Early Learning – A Child with Autistic Tendencies

A Story by Cherry Davis

At the age of 2 1/2 years old, our daughter was evaluated and we were told she had “autistic tendencies“. This was 20 years ago when they did not necessarily want to label a child. She did not receive the diagnosis of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) until age 9. Her language skills were that of a 4-16 month old at that initial evaluation. We were told after one year that perhaps we should consider institutionalization as she might not be teachable nor even trainable. This of course, was not a consideration for us. We knew in our hearts that everything was going to work out somehow in the long run.
We did then and still do continue to have a great deal of hope for her future. After two years in special needs pre-school programs with intensive one-on-one teaching and speech therapy, her language was still very limited and had a tendency to be “muffled”. Her speech sounded as though she were talking through a glass.

One day I arrived to take her home from her school and the staff greeted me with, “Your child said a whole sentence today, clear as a bell”. Well, I can tell you I was so excited! An entire sentence??? That had never occurred. Words all strung together that made sense and in a sharp crisp manner? That was so wonderful! I couldn’t wait to hear what she said. Was it in regards to her day or maybe she actually noticed what other kids or adults were doing and made a comment about someone else. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if she made eye contact and followed through with a comment about something she saw or felt! My heart plummeted after the next comment from the staff members. “Yes, she spoke in a full sentence, clear as a bell, but we simply cannot have her talking like this”.
Now, I was confused–she spoke, a full sentence, something she hadn’t done in four years of life and they didn’t want her to do it again? The “incident” happened when they were finger painting. All the children were being asked to cover their hands with red fingerpaint and then make a picture of their choice. Well, another area that she was very loudly vocal was when textures were not to her liking—usually screeching was her way of expressing herself. However, on this particular day, in front of all the teachers and the other twelve students, she decided to proclaim loudly and clearly, “I am NOT sticking my hands in that red sh__t”.

I was speechless at that point myself! I was thrilled that she had felt something with such emotion that she had to strongly object, however, I knew that “cussing” was not the way to go about it! I promised that I would try to work on her “language problem at home”.
As I left with her I was cheering internally while smiling and trying to explain to a child who I wasn’t sure could understand me, how it was not polite to use certain words at all, ever.
To this day, she has not used an “improper” social word in my presence.

Find out more about Children with Autism

Dextromethorphan – Opiate, or Not?

I am afraid the person with “medical qualifications” is confused about dextromethorphan. It is not an opiate.

It is used widely as a cough suppressant.  Previously, other ingredients that were opiates were used in over-the-counter cough medicines, but that is no longer the case in the US.  ??The way that dextromethorphan works is by blocking a fast excitatory neurotransmitter, known as glutamate.  There are several types of glutamate receptors, and the one that is affected by dextromethorphan is known as an NMDA receptor.  In this way, it is similar to a drug of abuse known as ketamine, which has a similar mechanism.

The doses effective at cough suppression and that are present in cough syrup are, of course, much lower than you would need to get “high” from, and I can not personally imagine the idea of drinking 10 or 15 bottles of cough syrup to have a dubiously mild sedative effect, but addicts are what they are. Dextromethorphan has recently been investigated as a potential therapeutic agent in a numerous different and seemingly unrelated fields, ranging from autism, Tourette’s to stroke.  The reason for this, to oversimplify, is that in healthy brains excitation and inhibition are balanced.  Damage (such as stoke) can cause levels of excitation that can be toxic.  Some diseases may, at least in part, manifest some of their symptoms because some pathways controlling certain behaviors are over-excited, or are not inhibited properly.  The nerve pathway that controls coughing (via the vagus nerve) actually controls a lot of other involuntary motor behaviors, for example.  The hope is that some of the involuntary repetitive behaviors in autism and Tourette’s might be reduced by this treatment.

Maria Gulinello, Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience

Autism Hope in ‘Love Hormone’

A hormone thought to encourage bonding between mothers and babies may foster social behaviour in some adults with autism, say researchers. They found patients who inhaled the hormone oxytocin paid more attention to expressions when looking at pictures of faces and were more likely to understand social cues in a game simulation, the researchers said in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Angela Sirigu of the Centre of Cognitive Neuroscience in Lyon, who led the study, said the hormone has a therapeutic potential in adults as well as in children with autism.

