Researchers in England, Norway, and at the University of Florida have found peptides (breakdown products of proteins) with opiate activity in the urine of a high percentage of autistic children. Opiates are drugs, like morphine, which affect brain function.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
He and several other doctors in the area with different specialties, including Kyle's teacher at the development center, are going to start doing assessments of kids as a team.
After seeing us for the initial consultation (Kyle was not there), the doctor said that Kyle would be a perfect patient to practice the new "team assessing" on, so that they can get a feel for working all together. So basically, Kyle will be able to get a very good assessment, buy a whole group of doctors, much sooner than expected, for Free! That will satisfy the school district, so that he will get all the services he needs. It's a real blessing.
Kyle keeps on doing terrific. It has been really exciting to see him start to initiate talking more. He's been saying short two or three word sentences, and definitely recognizes the meaning of most words he says. Just yesterday, he walked up to me with a teddy bear and showed it to me and said "Bear!" Not only did he say it without prompting, but he also wanted to show it to me, which is a great step in the social interacting and relationship building stuff. Sharing interests with others does not come naturally for him, but it's really important. After all, we don't just want him to be able to talk, we want him to be able to have relationships with people.
And another big step for Kyle.....he no longer sleeps in a crib! Isaac and Kyle got bunk beds for Christmas (and birthday :) ). He used to always roll around a lot at night and end up with his feet on his pillow and his head under his bead, or some other odd position, but he has been more normal lately, and last night he slept with his head on his pillow, under his blanket, in the middle of his new bed. It was pretty cute (I just had to peek in and see!).
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
However, things are going to get tricky. Jana is most likely going to take a new job next week. That means different insurance companies...yadda yadda..so we'll see.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Just this week he has started singing quite a bit, including "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
And a big surprise (since no one had been trying to teach him this) Kyle suddenly sang the Alphabet! He's been doing it over and over again! Sometimes just "ABCDEFG", or "LMNOP" or the whole thing.
And if that wasn't enough...he counts to 10 too! This was another talent we didn't know he had. Almost every day he surprises us with what he can do and say.
It is really amazing how much progress he has made in the last 6 months. From his latest Personal/Social development assessment, his teacher reported that he can use one word phrases and gestures to make his needs known, imitate gestures in a song, orient to his name, follow the command "come here", imitate simple motor actions, drink from a cup and eat with a fork or spoon with minimal spilling, and more. He will repeat almost anything we say when we have his attention. And a huge step is that he is starting to label things he recognizes on his own. Like, when he sits down to breakfast, he says "eggs" without us saying it first. Today, he even played the little "where's your nose?" game and pointed to all his face parts and said them. I've been trying to get him to do that since he was 1. It is hard to believe it was only a few months ago that Kyle wouldn't say a single word, wouldn't respond to his name or obey any instruction.
He is still doing well with the gluten free, casein free diet. We have been slowly adding more things to his diet that he will accept. Unfortunately one of those things is suckers....he LOVES them. That's the only Halloween candy he wants. We took him to a little trick or treating thing at the child development center today, and whenever someone gave him anything that wasn't a sucker, he just threw it over his shoulder! That's ok, Isaac won't mind eating the rest.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Upon first glance, Aluteva looks like another homey and quaint country
family resort in northern Israel, one of the country's most popular vacation
destinations. The campus is surrounded by forest trees at the edge of
Carmiel, families are lounging on plastic lounge chairs, and the green lawns
and playground are dotted with colorful picket fences. Only upon closer look
does it become apparent that Aluteva is highly different than any other
country resorts in the area.
Aluteva is the only vacation spot in Israel, and possibly in the
world, designed to cater to families with autistic children. The clues
quickly become obvious; the campus is enclosed by fences and a security
gate, the pool is raised instead of at ground level, and a young boy paces
in a repeated pattern along the cement paths, clapping his hands.
Aluteva doesn't have the funds or intention to offer five star
amenities, but it provides one amenity that makes some families feel like
it's a five star resort: sensitivity to the needs of children with autism.
The concept was devised in 2003 by Alut, the Israeli Society for
Autistic Children, to provide an innovative, permanent year-round solution
for families for whom vacation is an essential need, but one that is often
out of reach.
"We understand the complexity for families with autistic children to
go out on vacation," explained Aluteva's director Nechama Amidan. "Often
they don't take a vacation because it's difficult to go out on a vacation
with an autistic child given the behavior of the child and safety concerns.
The children are sometimes not aware of the dangers, and they can jump in a
pool, cross a red light. They require the parents' constant surveillance."
Vacation is particularly difficult for families of children diagnosed
with low-functioning autism since at times these children can exhibit
behaviors that deviate from what is socially acceptable in public places. At
one point during this reporter's tour at Aluteva, a 15-year old boy named
Ron repeatedly came up to smell my hair, a behavior which would have likely
startled any vacationer at a regular hotel.
