all of the misinformation everyone else around me believes from them and hits me with (as if I haven’t heard it and looked into it already). I try to look at these as educational opportunities the problems is – who would you believe? A mom with a kid with developmental problems or the CDC, AAP, FDA, the media, and your doctor? I know who I used to believe and lets just say, I thought the mom was craaazy. So, most people don’t really want to be educated. They like their comfortable bubble with their misinformation. Who can blame them. I’m exhausted fighting this fight and if it wasn’t absolutely necessary, if I had had any other option, I would have taken it. My options were let my child starve, feed him foods he was allergic to and watch him vomit, scream, writhe in pain, and not develop mentally, or find another way – one nobody knew about. But since I didn’t have any other option  I stand and I fight not just for my son but for all those who currently have other options (reflux meds, ear tubes, nebulizers, allergy meds, seizure meds, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc) and keep trying to take them, but many of their kids aren’t getting better – for the few who will seek other solutions, I fight.

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Is it worth it? So often, I just get tired. Just plain tired. But also tired of fighting the system and seemingly everyone and everything (except my husband, of course – he’s an incredible warrior too!). Some days I just want to give up and give in – let’s go to McD’s and get chicken nuggets, fries, and some fruit punch!  Let’s stop on a great summer day and get an ice cream cone! Ah, the relief not to have to pack all meals and snacks ahead of time, to stop and get a treat that wasn’t specially planned for, prepared, and saved for the occation.

My family visited a week ago – my parents and my brother and his family. The last time we had seen them (except Mom, she was down for a visit in between) was for one week around the 1st of January, so it has been just over 4 months. Other than the diet, which we have done all along, we started his new treatments in December – cranial sacral, supplementation, and a little detox (started in April). 

My dad and brother both were amazed at Jordan. Dad went on and on about how Jordan would run up to him and look him straight in the eye as he was running around playing and how he repeatedly did that and kept coming back and “checking” and to sblueberry mustache-1ee what Dad was up to, where he was, etc. Haahum, Grandpa is known to be playful and to be there one minute and hiding around the corner waiting to startle you as you come looking for him the next minute! Dad talked about how you could look into Jordan’s eyes and see him thinking and processing everything, but instantaneously, no pausing needing to think about it or work to figure things out. Just looking at one thing, got it, and on to the next, no pause, no confusion, just alert understanding. It only took Jordan a couple minutes to warm up to him when they arrived – it used to take a couple of days, and even then he would be reserved, shy, fearful, look at his cousins out of the corner of his eye and he certainly still wanted, “Mommmyyyyyyy.” Not anymore! Jordan was all about playing with his Grandpa, uncle and cousins, no reservation, no fear – Mommy, where was she anyway? Who knows? Who cares? We have a very playful, silly, loving Grandpa visiting!

My brother noticed the difference in Jordan too. He commented that it seemed like Jordan had grown a year’s worth in the 4 months since they had seen him last! Ahhh, all words that do a warring mommy’s heart good – and I have to agree with his assessment. Jordan does seem like a 2 year old now.

Is it worth it? Oh to stop and enjoy that summer ice cream cone or see cookie crumbles on the edges of his mouth 🙂  But, then I remember where we’ve been and how far he has come, and the blueberry coconut milk smoothie mustache – made at home (with some supplements added in it too) – is just great!

Read Full Post »

“It’s not that our opponents are ignorant, it’s just that so much of what they know, just isn’t so.” –President Ronald Reagan

Many days it can be frustrating to know what I know about health, autism, sensory issues, allergies,  their causes, and live in this society. There is so much misinformation about treatments for autism and developmental delays, etc. The main push is: go do some therapies like ABA, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, socialization, etc. And the sooner you get those therapies for you child, the greater chance there is for a better outcome. Let me be clear about this – I am NOT against these therapies. They CAN be helpful. However, they are only minimally helpful if that is the ONLY treatment these children get.  If these children get other treatments FIRST, or even simultaneously, these forms of therapy will be exponentially more helpful. But, often times these therapies are the only thing moms hear about to help their child.

First we must get rid of the things in the child life that are harming the functioning of the brain and body. Things like food allergens (casein, gluten, and others specific to the child), foods that in general harm the body and alter how it functions (sugar, caffeine),  and chemical inputs (perfumes, cleaners, detergents, soaps, lotions, etc that are all toxic). These are all things that can be done at home relatively inexpensively. And these are very critical first steps, and can be done even before (or without ever) starting treatments with a doctor.

