A Unique Approach to Healing

The Documenting Hope Project:  Grassroots Initiative Tackles New Childhood Epidemics by Beth Lambert One of the greatest paradoxes of our times is that the most affluent, resourced and medically advanced societies in the world also have the highest rates of chronic childhood illness. Obesity and diabetes, autism and neurodevelopmental delays, and digestive and allergic diseases were rare just a generation ago. Today those illnesses are impacting our children in epidemic numbers, and the social, economic and human costs are staggering. Our children are the “canaries in the coal mine” of national health. For their sakes, we must take action now. “The Fierce Urgency of Now” Some startling statistics: Rates of autism have risen over the last few decades from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50 children. Autism costs the United States $126 billion per year. Asthma affects 1 in 8 children, and as many as 1 in 6 African American children. Asthma costs the United States $56 billion per…

Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Patricia S. Lemer, M. Ed., NCC gives us the scoop on educational testing and neuropsychological evaluations for special needs children. When I was twelve, my mother showed me some vocational tests she used in her volunteer work with seniors. I was fascinated. I loved math, puzzles, and analyzing behavior; I had found my perfect vocation. Later, I majored in psychological testing at college. The rest is history. For more than 30 years, I’ve been an educational diagnostician. Daily, I administer psycho-educational tests to kids and adults. For me, testing is like playing bridge; instead of using cards, I ask questions, present blocks and problems, pencil and paper. Every “hand” is a different, new puzzle to solve. Why Do Educational Testing? Educational testing and neuropsychological evaluations are important because most people want a diagnosis. The results of diagnostic testing determine placement, access to services such as special education or therapy, and insurance reimbursement (or denial). Rule: Decide whether you need a…

Nutrient Therapy for Autism

by Kelly Dorfman, M.S., Co-founder, Developmental Delay Resources Every day we hear a new theory about the cause of autism.  First it was “refrigerator mothers,” then sulphotransferase deficiency or DPP4 enzyme malfunction, then G-alpha protein malfunction.  More recently we targeted heavy metal toxicity and now a metallothionein protein (MT) defect.  Just listing the biochemical shortfalls associated with developmental delays would fill this website. Collectively, these theories are critically important and are leading to a striking number of dramatic recoveries.  Because the number of proposed metabolic defects is skyrocketing, however, they are increasingly being promoted in isolation as single entities.  Autism, the headlines scream, is a metalo-enzyme defect!  Developmental delays come from heavy metal poisoning! Simple Solutions: Tempting but Risky It is natural for parents and professionals to seek simple solutions. Sorting through long metabolic mazes seems pointless when the recovery stories of children doing one therapy are so compelling.  Then when a youngster’s modest improvement fails to live up to…

Metallothionein and Autism

William J. Walsh, PhD Metallothionein and autism:  At the DAN! 2001 Conference in San Diego, I presented a model which assumes that metallothionein (MT) dysfunction is the primary cause of autism. My model is the culmination of 30 years of experience, focusing on applying the work of Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, a pioneer in using nutrient therapies for chemical imbalances found in behavioral disorders. A Metallothionein Theory of Autism While engaged in research at the Argonne National laboratory, I pursued a prison volunteer project that launched me into the middle of the autism epidemic. I have now applied my knowledge about what makes bad guys bad to what causes depression and autism. In 1989, I established the Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Naperville, Illinois, where I am the Chief Scientist. In 2000, researchers there studied the results of approximately 100 separate chemical analyses of blood and urine tests from each of 503 patients diagnosed with autism, PDD and Asperger syndrome. Over 99%…

Fitting in Better by Getting Fit

Laura has Down syndrome.  She used to be overweight.  Since joining a fitness program at her school, she’s more confident and focused, and yes, she’s also lost 20 lbs. Michael has autism.  He completed OT in preschool and has recently finished 40 sessions of vision therapy.  Now he’s sharpening his visual-spatial awareness and motor planning by playing virtual soccer. Ryan asks all week if it’s Sunday yet.  He can’t wait to go to KEEN for basketball.  His devoted volunteer George wouldn’t miss a session either. Fitness Training Builds More Than Muscles Laura, Michael and Ryan are three of many kids with autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and genetic disorders who are growing stronger, happier, and more confident through fitness training. “Nobody’s ever pushed these kids,” says Laura’s coach Tom Yarnell, who developed the “Power Inside” program at the Pathfinder School in Pittsburgh.  “Getting them physically fit and understanding how their bodies work helps them function better in the world.” He…