"He seems to like certain smells, certain shampoo smells. You're not
the first one, but you can take it as a compliment," Ron's mother explained
on the lawns of Aluteva. Ron's parents and younger sister are regulars at
Aluteva. Ron cannot read, write, or speak, and smelling hair is likely a
form of self-stimulation and a means of social interaction.
"My son needs constant activity; it's hard taking care of him. He
likes going places, but it's hard to take him places because of the way he
behaves. He doesn't enjoy himself, and we have to run around after him."
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Some things he's been saying:
Cocoa (for choc. milk)
Ready, Set, Go
"Hi Ho Sliver, Away!" (His favorite Veggie Tales movie line)
Mama (the most important one)
Way to go Kyle!! Thank you Jesus
Friday, September 14, 2007
You'll have mixed emotions with this one: you'll laugh...but at the same time, you'll be proud of this guy and the crowd for supporting him! He did a great job..
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Funding for treatment in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin currently offers funding for in home autism treatment through a waiver system. Children under the age of eight with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder who demonstrate a medical need may be eligible to receive up to three years of funding for intensive autism treatment. Children older than eight may be eligible for reduced funding for a variety of services.
The waiver is offered state-wide and is administered by individual counties. County case managers work directly with families to complete the waiver application process. Some counties have chosen not to administer the waiver, and in these counties, the state has contracted with private agencies to assist families interested in securing funding.
|Wisconsin Early Autism Project offers services to Wisconsin children through one of five clinics located in Madison, Brookfield (Milwaukee area), De Pere (Green Bay area), Onalaska (La Crosse area), and Eau Claire. |
Children are eligible for our program if they are under the age of eight and have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children without formal medical diagnosis may receive a diagnosis from our licensed Clinical Psychologists. All children must have an Initial Screening by one of our psychologists to ensure that our program is clinically appropriate for their needs.
All children in our program receive individualized treatment in their homes to meet their needs under the supervision of experienced clinical staff, including a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor and Senior Therapist. This team of professionals trains the family and therapy team to implement curriculum using behavioral interventions which form the basis of Lovaas' approach: the use of discrete trials, positive reinforcement, extinction, prompting, shaping and programming for generalization. In addition, a variety of other treatment approaches and strategies may be used to teach specific skills when appropriate for individual children.
Children receiving our intensive services in the state of Wisconsin are able to receive up to 35 hours per week of treatment using funds from a children's waiver program that is administered by most counties on behalf of the state. Children in counties not participating in the waiver receive case management by a subcontracted private agency. These 35 hours include face-to-face treatment hours, a team meeting, supervision, and associated travel. In addition, each child sees a Clinical Psychologist on a regular basis to ensure program efficacy. Our Service Coordinators work closely with our clinical staff, county case managers and state personnel to ensure that each child receives therapy according to his or her own individual needs.
While we recognize the need to contain costs, we continue to be committed to providing therapy programs that are proven through scientific research to be the most effective treatment available today for children with autism. All children in our program get the most therapy they possibly can up to the limit of their state funding. In some cases, families choose to purchase additional hours of therapy in order to more closely match the model proven by research to be most effective. Purchasing additional hours is strictly optional and is not requirement for participation in our program.
It is important to remember that the window of opportunity for children to make significant outcome changes is limited. Each child gets on chance to change, grow and learn. The most critical choice that families will make in pursuing treatment is choosing a program with the expertise and staff to take their children to the best outcome they can achieve. These years cannot be recaptured. We remain committed to providing the highest quality therapy driven by scientific research that is currently available anywhere in the world, and will do our best to ensure that every child makes the best possible outcome.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble." - Helen Keller
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Aug 22 02:49 PM US/EasternBy JOE MANDAKAssociated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A doctor was charged with involuntary manslaughter Wednesday for administering a chemical treatment that state police say killed a 5- year-old autistic boy.
The child, Abubakar Tariq Nadama, went into cardiac arrest at Dr. Roy E. Kerry's office immediately after undergoing chelation therapy on Aug. 23, 2005.
Chelation removes heavy metals from the body and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating acute heavy metal poisoning, but not for treating autism. Some people who believe autism is caused by a mercury-containing preservative once used in vaccines say chelation may also help autistic children.
The boy's parents had moved from England to the Pittsburgh area to seek treatment for his autism. They have filed a wrongful death suit against Kerry, and the Department of State is trying to revoke his license.
The Department of State has alleged that Kerry prescribed an IV push—meaning the drugs are administered in one dose intravenously—despite warnings that the method could be lethal.
