Monday, 1 April 2013

World Autism Awareness Day 2nd April 2014

World Autism Awareness Day 
2nd April 2014

Autism is a disorder that affects the way a person’s brain works. It is the most common mental disorder affecting children. 

The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and it has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies.

Autism is a complex biological disorder characterised by difficulties with speech; abnormalities of posture or gesture; problems with understanding the feelings of others; sensory and visual misperceptions, fears and anxieties; behaviour that is different than other people, less interest in food or uncommon food preferences, trouble with motor skills including picking up small objects, catching a ball and riding a bike.

There is growing evidence that nutritional therapy can really make a big difference to children with autism in their ability to learn, to manage their emotions and in the way they process information.  

Caring for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be challenging on many levels.Children with autism may limit their food intake or have food preferences. They may also break down fat differently. As a result, autistic children are sometimes low in certain nutrients.

Nutrition tips for autism

Research has shown that removing certain foods helps example a  gluten-free and casein-free diet that excludes wheat and milk. However, it may not be the answer as it is not effective in all cases. 

Keep in mind that very restrictive diets require careful planning to make sure your child’s nutrition needs are being met. Seek guidance for special diets of a qualified dietician or a nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your child’s diet. 

Autistic children are found to be highly allergic to some foods like eggs, fish, seafood, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy. Eliminating these foods can improve symptoms.

Autistic children are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, supplementing the same helps to ensure that the child is getting an adequate quantity of both to aid their growth as well as treat symptoms.
Include "good fats"  like omega 3 which will help to reduce inflammation.
Many have severely disrupted digestion, so restoring balance in the gut is a key focus for nutritional therapy. Digestive enzymes in the food and probiotics help as they contain healthy bacteria.

Also important is balancing blood sugar, there is much overlap between ADH/hyperactivity and autism, so for autistic children who show signs of hyperactivity, improving blood sugar balance is a must.
Also checking for brain-polluting heavy metals, excluding food additives helps.
Making meals as predictable and routine as possible can help. Serving meals at the same time every day is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress.

Bottom line each individual on the autistic spectrum is unique and has their own needs which need to be assessed on an individual basis, don’t do it all alone seek proper guidance and help.

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