Chiropractic Care for Kids with Autism, ADHD & SPD

I interviewed Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist Michael Gruttadauria about chiropractic care for kids with autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.

You can sign up for the webinar replay below:

Nerve interference is common in children with developmental delays, autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.

Chiropractic Care for Kids with Autism, ADHD & SPDCommon causes of nerve interference are:

  • Birth trauma
  • Difficult pregnancy
  • Accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Food additives
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Pesticides
  • Heavy metals
  • Unresolved negative emotions

Chiropractic is the only profession that deals directly with the removal of nerve interference.

In this webinar, Michael Gruttadauria DC will explain how chiropractic manipulation can reduce nerve interference and lead to improvement in symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr. Michael Gruttadauria is a graduate of NY Chiropractic College and is one of only 700 Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologists in the world.

Dr. Mike graduated in 1988 and has spent the better part of his career working in the fields of Functional Neurology and Functional Diagnostic Medicine.

He is a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) practitioner that specializes in children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.

He recently joined the practice of Raphael Kellman, MD in New York City, and in this webinar he’s going to tell us about how chiropractic care can help kids on the spectrum.

Whole Body Dentistry

Whole Body DentistryI was listening to a replay of The Power Hour internet radio show today and was very pleasantly surprised to hear my own dentist, Mark Breiner of Whole-Body Dentistry in Trumbull, CT as a guest on the show.  He is a holistic dentist who doesn’t use mercury, fluoride or BPA.

While listening to the show, I realized that my sons and I are extremely fortunate to have him as our dentist.  Not only is he an IAOMT dentist who safely removes mercury fillings, but he also looks at how the health of the body is in relation to the teeth.

He looks at things from an energetic perspective.  Each tooth sits on a particular acupuncture meridian, so an unhealthy tooth can affect the systems and organs related to that meridian.

In addition, mercury fillings, because they are metal, affect the electrical energy along that meridian.  I remember when I first went to see Dr. Breiner.  He measured the voltage, current and power of each mercury filling, and it was very disturbing to me to know that there was a significant amount of each coming from each filling.

Dr. Breiner also practices homeopathy as a means of helping the body detoxify from the mercury, as well as from other toxins lurking in the body.

He’s written a fantastic book, “Whole Body Dentistry:  A Complete Guide to Understanding the Impact of Dentistry on Total Health,” that explains his perspective.

You can listen to the replay of the show here and here.  We are fortunate indeed!

YOU’VE GOT TO CLEAN YOUR WATER!

water faucetYou might not know that there are a lot of potential hazards in your local drinking water.  The Environmental Working Group recently published a report, “Water Treatment Contaminants: Toxic Trash in Drinking Water“, which found “probable human carcinogens” in every single water system they tested.  They tested 201 municipal systems in 43 states.

Local water is typically fluoridated (fluoride is a known neurotoxin) and chlorinated, leading to extremely toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs).  Pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, pesticides and more have been found in many water systems.  [Read more…]

Vision Therapy for Autism, ADHD and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Vision Therapy for Autism, ADHD and Other Neurodevelopmental DisordersI am fortunate to have Dr. Randy Schulman, MS, OD, FCOVD, as my sons’ behavioral optometrist.  Dr. Schulman wrote the chapters on the role of vision therapy and optometry in Patty Lemer’s book, “Envisioning a Bright Future:  Interventions that Work for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders“, which I reviewed earlier.  Patty was the one who recommended Dr. Schulman to me, and she practices in my area.

Patty has always talked about the importance of vision therapy for people with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder (SPD), learning disabilities and other neurological disorders.  Now I know why.  In fact, Patty’s book was published by the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, which should give you a clue as to the importance of vision in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Vision Problems a Cause of Many ASD Symptoms

I was astounded to learn that vision problems are a CAUSE of, not a by-product of, many ASD symptoms.  “Poor eye contact, repetitive stimulatory behaviors and practically every other behavioral symptom (such as staring at lights or spinning objects, side viewing and head tilting) could be caused by poor fixation, accommodation, or eye teaming abilities.”