Slippery Rock District Judge Clifford Woessner's staff confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued for Kerry. It wasn't immediately clear if police planned to arrest Kerry or mail a summons.
Kerry's Advanced Integrative Medicine has offices in Greenville and Potersville. The receptionist at the Greenville office said Kerry was treating patients and was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
We took him off milk today. So now he's drinking calcium fortified chocolate rice milk. He never drinks milk unless it's chocolate...haha. We let him, b/c it's one of the things in life he really enjoys. The nutritionist gave us the A-ok!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
My feelings about speech therapy at Kadlec are on a mediocre level. They seem like a big "machine," processing kids through all day to rack up the bank account. His therapist is VERY good at what she does, but only sees him for 30 min. twice a week. That is barely enough time for me to learn about what strategies I can use at home. Audrey (speech therapist) is currently using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) with Kyle. That's a fancy word for Kyle handing us a picture of an object he wants. In order to train him, we force his hand to pick up the picture when he reaches for the object. Then he puts the picture in our hand and we say "I want ball," or whatever it is he wants. I expressed some concern to her about him replacing speech with PECS, because as kids get good at PECS they form sentences with pictures, but she assured me it actually helps them begin speaking. I trust her...as she's seen MANY kids come through in the last 20 years, including Vicki's son Justin, who's a well-spoken teen now. So, we'll use PECS....hopefully it will work well with what the Child Dev. Ctr. is using, because they don't use PECS. One reservation I have about it, is that Kyle gets very frustrated and cries and screams persistently in the therapy room.....
As a parent travelling this journey called autism, I've discovered that I tend to be a bit conservative when it comes to "treating" my son. What I actually want is to help him. I want to help him discover who he is. So I'm not in the camp of parents who believe my son is diseased and sick (although I have stated that before) and needs to be FIXED NOW! If I believed that, I'd poke him, prod him, make him scream, shove everything known to man down his throat, drag him to 60 hours per week of excruciatingly painful therapy, and fly him to Denver, Texas, and Mississippi too. But I'm not that dad. But I am not giving up either. I don't know why my son has "autistic" like tendencies. Nobody does. That's why everybody's arguing about it. I am not the dad who says I want to just "accept" him the way he is and do nothing for him. I DO want Kyle to speak. I DO want Kyle to be able to express himself. I think God does too. That's why he gave us a voice and a language, to speak to one another. So I am not sitting back waiting for him to just speak, although he could very well do that on his own. I'm doing things to help him. I don't believe in forcing these kids. That's why PECS is about as far as I would go. I only do it because I see instant results, and Kyle catches on very quickly.
I also want my son to include others in his own little world. I believe this social aspect of life is God inspired as well. God intends for us to socialize and contribute to society. So, I believe my son will! And, I'm going to help him by relating to him. Eventually, he'll relate back and share that relationship with others. So in short, I'm taking a little here, a little there, and mostly subscribing to the relational based therapies for "treating" my son's autism, although it's not treating at all. Maybe he'll be slower developing than other kids. WHO CARES!?! Why do we put so much emphasis in society on hitting the mark? You graduated from high school, you graduted from college, landed your first job, you got married, you had a kid, you got that raise....etc. etc. What is wrong when a child decides he won't talk until he is 8 years old? And then asks a million and one questions, as if he was trying to catch up for lost time. Albert Einstein did it...Richard Feynman, Edward Teller did it....all nuclear physicists. Will my son be a nuclear physicist? Probably not...but he will if he wants to. Does he seem like a genius to me at this point? No. He doesn't display any EXTRA-ordinary qualities at this point...except for his almost obsessive desire to color paper and draw on the fridge. When he sees the crayons, it's over folks. That's what he's doing for the next hour or two. Most of the time he refuses to color on a coloring book page...he needs a blank canvas. I like that. He thinks out of the box.
Anyways....that's my thoughts for this week. I know there will be people who disagree....there always are. Oh well. I'm doing what I feel is Biblical based. I've thought and prayed about this for a LONG LONG time. Thanks for reading..
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
Vaccine Test Case Reaches Federal Court
For years, parents of autistic children have claimed mercury in vaccines is
at fault. Now it’s time to prove it.
By Tony Mauro for Legal Times. http://tinyurl.com/3ab2dr
The family stories are remarkably, painfully, similar.
They begin begin with toddlers developing well, and happily. Then they
are taken to the doctor’s office for routine vaccines which, in the early
1990s, often were bundled together.
A week after the shots, the devastation begins: loss of speech and eye
contact, high fever, constant pain, screaming, bowel problems, no sleep. The
children no longer respond to their names; later, they are diagnosed with
autism or related disorders.
“Words alone cannot explain the trauma of watching your only child’s
health deteriorate to such a degree before your eyes,” Theresa Cedillo of
Arizona writes in an e-mail to Legal Times.
