Tag Archive | "autism intervention"

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Autism Treatment – Autism Research and Brain Inflammation

Posted on 08 January 2012 by admin

Microglia Activation–Brain Inflammation and Autism

Brain Inflammation, or neroulogical inflammation, with respects to Autism, has been the topic of a tremendous amount of research out of Johns Hopkins University and other research facilities. Emerging research shows that in Autism, there tends to be a higher prevalence of neuro-inflammatory markers likely affecting individuals on the Autism spectrum more adversely.

In short, there is a cell in the brain or a system in the brain called microglia. Microglia is a part of the immune system function of the brain and the central nervous system. In many individuals with Autism, there appears to be what’s called microglia activation where the microglia become activated, but don’t turn off. They can become activated from a virus or bacteria. They can become activated from a potential chemical reaction. There’s been some cases where it’s shown that certain vaccines may be a contributing factor to microglia activation.

When the system doesn’t turn off, it leads to chronic inflammation and essentially the destruction of what are called synapses. Synapses are the small spaces between nerve cells where neuro-chemicals are transferred from one nerve cell to the next as a communication link. So, we get a chemical reaction across the synapse creating an electrical chemical reaction in the corresponding nerve cell. So, anything that is going to affect the synapse will essentially affect chemical transportation from one brain region to the next and electrical impulse activation in the brain as well.

There isn’t just one thing that causes microglia activation, but it is something that should be on your radar. It is something to consider for your child on the Autism spectrum, something that may be a contributing factor to their overall condition. Whether you feel your child had a vaccine reaction, whether they had an infection at some point where things just never returned to normal, or they’ve had chronic immune problems throughout their life like food sensitivities, gut problems, etc, you could be looking at the potential for microglia activation.

microglia activation

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Autism Treatment – Behavior Changes in Treating Autism

Posted on 12 December 2011 by admin

Behavior Changes

A number of factors can impact behavior in children with Autism, and working on resolving behavior changes means isolating some factors of the behavior. When is the behavior issue occurring? Is it occurring before going to school or in the morning or happening when your child gets home from school? Is it happening at school? In the therapy sessions? Before bedtime? Has there been some type of change in their daily routine?

I’ve often had kids who’ve had behavior changes because they’re in a classroom and a new child comes into the classroom that they either don’t like or they’re not getting along with or there is some type of conflict. It can even be a result of a new therapist or a new teacher.

Behavior changes can break down to something in their daily routine. Has there been some sort of change in their diet? Eating new foods or taking certain foods away that your child likes certainly can contribute to behavioral problems. Have you added a new supplement? Often times, changes in behavior occur when new supplements are added. Often times people will add too many supplements at one time instead of spacing them out every two to three days when introducing a new thing. Supplements sometimes can cause problems.

So you really have to be a detective in what is actually happening with your child and how long has that behavior change been occurring. Keep a journal on your child’s behavior changes to help you establish patterns. Has it been over a couple days or a couple weeks? Really try to piece together what may be going on, and keep in mind it may not be biomedical. It could be situational.

By the way, if it is something that might be tied to supplements, generally what I do is isolate which supplements have been added since the behavioral change started. Then, I recommend taking all of those new supplements out. Wait four to five days and see if the behavioral change shifts. Reintroduce those supplements one at a time, maybe sometimes at half a dose, and take implementation slower because just that change alone may be enough for your child to handle whatever new program you are putting them on.

Behavior Changes

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Autism Treatment – Dietary Treatment Options for Autism Treatment

Posted on 16 October 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment

There are a number of dietary interventions that are helpful for individuals on the autism-spectrum. These include the gluten and casein-free diet (GF/CF), the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Low Oxalate Diet (LOD), Feingold, GAPS, and anti-candida. Deciding on which Autism Treatment diet is right for your child can be confusing. How do you know where to start? Which Autism Treatment protocol do I do? Which one is best? All of these are common questions, but sometimes difficult to answer. In my experience there, is no one diet that is right for every person – certainly not every autism-spectrum child. One size does not fit all. It is true that in the context of eating, the elimination of toxic foods such as processed grains, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats is critical, and in doing so will go a long way in improving the health of your child. Let’s take a glance at one diet – The Body Ecology – as an Autism Treatment option.

Yeast is a major problem in autism. The biotoxins from yeast contribute to cognitive, behavioral and language difficulties. Working to reduce or eliminate yeast toxins is an important consideration for any person on the autism-spectrum. Autism Treatment programs such as the Body Ecology Diet help in attacking chronic yeast problems. Here is an overview of the Body Ecology Diet:

* Anti-candida diet by eliminating all fruits other than lemons, limes, dried cranberries, and black currant seed juice.
* Cultured vegetables which aide in proper digestion, normalizing intestinal beneficial bacteria levels and acid-alkaline balance.
* Using various kefir products which are a good source of protein.
* Using a wide variety of protein meats, vegetables, and certain non-gluten (gliadin) grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat).
* Vegetable juices for increased nutrient bioavailability.
* Proper food combining to reduce digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and yeast overgrowth, etc.

