Vision Therapy for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Such as Autism

Vision Therapy for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Vision Therapy for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Such as Autism

by Maria Rickert Hong, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, AADP I am fortunate to have Dr. Randy Schulman, MS, OD, FCOVD, as my sons’ behavioral optometrist.  Dr. Schulman wrote the chapters on the role of vision therapy and optometry in Patty Lemer’s book, “Envisioning a Bright Future:  Interventions that Work for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders“, which I reviewed earlier.  Patty was the one who recommended Dr. Schulman to me, and she practices in my area. Patty has always talked about the importance of vision therapy for people with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder (SPD), learning disabilities and other neurological disorders.  Now I know why.  In fact, Patty’s book was published by the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, which should give you a clue as to the importance of vision in neurodevelopmental disorders. Vision Problems a Cause of Many ASD Symptoms I was astounded to learn that vision problems are a CAUSE of, not a by-product of, many ASD symptoms. …

Secretin and Gut Neuropeptides

Secretin and Gut Neuropeptides

Secretin and Gut Neuropeptides

By Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND (Co-founder of Developmental Delay Resources) Secretin is a hormone that induces the pancreas to release bicarbonate, thereby adjusting the pH of the small intestine so that digestive enzymes can function. As one of 20 known gut neuropeptides, secretin has the ability to interact with both the digestive tract and the brain.  In other words, through these messenger molecules one’s capacity for digestion can affect cognitive function. The stomach and intestines are thus a small non-thinking brain whose activities directly impact their thinking counterpart in the head.  When secretin is not properly regulating pancreatic function, its receptor sites in the language areas of brain may not be activated either. When Developmental Delay Resources observed a link between aggressive antibiotic therapy or immunization reactions and developmental delays, much of the medical community flippantly dismissed us as crackpots. Now, years later, the accidental discovery of the importance of secretin may prove in retrospect how damaging antibiotics and immunizations…

What Is Wrong With Milk?

What Is Wrong With Milk?

What Is Wrong With Milk?

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers Drink your milk so that you will grow up big and strong.  How many of us heard those words as young children and still heed them? This wisdom is being renewed by advertisements showing our favorite stars with milk mustaches telling us that they drink their milk. Not only do we insist that our children have their daily allowance, but we as women are using dairy products to strengthen our bones and get our calcium. Because we are obsessed about fat content, we now buy 2% or skim, but it is not the fat that is problematic; it is the additives and the casein, or dairy protein. What Is Wrong with Milk? Unfortunately, today’s milk, like much of today’s food, is chemically different than the milk of a generation ago. It is ultra-pasteurized, has traces of growth hormones fed to the cows from which it came, and is…

Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

by Alan R. Gaby, MD One of the most common medical problems in children, surpassed only by colds and sore throats, is otitis media, inflammation of the middle ear.  Nearly one-third of all two-year-olds will have had three or more episodes.  The annual cost of diagnosing and treating this condition exceeds $2 billion. Although typically treated with antibiotics, acute ear infections usually run their course without treatment.  Doctors disagree whether long-term antibiotic therapy is advisable for children who suffer recurrent infections.  Although such treatment does prevent recurrence, benefits are limited. More controversial is whether children with chronic ear infections should get ear tubes.  The tubes’ purpose is to equilibrate pressure on both sides of the eardrum, thereby improving hearing and preventing problems with speech development and learning. However, putting a hole in the eardrum can allow bacteria to enter the middle ear.  Research shows that improved hearing lasts only six months and that inserting tubes may actually worsen hearing.  Furthermore,…

The Organic Acid Test

The Organic Acid Test

The Organic Acid Test

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND The medical histories of distractible children often include frequent use of antibiotics or steroids, digestive disturbances and/or allergies. Any one of these can impair immune functioning and pre-dispose children to the overgrowth of small amounts of pathological bacteria and yeast that normally reside in the gut in controlled amounts. Organic Acid Test Dr. William Shaw, the Director of Great Plains Laboratory, has discovered a way to monitor the by-products or metabolites of imbalanced gut flora in children with developmental issues ranging from attention deficits to autism. He does this by quantifying specific organic acids in the urine, a test known as the Organic Acid Test (OAT).  These substances are part of a large family of organic acids that have been observed for years in youngsters with genetic disorders. Unlike organic acids traditionally measured to diagnose chromosome abnormalities and other syndromes, the obscure set of organic acids Dr. Shaw decided to study, appears to be the…