On June 11, the case of Michelle Cedillo, Theresa’s daughter, goes
before an extraordinary tribunal assembled by the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims. Its goal is to determine, for the first time in a judicial
proceeding, whether the combination of certain vaccines and thimerosal, a
mercury-based vaccine preservative, can cause autism — a set of disorders
that is gaining attention as more and more children are diagnosed, as many
as one in 150 children born in the United States. The government has long
denied such a link exists.
In her first comments to the media since her case began in 1998,
Theresa Cedillo tells Legal Times, “The profound downward change in
Michelle’s health began seven days following the MMR [measles, mumps, and
Of her daughter, now 12, she adds, “Her childhood has passed right
before our eyes spent in hospitals and doctors’ offices, not in parks and
with little friends. The trauma of the sheer human suffering she endures
every day is beyond explanation and understanding, filling us with
Michelle, her mother says, “will require a very highly skilled and
involved level of daily care as she continues to age . . . It is our hope
that she can gain some type of communication skills in the future."
Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services was picked as a test
case from more than 4,800 autism claims that have been filed with the
little-known court, which sits anonymously overlooking Lafayette Square near
the White House. The outcome of the case, the court hopes, will guide the
disposition of other claims and prevent the need for repetitive discovery
and expert witness testimony.
The determination also could shake — or bolster — public confidence in
the vaccine system and affect autism litigation worldwide.
During three weeks of testimony, the hotly contested issue of
causation will be advanced and picked apart by expert witnesses. A sign of
the emotions infused into the case: The court sealed the names of the
witnesses, for fear they would be harassed.
The trial before three special masters will take place in a 400-seat
courtroom that may be filled with parents and their lawyers, as well as
lawyers and lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, which has a huge but
indirect stake in the case. Special arrangements have been made to enable
out-of-town parents to listen to the trial by phone, and transcripts and
audio of the trial will be made available online.
“There’s never been another case like this,” says Kevin Conway of
Boston’s Conway, Homer & Chin-Caplan, one of Cedillo’s lawyers.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
There's nothing wrong with you Kyle....You are perfect. You are just sick........you will get better...other kids have, you will too. Just have FAITH.
Matthew 14:36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Surely you have instructed many,
And you have strengthened weak hands.
4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
And you have strengthened the feeble knees;
5 But now it comes upon you, and you are weary;
It touches you, and you are troubled.
6 Is not your reverence your confidence?
And the integrity of your ways your hope?
Sunday, May 27, 2007
"Why would anyone adopt a badly abused, autistic 6-year-old from foster
By Ralph James Savarese. http://tinyurl.com/34xtn7
So my wife and I were asked at the outset of our
adoption-as-a-first-resort adventure. It was a reasonable question in this
age of narrow self-concern - far more reasonable, or at least more
reasonably put, than many of the other questions we fielded.
For example, "Why don't you have your own children?" a wealthy
relative inquired, as if natural family-making were a kind of gated
community it was best never to abandon. "You two have such good genes. Why
A colleague at work confronted me in the mailroom with this memorable
gem: "Have you tried in vitro?" She feared that we hadn't availed ourselves
of the many wondrous technologies that rescue infertile couples. "Wouldn't
that be better than adopting a child with a disability?"
"We're not infertile," I barked. "We have a relationship with the
My wife, an autism expert, had offered his mother services, but as the
woman found it increasingly difficult to care for her son and then dropped
out of the picture altogether, we had started spending time with him. His
first communicative act with language, at age 3 - the sign for "more" - we
had taught him while tickling his belly.
He later made that sign in the emergency room of a hospital where he
was brought after being beaten in foster care. Upon seeing us - we had been
called in to try to calm him - he stopped in his tracks, paused and demanded
obsessively to be tickled. I remember searching on his chest for unbruised
patches among the purple, blue and black. He was that frantic in his quest
for the familiar and, dare I say, for love.
To this day, I can't believe how callous people were - the strange
anxiety that adopting a child with a disability provoked. And the anxiety
just kept coming. "Healthy white infants must be tough to get," a neighbor
commented. We were appalled by the idea that we'd do anything to avoid
adopting, say, a black child or a Latino one.
As offensive was the assumption that we must be devout Christians:
hyperbolic, designated do-gooders with a joint eye firmly on some final
prize. "God's reserving a special place for you," we heard on more than one
occasion. Adam Pertman, in his otherwise excellent book, Adoption Nation,
reproduces this logic exactly when he speaks of "children so challenging
that only the most saintly among us would think of tackling their behavioral
and physical problems."