The benefits derived from the Body Ecology program are a reduction in yeast overgrowth (and other opportunistic intestinal “gut bugs” such as bacteria and parasites), reduced exposure to harmful sugars, proper digestion, stronger immune function and less food allergies.

The Body Ecology Diet is a good example of how a more whole food diet (with the incorporation of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and healthy grains), and the elimination of fast foods can have wide-sweeping positive effects on your child’s health by reducing many of the artificial food ingredients, sugars and toxic fats that plague so much of the typical American diet.

Autism Treatment

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Autism Treatment – Is Autism Curable?

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

“Autism is curable.” This is a statement some people use to indicate that autism is a disease or health condition that can be overcome. Others have vehemently argued that autism is not a disease process at all, and therefore there is nothing to be cured from. The traditional medical community viewpoint is that there is no cure for autism and only supportive treatment such behavioral modification and drug therapies are options worth pursuing.

To fully understand the concept of cure we need to make a distinction between what is commonly called ‘cured’ (a return to a previous state of health before a change had occurred) and ‘recovery’ (the act of regaining health that was previously lost). Traditional medicine, and even those in the autism medical community realize that there is no known cure for autism, although there are different treatments available including biomedical autism interventions that can help individuals on the autism-spectrum such as diet, i.e. gluten-free and casein-free diet and/or the specific carbohydrate diet, nutritional supplement intervention (including multivitamin/minerals), Methyl-B12 therapy, Respen-A, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, detoxification, anti-fungal treatment, and much more, as well as non-biomedical therapies including applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech and occupational intervention. Traditional medicine even has treatments which are mostly drugs such as Risperdal to suppress aberrant behavior. However, none of these treatments are curative.

I do not use the word ‘cure’ in my consultations, internet postings, lectures, or writings when discussing the various treatments available for individuals on the autism-spectrum. Instead, the more appropriate word I like to use is ‘recover.’ Here is an analogy. If you have an accident and break your arm, and overtime your broken arm heals to the point that movement is restored and it appears indistinguishable from before the accident this would indicate a recovery from your injury. However, your arm would still have suffered the injury and therefore an absolute cure from the accident (and subsequent broken arm) is not possible. You still had the broken arm. However, normal function in your arm has been regained…you recovered!

A similar concept applies to autism. Children (as well as teenagers or adults) are not cured from their autism. However, some individuals can recover, losing their diagnosis, and appear indistinguishable from their peers. In these cases their autism was reversed, most or all symptoms of their disorder have disappeared, and they now function typical of other people, but they will always have had what is classified as autism. So what do you think? is autism curable?

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Autism Treatment – Spring Allergies, Regression and Autism, Part 1 of 2

Posted on 12 May 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment – Well, it’s that time of year again, spring is upon us and for many kids on the Autism spectrum, spring brings on yeast. It’s interesting, I’ve seen this pattern over the past many years where kids who are susceptible to yeast overgrowth or they have a yeast overgrowth issue and it’s been well controlled, whether through supplements or medications, all of a sudden spring hits, the pollens are out, the flowers are blooming and all of a sudden kids start to regress into yeast behavior, the goofiness, the giddiness, the silliness, the inappropriate laughter, the self stimulatory behavior just odd types of things that we often associate with yeast overgrowth come about.

Explanation of Autism Treatment with Spring Allergies and Regression

Now why exactly is this happening? It’s pretty difficult to know exactly what’s going on but the suspicion is that when you have an increase of allergy in the body you’re obviously going to have an increase in immune activity to those allergens, whether it’s a pollen, whether it’s a grass, whatever it may be. If you have an underlying yeast issue with your child then essentially what’s happening is there’s a bit of a shift that’s occurring in the immune system whether it’s systemically or it’s localized in the intestinal tract or the mucosal lining of the sinuses or nose but it has a systemic effect. Once there’s that increase in immune activity in some respects the yeast can take advantage of that type of situation and many times they start to overgrow and as they overgrow, they increase their metabolic activity their biotoxins are released and kids just start to cycle again into yeast behavior.

So some things that you can do is first off as autism treatment, watch for it. If you’re in a part of the country here all of a sudden it’s pretty cold then all of a sudden it’s warm again real quickly, watch to see if you’re seeing any type of yeast behavior. Make sure, too, when the weather gets warmer, many of us are outside, we start having family and friends over at the house, we’re starting to do more picnics and many times that can be an increased consumption of sugary foods and juices and soda pop and whatnot for some kids so that may need to be curtailed.

