Although I am not a pediatrician, I am genuinely concerned about the dramatic rise in the prevalence of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD. The latest CDC reports 1 in every 68 children in the USA may suffer ASD, but my concern turns into anguish when I see a child’s life robbed of his full potential. That is when I can no longer be a spectator, and it is important for me to bring awareness to the rise in autism. Hopefully, increased awareness will result in early detection and intervention-as well as helping mothers better prepare their bodies to create a healthy environment for conception.Read More
Integrative Health Blog
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a wide range of developmental disorders that affect the nervous system. The most recent statistics show that 1 in 68 children in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder. An estimated 1 in 42 boys are diagnosed in the U.S., compared with 1 out of 189 girls. (See source The Autism Exchange/Parent Fact Sheet).
Autism is a complex disorder which impairs social and communication skills. The symptoms of autism are thought to be permanent, but current research shows that a variety of interventions may help children with overcoming social, communication and developmental challenges faced by children with autism.Read More
April is Autism Awareness Month. It is estimated that 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism, a complex disorder which impairs social and communication skills. Often times, the symptoms of autism are thought to be irreversible, but continuing research is showing that a variety of interventions may improve, and sometimes reverse autism. While there is a wide spectrum of approaches to autism treatment, the following three form the basis of biomedical interventions for children with autism:Read More
The best-seller and Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Nurture Assumption, Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, by Judith Rich Harris makes a compelling case, based on sound research on identical twins and other data, that within reasonable attempts to provide our kids with a non-abusive environment, typical parenting does not matter much in how our children turn out! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but since the dawn of the scientific age, nutty assumptions and superstitions such as the earth being the center of the universe, have been challenged and abandoned. The belief that parenting matters in how kids turn out is just another sacred cow destined for the waste bins of history.
But take heart, because now you may assertively point out to those obnoxiously, proud parents who raised exceptionally talented and gifted children, that they are full of braggadocio hot air. And if despite your best efforts, you’ve raised a kid who became a dropout, an addict or an academic flunky, you now have good cause to stop feeling guilty.
Nature, Nurture and Genetics
Identical twins, separated at birth and brought up in utterly different circumstances, turn out pretty much the same. In fact their quirky traits, talents and behaviors have astonishing similarities, down to the ice cream they like with the same nut or chocolate sprinkles on top. So, in other words, using our “fur-children” (dogs) as an analogy, within reasonable limits of a nurturing, non-abusive environment, raise them however you want; the Mastiffs will generally turn out to look and act like Mastiffs, and the Chihuahuas will generally turn out to look and act like Chihuahuas. The only variable that seems to matter much is genetics - case closed, end of story, next.
Recently, two popular supplements in the autism community have come under scrutiny. The first is Oxidative Stress Relief (OSR) and the other is the “speak” supplement. Whether or not these products are good, bad or indifferent is debatable. The real issue at hand is the vulnerability of the autism community in general.
On the one hand, parents are willing to take calculated risks on novel treatments. The option of trying something that has “supplement” status is weighed against the possibility of having a child with a life-long sentence of autism. This, to me, is understandable. At what point, however, do we draw the line? These children do not have the time to wait for the FDA to do multi-centered, double blind, randomized control trials on treatments—that takes years. Nor can the families with an affected child wait for the great causation debate to be settled.
Conversely, we cannot forget the supreme edict of pediatrics….”children are not little adults,” meaning they have a physiology and biochemistry that is unique to them. At the very least, dosages need to be weight specific (the issue with the speak supplement) and the ingredients need to scrutinized to be natural like the word “supplement” connotes.