Prism Lenses

The use of prism lenses for behavioral and learning problems goes back to the 1970’s when optometric pioneers began using these tools at the Gesell Institute. Prism lenses can be powerful temporary tools for individuals with autism and other developmental delays because they alter neural processing of the brain, creating an unconscious change in posture or attention.  How Prism Lenses Are Prescribed Counter to what many believe, lens prescribing is an art, not a science. While a machine might indicate one Rx, that prescription might make a patient dizzy or nauseous. Lenses are for particular purposes: to do a specific job, such as reading in the sun, or driving a truck in the rain at night. Unfortunately, for most people, one lens cannot solve both problems. Different prescriptions are thus necessary, depending upon the task.    Ophthalmologists use compensatory lenses to improve eyesight for specific purposes, such as those just described. Most people reading this post are wearing compensatory lenses. Optometrists,…

Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning-Related Vision Problems

An estimated 25% of school-age children have vision problems affecting learning. Students can have difficulties in any of a number of areas. Maybe their two eyes don’t work together to track or focus. These and other problems can have a profound effect on how they learn. What Are Learning-Related Vision Problems?   Symptoms of vision problems include:  Eyes that are red or tear when stressed   Poor hand-eye coordination Avoidance of academics Decreased comprehension Slow reading/writing   Losing place Omitting words Skipping lines Confusion of similar words    Discomfort Fatigue Headaches Short attention span when doing schoolwork Vision Problems and/or Disabilities?   Because vision and learning are intimately connected, vision problems can be easily mistaken for learning or attention problems. Undetected and untreated vision problems can elicit some of the very same signs and symptoms commonly attributed to: ADD ADHD Learning disabilities Dyslexia Impulsivity Hyperactivity Distractibility Poor reading Trouble learning math Illegible handwriting In some instances these conditions co-exist and treating one aspect of the…

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): Healing the Gut and Brain

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): Healing the Gut and Brain

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): Healing the Gut and Brain

Have You Heard About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?   HBOT is a powerful, safe, non-invasive alternative to anti-fungal medication that can be used for: Allergies Autism Autoimmune disorders Traumatic Brain Injury Cerebral palsy Candidiasis Drowning Hypoglycemia Heavy-metal toxicity Infections Multiple sclerosis Stroke Concussion Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Vascular disorders Diabetic neuropathy What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?   It is a treatment modality, in which a patient is entirely enclosed in a chamber and given oxygen to breathe at a pressure greater than one atmosphere. Both the enclosed chamber and the pressure are necessary for HBOT.   How Does HBOT Work?   A patient just sits in the chamber and relaxes, naps, or even watches a movie or video. HBOT diffuses oxygen throughout the body, even into damaged tissues. Pressurized oxygen has tremendous healing capabilities. Oxygen expands and enlarges restricted capillaries and blood vessels in the body, even to the speech and language centers of the brain. HBOT heals the brain by activating idling neurons,…

How Nutrition Affects Hypotonia

How Nutrition Affects Hypotonia

How Nutrition Affects Hypotonia

Many children with developmental delays have low muscle tone, or hypotonia, because external factors that impact the nervous system can also affect the muscles. Premature birth, heavy antibiotic use, and exposure to toxins damage all types of cells, causing generalized low tone or low tone in specific areas such as the hands or mouth. In severe cases of hypotonia, the muscles may be so weak that a child has difficulty sitting up for extended periods, chewing, or pushing out bowel movements. Milder cases, affecting the finger or eye muscles, cause fine motor delays or visual processing disorders. All children with hypotonia have reduced stamina.   Symptoms Associated with Hypotonia Fatigue/low arousal:  The body’s inefficient processing of nutrients results in reduced available energy overall.   Reflux/constipation:  Poor or reduced trunk tone can cause stomach flaps to flop, thus impeding food movement.    Poor sitting posture or “slumping” can be a result of soft trunk muscles.   Weak chewing and poor/picky eating:  Low tone in the…

Sound Healing

Homeopathic Sound Healing Remedies

Sound Healing

Homeopathic color and sound healing remedies create inner balance and stability by activating an individual’s energy system, using vibration to allow the body to heal itself. Recently, practitioners have found positive results in addressing compromised immunity, inflammation, and hypersensitivities in children with autism and other developmental delays using these vibrational remedies, which penetrate deeply to address imbalances in the energy field.   From Classical Homeopathy to Color Healing   Homeopaths use homeopathy’s key tenet, known as the “Law of Similars”, to match a homeopathic remedy with a patient’s constitutional nature. Classical remedies, which address a patient’s physical, emotional and mental symptoms, are made from plant, mineral or animal substances to stimulate the body’s “vital force”, thus enhancing its ability to heal.   Color Remedies  Color remedies come in kits containing small pellets in one-dram brown bottles of the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, pink, turquoise, indigo blue, violet, magenta and spectrum (all the colors). Like classical remedies, they are prepared through a…