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Autism Treatment – Regression, Gut Problems and Autism Part 2 of 2

Posted on 09 May 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment – And what I’ve seen in having these kids, I wish I could do more, but in having had many of these kids evaluated by doing intestinal scoping through a gastro-enterologist is you will often find inflamed guts and what is characteristic of Autistic enterocolitis. Now, the main doctor I refer people to from a pediatric gastroenterologist is Dr. Krigsman who’s in Texas. He’s been my sort of go-to doctor for these types of assessments now for years. The reality is in my experience there just aren’t a lot of doctors around who are willing to evaluate kids on the spectrum from a GI perspective to level that they need to be evaluated and really understand the complexities of it. And what I’ve seen through doctor Krigsman’s assessments is that these children have inflamed guts, sometimes quite significant, but kids have an amazing ability to compensate for pain.

Gut Problems with Autism Treatment

So they’re not all manifesting with extreme pain or distress. We just have this cyclical nature of improvement, this waxing and waning effect of improvement then worsening, improvement and worsening, and over and over and over. Many times it very characteristic of Crohn’s disease which can tend to have a waxing and waning effect. If you have a child that you’re suspicious that this may be going on actually go and read about Crohn’s disease in kids. I think what you’ll see is you’ll see a lot of things in the classic description of Crohn’s autism treatment that tends to fit the bowel patterns of many kids on the Autism spectrum. So I wanted to make you aware of that because it’s something that I realize it’s frustrating and it’s an ongoing battle but if you’ve been battling this over and over and over for months if not years then I really encourage you to look to have your child evaluated from a pediatric gastroenterologist specialist who is familiar with the complexities of Autism to see about what exactly is going on in your child’s gut.

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Autism Treatment –Regression, Gut Problems and Autism Part 1

Posted on 08 May 2011 by admin

In this first part of a 2 part series on regression and gut problems. I want to talk to you about kids who tend to cycle or recycle through digestive problems and just are not improving in autism treatment. What I’ve seen over the years is that many kids on the spectrum obviously have yeast and bacterial imbalances, many times a lot of food sensitivity problems as well that tend to be a major contributing factor to their Autistic characteristics and their ability to move beyond it.

Types of Dietary Therapies in Autism Treatment

And when therapies like dietary therapies, whether it’s the low oxalate diet, the specific carbohydrate diet, the gluten casein free diet, yeast diets, or a blend of those diets, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal therapies, and benefits are seen and then lost and this cycle continues over and over and over and you as a parent, caregiver just pulling your hair out trying to figure out how do we ever get control of the yeast, how do we ever get control of the bacteria? It doesn’t matter what kind of diet we do, we move three steps forward and two steps back. In my experience, being a physician in the biomedical field now since 1998, in the vast majority of those types of kids who engaged in autism treatment, they have a true underlying inflammatory bowel disease condition.

And what happens is I think more kids on the spectrum have it than are being diagnosed or even recognized. And we get improvement when we reduced bowel toxins. I mean you essentially reduce bowel toxicity from yeast and bacteria or parasites, you improve bowel function by the release of fecal matter and that helps to excrete metabolic waste. We, for a period of time in autism treatment, get an improvement in digestive function with less toxic absorption of mal-digested food and we’re going to get an improvement in the child. Whether it’s improved behavior, improved attention, improved concentration, improved sociability, sometimes even improvement in language and it lasts for a period of time until something goes wrong. They get sick again, change in the weather, change in the seasons, whatever it may be and we’re back to square one.

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Autism Treatment – Heavy Metals, Other Testing and Treating Autism

Posted on 14 March 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment with other treatments

This is the sixth and final video of autism treatment in this series of heavy metal testing videos. I wanted to just mention there are some other specialized tests for heavy metals. Some of the labs, Neuro Science for example, carries a blood test that looks at immune system reactivity to heavy metals in the body. And this can be important because we know that heavy metals like aluminum, for example, can be a triggering event for allergy. And certainly heavy metals, as I mentioned aluminum and others, if they’re stimulating an allergic reaction or a sensitivity reaction can be a generating factor with respects to inflammation, particularly through immune activation.

So these are unique tests for autism treatment that do indicate a level of susceptibility of heavy metal toxicity triggering immune system activity and could be a clue for a particular child who seems to have immune dysfunction, seems to have a lot of immune inflammation, and seems to just have a wide variety of immune over-reactivity. Whether that’s to things in the environment, whether that’s to food, whether that to things going on in their own body which would be things that would be triggering auto immune reactions. So again, this is another way of assessing for heavy metal toxicity most specifically to heavy metal toxicity generating immune activity, inflammation, and hyper reactivity within the body.