Despite the stigma attached to "special-needs children," people do
adopt these kids. And yet, many more Americans spend gobs of money on
fertility treatments or travel to foreign countries to find their perfect
I'm haunted by something my son wrote after we taught him how to read
and type on a computer: "I want you to be proud of me. I dream of that
because in foster care I had no one." How many kids lie in bed at night and
think something similar?
The physical and behavioral problems have been significant, at times
even crushing. The last eight years have been devoted almost exclusively to
my son's welfare: literacy training, occupational therapy,
relationship-building, counseling for post-traumatic stress. But what
strides he has made.
The boy who was still in diapers and said to be retarded when he came
to live with us is now a straight-A student at our local middle school. He
is rewriting the common scripts of autism and "attachment disorder." These
are hopeless scripts, unforgiving scripts in which the child can't give
My son does, and others can as well. Recently, in response to my hip
replacement, he typed on his computer, "I'm nervous because Dad has not
brought me braces" - his word for crutches. I was just home from the
hospital - wobbly, a bit depressed, in pain. To my question, "Why do you
need crutches?" he responded endearingly, "You know how I like to be just
like you." My son was trying to make me feel better, taking on my
impairment, limping with me.
Ralph James Savarese is the author of the new book "Reasonable People:
A Memoir of Autism & Adoption."
testing treatments is booming. Here are some of the doctors and researchers
Dr. Fred Volkmar at Yale University is studying potential ways to
diagnose autism in the first months of life, including whether looking at
objects rather than people is a sign. "I think we're on the verge of being
able to do a much better job" of diagnosing autism in infancy, Volkmar said.
Researcher Stephen Porges at the University of Illinois at Chicago is
starting a five-year study of whether excessive crying past 6 months of age
might be an early sign of autism, attention deficit or other behavioral
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a psychiatry professor at George Washington
University, is launching a multimillion-dollar study involving parents and
babies at risk for autism or attention deficit disorder. One group will
receive intensive behavior training, the other will not; both will be
compared through age 5.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Autistic Man Speaks For First Time In Over 50 Years
By Kay Quinn for Healthbeat.
(KSDK) - Imagine not speaking for more than 50 years.
That was the case for Danny Will, a local man with autism. Will will
turn 60 in August and hadn't spoken for nearly 55 years.
Will functioned normally during his first few years of life. Around
the age of five he was diagnosed with autism. His father died when he was
By the time he was 13 and his mother had to institutionalize him at
Fulton State Hospital.
"He didn't speak the entire time he was in that institution," said
Mary Vanderklok, a training specialist at the Judevine Center for Autism.
In 1993, at the age of 43, Will came to live at Calverton House, a
home for people with autism run by the Judevine Center. Like many people
with autism, he works and does chores, but also gestures and engages in
"Receptively, he understands directives," said Vanderklok. "He
understands what you're saying to him, what's expected of him but a deficit
for most people with autism spectrum disorder is that expressive language."
In all of his time at Calverton House, Will still wouldn't speak --
until last summer. He was taken to a local hospital for a test on his heart
and he spoke his first words in more than 50 years.
"And that was, 'I don't want that -- get away,' which was amazing,"
Will still only speaks occasionally and only to those caregivers he
"That's a remarkable man. There's just no other way to put it," says
DeVona Miner, a caregiver at Calverton House.
In spite of his silence, those who know him said Will is happy. They
also said he is living proof that we should all keep high expectations for
people with autism.
"We really didn't think Danny would ever speak. He surprised us in
that, so I think our motto is never give up," said Vanderklok.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
What We Eat
May 21, 2007
The picky eating habits of children can drive parents to distraction. Foods that smell funny, or are too hot, too cold, too crunchy or too mushy: all are candidates for rejection.
And when it comes to trying to get kids to eat their vegetables, the task often seems insurmountable.
Youngsters naturally prefer tasty foods that are high in calories — a nod to their biology, which is designed to ensure adequate intake while they're growing rapidly. But these days, with kids eating more of these plentiful, palatable foods and exercising less and less, the most obvious rapid growth is in the size of their waistlines.
Numerous agencies, including the American Heart Assn. and the American Dietetic Assn., are calling for changes to our children's diets. They want kids to eat fewer high-fat, high-sugar foods in favor of foods with more vitamins, minerals and fiber — ones, in other words, that supply the most nutritional bang for their calorie buck.
No one would argue that one way to reduce calorie intake is to eat more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. But many kids have a food "neophobia" — literally, fear of the new — that reaches a peak between the ages of 2 and 6. And this, again, can partly be blamed on biology.
Avoiding the unfamiliar may be an evolutionarily adaptive mechanism — one that serves to protect us from eating potentially poisonous substances that existed in abundance in the plant-rich environment of our ancestors.
Still, studies suggest that with repeated exposure, dislikes can be transformed into desire.
