As in the previous post with the same heading I wrote I wanted to continue writing on the subject matter of auditory processing disorder, ADD, ADHD and Autism. After finding out that my 6 year old was suffering in school with an auditory processing disorder I wanted to learn more about it and I found that her problem is associated on some level with ADD, ADHD and Autism.
What is ADD/ADHA?
Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD/ADHD, is a psychological term applied to anyone who meets certain criteria evaluated for impulsive, hyperactive or inattention issues. Symptoms are usually neurologically based and arise early in childhood and are chronic in nature. Symptoms are not due to mental retardation or gross neurological impairment.
There are three main ingredients that characterize this problem, all or some may be prevalent:
1. Poor sustained attention or vigilance
2. Difficulty delaying gratification or being impulsive
3. Hyperactivity and unable to follow rules
I attended a meeting of a group of parents called a SEPTO, Special Educational Parent Teacher Organization. This group offered information and support to parents and teachers with children that have special needs. Our guest speaker was a naturopath from Watchung, NJ. She enlightened the group as to the issues surrounding children with disabilities and focused primarily on children’s diets and the immunizations given to children at a very young age.
First I wanted to focus on the immunizations. Whether parents realize this or not, 99% of children in hospitals are given a HepB shot before they even leave the hospital. This shot is usually thought to help the child prevent from getting Hepatitis B from their hospital. The problem is that some of these children may not be developmentally able to handle this vaccination, so their brains are saying “I don’t know what to do with this vaccine information, but I can live with it so we will manage to adjust”. But, when that same child is 3 months old, most pediatricians give children the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccination. Now the body and brain are becoming overloaded with information from this vaccine and the brain does not know what to do with it, so something happens in that child’s brain. There becomes a developmental disconnect someplace which rarely gets noticed until the child is about 2 – 3 years old.
Thimerosal, which is a mercury containing organic compound may contribute to the chance of a child with a compromised immune system, or very young under developed immune system may be prone to getting Autism, or at the very least ADD or ADHA. While the FDA is working closely with pharmaceutical companies to remove this compound from all vaccinations, it still exists in most of them in trace amounts. However, these trace amount build up vaccine after vaccine in the body still helping to promote a neurological problem in that child’s future. While vaccines or their components are not primarily the cause of autism, they may cause autism in a subset of genetically susceptible children, or a neurological condition that resembles autism.
Many questions have come up about the vaccines themselves, but the fact that so many shots are given to a child at the same time may cause neurological chaos in some kids.
It was recommended by this naturopath that when visiting the pediatricians office prior to the delivery of your child, make sure that the doctor knows that you want the MMR given as an individual injection, not all 3 parts together. Most doctors will not tell you that it is possible to get the measles, the mumps and rubella separate because it takes too much effort on their part to order it separate, but it is possible and may help prevent your child from these horrible neurological disorders. She also suggested that we get the 3 vaccinations at 3 different times in order to be easier on your child’s body.
I am in no way suggesting that you do not immunize your child, I had all three of my children immunized, without immunizations we would potentially have a disastrous effect on our society, I am merely stating that vaccinations should be spread out and the combination vaccines should be split up.
The food question?
In recent years studies have shown that food allergies can play a role in causing or worsening autism. The two most common offenders are gluten (wheat protein) and casein (a milk protein).
First I have to say that humans are the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammal, it’s really not natural for us to drink milk, other then mothers milk, just something to ponder. Gluten and casein break down in the body into peptides which act as narcotics in children with autism thereby worsening the behaviors of those children.Studies have also shown that eggs, tomatoes, eggplant, avocado, red peppers, soy products and corn also contribute to worsen autistic behavior. The interesting thing is that when autistic children were tested for actual food allergies against these products, they tested within the normal range. When fed those foods mentioned above, they did not exhibit any typical allergic reactions to the foods. However, when autistic children were tested some in a group with the foods mentioned and some without, the children who had the offending foods were indeed worse in behavior then those without those foods in their diets.
Researchers suggest not testing an autistic child for an actual food allergy, but testing those children for specific antibodies against those foods.It is not completely clear that those foods do worsen the effects autism has on children. However it is believed by many that the inflammatory causing chemicals from white blood cells are associated with wheat and casein contribute to autism and may even be the cause of it. Those chemicals are called cytokines.
Gluten and casein containing foods were combined with blood cells from autistic children and non-autistic children in a study, the inflammatory cytokines were measured. The cytokines in the autistic samples were much higher then those in the non-autistic children. This study showed researchers that children with autism may benefit from diets free of gluten and casein.
I hope you found this information helpful. I have a slew of recipes that are casein/wheat free if you would like them I can send some to you.
Do you have information to share on this topic? We would love to her from you.