So I hope that you found this information useful. I realize it’s a lot of information it’s certainly a lot of information to try to get through in a clear and concise fashion through these videos. If you do have more questions about heavy metal toxicity, heavy metal testing, and certainly about heavy metal treatment, I encourage you to visit me on my website at www.autismactionplan.com. On that website I have a tremendous amount of information about a wide variety of biomedical topics. But specifically with respects to this topic, I have video presentations on heavy metal toxicity, I have written material on treatment protocols. As I mentioned before, I have an entire section on how to interpret a hair analysis with respects to mineral transport issues secondary to heavy metals. And of course most importantly is your ability to ask questions to me on the parent forum on a daily basis if you choose on a wide variety of biomedical topics.

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Autism Treatment – Serotonin Imbalances

Posted on 07 February 2010 by admin

I have talked before about serotonin levels within kids with special needs, particularly those on the Autism spectrum. I have also talked about how serotonin has an influence on learning, on brain function, on mood, on states of happiness. That is the reason why many individuals are given medications like Prozac or Paxil or Zoloft, these things are called serotonin reuptake inhibitors because for many people in our society, serotonin becomes depleted and people become depressed. Now for kids on the Autism spectrum, what appears to be happening with many of them is that they can’t convert serotonin into its more active form and that has adverse effects on many of the overall core issues we see in Autism from self stimulatory behavior to language issues to eye contact problems to behavioral problems.

There is an enzyme in the brain called MAO-A (monoamineoxidase A) that seems to be one of the problem areas. MAO-A which helps with this conversion of serotonin into its active form is not working appropriately. Now there is actually a therapy called reserpine, reserpine is from an Indian herb. This has been shown in the past to be used with individuals on the Autism spectrum even dating back into the ‘50’s where reserpine was used to help boost the levels of MAO-A and to help essentially with many of the core issues we see in Autism. There is actually a therapy called Respen-A which is a patch, it is a homeopathic derivative of reserpine which is showing some good benefit with respects to many of these core issues, the eye contact, the focusing, the attention, the self stimulatory, the sensory seeking behavior, the language problems that are so common.

So the complexities of brain chemistry are being unfolded more and more as research goes on into the complexities of Autism. But that is one particular area that is of great interest is this link between serotonin, is the link between MAO-A activity and the potential use of this Respen-A as one therapy that can help in this area.

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Autism Treatment – The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiacs

Posted on 27 January 2010 by admin

Let’s talk a little bit about the differences between gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. Now for most of the kids on the Autism spectrum we talk about the gluten and casein free diet as a primary diet to help reduce some of the inflammatory proteins that are found in gluten. Gluten is found in wheat and casein is found in dairy. But we know that these foods also have a drug like effect on many kids because they have something called peptides. Peptides are small amino acid chains that can influence brain chemistry adversely.

So gluten sensitivity is actually having an intolerance in the body to the gluten protein found in the wheat. Celiac disease is a form of gluten sensitivity except that with Celiac disease it is actually a genetic disorder where you truly lack the ability to breakdown the specific proteins found in wheat, one of them being gluten, another one is something called gliadin. Gliadin is actually a subfraction of gluten and it is an inflammatory protein in individuals with Celiac disease where they lack the specific enzymes that allow them to process that protein in the digestive tract. Then it creates an autoimmune reaction, auto meaning self, immune reaction in the gut and that leads to an inflammatory type process and essentially over time it starts to wear away at the surface lining of the gut. What I often tell people is you can have a gluten sensitivity and not Celiac disease but if you have Celiac disease, you have gluten sensitivity. Everyone with Celiac disease has a gluten sensitivity but not everybody who has a gluten sensitivity has Celiac disease.

Testing for it can be somewhat complicated. You can do an IgG food sensitivity profile and look for reactions to gluten, to look for reactions to gliadin and even to look for reactions to the entire wheat complex if you will. That only identifies a sensitivity reaction. The Celiac disease tests are more in-depth. You can do IgA as well as IgG reactions to gliadin. You can do an IgA reaction which is an immune test for something called transglutaminase. There is also something called reticulin antibodies. Many times to get a confirmatory diagnosis, some gastrointestinal doctors will also put a scope down into the intestinal system and take biopsy samples of different parts of the intestinal tract to see if there are cellular changes specific to Celiac disease. So it is a little bit more in-depth getting a diagnosis of Celiac disease as opposed to getting a diagnosis of gluten intolerance. The treatment for it is essentially the same and that is the avoidance of gluten proteins. I just wanted to make you aware that there is a distinction between gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. With kids on the spectrum it is one of those things that we make a common recommendation for because we know it helps so many of them, not only from a digestive standpoint but from a cognitive standpoint.

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