Vision Therapy Can Bring Gains in Social and/or Language Ability

Dr. Schulman writes that, “visual problems affect cognitive, speech-language, social-emotional and perpetual development”, and she relates many cases in these chapters of children who showed great gains in social or language ability after beginning vision therapy.  One child made eye contact for the first time, another spoke (in full sentences) for the first time.

However, only about a third of patients see immediate gains on the first visit, but many more see big gains after weekly vision therapy sessions.  Dr. Schulman points out that, “Most children do not outgrow delays in visual development without intervention”.

Understanding the Development of the Sensory System

To understand why children can see gains in these seemingly unrelated areas, you need to understand how the sensory system develops and how it is affected by primitive reflexes.  Dr. Schulman does an excellent job of laying this out, while revealing, to me at least, some surprising findings.

I had known that gross-motor delays are common in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, especially if they skip or move too quickly through a developmental phase.  I experienced this with my own two sons:  my older son didn’t walk until he was 20 months old, my younger son when he was 16 months.  My older son never cross-crawled, which is imperative for wiring the brain for correct vision as it is the same ratio as an older child looking at his desk.  Remember that vision is not seeing.  Vision is what happens inside the brain once the eyes have seen.

I’ve recovered them from sensory processing disorder, but there are still residual issues that remain.  In fact, my older son just got bifocals from Dr. Schulman; the top part is for distance because he’s nearsighted and the bottom part is blank.  I’m betting that 99% of most optometrists would’ve given him regular glasses to correct for his nearsightedness and left it at that.  Having bifocals gives his eyes a chance to develop further without completely relying on corrective lenses.

Vision at the Top of the Hierarchy of Senses

In any case, there is a hierarchy of senses, and vision is at the top, meaning that other senses must develop first before proper vision occurs.  As babies get older, a neurotypical child inhibits primitive reflexes that are necessary to integrate the senses and provide the ability to sit up straight, cross crawl, walk, etc.  Dr. Schulman writes, “Vision develops according to a hierarchy, and vision development will be delayed by immature oral and motor development”.

Retention of these reflexes is common in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, which is why they may appear, to the unknowing person, to be more clumsy and/or to have poor gross- and fine-motor skills, which can ultimately lead to poor social skills.

She writes that, “Postural warps can mirror visual dysfunctions and asymmetries – either caused by or causing them.”  The timing of reading this could not be more coincidental to me, as I just posted a blog written by an OT, Sonia Story, for Epidemic Answers called, “Children Thrive with Neurodevelopmental Movement“.  In the blog, Ms. Story shows us that it’s fairly easy to spot a child, even a baby, with a developmental delay:  they’re typically the ones with poor posture.

Dr. Schulman also points out that, “Children who have poor oral motor skills such as sucking, blowing or swallowing abiltity often have convergence problems that can improve once the oral concerns have been addressed”.  This is due to a poor rooting reflex, which causes a baby to turn its head and open its mouth in preparation for nursing.  And what does a baby do when she’s nursing?  She looks at her mom!  This is how babies learn to focus their eyes.

Children with vision problems typically also have hypersensitive hearing, and now I know why.  Dr. Schulman writes that, “Many patients rely heavily on their auditory systems because the visual systems are so inefficient and unreliable”.  Huh.  So, correcting vision would reduce the stress load on the hearing system.  Interesting!

These children typically also have acute senses of taste and smell, which makes them picky eaters.  They “often prefer less typically used senses of taste and smell to gain information.  They smell or taste inedible objects, and use touch instead of vision to gain information”.  I wonder if the same logic holds true:  that if vision were corrected, these children might become less picky in their eating?