More about children with autism

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Who is Dr. William Shaw and What is his View on Immunization?

Dr. William Shaw’s will be sharing his perspective on the metabolic causes of autism and developmental disorders at the ‘Hope, Healing & Possibilities’ conference in Edmonton this March 26th to 28th, 2010.

Genetic variations of the immune system, inborn errors of metabolism, or adverse reactions to immunizations lead to recurrent infections that are commonly treated with antibiotics. A yeast overgrowth of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract occurs following the elimination of the GI normal flora with antibiotic treatments. Yeast produce abnormal compounds called gliotoxins and other immunotoxins harmful to the immune system.

Because the immune system is weakened, the child gets another infection and more antibiotics until a vicious cycle is established. The yeast produces a number of harmful effects on the child’s metabolic and neurological functioning, including impairing gastrointestinal functioning, production of excess oxalates, inhibiting energy production, and eliciting food allergies that may manifest as behavior disorders.   Dr William Shaw will include why high oxalate foods may contribute to negative effects including formation of crystals in tissues.

Learn about the most common metabolic causes of autism and developmental disorders: intestinal dysbiosis, cholesterol deficiency, food allergies, industrial pollution, heavy metals intoxication, mineral imbalances and high levels of oxalates. There will be a discussion on how IgG food allergies affect behavior and how to detect the most common allergens. Find out how the mechanism of opiate peptides affect the brain, their connection with allergies, and the importance of a gluten and casein-free diet.

During the presentation there will be a focus on the damaging effects of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and others, the mechanism of their effect on human development and ways to detect and treat high levels of these metals.  Learn about the correlation between low cholesterol and brain function. Dr. Shaw will introduce the concept of cholesterol supplementation for certain patients, and review many other effective ways of correcting or reducing abnormalities with biomedical interventions.

Read more about what Dr. William Shaw has to say on immunizations.

Through the Eyes of a Child with Autism

I don’t know if you remember my first book, Little Rainman, which I wrote through Jonny’s eyes. I actually wrote it for his teachers since each year they asked me the same questions over and over about him.  I never imagined it would be picked up by a publisher within six months. I am proud to say Little Rainman has helped countless people explain autism to their significant others like relatives, peers, teachers and others.

I was so honoured that Dr. Temple Grandin uses the illustrations which were done by my mom and a person also on the spectrum, in her presentations. This is not to toot my own horn, rather to say that each of you has a story inside and a way to help the people on your heels get through this maze especially since the rate of increase with autism is rapidly increasing with each passing year. Who knows, in ten years or so, Dr. Stephen Shore and I say that there may not be any “neurotypical’s” left! Lets help explain autism to everyone!

A response from Sandra, one of my readers wrote back:

Yes your are so right on!  I am SO proud of you Karen and all you have accomplished and continue to.

We need also remember that ALL the glory and honor go back to our Father that is truly the one that makes this all happen!  He loves you very much!


A Gut Feeling! The Importance of Digestion, Elimination in ASD!

The importance of bowel function and how it is directly related to neurological function cannot be overestimated!  Problems within the bowel can lead to  symptoms and aggravations in those with autism and ADHD.  There are signs and symptoms to look for in the various problems within the bowel that could be contributing to problems in children with autism. Testing is available to find out more about bowel function to take the next steps in alternative treatment options. Treatment options will highly depend on testing results.  ??Liver liver function also plays a vital role in neurological health.  Methylation, conjugation and other important liver enzyme actions cause neurological problems, including autism,  when not working properly.
Initial causes of bowel and liver problems include infections, vaccine damage, metals and toxicity.

