SPD, ADHD and Autism Calming Strategies

By Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND The brain needs a balance between excitatory and calming chemicals to control the body’s activity level. This blog post details Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD and autism calming strategies. A wide variety of chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, modulate the brain’s tendencies toward arousal or calming. Adrenaline (or epinephrine) is an excitatory chemical that helps the body respond to danger by dilating the eyes, speeding up the heart and initiating other functions that prepare the body for fight or flight. If an acute response is not necessary, the body can convert adrenaline to dopamine, another excitatory molecule that improves focus and concentration. Both dopamine and epinephrine are important under the appropriate circumstances. However, if adrenaline is dominant in a preschooler during circle time, he will be unable to settle down. Similarly, if excessive dopamine is present, the result is obsessive, rather than focusing, behavior. At bedtime, when the body tries to cycle into sleep, the brain may…

Sugar and Candida

by Christine Winderlin and Dr. Keith Sehnert.  Reprinted with permission from Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas. Of all the foods that can damage the body, sugar seems to be the most effective.  Sugar is sweet but has no nutritional value, lowers immune defenses, and encourages Candida growth.  Sugar and Candida go hand in hand. If large amounts of sugar are consumed on a daily basis, the result may be an immune system unable to fight infection. Dr. William Crook sums up the relationship between sugar and yeast growth: “Feeding sugar and simple carbohydrates to Candida organisms is like pouring kerosene on a fire.” The average American consumes more than 130 pounds of sugar every year – 14 times more than was consumed only 100 years ago.  Obvious evidence of our need for sugar is everywhere.  Many supermarkets dedicate entire aisles to cookies, candies, syrups, sugar-coated cereals, and ice cream treats and desserts.  Less obvious examples of sugar-laden foods are tucked throughout…