Factors Affecting Vision Development

Even though I’ve read a lot about developmental delays, primitive reflexes and neurodevelopmental disorders, Dr. Schulman pointed out some things that were interesting to me, and of which I’d never heard or read, especially as it relates to vision.  The most outstanding point is that, “Inadequate or inappropriate sensory stimulation and health problems, ranging from food allergies to ear infections and asthma can all disrupt vision development”.

She also writes that, “Risk factors for visual problems include frequent illness, particularly ear and strep infections, and their treatment with antibiotics.”  I betcha very few pediatricians know about this risk, despite the fact that they hand out antibiotic prescriptions as if they were candy.  Ugh.

Strabismus

Many children on the spectrum have an eye turn, called a “strabismus”.  An opthamologist would typically recommend surgery, but Dr. Schulman points out that, in many cases, this condition can be corrected with vision therapy.  Besides, fixing the eye with surgery is only a cosmetic patch and does nothing to fix the incorrect vision that causes the strabismus.  “It’s not …an ‘eyeball’ problem, but rather… a brain dysfunction”.

Vision Therapy

If your child has a neurodevelopmental disorder, I urge you to seek out care from a behavioral optometrist as one of your first choices for therapy, as the vision correction he or she provides can head off some of the other sensory issues that these children have and potentially lead to better social interaction.

Reading Patty’s book and Dr. Schulman’s chapters in it will give you a very clear understanding of how these practitioners use prisms, yoked prisms, visual arousal activities and more to improve vision.  You can also check out the website of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development to find a practitioner near you as well as to learn more.

 

Pollution in Newborns

Pollution in NewbornsI’m sorry to say that most people just don’t know this.  I didn’t either, despite the fact that it was published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2005, the year my older son was born.

In their landmark report, Body Burden:  The Pollution in Newborns, the EWG pointed out that an AVERAGE of 200 toxic chemicals were in the cordblood of newborns, meaning that there is only one place these could have come from:  the mother.

They found a total of over 280 carcinogens, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, plastics, neurologically damaging pesticides and other nasties in these babies.

I remember telling our former pediatrician about the shocking levels of heavy metals that I had discovered in myself and my sons.  She said, “But you don’t live in a toxic waste dump!”

The point is, I don’t think you have to anymore to be this toxic because we’re all being exposed to these toxicants on a daily basis, then unknowingly passing them onto our children, whose toxin load will accumulate over time, and they’ll pass it on to their children.

It’s one of the main reasons we’re seeing such an epidemic of chronic illnesses like cancer and autoimmune diseases as well as developmental delays and disorders such as autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS and sensory processing disorder in children these days.

The good news is that people can be recovered from these conditions.  I’ve recovered my own sons from sensory processing disorder, asthma, eczema and acid reflux.

Here’s the trailer from the well-thought-out documentary, “Unacceptable Levels“.  It’s 2 minutes long and worth it for you to get a glimpse of what’s going on.

Baking Soda and Health

Baking Soda and HealthI have to say, I was fascinated with the material in Dr. Mark Sircus’ book, “Sodium Bicarbonate:  Rich Man’s, Poor Man’s Cancer Treatment” because it provides a fundamental framework for understanding the nature of disease:  that chronic health conditions and diseases arise from an acidic state of the body.

This book is an interesting look at the link between baking soda and health.

Sign up below to get the webinar replay of my interview of him.

What pH Leads to Optimal Health?

By this point, many of us may have heard or read that an alkaline body is required for good health or its converse, that an acidic body develops diseases and disorders.  If you haven’t heard about this, that’s OK, just know that a slightly alkaline body pH of 7.35 – 7.45 is optimal.

Dr. Mark Sircus lays the foundation for why this pH level is optimal:  because “excessive acidic pH leads to cellular deterioration” and because “acid conditions increase the strength of oxygen free radical reactions which are involved in the processes of cell injury and cell death”.