To read more, visit Hope, Healing & Possibilities

A Mother’s Success Story – Daniel’s Journey Out of Autism

Unsure if you should consider biomedical approaches in treating autism?  Are you confused about where and how to get started?  Lori’s presentation is designed for those new to the biomedical approach and for those seeking an easy to understand overview of some of the most important biomedical treatments.  She will include an overview of the most important therapies that contributed to her son’s recovery including dietary intervention, applied behavioral analysis (ABA), yeast treatments, supplements therapy, chelation, and other alternative treatments that helped contribute to her son’s recovery.  This is a practical and parent friendly presentation that will inspire and give you hope.  Share in Daniel’s progress through his mother’s account, pictures and video segments.
Learning Objectives:
•    Gain a basic overview and understanding of each foundational biomedical therapy that is useful in treating autism.  The therapies discussed include diet, yeast and bacteria treatment, nutritional supplements, and detoxification.
•    Identify the specific symptoms in children who may benefit from biomedical interventions and how these symptoms can be alleviated through each intervention.
•    Gain a good understanding of how all the biomedical therapies work together – along with educational therapies  –  to offer hope for significant improvement and sometimes recovery.
•    Obtain practical information on how to get started pursuing biomedical treatments for autism.

Read more about the conference

A Comprehensive Approach to Treating Autism

At the Autism Edmonton Conference, Parents, Families, Caregivers and Professionals will discover how to make significant improvements in the life of a child with autism, including:

• Find out about the newest biomedical research developments.

• Treat food allergies using special dietary interventions including   eliminating wheat and dairy.

• Find out why heavy metals play a role in autism and developmental   disorders.

• Learn why the level of cholesterol is important for brain function.

• Gain a basic overview and understanding of each foundational   biomedical therapy that is useful in treating autism.

• Identify the specific symptoms in children who may benefit from   biomedical interventions

• Gain a good understanding of how all the biomedical therapies work   together along with educational therapies.

• Obtain practical information on how to get started pursuing biomedical   treatments for autism.

• Review of research showing physical and behavioral reactions by   removing specific additives from the diet

Hope, Healing & Possibilities

Hope, Healing & Possibiliites

On behalf of the organizing committee of the 2010 Edmonton Autism Biomedical Conference “Hope, Healing & Possibilities”,Hope I would like to extend an invitation to you to join us at this exciting conference. The event will be taking place in Edmonton, AB from March 26th – 28th 2010 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center.

We are proud to have assembled leading experts on autism spectrum disorders, with presenters from Canada and the United States. Speakers will focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families/caregivers by conducting presentations in the areas of biomedical interventions, research, and adjunct therapies.

The main focus of the conference is “Hope, Healing & Possibilities”, which includes unique and comprehensive approaches to treating autism. Addressing the biomedical aspects of autism spectrum disorders will be a key component to this year’s conference. Breakthroughs in medical research are happening all the time, but autism remains. Staying informed and up-to-date is a major challenge for parents and caregivers.

This Edmonton autism conference will provide comprehensive, evidence-based information to assist parents, family members, caregivers, physicians, educators, therapists, social workers, nurses, and other professionals in building effective interventions for all individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Parents of children with autism are encouraged to attend the conference and obtain information that may be helpful in finding the resources needed for recovery, advocacy, education and achieving a better quality of life. This conference will be very beneficial for parents and loved ones because not only will they get an incredible amount of information, they will be inspired. One of our main goals of this conference is to give people hope.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to network with colleagues, and listen to some of the leaders at the Scientific Sessions.

We look forward to seeing you in Edmonton.

More about Hope, Healing & Possibilities

Just because some children with autism can speak doesn’t mean they can’t communicate…

Want to help your child with autism communicate?

Although some children with autism have difficulty communicating with spoken language, they can be taught to communicate effectively in other ways.

Subscribe to rethink autism today and join the hundreds and hundreds of parents who have taken the first step towards teaching their children to communicate more effectively.

For some practical ways you can encourage your child’s communication and language skills, click below for this weeks video,

Expanding Language Part Two.

Want to help your child with autism communicate?

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For the full-length lesson videos, Making Requests by Pointing, Making Requests By Giving a Picture Card, Answering “What do you want?” By Using a Communication Device, and Answering Social Questions Using a Voice-Output Device, log in or subscribe to rethink autism now.

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