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. …

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

According to the Hyperbaric Oxygen Report (June 1994), Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), an effective treatment for stroke patients, has been successful for a 3 year old child with autism.  Michael would not talk, avoided all eye contact with others, and was completely disinterested in his environment.  He was content to sit most of the day. Michael had been extensively tested, but no one had determined a possible cause for his disability.  Finally, one physician, Dr. James Parsons, in Orlando, Florida, theorized that perhaps Michael had had a stroke at birth; the birth trauma could have resulted in neurological complications which later caused his autistic withdrawal and inability to speak. After approximately 19 treatments in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, Michael began to look at others, make eye contact, recognize and acknowledge individuals.  He developed a good sense of humor, learning to laugh when others laughed, and participated more actively in his speech therapy.  His parents are optimistic that he will talk…

How Homeovitics Can Help: A Mother's Testimonial

How Homeovitics Can Help: A Mother’s Testimonial

How Homeovitics Can Help: A Mother's Testimonial

For the last ten years I’ve worked as an executive in a chemical company. Although I did my best to avoid exposure to chemicals and heavy metal while pregnant, I didn’t know that the chronic, low-level exposures over the years may have accumulated toxins in my body. These “hand-me-down” toxins were then passed along to my child in utero – ultimately compromising his immune system. Shortly after our son was born, this seemingly healthy baby was becoming more and more fussy.  At about one year, he had stopped responding to his name and wasn’t babbling anymore.  High fevers, gastrointestinal problems, night terrors and ear infections soon followed.  At 2 1/2, he was diagnosed as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). We began investigating the effects that toxins (xenobiotics) may have on developing fetuses.  We read in Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn, Senior Scientist of the World Wildlife Fund, that xenobiotics can mimic hormones. In the most minute amounts, they can…

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Is It Fatigue or Is It Mitochondrial Dysfunction?

Because of my son’s failure to thrive, our pediatrician sent us to see Vicki Kobliner, a holistic nutritionist, who’s also on the board of Epidemic Answers with me. Given that Crane Man has constant fatigue and stomach pain, poor growth, mild sensory issues and developmental delays, Vicki suggested having preliminary tests for mitochondrial dysfunction done. Checking the levels of carnitine, lactic acid, pyruvic acid, alinine and lysine are easy preliminary screening tests that can be done from a standard blood-test lab like Quest Diagnostics. Having symptoms across 3 or more organ systems is suggestive of mitochondrial dysfunction. Crane Man’s developmental delay is a symptom of brain dysfunction; His GI problems and former acid reflux are symptoms of muscular dysfunction; His possible hypoglycemia is a symptom of liver dysfunction; His failure to thrive, fatigue and former unexplained vomiting are symptoms of system dysfunction. At this point, you’re probably scratching your head, thinking “Mitochondria, I vaguely remember something about that from high…

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy Metal Toxicity

I’ve been chelating to remove heavy metal toxicity for a while now.  I had myself retested back in January 2011, and my levels of heavy metals had declined significantly. “H” means higher than the reference range, and “VH” means it’s a way-high number.  My initial mercury levels were literally off the charts! Mercury is toxic at one part per billion, which is about the same concentration as one grain of salt in one swimming pool. Metal              Reference Range      March 2010 Level     January 2011 Level Aluminum                   <35                              0                                  9.5 Antimony                   <0.4                             0                                  0 Arsenic                        <117                            120H                           19 Barium                            <7                                6.2                               6 Beryllium                    <0.6                             0.4                               0 Bismuth                      <15                              4.6                               0.5 Cadmium                     <1                                0.6                               0.4 Cesium                        <10                              7.8                               11H Gadolinium                 <0.4                             0                                  0 Lead                            <2                                4.9H                            4.3H Mercury                      <4                                25VH                          4.3H Nickel                          <12                              7.4                               5.1 Palladium                    <0.3                             0                                  0 Platinum                      <1                                0                                  0 Tellurium                    <0.3                             0                                  0 Thallium                      <0.5                             0.4                               0.9H Thorium                      <0.03                           0.02                             0 Tin                              <10                              1.5                               0.4 Titanium                     <15                              0                                  0…

Heavy Metal Toxicity Sources

Heavy Metal Toxicity Sources

Heavy Metal Toxicity Sources

I had been going to my naturopath for about nine months, and the things he was doing, the supplements he was giving me, and the changes in diet that I had made were all having beneficial effects. He had been working on opening up my pathways of elimination such as kidneys and intestines when heavy metals came up in his assessment. How did he find this?  He uses an ASYRA machine.  It’s based on the principle that your body is made of energy.  If you’ve ever had acupuncture done, you know that different organs and systems in your body have different energetic readings. The energy of your liver, for example, is different from the energy of your eyes.  The ASYRA, also known as electro-dermal screening, reads different energy systems in your body and can tell the practitioner whether organs or systems are in better or worse health. I suppose I have no trouble accepting this premise because of the classes…

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Recovery from Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflux, Asthma, Eczema

Maria Rickert Hong‘s Children: Recovered from Sensory Processing Disorder, Acid Reflux, Asthma and Eczema, and getting healthier everyday! Let me tell you about my sons’ recovery from sensory processing disorder, acid reflux, asthma and eczema. I used to wonder a long time ago if these issues were related to each other and to their developmental delays, anxiety, failure to thrive and mitochondrial dysfunction, and now I know that they are. All of these issues are related to gut dysbiosis (in their case, a system Candida infection) and toxicity.  They are both full of heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium). My older son is at the 97th percentile for heavy-metal toxicity; my younger one at the 90th. They both got it from me when I was pregnant with them.  I didn’t find out until after my older son was over 4 years old that we were all full of heavy metals. My concerns about my sons’ problems were dismissed by all…

Vaccines and Autism, ADHD and Asthma

Vaccines and Autism, ADHD and Asthma

Vaccines and Autism, ADHD and Asthma

Immunizations and the Immunocompromised The subject of childhood immunizations is extremely controversial, but it may be an important piece of the puzzle concerning the epidemic of chronic childhood illness. The divide that exists between those who are vaccine advocates and those who are vaccine safety advocates is wide, but these two sides need to establish a civil dialogue so that we can assure that America’s childhood infectious disease eradication program is as safe and effective as possible. Vaccine advocates argue that vaccines have been vindicated by scientific research, and that there is no proven link to autism or other chronic illnesses. Vaccine safety advocates argue that many of these studies are flawed and that vaccines are either “poisoning” children (citing vaccine additives like aluminum and mercury) or that they are in some way dysregulating the immune system (e.g., causing immune responses to become altered and harmful). Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of both the National Institutes of Health and the…

Immune Dysregulation

Immune Dysregulation

Immune Dysregulation

Although there are many environmental factors that contribute to chronic illness in children, one of the most important outcomes of all these environmental influences is a dysregulated immune system. A dysregulated immune system simply means that an individual’s immune system is not working properly.  Here are some examples of what happens when an immune system malfunctions: It can over-react to innocuous stimulus (like cat dander) and cause symptoms like sneezing or itching. It can attack its host’s own cells and tissues (like what happens in an arthritic joint).  This is called autoimmunity. It does not have the ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful substances that enter the body. It cannot effectively combat pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes (germs!) that invade the body. It can keep the body in a heightened state of “attack” causing inflammation and oxidative stress which can lead to disruptions in cellular functions and operations. The immune system is how the body defends itself from harmful substances in the…