Supporting Self Esteem with the Truth

This is a true story of how I went about supporting self esteem for my son with the truth. We were on our way to the developmental optometrist’s office when it happened. My son Joe’s current diagnosis basically translates to “chatty, skinny boy with remarkable expressive language skills, poor visual tracking, and low muscle tone.” You might add “occasionally lacks self confidence.”  That’s really all it is. This remarkable boy has been juggling appointments and evaluations since before he was three. Since the day the nursery school director called my husband and me in to discuss “what’s going on with Joe,” he’s been tested by a neuropsychologist, a physical therapist,  auditory experts, and vision specialists. He’s benefited from Brain Gym and therapy to integrate primitive reflexes.  He’s “played” with four different OTs. I’ve dragged him to horseback riding, movement and dance classes he didn’t want to attend, and he still sees an osteopath. He is precociously savvy about the dangers…

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Neurofeedback Applications and Benefits

Three years ago Jake’s parents sought out a clinic offering neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback that involves displaying a person’s brain waves on a computer screen and helping him control them. Jake would sit at a monitor with a sensor on his scalp, and whenever his brain achieved the calm, steady rhythms that normally eluded him, a Pac-Man would start gobbling black dots and beeping. Soon he was controlling the screen action at will, by recognizing the way it feels when the Pac-Man goes to work, and his brain was growing more stable. “It took care of his teeth grinding and sleep problems in two sessions,” says his mother. Within a week Jake was using scissors and developing a range of other fine motor skills. The number of seizures dropped, and his schoolwork improved dramatically. Benefits of Neurofeedback Called neurofeedback (or EEG feedback, because it uses an electroencephalogram), researchers in clinics, universities and even NASA are now working to refine…

Our Favorite Recovery Books

Our Favorite Recovery Books

Our Favorite Recovery Books

You can purchase items from Amazon Smile and designate us as your beneficiary – we’ll get 0.5% of all purchases.  We’d love to be your charity of choice!  If you feel inspired to give outright, you can make a tax-deductible donation here. To make it easy for you, we thought we’d share our favorite books about health and healing: “Is This Your Child:  Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies in Children and Adults” by Doris Rapp, M.D. “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders” by Kenneth Bock and Cameron Strauth “A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children” by Beth Lambert and Victoria Kobliner “Outsmarting Autism:  The Ultimate Guide to Management, Healing and Prevention” by Patricia S. Lemer “Almost Autism:  Recovering Children from Sensory Processing Disorder, A Reference for Parents and Practitioners” by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC, AADP “Envisioning a Bright Future:  Interventions That Work for Children and Adults…

The Nosology of Childhood Disorders

Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC, M. S. Bus., Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers Nosology?  According to Webster, it’s the systematic classification of diseases. I first heard the term from Sid Baker at the 1999 DAN! Conference.  He drew a tree, using the latest PowerPoint technology, to demonstrate the absurdity of this concept by applying it to his socks. He has blue, brown, black, grey and white socks; summer and winter socks, dress, casual and sports socks.   And orphan socks, waiting for the dryer to spit back their mates. Sid neatly placed each category on a separate branch.  Unlike trees, for which a single leaf identifies its class, socks fit multiple categories:  color, season and use.  So do disorders like ADHD, autism, language delays, sensory processing disorder and learning disabilities. I recently met a webmaster who still has autism labeled as an “emotional disturbance” on his site. I suggested that he move it to “biological disorders.”  “You mean it’s genetic?”…

Understanding Heavy Metal Toxicity and Chelation

By Kelly Dorfman, M.S., L.N. Experts have long recognized heavy metal toxicity as a cause of or contributor to developmental delays, autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.  Recently mercury has replaced lead as the primary culprit because children readily accumulate high levels of mercury from mandatory immunizations. How Do We Protect Against Heavy Metal Toxicity? Resist absorption of heavy metals with a diet rich in anti-oxidants.  Both a comprehensive nutritional supplement regimen and a healthy diet are essential. In a perfect world, one avoids absorbing lead and mercury altogether by taking in adequate amounts of anti-oxidants (such as vitamin C and selenium).  Children on diets low in anti-oxidants (usually from a lack of fruits and vegetables) are much more likely to absorb poisons of all sorts. If several children are exposed to the same amount of heavy metal, the ones in the best nutritional shape will take in less and more efficiently excrete what is absorbed.  This is why injected…