Autism, formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a variety of complex brain disorders that affects six out of every 1,000 children.
Some experts believe that the rise in autism-related diagnoses is due to broader definitions of different disorders within the ASD family. Autism is the more severe form of ASD. A milder form of ASD is called Asperger’s Syndrome.
ASD is seen is all socio-economic and ethnic groups. While most commonly diagnosed in children, adults can develop it as well. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, boys are three to four times more likely to have ASD than girls.
Causes and Risk Factors
No recognized authorities know exactly what causes autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and other ASD disorders, however it is believed to be a combination of reasons, rather than one specific cause. It has been linked to:
- Vaccine sensitivity
- Inability to properly process and digest vitamins and minerals
- Mercury poisoning
- Digestive track changes
- Immune system dysfunction
Many parents suspect something is wrong with their child by the time they are 18 months old, and generally seek medical advice by the time the child is two years old. The list of symptoms is quite long, depending on the type of ASD a child may experience.
Some recognized symptoms of autism, Asperger’s, and other ASD conditions generally include:
- Difficulty in social situations
- Difficulty playing
- Sensitivity to light, sound and other sensory activity
- Experience distress when the environment or routine changes
- Repeated movements
- Unusual methods of communication such as using gestures, talking about themselves in the third person, repeats patterns of words, etc.
- Difficulty interacting with others or making friends
- Obsessive-compulsive behavior
For more information, please visit www.autismspeaks.org
There is no known cure for ASD, but there are things parents can do to help their children live with it.
A combination of medical and non-medical treatments is recommending, including:
- Educational therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
Many parents report seeing an improvement in their children with ASD when they make significant dietary changes.
Learn to read nutritional panels and analyze ingredients in any processed foods if you decide to use dietary intervention in helping a child live with ASD.
Common changes in diet include:
Some vitamin and mineral supplements use gluten and casein as binders or fillers, so be especially careful when choosing which brand to buy.
Gluten is found in places where you wouldn’t suspect, so carefully review ingredients before purchasing any processed foods. A gluten-free diet means no consuming of wheat, rye or barley.
Other names for gluten include: flour, bulgur, cake flour, semolina, spelt, frumento, duram, matzo, matzoh, matzah, graham, kamut, farina, couscous, barley, malt (which is different from corn malt), wheat protein, vegetable protein (unless specifically not from wheat), wheat germ oil, caramel coloring, and triticale.
Casein is a protein found in all milk produced by mammals, including human beings. Like gluten, casein is found in many foods where you might not think it exists.
Other names you might find include: milk solids, curds, whey, sodium caseinate, sodium lactylate, lactose, lactalbumin, galactose, protein, caramel coloring, soy cheeses, hydrolized caseinate, etc. Products marked as non-dairy may not have fluid milk, but they almost always have casein or casein derivatives.
While opinions differ on the role of sugar in the diet, many parents see an improvement in their ASD children when processed sugar is removed from the diet.
Other names for sugar include: anything with the word “syrup,” anything ending in “ose” (such as glucose, fructose, dextrose, etc.), caramel, honey, molasses, raw sugar, sorbitol, maltodextrin, and many more.
This article is compliments of www.Dherbs.com