Anyone who knows my work as a Certified Holistic Health Counselor knows that I am constantly harping about inflammation.  Inflammation is caused by the aforementioned free-radical reactions and is a common underlying factor in chronic diseases and conditions.

Acid Conditions Lead to Inflammation

So, here we have an underlying factor to the underlying factor of inflammation:  acid conditions in the body.  Not only that, but Dr. Sircus digs further to show us that this increased oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which is caused by an acidic condition, is especially dangerous to our mitochondria.  Aha!

Mitochondrial dysfunction is beginning to be shown by researchers to be a common underlying issue in conditions ranging from autism to Parkinson’s, and I’m betting that it goes deeper than that:  I’m betting it’s common in most, if not all, chronic diseases and conditions, which is, I believe, essentially what Dr. Sircus is getting at, too.

If I understand this correctly, then an acidic body condition => free-radical generation => oxidative stress => inflammation => mitochondrial dysfunction (in a nutshell).

So here’s a simplified, yet elegant, approach to understanding the nature of disease:  an acidic body condition, which is brought about by our Standard American Diet (SAD), toxicity, especially from heavy metals, stressful lifestyles and radiation, such as from EMFs.

Not only does Dr. Sircus deliver this framework, but he also dives deeper into two diseases with growing rates of incidence:  diabetes and cancer.

Diabetes and Cancer

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become insulin-resistant, so the pancreas, which produces insulin, has to make more and more insulin to keep stuffing our excess blood sugar into our cells.

Dr. Sircus writes that “the pancreas, an organ largely responsible for pH control, is one of the first organs affected when general pH shifts to the acidic” and that “once there is an inhibition of pancreatic function and pancreatic bicarbonate flow, there naturally follows a chain reaction of inflammatory reactions throughout the body”.

He also points out that heavy-metal toxicity, other toxic chemicals and radiation “will affect, weaken and destroy pancreatic tissues.”  Interesting (at least to me)!

What’s even more interesting is what Dr. Sircus writes about cancer:  “Cancer patients have a saliva pH of 4.5 to 5.5.  Healthy people have a pH of 7.0 to 7.5.”  He points out that way back in 1931, “Dr. Otto Warburg discovered that ‘to become malignant, cancer must have low oxygen, strong acid environment'”, so this is not new news, although it appears it’s been forgotten.

Baking Soda and Cancer

So what happens when cancer patients alkalize their bodies?  He indicates that “Cancer cells become dormant at pH 7.0 and 7.5 and kills them dead at 8.0 and 8.5”.  He also advocates the use of sodium bicarbonate in cancer patients (as well as patients of other chronic conditions).

Before you start poo-pooing this idea and calling it quackery, consider that “Sodium bicarbonate is used routinely to keep the toxicity of chemotherapy agents and radiation from killing people or from destroying their kidneys.”

I caution, as does Dr. Sircus, that ingesting baking soda can be harmful if it is not done correctly because it leads the body into an overly alkaline state, which comes with its own set of of problems.  Perhaps the safest route is to toss a half cup of it into your bath and to eat a more alkaline diet.

Overall, I appreciate the material and references in this book for showing us how important an alkaline condition is and how it can be promoted with the use of sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda.

However, I’m giving this book only 4 stars out of 5 because the book reads like a collection of blogs that weren’t edited for coherency from one chapter to the next.  In fact, there are many points where whole paragraphs are copied and pasted verbatim from one chapter to another.

The use of a professional editor would have been a good idea for this book because he or she could have added more flow and coherency while correcting the many typos and grammatical errors in the book.

I only point this out because I know, from having published many reports myself when I worked on Wall Street, that credibility is seriously lessened by such easily fixable mistakes.  If Dr. Sircus wants his ideas to receive more credibility with a bigger, mainstream audience, and I would like to see that happen, I recommend that he hire a professional editor first before publishing.

