Archive for September, 2008
Before beginning probiotics or a heavy metal detox to treat autism, many researchers suggest starting with a candida cleanse. A candida cleanse, often referred to as the candida diet, is a method that reduces levels of the candida albicans yeast, a bacteria which is naturally present in the body in places such as the mouth and intestinal tract. But the potentially-harmful yeast can grow out of control if you have a weakened immune system or frequently take antibiotics, and lead to a variety of disorders, including headaches, allergies and mood swings, among others.
The candida diet is characterized by cutting off refined sugar for at least a week, and restricting the intake of carbohydrates and fermented foods, all of which encourage the growth of the yeast. Researchers also suggest eating yogurt during the diet, because it is a good source of lactobacillus acidophilus, a bacteria that helps with immunity to cadida albicans.
The candida cleanse is suggested to be done about twice a year, for a length determined by the severity of the condition. People with higher levels of the yeast in their systems should stay on the diet for longer, while those with lower levels only need to maintain it for a short amount of time. The diet should restore health to the digestive tract, allow it to better absorb nutrition, and prepare it for treatments such as the heavy metal detox.
Art and music have been effective components of autism therapy for many years. Both assist people with autistic spectrum disorders with expression of their feelings, allowing them to communicate fluently despite possible verbal challenges in nonthreatening media. Art therapy is fun, creative, and encourages development of fine motor skills. For example, working with clay helps strengthen the muscles that are used in handwriting.
Like art, music is a nonthreatening, nonverbal medium that is effective in the development of speech. The range of speech capabilities among autistic children is large, ranging from no speech at all to some speech, often monotonic and characterized by a lack of expression. A great deal of autism research has concluded that autistic children are unusually sensitive to music. Some have perfect pitch and can play musical instruments exceptionally well, but music in a therapeutic setting is also adaptable to nonmusical goals. Since autistic children sometimes sing rather than speaking, speech can be improved through vocal music activities. Songs with simple words, phrases, and even nonsense syllables can assist the autistic child’s language skills. Word phrases and songs presented with visual and tactile clues can expedite this process, while other children respond meaningfully when both questions and answers are framed as songs. Singing can also reduce the monotonic cadence that characterizes the speech of some autistic children. Since singing phrases a way to put words together and remember them, it can be a vital building block to communication for children with autistic spectrum disorders.
Jenny McCarthy is an actress, comedian, model, mom, and New York Times-bestselling author named the official spokesperson of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). She participates in fundraisers and has a video blog to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorders. She is also the co-founder of teach2talk, a company that produces developmentally appropriate educational resources for children. The Teach2talk product lines target core speech and language, play behavior, and social skills by using video modeling.
McCarthy collaborated with a speech language pathologist to create the products for children with a wide range of chronological and developmental ages. She and her fellow Teach2talk co-founder, speech pathologist Sarah Clifford Scheflen, partnered to create the revolutionary curriculum, which utilized the results of scientific research, peer reviews, and testing in clinical settings to help create the autism therapy learning tools.
As parents know, one of the biggest challenges with an autistic child is getting them to sleep. PCM-Rx, an autism treatment bearing similarities to PCA-Rx, is being recommended as a good means to help your child do just that, and can also be used to simply help them calm down.PCM-Rx is a powerful detoxifier and helps the body get rid of toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals. It’s administered in a 30-ml oral spray bottle.
According to http://www.helpyourautisticchild.com, PCM-Rx contains the same detoxification qualities as PCA-Rx and is basically identical to it, but includes the additions of lemon balm, melatonin, SAMe (this is how it was spelled on the site) and withonia somnifera. The site describes the effects of the treatment as “calming,” and it’s been well-received among its readers.
Adapted from a New York Times story
Published September 9, 2008A clinical research paper published a decade ago triggered widespread fears that the MMR vaccine–which combined measles, mumps and rubella—was a direct result of autism in young children. Other research over the years has proven contradictory, and now a new study conducted to replicate the original study has provided further evidence that the MMR vaccine was not the culprit. The initial paper appeared in the Lancet, linking the vaccine, autism, and the gastrointestinal problems found in many autistic children. Researchers later expanded on this theory, assuming that the measles component of the MMR vaccine caused inflammation that allowed toxins to enter the body and damage the central nervous system, causing autism. Now, a team of researchers from Columbia University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been unable to replicate the initial findings.
A group of 38 children with gastrointestinal issues were observed in the recent study; 25 were autistic, 13 were not. All had received the MMR vaccine. Only 5 of the autistic children had been vaccinated prior to the onset of their gastrointestinal problems and autism diagnosis. Genetics testing found remnants of the measles virus in only two of the children—one was autistic while the other was not. The scientists concluded there was insufficient evidence to link the vaccine to autism in these subjects. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have also gone on record as being unable to find a causal link between vaccination and autism. The Lancet complained in 2004 that the lead author of the original paper had not been forthright about a conflict of interest, while ten of his co-authors retracted the paper’s implication that the vaccine might be linked to autism.
Probiotics are a dietary supplement that contains potentially beneficial bacteria or yeast. They are composed of live organic matter that is beneficial for the host in a variety of ways. What some people don’t realize is that there are twice as many bacteria cells in our body as our own human cells. These bacteria are responsible for regulating various bodily functions such as our digestive system. There are harmful bacteria that are in this world that can cause illness and death, like the 2 million people who die each year of tuberculosis, but helpful bacteria are completely necessary for our bodies to thrive.
Autism is not a condition that could be relegated to one symptom alone, but rather it is the conglomeration of a variety of symptoms. There are certain characteristics of autism that are prevalent for most autistic case, however, such as social impairment. Those with autism are also likely to have specialized interest and focus on those primarily with a tendency toward repetitive actions.
There are many treatments for autism available for those with a loved one with the condition. The support that is available for families has gone up since the recognition of autism has increased this past decade.
13-year-old Carly Fleischman has severe autism and has spent her life unable to verbalize. After years of extensive autism therapy, Carly had a breakthrough two years ago, beginning to spell out words on a computer keyboard. Her speech pathologist and parents are amazed and excited by how articulate and intelligent Carly is. She began to open up to them, describing what it is like to have autism, and there are things she wants people to understand about her disorder. “It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk or I act differently than them. I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them.”
Therapists say the lesson to be learned from Carly’s story is for families to persevere and continue to be creative in their attempts to help children with autism find their voice. Carly’s father points out that if her parents had listened to what many people told them years ago, they wouldn’t have the child they have today. Carly’s speech pathologist asked Carly to speak to her colleagues about autism, asking what she would like to tell them. Carly’s response? “I would tell them never to give up on the children that they work with.” Carly had more to say to people who don’t comprehend autism: “Autism is hard because you want to act one way, but you can’t always do that. It’s sad that sometimes people don’t know that sometimes I can’t stop myself and they get mad at me. If I could tell people one thing about autism it would be that I don’t want to be this way. But I am, so don’t be mad. Be understanding.”
Adapted from ABC World News Report story by John McKenzie, February 19, 2008