In a report published in the journal Appetite in 2003, for example, researchers at University College London randomly assigned children ages 2 to 6 and their parents to one of three groups for a two-week study. In one group, parents offered their child a daily taste of a vegetable for which the child had indicated a low preference ranking.
In a second group, parents received only general nutrition information about how to increase fruits and vegetables in the diet. The third group served as a control — receiving neither dietary recommendations nor literature.
The kids who received daily exposure increased their liking and consumption of the food, and increased the ranking of the vegetable in question significantly more than children in the other two groups.
And, a majority of parents in the "exposure" group felt that the intervention could have a lasting effect on their children. In some cases, foods their youngsters previously wouldn't touch had actually become their favorites. One parent commented that her child looked forward to the daily tasting, because it had "made food more fun."
If the concept of repeated vegetable exposure sounds too daunting, a group at Pennsylvania State University in University Park suggest another tactic for parents — more of a vegetable "sneak attack."
In a study presented at a scientific meeting last month, the researchers added puréed broccoli and cauliflower to pasta sauce, increasing the nutritional value and decreasing the caloric density of the meal. Children fed the doctored dish could not distinguish it from the conventionally prepared item.
The kids, ages 3 to 5, showed no clear preference for one dish over the other and ate consistent amounts of both. As a result, they ate significantly more vegetables — while reducing their calorie intake by nearly 20%.
Of course, "hiding" vegetables from kids won't necessarily help them acquire a taste for them, which is important for lifelong healthy habits. But there are other strategies to try. It's been shown that kids who help take part in planting, harvesting, purchasing and preparing vegetables generally consume more of these foods. It's also known that parents who offer new foods and set good examples with their own dietary habits are also on the right track.
Still, a little covert cookery may be a good strategy for adults, too — recent surveys indicate that only 40% of Americans eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and the newest recommendations are that we consume even more than that.
If sneaking a few vegetables into a pasta sauce, soup, casserole or meat loaf will increase vegetable consumption and decrease calorie intake, the whole family wins.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the
University of California, Los Angeles, has identified two regions of DNA
linked to autism. They found the suspicious DNA with a much smaller sample
of people than has been used traditionally in searches for autism genes.
Autism -- a disorder that involves social deficits, language problems
and repetitive, stereotyped behaviors -- affects around one in 1,000
children. And the combined incidence of autism spectrum disorders, which
include Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, brings the
total number of affected children to one in every 150 births. Boys are
affected three to four times more often than girls.
There's clearly a genetic component to autism, according to John N.
Constantino, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at
Washington University School of Medicine and a co-principal investigator on
this latest study. If one child in a family is autistic, there's a 10
percent chance a sibling also will have autism. Past research has isolated a
few regions of DNA linked to autism, but very few of those studies have been
replicated, so no specific autism genes have yet been identified.
"Those older studies used what's called an 'affected sib pair' design
that looks for genetic markers in siblings with autism," says Constantino.
"That approach has worked well for single-gene disorders, but autism is a
complex disease that may involve many genes that each make very small
contributions. When that's the case, it's harder to find genetic markers."
So Constantino's group, in collaboration with the other co-principal
investigator, Daniel H. Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D ., and neuropsychiatric and
genetics researchers at UCLA, is using a different approach. They report
their findings in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
"Although we once believed you either had this condition or you
didn't, we now know that there's a continuous distribution of autism
symptoms from very mild to very severe," Constantino says.
That means in families where a child is autistic, parents and
unaffected siblings may have very subtle communication impairments or
behavioral tendencies that would be considered autistic only in their most
severe forms. Those traits may indicate genetic tendencies that contribute
to autism and now can be measured with a diagnostic interview tool called
the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), which Constantino developed with his
colleague Richard D. Todd, Ph.D., M.D., at Washington University.
Using the SRS to gather data about both children with autism and their
unaffected parents and siblings allowed the researchers to take a more
quantitative approach to find subtle symptoms of autism that aggregate in
families. In all, they used the SRS to study members of 99 families who were
part of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE).
"We characterized everyone using the quantitative measures that the
Social Responsiveness Scale provides," Constantino explains. "With the SRS,
we looked not just at whether a person has autism but more systematically at
the degree of autistic impairment. Then we analyzed their genetic material
and found significant linkage to these symptoms on regions of chromosomes 11
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
What happens when they get these proteins?
Children who have gone for one year eating only chicken, canola oil, potato, rice, calcium-enriched beverages, and a liquid multivitamin supplement with minerals have had excellent results on nutritional blood tests. You'd be surprised to learn just how unnecessarily varied an American diet is, compared with the diets of other cultures!
So, if I can't give him milk or wheat, and if he has some other food allergies, what do I feed my child?
