Nutrition and Autism, ADHD, SPD and Other Developmental Delays

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder, Developmental Delay Resources An astounding study found a strong correlation between nutrient status and better performance on difficult visuo-spatial and abstraction tests. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997:65, 20-29). Present or past intakes of protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, E, C, folate, and niacin were all related to intellectual performance in healthy, elderly individuals. If aging adults can improve visual and abstract intellectual functioning simply by eating better and taking supplements, is it not logical that the same would be true for children struggling to develop these skills? Nutrition and Autism, ADHD, SPD and Other Developmental Delays In many ways the deterioration of mental flexibility and sharpness accepted as part of growing older is similar to the processing sluggishness often seen in children with developmental delays. In one situation, the ravages of aging is the culprit; in the other, a total load of stressors causes the brain to process information slowly or inaccurately….

Improving Liver Detoxification Pathways

By Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder, Developmental Delay Resources Research on autistic children in England and hyperactive youngsters in the United States has uncovered a possible common enzyme deficiency. The enzyme in question, phenol sulfo transferase-P (PST-P), is an important component of liver detoxification pathways. When PST-P is inefficient, the body cannot properly break down hormones, certain food components, and toxic chemicals. The reason many hyperactive children become agitated after eating foods with artificial colors is because PST-P is needed to render the mildly toxic dyes harmless. As the environment becomes more polluted, those with the strongest capacity to break down poisons will survive the best. From a natural selection perspective, hyperactivity and autism may be nature’s way of sorting out those with the least ability, genetically speaking, to handle internally/externally produced toxins or “overload”. This hypothesis is supported by research showing that environmentally damaged areas often have a high density of developmentally delayed children. There are several tests available…

Auditory Training

This article was adapted from brochures available from the IDEA Training Center & the Spectrum Center www.spectrumcenter.com, two excellent sources of auditory training. Who Needs It? Many children with developmental delays initially present as having poor or non-existent speech and language skills. Their medical histories show frequent ear infections, no hand dominance, sound sensitivity, and avoidance of certain types of touch and movement. Candidates for auditory integration training include individuals with learning and language disorders, attention deficits, pervasive developmental disorders, autism, central auditory processing problems and sound sensitivity. Under-reactivity is also seen with some children craving sensory input such as spinning and “rough­housing.”   Behaviors in these individuals are unpredictable; parents, teachers and friends are overwhelmed by poor toler­ance for frustration, temper tantrums, shyness, or aggression that appears unprovoked.   These are all secondary signs of one possible cause which is neuro-physiological. What Is It? The ear has a function that is even more primary that hearing; listening.  Listening requires the coordination…

Craniosacral Therapy for Developmental Delays

by Carol Douglass, R.N. Craniosacral therapy for developmental delays, developed by Dr. John Upledger, is a gentle, relaxing, hands on therapy that can help children and families deal with some of the physical and emotional issues that are common to autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and Sensory Processing Disorder. The Craniosacral System The bones of the skull and the spinal column are encased in a three-layered membrane system called the meninges. These membranes hold and protect the core of our nervous system: the brain, the spinal cord, and a clear, nutrient-rich fluid called the cerebro-spinal fluid.  The dura mater (outermost meningeal layer) forms a fluid barrier, creating a semi-closed hydraulic system. As the system’s fluid pressure rises and falls, it creates the craniosacral rhythm, a subtle expansion and contraction that can be felt anywhere on the body by a trained therapist. The craniosacral system is crucial to overall functioning because it houses not only the brain and spinal cord, but the…