Monthly Archives: March 2015

March 15, 2015

Tips For New Autism Dx

people, resources and organizations to help, and you will need a roadmap.

1. Get organized
Receiving an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming. Finding acceptance in it and knowing where to begin or how to move forward. Breathe, Get organized, Focus and Simplify. Use a 3-ring binder, dividers and paper. Create sections organizing information (i.e. contacts, schedules, diagnosis, etc.). Tips and forms are available in the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit.

Learning about autism and treatment options will empower you to make decisions from a place of informed reference. Read, go online and see what others are doing. Contact hospitals, universities and organizations learning about research studies. Your involvement helps you and professionals understand autism. Resource providers like doctors and therapists are in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide. Tool Kits cover a variety of topics ranging from pre-diagnosis through adulthood. Research opportunities and information available at the Autism Speaks website.

3. Evaluate your child’s strengths and needs
Input helps determine therapies and treatments. Evaluate strengths and deficits. Just like any individual, autistics are unique. It is sometimes said that if you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism. People with autism have a variety of difficulties; they also have unique abilities and areas of strength. Identify strengths and hone in on them helping feel proud of their achievements. This provides motivation and support to learn and excel in other areas. Check out a list of autism characteristics and unique abilities in the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit.

4. Understand insurance/insurance reform laws/waivers
Insurance plans, laws and state waivers are confusing. Treatment options for autism aren’t consistently covered by health insurance. Currently, 38 states have passed autism insurance reform laws requiring certain policies cover autism treatments although some aren’t subject to these laws. The Autism Speaks Advocacy link has information about state and federal laws. Use the insurance interactive tool to learn more about what your plan covers and check out tips and strategies to improve your company’s insurance coverage. The Autism Response Team has information and resources helping you contact your state’s waiver program to learn more about the services in your area.

5. Assemble your team
A team of people including yourself can help you make decisions about medical care, therapies, treatments and education. Your team will consist of medical professionals, behavioral, speech, occupational and physical therapists depending on needs. Tips for interviewing and screening your team are in the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit. The Autism Speaks Resource Guide lists service providers and can be searched at a local level to find providers that are nearest to you.

6. Know your child’s rights
Learn the laws regarding educational rights and types of school environments. Learn about federal and state laws and how to write appropriate educational goals. Know how to seek legal help if necessary. Tool kits focusing on the IEP process, working with the school community and learning how to advocate are available through Autism Speaks.

7. Communicate and connect therapies.
Find activities that are enjoyed. Adapted activities bring success. Many communities have adapted recreational activities like “buddy baseball”, “hippo therapy”, and sensory friendly theatre events. Planning activities your family enjoys helps you bond. The Autism Speaks Resource Guide has information about community and recreational opportunities. There are several issues of Community Connections focusing on this topic.

8. Care for the caregiver
Everyone needs refreshing and recharging. You will be stronger and healthier and benefit your entire family. Spend quality alone time with other members of your family. Find respite care providers in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide and read our Respite Care and Autism issue of Community Connections.

9. Network with other parents/professionals
Connect with parents and professionals that have walked this journey. They know what works and doesn’t and can make recommendations about service providers and therapies. Join a support group and share with others. Support groups are available in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.

10. Know how to ask for help
Know how to ask friends and family for help and don’t be afraid to do so. Your friends and family want to help but may be hesitant for lack of knowledge. The family and friends support tool kits helps get them on board. Teaching others about autism helps you feel comfortable and accepted and allows your loved ones to help

March 10, 2015

Glutathione molecule

Since 2004, Dr. Jill James, a University of Arkansas medical researcher, has been reporting about the differences in the levels and quality of an important compound, Glutathione, in typical children versus autistic individuals. Her research has led to various discoveries that are used today by many biomedical practitioners to assist ASD patients in their recovery.

Any parent who has attended an Autism Research Institute lecture or searched knowledgeable Internet sites has been exposed to a complicated diagram that depicts the metabolic pathway leading to GSH production. This is the basic information upon which DAN! doctors have been inspired to give safe, inexpensive and useful therapies such as methylcobolamine (B12), folic acid, methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), DMG, TMG and cysteine (which all lead to an increase in glutathione levels), in order to lessen the effects of oxidation (think RUST) and promote healthy growth of new tissue in the gut and brain.

This post is about oral glutathione for autism, and what I wish to say is… the stuff really works! When I started including glutathione therapy in my practice, I really began to understand that many of the symptoms of the disease that we call autism (’cause today’s epidemic ain’t your grandfather’s autism) can, indeed, respond to simple, cheap, safe interventions. In fact, when our first patients began to demonstrate an increase in verbal activity, I asked the staff to stop saying “That’s amazing!” and start saying “I told you!” (which instills greater confidence, don’t you think?)

The Good – it’s inexpensive, and only needs to be given orally. There are some practitioners who assert that the oral preparations are quickly broken down after ingestion. I’m not sure about that, but I have absolute proof that ‘good’ levels of GSH are increasing. I call it the AT autism test: “A” – for autism and “T” – for typical. When a neurotypical patient is lifted by the elbows, they resist the pull and so appear as a “T” (as in an ‘iron cross’ position). Autistic patients who haven’t enough glutathione do not resist the pull and so they form the letter “A” when tested in this manner. Perhaps the oral preparation simply supplies the building blocks of GSH, but, within weeks of instituting this treatment, a change will take place in the child so that the ‘AT test’ goes to typical. That observation is 99% sure in my practice. I’m not certain whether the increase in core tone affects the vocal cords, or it is merely a marker of increased neuronal activity. Importantly, within weeks of an increase in this reflex, there will be some qualitative or quantitative change in speech and language.

The Bad – The side effect of energy is… energy! This is why my practice suggests a slowly increasing volume to help the patients adjust the dose as necessary. I usually initiate therapy with 100mg once a day and gradually increase volume and frequency. Additionally, there is a fair amount of web advice that the oral versions of the product promote yeast growth. It is for this reason that I test for yeast early and try to get any G-I problems under control before starting such intervention.

The Ugly – The oral liquid form of the product really STINKS. That is because of a sulfur molecule that is a attached to this unusual anti-oxidant. One of our parents even brought the bottle back because they thought it was “spoiled”. Fortunately, it doesn’t taste as rank as it smells, however. While there are other forms of this substance, I do not find them to be practical (intravenous), equally as effective (creams) or easily tolerated (nebulized and inhaled, or rectal suppositories). The staff at The Child Development Center has been able to devise various methods to mix, hide, and otherwise sneak the potion into our unsuspecting (but very clever) patients.

Don’t try this at home. Just because a supplement is available without a prescription does not mean that it is non-toxic or appropriate for your affected child. Many times, I will address other symptoms (gut or behavior) before giving this valuable intervention. I am aware of its strengths, weaknesses, pitfalls and side effects. As in all things autistic, I advise getting professional diagnosis and treatment in order to obtain optimal results for your child.