Most kids are okay with chicken, lamb, pork, fish, potato, rice, and egg whites. Parsnips, tapioca, arrowroot, honey, and maple syrup are usually okay too. French fries from McDonalds are currently gluten free (but may contain soy or corn.) Certain white nuts, like macadamia and hazelnuts, are also usually tolerated. Others kids may be okay with white corn, bacon, fruits such as white grapes or pears, beans, sesame seeds, or grains such as amaranth and teff (available at natural foods stores.) There's always something to feed them - even the most finicky kids seem to like sticky white chinese rice or french fries.
What else contains gluten?
Wheat, oats, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, semolina, malt, food starch, grain alcohol, and most packaged foods - even those that do not label as such. There is a lot of information on gluten intolerance because of a related disorder called Celiac Disease. The nearly complete list can be found at http://www.gfcfdiet.com/unacceptable.htm
Isn't milk necessary for children's health?
Americans have been raised to believe that this is true, largely due to the efforts of the American Dairy Association, and many parents seem to believe that it is their duty to feed their children as much cow's milk as possible.
However, lots of perfectly healthy children do very well without it. Cow's milk has been called "the world's most overrated nutrient" and "fit only for baby cows." There is even evidence that the cow hormone present in dairy actually blocks the absorption of calcium in humans.
Be careful. Removing dairy means ALL milk, butter, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, etc. It also includes product ingredients such as "casein" and "whey," or even words containing the word "casein." Read labels - items like bread and tuna fish often contain milk products. Even soy and rice cheese usually containcaseinate.
For more information on dairy-free living, there's a very good book called "Raising Your Child Without Milk" by Jane Zukin. This can be ordered at Barnes & Noble and at Waldenbooks. There is also a very good little book called "Don't Drink Your Milk" by Frank Oski (the head of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins and author of "Essential Pediatrics.") This book cites the results of several research studies which conclude that milk is an inappropriate food for human children. It is available for $4.95 from Park City Press, PO Box 25, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547, ISBN #0671228048.
But if I take away milk, what will my child do for calcium?
Children between the ages of one and ten require 800-1000 mg of calcium/day. If the child drinks three 8-oz glasses of fortified rice, soy or potato milk per day, he would meet that requirement. If he drank one cup per day, the remaining 500 mg of additional calcium could be supplied with one of the many supplements available. Kirkman Labs (800-245-8282) makes flavored and flavorless calcium supplements in various forms. Custom-made calcium liquids can also be mixed up by compounding pharmacies using a maple, sucrose syrup, stevia or water base.
There are some very good calcium-enriched milk substitutes on the market. Rice Dream, in the white box, is usually available at the supermarket.
Is this diet expensive?
There is no denying that many of the gluten-free ingredients you will need to keep on hand are more costly than the staples you are used to buying. However, when you order by the case, the above milk substitutes cost about the same as cow's milk. Some parents report that their autistic children were drinking over a gallon of cow's milk per day (about $60/month!) but these same parents were reluctant to switch to rice milk at $1.30/quart.
As with all foods, convenience products such as frozen rice waffles are expensive, but making these from scratch is easy and inexpensive. Bulk rice flour is about 45¢ a pound, and there are several good gluten-free cookbooks. You'll find yourself making rice and potatoes more often, instead of ordering out. You might even save money.
What percentage of children will respond to dietary intervention?
However, age plays a big part in how quickly results will be seen. We can probably say that the response will be dramatic in more than two thirds of the children under three, and perhaps more subtle, but still helpful, in at least two thirds of older children. We think those are pretty good odds.
From California autism advocate Rick Rollens.
According to information released last week by California's Department
of Developmental Services (DDS), during the 91 day period that was the first
quarter of 2007 (Q 1), 886 new children with a professional diagnosis of
full syndrome DSM IV autism, NOT including PDD, NOS, Asperger's Syndrome or
any other autism spectrum disorder were added to California's developmental
There were a total of 1570 total new intakes during Q 1 2007 which
included children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy,
and a myriad of rare genetic conditions such as Fragile X, Down's Syndrome,
etc. Of the 1570 total new intakes, 886 or 56% were full syndrome autism
cases. The 886 new intakes during that 91 day period represents the second
highest number of new intakes for a quarter reporting period in the 38 year
history of California's developmental services system. On average,
California is currently adding 10 new children a day, seven days a week with
full syndrome autism to its system. In 1971, California included autism as
a qualifying condition to it's developmental services system. During the 16
year period from 1971 through 1987, California had a total caseload of
roughly 2700 persons with autism.
During the past nine months alone, from July 2006 to April 2007,
California added roughly 2700 new cases. What use to take 16 years in
caseload growth now takes 9 months! Twenty years ago in 1987 there were
2700 persons with autism in the system, today 20 years later, there are
nearly 34,000....92% born after 1980, 84% under the age of 21, and 78% under
the age of 18.
