Autism Prevention – Early Choices

By Lorna C. Aliperti, APRN, IBCLC A Good Start is Important If you are concerned about the health of your new baby, you have a right to be. Allergies, asthma, autism and other immune and autoimmune problems are increasingly prevalent, as are the incidence of life-threatening allergies and problems with attention and relatedness. These are thought to be triggered by environmental influences in those genetically predisposed.  The immune system is our primary interface with the environment, and digestive problems seem to be related to many of these medical and psychological difficulties. Early microbial colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract by microbes is becoming increasingly appreciated as being crucial for the overall health of an infant. The actions of parents and caregivers in the perinatal period can have enormous impact on this infant’s microbiome, which is influenced by mode of delivery, antibiotic exposure and feeding practices, although exposure to foreign antigens that trigger an immune response can also be important. I…

Curious How Our “Evening of Inspiration” Went?

It was fabulous!  The Harmonie Club is a beautiful venue, and it was a fantastic setting for our “Evening of Inspiration”, which benefited the making of our Canary Kids Film Project, in which we will be taking 14 children with a known diagnosis of autism, ADHD, asthma, atopic dermatitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders and type 2 diabetes and providing free healing and recovery services to them while we film them for 18 months. You can check out pictures of the event here and here. We honored Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group, Deirdre Imus and Harvard pediatric neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert, author of “The Autism Revolution”, for their work in protecting the health of children.  Dr. Herbert and Dr. Russell Jaffe will be heading up the film’s medical advisory board.  Ken Cook wasn’t able to attend in person, but he made this thoughtful thank-you video for us that we are proud to share. Many members of the film’s…

Vision Therapy for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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. …

Screentime Guidelines for Children with Autism, ADHD and Other Developmental Delays

Screentime Guidelines for Children

Screentime Guidelines for Children with Autism, ADHD and Other Developmental Delays

Sanford R. Cohen, OD, FCOVD, discusses screentime guidelines for children using video devices (computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs) in this blog post. Video devices enrich our lives; experts, however, are expressing concerns about children’s usage of them. When kids play video games or surf the net, we must address some important health-related issues. Basic Visual Abilities Necessary for Video Device Usage By preschool, children have acquired the basic visual abilities needed for simple video device operation. These abilities include focusing, tracking, fixation, eye-hand coordination and binocularity. They develop as children interact with their environment and integrate visual experiences with other sensations. When a child has developmental delays, such as autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS or Sensory Processing Disorder, visual abilities are often delayed, too. Delays may also affect trunk, neck and head control; fine motor coordination of the eyes; and sensory integration – all essential for any visual activity. How Devices Affect Vision Video images are comprised of pixels – dots of…

IgG Allergies in Autism, ADHD, Asthma, Autoimmune and More

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LN   Intolerance to certain foods, especially gluten (wheat related grains) and casein (milk protein), is a common occurrence among children with developmental delays. Before adopting an elimination diet, however, many parents consult an allergist to determine if the diet is necessary. Surprisingly, after extensive scratch testing, the child is often found not to be allergic to any foods. Some parents choose to eliminate gluten and casein proteins anyway, and find their youngster responds with improved attention, sleep and/or language skills. How is this improvement possible if the child was not allergic in the first place? The answer lies in understanding the difference between allergies and other types of chemical reactions within the body. IgE versus IgG Reactions Allergies are defined as specific reactions within the immune system involving an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Immediate responses such as hives, congestion or swelling typically result from IgE activity. Traditional scratch testing identifies IgE triggers such as…

Announcing the Documenting Hope Project

14 children, 18 months, 1 goal:  RECOVERY The Documenting Hope Project is a documentary brought to you by Epidemic Answers.  In this film, we will be documenting the potential recovery of 14 children from autism, ADHD, asthma, atopic dermatitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders and type 2 diabetes as they work with integrative health practitioners for 18 months. These children will be receiving free medical services, healthy food and supplements during the duration of the project. The Documenting Hope Project was born of one simple gutsy observation: In spite of what most parents are told, many of these children can get better. We have the tools. And by demonstrating how they get better and how to protect their health we have the opportunity to create a better, safer, healthier and more sustainable future . . . for all of us. Our “big idea” is to create a successful, grassroots, crowd-sourced model for improved health outcomes for children affected by chronic…

Light, Water, and Air Quality: Improve Their Balance to Enhance Health

By Patricia S. Lemer, MS.Bus., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers Some simple improvements can help those with allergies, asthma and developmental problems: light, water and air. When these are in balance, life flourishes; when balance is upset, so is development. Since ancient times, Eastern philosophy has viewed the healer as a gardener who facilitates nature in making the body days grow.  This holistic approach is in marked contrast to that of western doctors who view the body as a machine and themselves as chemists and engineers who replace or repair faulty components.  Just as a plant depends on light, water and air, so does the human body. Both are dynamic, self-regulating systems that transform light and water into tissues.  A healthy organism can be resilient against adversity.  Plants can withstand drought, storms, and plagues; appropriately growing children can tolerate foods, pollution and animal dander. Recently, a friend consulted me: “My son is bringing home his girlfriend, and she…

Biomedical Testing for Autism, ADHD, SPD and Chronic Disorders

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder, Developmental Delay Resources Medical testing has changed dramatically over the last few years, despite our attempts to cling to the illusions of the past.  The familiar family doctor, who knew which test to order, to evaluate every possible problem, is long gone.  This blog post is about biomedical testing for autism, ADHD, SPD and chronic disorders such as asthma, allergies and mood disorders. Today, often a harried stranger is trying to serve too many patients while being relentlessly pressured by laboratories, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms to run tests, prescribe drugs, and save money, all at the same time. For the families of children with developmental delays, seeking medical care is more complex because there is no standard protocol for such a diverse population.  The tests sold to insurance companies-and, therefore, to you through your doctor because they are reimbursable – are useful for only a small percentage of the developmentally-delayed population. For instance,…

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…

The Total Load Theory: Why So Many Children Have Developmental Problems

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-founder, Developmental Delay Resources An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with cognitive and development delays. As a result, drugs are being used in unprecedented ways to control behavior and learning. While medication may provide short-term relief, the underlying cause of the problems must be identified or the trend will continue. Typical scientific analysis of the situation would require a series of experiments to isolate single factors causing the “disease”. Unfortunately, developmental problems are not illnesses caused by germs or a specific brain malfunction but are a group of symptoms created when the body has been stressed beyond normal endurance. According to the total load theory, at some point, which varies widely between individuals, the body can no longer handle the “load” of stressors such as nutritional deficiencies and aggressive use of medications, and begins to show signs of that burden. The signs of overload are the characteristic symptoms of attention deficiencies and developmental…