Antibiotic Alternatives

Antibiotic Alternatives

Antibiotic Alternatives

by Dr. Michael Schmidt For decades, antibiotics have been the cornerstone of treatment for bacterial infections. Antibiotics have saved many lives during this time.  However, doctors have come to rely too heavily on these miracle drugs and the overuse of antibiotics has led to serious problems. For all of the potential benefits of antibiotics, a growing list of adverse health consequences has emerged because of overuse.  A sample of these is listed below: Children with chronic earaches who take many series of antibiotics experience 2-6 times more recurrent ear infections. Antibiotic overuse can upset intestinal integrity. Antibiotic overuse can suppress immune function. Factors that Lower Immunity We know that there are many factors that lower immunity and thus make the body more susceptible to infection.  These include: Nutrition:  Low vitamin C and zinc lead to sluggish immune response. Diet:  Excess sugar consumption slows the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy bacteria. Lifestyle:  Sedentary people tend to have…

How My Heavy Metal Poisoning Damaged My Sons

How My Heavy Metal Poisoning Damaged My Sons

How My Heavy Metal Poisoning Damaged My Sons

After finding out that I had heavy metal poisoning, I immediately thought about my sons.  Was it possible that I had passed any of this on to them? Could this be responsible for their sensory processing disorder (SPD), asthma, allergies, eczema, acid reflux, and developmental delays? Would I finally find the common thread that I had been looking for all along that tied all of these conditions together? Yes, unfortunately. My Sons’ Heavy-Metal Toxicity After finding out about my toxicity, I had both sons tested with a heavy-metal hair test because it’s not invasive.  My older son was in the 97th percentile for heavy-metal toxicity; my younger at the 90th. That means that my older son had more heavy metals in him than 97% of people in the reference group, which contains roughly 40,000 people. Heavy Metal Reference Range (g/g) Older Son (g/g) Younger Son (g/g) Aluminum <8.000 16.000 13.000 Antimony <0.066 0.110 0.210 Arsenic <0.080 0.047 0.098 Barium <0.500…

Acid Reflux: Another Red Flag

by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC, AADP When my younger son was born, he, too, was “fussy” and “colicky”.  He had an outright problem with nursing:  he refused to. When he would, he would shriek in pain or fill up so much (probably because he was starving) that he would throw it right back up. Again, this wasn’t a little “spitting up”; this was projectile vomiting and, by now, I had become used to having stains on the rug, chairs and clothes that simply wouldn’t come out. The pediatrician referred a lactation specialist who recommended that I cut out all dairy products from my diet.  She said that dairy was the most likely culprit in causing pain to my son. Probiotics Not Enough She also recommended that I take a probiotic, “the refrigerated kind, like they sell at Whole Foods” because this kind, unless it’s listed as being “shelf stable”, has more live cultures. She told me that many times during…

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Sensory Processing Disorder Symptoms

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

If I were to tell you that both of my sons have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), you might: a) ask, what is that? b) ask, how did you know that they have it? or c) not believe me unless you had met them – especially my older son – a few years ago. I believe that they are mostly recovered because of occupational therapy (OT) interventions over the course of a year and a half and because of ongoing naturopathic medicine and dietary changes. My goal here in this article is to help other parents understand what SPD is and what can be done about it. To answer the first question, people with SPD have a problem with the wiring from their nervous system to their brain; SPD is a neurological disorder.  SPD is usually more noticeable in kids; most adults have learned to compensate. Sensory Seekers and Sensory Avoiders There are two kinds of people with SPD: sensory seekers…

Alexa and Sergio: Recovery from Lyme and Autism

I have a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. Our healing journey really began when they were 3 and 1 years old. I now know that both of them had gut dysbiosis and dysregulated immune systems which presented in very different ways for each child. Learning  that they had gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation was like finding the missing link. Learning about these conditions and how to overcome them was what really put us onto the path of healing. Oral Thrush Just the Beginning Soon after Alexa was born, she developed oral thrush and was treated with Nystatin.  This seemed to clear up the thrush, yet Alexa had €œfoamy€ diarrhea and painful gas constantly. Nursing became increasingly difficult as Alexa struggled to stay latched on as if she was choking on the milk. My pediatrician at the time instructed me to reduce my diet to chicken, rice and a couple of vegetables.  She also told me…