Second, we need to address what is physically wrong with the child. For this, additional professional help is needed. Is the child’s head misshapen or are some of the cranial bones overlapping or out of place? (If so, the brain is likely not getting nutrients to all the right places in adequate amounts).  Is there an overgrowth of yeast? Does the child have heavy metal toxicity? Does the child have chronic diarrhea or constipation? What does the child’s vitamin/mineral profile look like?  And other similar things.

These issues are critical to treatment, and all the therapies (physical, occupational, ABA, etc)  in the world will not correct them. Not only will it not correct them, until these issues are addressed, the brain’s functioning is compromised and the therapies will only be minimally effective. They may show some good results, but if these things were addressed the results would be so much more!

So the media is celebrating new advances and cutting-edge therapies for autism. For example, just last week the Today Show did a special on how they are now using robots to teach autistic kids socialization skills. It’s so cutting-edge and exciting. Before there was no hope for treating autistic kids, but now there are robots!!! And there has been 60 million dollars donated to this research about using the robots.  But they are missing the boat. If the things compromising the functioning of the brain and the physical problems are dealt with FIRST, then the therapies (including robots) utilized – to teach the kids what they missed learning when their brains couldn’t function properly – that would be a breakthrough!

It isn’t that these scientists, doctors, moms are ignorant, not at all, in fact they are very knowledgeable, they just have wrong information or are missing information. Ronald Regan said it perfectly, “so much of what they know just isn’t so.”

Read Full Post »

meyer-gardenCranial sacral is amazing!! I had no idea how it could help or what all it could do. Course, we have an amazing doctor who is MUCH more than a cranial sacral specialist or chiropractor, and that’s always an advantage ;). I didn’t realize in what ways and how much cranial sacral was helping until our 4th week (and 6th treatment) into it, and after we’d been away for a week and a half through Christmas and New Years.

We went to a beach house on the Alabama coast over the holidays for 1 week! That was great, what wasn’t so great was that Jordan went backward in some of his progress and even developed a couple new things he had never done before that are classic autism behaviors (although he’s not autistic) – walking on toes, flapping hands when he got really excited, and opening and shutting cupboard doors for an inordinate amount of time. Now, he only did each of these things once or twice , but I definately noticed and it really scared me. He also got really crabby and fearful. Fearful, like, if he was not being held by me he’d just scream – forget any independent playing on his own, or being able to make dinner with both my hands and arms available – no, one was always full with him, that or he would be clinging to my legs screaming. These irritable, fearful, dependent behaviors were very common and continued for many many months not so long ago, so I didn’t really notice them creap back into our lives. We attibuted it to the molds and mildew around the house, and the chlorine from the pool he was swimming in almost every day and how those were affecting him.

Come Thursday after vacation and his cranial sacral appointment. The doctor did some adjusting and stimulation…I don’t know just what…but as we were walking out of the office he said a new word (hum, hadn’t heard one of those for a week). We got outside and he bounced happily down the path – alive, alert, happy, coordinated, not clinging to me. By the time we got home he had said 3 new words! We walked through the door and he ran off to play – ran off, by himself, hmmm wow! I thought I’d check my email quick. He came up behind me where the bookshelf is and said “Read a book” as he pointed to the bookshelf!! Wow, a whole phrase, and he pointed! A month ago, he couldn’t even point at things he wanted. He would tug on my shirt and indicate a direction with his arm, but not a pointed finger! And then, he patiently waited while I finished my email (and without me holding him), whoa! If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I’d walked out of the doctor’s office with a different boy than who I went in with – a much happier, alert, active, coordinated, confident one! These great improvements didn’t stick at 100%, and there was a little regression through the following week, but I’d say overall, he retained up to 65% of these for the week.

Friday, we got the remaining test results and treatment plan from the allergy specialist and DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor. In addition to his leaky gut and systemic yeast overgrowth, it confirmed what we knew with his gut bacteria – he has lots of bad bacteria, and not much good bacteria, has lots of inflammation (from allergies), and the big one – he has heavy metal toxicity.

That brings us to his treatment plan. We’ll work on fixing them in this order: Correct his GI issues (kill yeast/heal gut/absorb nutrition), treat allergies, detoxify (chelation). So, we came home with some supplements – probiotic, antifungal, cod liver oil, enzymes, and L-Glutamine (an amino acid that heals the gut).

That’s where we start for this month – things are in progress!

Read Full Post »