THE “R” WORD

road to recovery signYou may or may not know my personal recovery story. I have recovered my 2 sons, now ages 5 and 7, from sensory processing disorder (SPD), asthma, allergies, acid reflux and eczema with a biomedical approach, which means correcting nutritional and hormonal deficiencies, removing toxicities and correcting gut dysbiosis.

I’m still working on failure to thrive, mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism and persistent eczema in my older son. In addition, they both had developmental delays, and my older son had severe hypotonia as a baby.

I have recovered from immune dysregulation, in which I had shingles twice, the worst case of poison-ivy ever, bronchitis (which I’d never had before), constant sinus infections and constant colds that would last 3-4 weeks at a time.

My older son had immune dysregulation, too, when he was younger: he would go to preschool, get sick and be out for at least a week at a time, then go to school the next week, get sick, and the cycle repeated ad nauseum (pun intended).

I also had severe adrenal fatigue, which was caused by dealing with my older son’s severe SPD.

Adrenal fatigue caused middle-of-the-night insomnia, in which I would be awake for hours at a time in the middle of the night and be so dead tired the next day that 3 hour naps wouldn’t help.

I later learned that adrenal fatigue was the cause of the onslaught of my “female problems”, which I’d never had before: a suddenly irregular menstrual cycle, a uterine fibroid and ovarian cysts.

I also found out I have two types of anemia: iron-deficiency (the more commonly known about kind) and folate-deficiency. I learned how these and most of out other problems can be tied back to gut dysbiosis and its chronic infections, especially Candidiasis.

I also discovered that I am hypothyroid and that this may have played a large part in my sons’ problems when I was pregnant with them.

I found out that I was loaded with heavy metals, especially mercury and lead, which are the most neurologically damaging. I immediately had my sons tested and found out they were full of them, too.

It’s been very hard going through this, as most people, even most doctors, don’t know about the causes of all these problems. They don’t understand that all of these problems are related, and they certainly don’t know that recovery is possible.

We got a lot of help from changing our diets and seeing a naturopath, a functional-medicine doctor and a holistic nutritionist, as well as from me doing never-ending research about how all of these problems are connected.

We’ve recovered from so much, although there is still more work to be done. In any case, we are so much better off now than we were 4 years ago, when all of these problems hit a crescendo.

I want people to know that recovery is possible, which is why I joined the non-profit Epidemic Answers. We seek to educate parents about the causes of these problems as well as let them know that recovery is possible.

In fact, we’re making a documentary film to show the world that recovery is possible because most people just don’t know that.

Most people don’t know that a child can recover from autism or asthma or that an adult can recover from an autoimmune disease, even multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

If you want to learn more about our film, you can find out more by watching this video or by visiting our website. Please help us get this film made!

 

BOOK REVIEW: IT’S ALL GOOD, GWYNETH PALTROW’S COOKBOOK

Gwyneth Paltrow It's All Good book coverMy husband bought me a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s All Good:  Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great” the other day for my birthday.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!

She openly talks about the health problems that she had that led to her needing to make dietary changes.  I can relate because I’ve had to do the same for myself and my children.  [Read more…]

WHERE ARE MY HEAVY-METAL LEVELS NOW?

mercury rippleI’ve been chelating to remove heavy metals for a while now.  I had myself retested back in January 2011, and my levels of heavy metals had declined significantly.

“H” means higher than the reference range, and “VH” means it’s a way-high number.  My initial mercury levels were literally off the charts! Mercury is toxic at one part per billion, which is about the same concentration as one grain of salt in one swimming pool.  [Read more…]

Book Review: The Peanut Allergy Epidemic

The Peanut Allergy EpidemicHave you ever wondered WHY there are so many kids with peanut allergies these days?  Heather Fraser did after her child had an anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter.

I’ve heard that a worried mom with a sick kid does better research than the FBI, and Heather Fraser’s book, “The Peanut Allergy Epidemic” proves that point.

Why Is That?

Ms. Fraser quickly points out that peanut allergy used to be a concern only for Western countries – why is that?

