There’s not too many people that aren’t either directly affected by Autism in their family or know someone who is. In fact, its become so common that when I mention my son has Autism most people don’t even flinch. In a way that’s good in the fact the stigma is slowly fading I guess but in other ways we’ve almost become desensitised to it and accept it as readily as we do the common cold which is is sad in a way simply because shouldn’t we be trying to get the bottom of why this is becoming more and more common? In saying that, it’s probably a conversation for another time. At the moment, if you’re like me and you’re dealing with Autism the horse has already bolted and we can’t dwell on why did this happen, we can only focus on what can we do to make things more manageable.
Navigating the maze of Autism can be quite a challenge, I remember the overwhelming information I was presented with when my son was diagnosed and frankly the one thing I was really interested in was the one thing I wasn’t given any information on……..nutritional and supplement support.
Take away the fact that I’m a Naturopath so naturally I look outside the square, the thing I’ll never to this day understand about the medical fraternity is why do they think it’s okay to feed kids on the spectrum chicken nuggets and chips every night but giving them some Zinc will not only not do a thing for them but it may harm them.. I mean seriously.. it’s not like the poor nutritional diet is doing them any favours.
When I’m working with my kiddie patients on the spectrum there’s a number of things I’ll look at including a couple of tests which can be useful and of course I always recommend parents examine the dietary choices of their kids when we’re treating them, but again we’ll talk about that another time.
When I first meet a child on the spectrum I generally always recommend we do a Heavy Metal and Mineral Hair analysis to have a look at what’s going on and where might be a good place to start. If you don’t want to do the testing and just want to try a few options there are some simple things you can consider.
Good gut health is a key factor when working with kids on the spectrum and one of the areas I really focus on given how much of a difference it has made to Zac over the years. There’s so many of them out there it can be difficult to make the right choices so I guess if you want to just be general about it then consider things like a good quality multi-strain probiotic, but it needs to be the right kind as some probiotics can have a negative effect.
Many kids I see on the spectrum often have behavioural issues and food aversions and quite often after we see the hair analysis we’ll notice they have high copper and low zinc. High copper can cause behavioural issues in kids seeing them lash out, behave in an aggressive manner, be highly emotional and be very fidgety. To balance this out we need to look at zinc which will not only reduce the copper overload but will support healthy gut integrity and may even help some of those fussy eaters amongst the group.
Activated B Vitamins, in particular B6 (in those with Pyroluria) is beneficial in the processing of amino acids and will work in conjunction with Zinc in the production of those “feel good” neurotransmitters. Methyl B12 can also be of great benefit as it maintains a healthy nervous system and will help to improve cognitive function. It also is required for the formation and regeneration of red blood cells as well as promoting growth so it can increase the appetite in children.
Essential Fatty Acids:
Fish Oil or Cod Liver Oil (or sometimes both) have great benefits when it comes to reducing inflammation and improving brain development it’s just important that you choose ones that are good quality as poor quality, rancid oils can do more harm than good.
In discussing this it’s important to realise that each child needs to be looked at individually and we shouldn’t just be considering the best supplements for them as this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Autism. Diet and gut health are essential parts of their development and how they progress and one doesn’t necessarily work without the other.
If you’re wanting to really investigate how to best support your child then it’s best to do your research and get the right advice from a qualified professional so you can start on the right track to get the best results.
From the team at Mumma’s Own.