Healthy Food Blog

Autism Awareness and Nutrition

1.74K 0

Autism has increased by 30% A child is diagnosed with autism every 4 minutes.

Autism affects 1 in 68 children.

It is 5 times more common in boys

Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in Canada and the US.

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT AUTISM

Autism is usually first diagnosed in the early years of life. Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder. It’s not a psychiatric disease, it’s a metabolic disease. An individual may experience social and developmental impairment in both language, communication and physical behaviours. It is affecting thousand and thousands of children across the world.

There are signs and symptoms associated with Autism. Some of these symptoms or signs  involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviours, such as: 

  • Problems speaking with others
  • Flapping of the hands
  • Toe walking
  • Muscle weakess
  • Difficulty making eye contact during conversation
  • Lining up of items before focusing on other tasks
  • Repetitive, almost compulsive
  • They seem anti-social, and play often alone
  • Extensive body movement to express moods
  • In some instances, inability to talk
  • Mood swings and hyperactivity
  • Can take pain without reacting

Autism is a disorder that has many symptoms, levels of impairments and also skills seen within young children, teens and adults. It is a disorder that affects every age group, but is more commonly seen in those of a younger age.

The overall severity of Autism is unable to be pinned down to one level as there is a huge spectrum of symptoms ranging from ability to live day to day life normally to the requirement of assisted living.

Every person is different and may not show all signs or symptoms. This happens because autistic people have very different features and symptoms. Health care providers think of Autism as a “spectrum” disorder. Autism is becoming an easier diagnosis as more studies are done allowing family members to understand more about autism each year.

There is a consistency in cognitive impairment seen within those on the spectrum, ranging from very mild to severe impairments. In contrast to more typical cognitive impairment, which is characterized by relatively even delays in all areas of development, people with autism show uneven skill development.

They may have problems in certain areas, especially the ability to communicate and relate to others, but they may have unusually  well- developed skills in other areas such as: excellent at using iPads or electronics, drawing, making music, math geniuses, building structures,  and amazing organizational skills.

Some nutritional considerations

These 3 areas need to be addressed for successful treatment of Autism…

Central nervous system

Heightened sensitivity, abnormal processing of sensory and expressive information. The brain does not have the ability to function properly with all those things we take for granted; emotions, regulating emotions. Seizures are common in people with autism. Needs to be addressed with the proper protocols.

Immune system

Decreased resistance to infections, allergies, and autoimmunity. Leaves them sick and constantly needing health care. Immune system needs to be boosted.

Gastroenterology

Abnormal digestion, resistance to bacteria, candida ( yeast), parasites, leaky gut and toxins produced. Autism usually affects the ability to control and process vitamins so these kids have a starving brain. GI system is very ill. Acid reflux is common. Needs to see a gastrontologist to address digestive issues.

Other areas to consider in regards to causes…

Detoxification issues

Vaccines and Heavy metal toxicity

Rhogam vaccine- 25 micrograms of mercury can interfere with all kinds of developments.

MMR vaccine- affects digestion.

Flu Vaccine-high in mercury

Heavy metal chelation and other detoxifying treatments need to be done to remove heavy metals from vaccines.

Things to avoid with autism..

  • Gmos
  • Pesticides
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Refined sugar
  • Chemicals
  • Vaccines
  • Fluoride
  • Mercury amalgams ( fillings)
  • Mercury, Aluminum or heavy metals in general

Diet and Nutrition

Improve digestion

Especially if your child has had a course of many antibiotics which destroys the micro flora in the gut. Healing the gut, probiotics and digestive enzymes are important in treatment.

Balance blood sugar

There is an overlap between hypersensitivity and autism, so if children with autism show hyperactivity then balancing blood sugar is a must.

Increase Omega 3 fats

Deficiencies in omega fatty acids are common in people with autism.

Increase vitamins and minerals

“We have known since the 1970s that a nutritional approach can help autism, thanks to the  research by Dr Bernard Rimland of the Institute for Child Behaviour Research in San Diego, California. He showed that vitamin B6, C and magnesium supplements significantly improved symptoms in autistic children. In one of his early studies back in 1978, 12 out of 16 autistic children improved, then regressed when the vitamins were swapped for placebos9. In the decades following Dr Rimland’s study, many other researchers have also reported positive results with this approach”.

Avoid food allergies

One of the most significant contributing factors in autism appears to be undesirable foods and chemicals that often reach the brain via the bloodstream because of poor digestion and absorption. Recognizing the importance of dietary intervention has come from parents who’ve noticed vast improvements in their children after changing their diets.

The strongest direct evidence of foods linked to autism involves wheat and dairy, and the specific proteins they contain – namely, gluten and casein. These are difficult to digest and, especially if introduced too early in life, may result in an allergy. Fragments of these proteins, called peptides, can have big impacts in the brain. They can act directly in the brain by mimicking the body’s own natural opioids (such as the enkephalins or endorphins), and so are sometimes called ‘exorphins’. Or they can disable the enzymes that would break down these naturally occurring compounds.

The Bottom Line

Autism is something I hold very close to my heart,  as I grew up with a brother with autism, and I have two nephews with autism. In your lifetime, you will probably know more people and families affected by autism. You can choose be part of the solution by helping support a friend, family member or neighbor. Take the time to learn not just about autism, but the individual child.

Make the decision to accept children with disabilities and teach your children how they can help children with autism by being a friend too.  Being a friend during good times is easy. Yet it is during the difficult times that we learn who our real friends are.  Making the choice to support a family affected by autism is one of the greatest gifts you can give. It is also very likely that your act of kindness may turn out to be one of the greatest gifts you receive back as well.

A person with autism feels love, happiness, sadness and pain just like everyone else. Just because some of them may not express their feelings in the same way others do, does not mean at all that they do not have feelings – THEY DO!! They really do. The myth that – Autistic people have no feelings – has to be destroyed. The myth is a result of ignorance, not a conspiracy. Therefore, it is important that you educate people who carry this myth in a helpful and informative way.

Support, donate and wear blue today to support autism awareness day!  

With Love and Gratitude, 

Laura XO