I interviewed her about this, and you can sign up for the replay below:

She indicates that there was a sudden rise in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia around 1990, and it worsened through the 2000’s – why is that?

The odds of a Western child developing a peanut allergy were 1 in 75 as of 2008 – why is that?

She also writes that the person most likely to develop a peanut allergy is a male born after about 1990 in said Western countries whose “ability to detoxify had been challenged by environmental factors” – why is that?

She finds it difficult to accept, as do I, that “hundreds of thousands of children had become allergic to this one food in the space of just twenty years by ingestion alone.”

You can’t blame it on genetics, as the overall rate would stay the same.  Logically, there would have to be something in the environment (food, toxins, etc.) that’s triggering this rise.

An Epidemic of Children’s Chronic Health Conditions

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Board Member of Epidemic Answers, a non-profit that provides information to parents of children with autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma and any other chronic neurological, behavioral, digestive and/or autoimmune conditions (the etiology is the same).  We let parents know that recovery is possible.

I began my own investigations into this epidemic after my sons developed colic, projectile vomiting, cradle cap, ear infections, severe acid reflux, developmental delays, failure to thrive, asthma, Sensory Processing Disorder, hypotonia, eczema, mitochondrial dysfunction and food sensitivities (HINT:  They’re all related.)

This is why I find Ms. Fraser’s book so fascinating:  she is another mom that has learned to think for herself and do her own research and find out WHY this epidemic is happening.

Standard Theories Not Sufficient

She writes about different theories and why they alone are not sufficient to describe this epidemic.  These theories are:

  • The broken-skin hypothesis
  • The ingestion hypothesis
  • The toxin hypothesis
  • The helminth (worm) hypothesis

Instead, Ms. Fraser proposes a new hypothesis:  the dramatic increase in peanut allergies happened at the same time that the number of vaccines that children were given also increased dramatically.

And why not?  She points out to us that “immunologist and Nobel laureate Charles Richet and pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet were able to show how the injection of vaccine proteins had caused the first allergy epidemic” over 100 years ago.

Apparently, we’ve forgotten our history, so we’re doomed to repeat it.

So What’s Causing It?

With the skill of the historian that she is, Ms. Fraser points out several key facts that point to our vaccination policy as the cause of this alarming rise in peanut allergy, which is paralleled by alarming rises in autism, ADHD, asthma and other chronic health conditions.

The clues she details are:

  • “Medical literature illustrated that the only means by which immediate and mass allergy had ever been caused was by injection.”  It used to be called “serum sickness” as early as the 1890’s.
  • Multi-dose vaccines came into being after President Reagan “signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act from which emerged the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988.  VICP was a ‘no-fault’ alternative to the tort system… (and) the pressures on vaccine makers eased.”
  • In 1985, 7 vaccines were given to children.  By 2007, the number had grown to 37.
  • Beginning in 1993, multiple vaccinations were given in a single needle.
  • Vaccines are loaded with adjuvants, such as aluminum, that stimulate the body to mount an immune response.  Adjuvants can cause allergic reactions and are the “immunologists’ dirty little secret’.  Aluminum is a known IgE-stimulating adjuvant.
  • Peanut oil is used to make vaccine formulations.  Not only is it impossible to remove all the proteins (proteins cause the allergic reaction) from the oil, but the quality of oil varies widely. “Refined peanut oil can create allergy whether consumed or ingested.”
  • Incidentally, Ms. Fraser points out that soy and egg white are used to make lecithin in vaccines.  She didn’t explain in great detail, perhaps because it was out of the scope of this book, but this fact may be what’s behind the huge increase in soy and egg allergies, as well.

Before you dismiss this book out of hand and say it’s a bunch of hooey written by an anti-vaxer, I urge you to read it first, follow her logic and research the references she has prolifically listed.  Then you can make up your own mind and think for yourself.

 

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