Tips for Parents
Many physicians and parents alike have told us how important certain lifestyle changes can be when addressing issues common to children in need of speech and coordination support. Here's our list of other suggestions to consider:
What To Do
Buy organic as much as possible – especially with "Dirty Dozen" fruits and veggies.
Consider adding Probiotics – Use high quality with strains of more than 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units) See Leyer et al., PEDIATRICS Vol. 124 No. 2 August 2009, Discuss with your pediatrician.
Take high quality Epsom salt baths – Recent work by the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows a dose and time exposure dependent increase in blood and urine magnesium and free sulfate in volunteers taking Epsom salt baths for more than 20 minutes using ½ - 2 cups. Sulfate is important in detoxification pathways and can be low in this population of children.
Watch out for sources of chemicals - Keep kids away from food additives, fresh paint, staining, carpet cleaning etc. Studies have shown a correlation between pesticide use and an increased risk for autism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20087183
Be watchful for hidden aluminum additives in food products and supplements. Aluminum is found in many brands of pre-sliced American cheese, soy products (from manufacturing in large aluminum vats), liquid nystatin, sunscreens and lotions. Unless using the more expensive “aluminum free” baking powder, most people do not realize that baking powder contains aluminum. Therefore many baked bread products, cookies and crackers etc made with baking powder use products that contain aluminum (sodium aluminum sulfate). This is often NOT on the food label. Go through your pots and pans and do not use aluminum products. Aluminum and other metals can and will leach into the food, especially in areas where there is fluoride in the water or when cooking acidic foods like tomato sauce or soups with vinegar. Aluminum exposure poses health problems, and has been potentially linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064650
Consider having your tap water tested if you do not have filtered water. Your local water company can provide you with this information for free on request. It can also be obtained through laboratories like Doctor’s Data that provide a comprehensive drinking water analysis. http://www.doctorsdata.com/water_test.asp. If toxic elements are identified, consider investing in a reverse osmosis water filtration system.
- Consult with a knowledgeable nutritionist familiar with children with speech and nutritional support for information on dietary alternatives including gluten-free/casein-free diet and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Celiac disease occurs in 1% of Americans of Northern European ancestry, and its prevalence is rising rapidly with a > 4-fold increase in the last 50 years (Rubio-Tapia A 2009, Gastroenterology). The majority of cases go undiagnosed. Over 70% of children with Verbal Apraxia screened for celiac disease have antibodies in their blood to gluten, suggestive of a gluten sensitivity, and all children tested in a recent study carried a gluten-sensitivity gene (Morris and Agin 2009, Altern Therap Health and Med) http://www.alternative-therapies.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/archives.main.
What To Avoid
Avoid processed foods, additives and preservatives – along with MSG and excess sucrose. Studies have shown evidence linking food additives to hyperactive behavior in toddlers and older school-age children. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez
Avoid plastics - particularly those with Bisphenol A (BPA) ie bottled water, sippy cups etc. Also avoid heating or freezing food in plastics. Never put plastic in the microwave.
Avoid fire retardants - found in clothes and spill retardants on furniture.
Limit amount of fish - ESPECIALLY tuna and other high mercury/metal contaminated fatty fish. Only use high quality omega-3 supplements.
- Be wary of dental sealants - Most dental sealants currently contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and should be avoided. Until a safer sealant is available, consider not sealing your child’s teeth.
What's Eating Your Child by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND
Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride
Breaking the Vicious Cycle – The Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Elaine Gloria Gottschall
The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller
The LCP Solution: The Remarkable Nutritional Treatment by Jacqueline Stordy
Ready, Set, Eat! Gluten-Free Nutrition Basics by Faye Elahi.