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…

Nutritional Supplementation and Autism, ADHD, SPD and Other Delays

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder,  Developmental Delay Resources Children who are distractible or have developmental delays need more nutrients than non-affected youngsters. This blog is about nutritional supplementation and autism, ADHD, SPD and other developmental delays. The higher nutritional needs may be due to one or more of the following: poor absorption due to gastro-intestinal issues and/or allergies; self-restricted diets during critical developmental periods; impaired ability to detoxify environmental chemicals and pollutants; nutrient deficiencies passed on from their parents. Parents are justifiably alarmed when a child is eating poorly despite assurances many physicians offer. Poor nutrient intake can decrease intelligence and affect brain functioning, especially if it occurs during the first few years of life. Unfortunately, these indisputable facts are not enough to convince children to eat their whole grains and vegetables. The best most parents can do is offer consistently good choices and eliminate heavily processed, artificially colored and flavored foods. For those who have successfully removed junk…