We are still waiting for the missing 14,000+ adults with autism that
should be in our system if there has not been a real increase in autism to
show up now that we know what autism looks like (HaHa). Still no sign of
them. The fact is, they do not exist. In California's system today, less
then 2 out of 10 persons with autism are 22 years of age or older, the
remaining 8 1/2 out of 10 are between the ages of 3 and 21.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Temper tantrums here we come!!!! I call this "HELL WEEK." They've started already...
Sunday, April 29, 2007
These are my beautiful boys, Isaac (left) & Kyle. Isaac was born on July 31, 2003 and Kyle on February 10, 2005.
I created this blog for friends and family to track Kyle's progress with his treatment for autism. I will post updates, autism research information, and health information. PLEASE comment, as this is a blog! :) May Kyle's walk with Autism be guided by the hands our Holy Father, crafting him according to His will.
God Loves You Kyle.. ~Daddy.
Child's Name: Kyle Long***TOTAL AND SUBSCALE SCORES***Total Score: 105I. Speech/Language/Communication: 25II. Sociability: 31III. Sensory/Cognitive Awareness: 26IV. Health/Physical/Behavior: 23**I. Speech/Language/Communication1. Knows own name: Somewhat true2. Responds to `No' or `Stop': Somewhat true3. Can follow some commands: Somewhat true4. Can use one word at a time: Not true5. Can use 2 words at a time: Not true6. Can use 3 words at a time: Not true7. Knows 10 or more words: Not true8. Can use sentences with 4 or more words: Not true9. Explains what he/she wants: Not true10. Asks meaningful questions: Not true11. Speech tends to be meaningful/relevant: Not true12. Often uses several successive sentences: Not true13. Carries on fairly good conversation: Not true14. Has normal ability to com municate for his/her age: Not true**II. Sociability1. Seems to be in a shell - you cannot reach him/her: Very descriptive2. Ignores other people: Very descriptive3. Pays little or no attention when addressed: Very descriptive4. Uncooperative and resistant: Somewhat descriptive5. No eye contact: Very descriptive6. Prefers to be left alone: Very descriptive7. Shows no affection: Very descriptive8. Fails to greet parents: Very descriptive9. Avoids contact with others: Very descriptive10. Does not imitate: Somewhat descriptive11. Dislikes being held/cuddled: Somewhat descriptive12. Does not share or show: Very descriptive13. Does not wave `bye bye': Very descriptive14. Disagreeable/not compliant: Somewhat descriptive15. Temper tantrums: Somewhat descriptive16. Lacks friends/companions: Somewhat descriptive17. Rarely smiles: Very descriptive18. Insensitive to other's feelings: Somewhat descriptive19. Indifferent to being liked: Somewhat descriptive20. Indifferent if parent(s) leave: Somewhat descriptive**III. Sensory/Cognitive Awareness1. Responds to own name: Somewhat descriptive2. Responds to praise: Not descriptive3. Looks at people and animals: Somewhat descriptive4. Looks at pictures (and T.V.): Very descriptive5. Does drawing, coloring, art: Not descriptive6. Plays with toys appropriately: Somewhat descriptive7. Appropriate facial expression: Not descriptive8. Understands stories on T.V.: Not descriptive9. Understands explanations: Not descriptive10. Aware of environment: Somewhat descriptive11. Aware of danger: Somewhat descriptive12. Shows imagination: Somewhat descriptive13. Initiates activities: Not descriptive14. Dresses self: Not descriptive15. Curious, interested: Somewhat descriptive16. Venturesome - explores: Somewhat descriptive17. Tuned in - Not spacey: Not descriptive18. Looks where others are looking: Not descriptive**IV. Health/Physical/Behavior1. Bed-wetting: Not a Problem2. Wets pants/diapers: Not a Problem3. Soils pants/diapers: Not a Problem4. Diarrhea: Minor Problem5. Constipation: Minor Problem6. Sleep problems: Not a Problem7. Eats too much/too little: Minor Problem8. Extremely limited diet: Moderate Problem9. Hyperactive: Minor Problem10. Lethargic: Not a Problem11. Hits or injures self: Minor Problem12. Hits or injures others: Not a Problem13. Destructive: Minor Problem14. Sound-sensitive: Moderate Problem15. Anxious/fearful: Moderate Problem16. Unhappy/crying: Minor Problem17. Seizures: Not a Problem18. Obsessive speech: Minor Problem19. Rigid routines: Moderate Problem20. Shouts or screams: Minor Problem21. Demands sameness: Not a Problem22. Often agitated: Minor Problem23. Not sensitive to pain: Moderate Problem24. Hooked or fixated on certain objects/topics: Moderate Problem25. Repetitive movements: Minor Problem