Handle Therapy for Autism and ADHD

HANDLE Therapy for Autism and ADHD

Handle Therapy for Autism and ADHD

Marlene Suliteanu, OTR, and Judith Bluestone, neurodevelopmental/educational therapist, discuss the history and benefits of HANDLE therapy in this blog post. HANDLE®, an acronym for Holistic Approach to Neuro-Development and Learning Efficiency, believes that everyone possesses the potential to learn. No one knows this better than Judith Bluestone, HANDLE’s founder. Bluestone’s personal history gifted her with the ability to create this award-winning program which applies neuro-scientific principles to a wide range of learning and behavioral challenges. Grown from a single location in Seattle, since 1994 the HANDLE Institute has certified hundreds of trainers across the United States, in Israel, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Thousands of individuals have benefited from HANDLE therapy for learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, PDD, dyspraxia, language disorders, Tourette syndrome and a plethora of perceptual and behavioral disorders. What Are the Components of HANDLE® Therapy? Holistic HANDLE therapy considers interdependent internal and external influences from: Chemicals Allergens Nutritional deficits (especially essential fatty acids) Dehydration Toxins Lighting TV and…

flame retardants

Flame Retardants: A Threat to Our Children‘s Development?

flame retardants

Patricia Lemer, M. Ed., NCC, discusses the danger of flame retardants to a child’s neurological and endocrine development in this post. Since the 1970’s, manufacturers have been treating mattresses, textiles, plastics and car parts with flame-resistant chemicals known collectively as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), otherwise known as flame retardants. Today, these ubiquitous chemicals are showing up not just in our stores, but in our landfills, ground water, house dust, blood and breast milk, and in animals as diverse as fish in Virginia and polar bears and whales in Alaska.  What Are PBDEs?  PBDEs come in three varieties: deca, penta and octa. Deca, the most heavily used, is one of the many potentially hazardous chemicals in use, due to a failed national policy that presumes chemicals are safe until proven to cause harm. North American industry accounts for almost half the world’s market of Deca chemicals.  PBDEs did not attract much attention until 1999, when Swedish scientists first detected them in…

Why Is Digestion Important?

Why Is Digestion Important?

Why Is Digestion Important?

Understanding the process of digestion is necessary before understanding what goes wrong in children with chronic disorders such as autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma. Digestion starts in the mouth. Each bite of food that enters the mouth mixes with saliva and is swallowed. A process of muscle contraction called peristalsis moves the partially digested food into the stomach, small intestines and colon, where enzymes and other juices work it further.    Enzymes, which are proteins responsible for many essential biochemical reactions, are vitally important for proper digestion. Enzymes act as catalysts, breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into simple forms that the body can absorb, burn for energy, or use to build or repair itself. As the body absorbs nutrients, toxins and other waste products finish the journey, exiting through the rectum as fecal matter.    How Long Does Digestion Take? This very complex process could take hours to days, depending upon many factors. Ideally food should not tarry too long in…

What's for Breakfast?

What’s for Breakfast?

What's for Breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! We’ve all heard that maxim. Manage Glucose Levels What is a “good” breakfast, and why is it so important, especially for kids with neurodevelopmental disorders and mood disorders? It’s all about glucose levels. Fasting for 10-12 hours between dinner and awakening in the morning triggers hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and acidosis. The Body Ecology Diet’s fourth principle is that too much acid encourages yeast overgrowth, viruses, parasites, and other unhealthy cells to thrive.  Prepare Children for Learning Research now proves the importance of a good breakfast to prepare children for learning. One British study explored the performance of 19 children, aged six to seven years over a four-week period. The children ate meals offering similar calories but different glycemic loads. (Glycemic load is how much a given food causes blood sugar to rise sharply.) Two to three hours afterwards, those who ate a low-glycemic breakfast performed significantly better on the tests…

The Folate Deficiency Connection

The Folate Deficiency Connection

The Folate Deficiency Connection

Laurette Janak discusses the connection of autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer and depression in this post about methylation and folate deficiency. Do you have a child with autism? A history of depression? A parent with Alzheimer’s?  Some discoveries I made might interest to you.  When I adopted my daughter, she was simply the girl I had always wanted. Little did I know what adventures her complicated medical issues would lead me into. Folate Deficiency My son Steven had been conceived through the help of nutritional therapies. I knew that because Emily had Down syndrome, vitamin therapy would be crucial for her. I read everything I could about her condition. Kent MacLeod at Nutri-Chem, the Canadian company whose nutrients for Down syndrome are known world-wide, called me a “one-woman research institute.”  I learned that children with Down syndrome have weakened immune systems and impaired folate cycles. Folates are products of complex biochemical reactions through which our bodies convert a vitamin found in green…