While no one will doubt that nutrition is an integral part of keeping the body healthy and running at optimal levels, there is always arguments about what, if anything, is necessary to help aid children with certain disorders improve function through their nutrition.
Everyone seems to be more familiar these days with the dietary changes that have been put on the table as an option to help children with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), autism, and Aspergers.
I have a friend who told me that there is no way her daughter would be functioning at the level she is today if it weren't for the change in her diet. And I think everyone has seen Jenny McCarthy talk about how she got her son back after she made drastic changes in his diet.
When you think about how autism and the spectrum of disorders affect kids brains, it would be hard to imagine that something like a change in diet could make all the difference in the world for them. But, it does. And due to that proof from friends and seeing the research being done, it prompted me to seek out additional information regarding the nutritional needs for Liam.
I had been giving Liam a few supplements that I had heard would be good for kids like Liam. But, I had a lot of details that I wasn't sure on. What brands are best, which ones are more pure, how much, how often? And when I ask Dr. Kid (the pediatrician) I wouldn't get anything more than a "Sure, that wouldn't hurt." response. These pediatrician just aren't specialized in this area to be of very much help.
After seeing a post on the CP support group I am on, I decided to check out a nutritionist and see what she had to say. And as I figured she would, she had quite a lot to say about the way things are going for Liam right now.
She said the brain is 60-70% fat and you have to have good solid structure for the brain to function properly. Then she described the brain in the visual terms of a house. You have to have a solid foundation, good beams and paint. She said there were specific things Liam was needing and not getting. Part of the problem is that the brain lays down it's fatty deposits during the last trimester. And we all know Liam didn't get that. Some kids are able to lay down those fats all on their own and some kids can't. There is no rhyme or reason as to why but it seems that maybe Liam has not been able to do such a good job all by himself. And in order to boost things for him and get him going, she thought a few things added to his diet are in order.
Nothing she put him on is dangerous, it's all fatty acids and vitamins for now. She said she specifically wanted him on pure DHA (double the normal dose), pure vitamin E (most vitamin E's are missing several of the components), and phospholine (which I had previously had Liam on). And then she changed out his Duocal to something called UltraCare for Kids. She said the Duocal is nothing but empty calories and it isn't a good option. It doesn't serve any purpose other than to add a few minor calories. The UltraCare is in powdered form too so it can be put in all his bottles and foods. It is predigested rice and it has been bathed in nutrients making it a no brainer when it comes to choosing Duocal verses UltraCare.
I have slowly been adding the supplements in this week and hope to be up to full dosing next week. After about 2 months, we'll talk to the nutritionist again and see how things have gone.
And I hope they will go really well!
Why not try it?
You have to let me know if you see a difference... I've played around with adding supplements but never have because we were on so many meds and I was worried about interactions... Now that we're coming off a lot of the meds... Well, you just have to let me know if it's working!!!
We have some friends who have tried numrous diets for their son. Please check out their blog and contact Monica if you have questions ~ if it's out there, they have tried it.
Wow-that is really interesting. I had heard about the effects of nutrition on children with autism, etc., but never fully understood why or what it is that makes a child's brain function at its optimal level. This is very eye opening, I am very eager to see how it goes and pray that it goes well. You are so good to always be looking at all possible sources of help for Liam. He is very blessed to have you as his mother.
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