Is My Child Autistic? How Can I Tell?
By Lee Berlemann
Autism is a term that refers to a collection of
neurologically based developmental disorders in which
individuals have impairments in social interaction and
communication skills, along with a tendency to have
repetitive behaviors or interests.
The severity of autism varies greatly, from individuals with
little speech and poor daily living skills, to others who
function well in most settings. Approximately 70 to 75
percent of individuals with autism are believed to have
mental retardation. Some adults with autism live
A variety of factors could be associated with some forms of
autism, including infectious, metabolic, genetic,
neurological and environmental factors. There has been a
growing concern among parents that the measles-mumps-rubella
(MMR) vaccine can cause autism and a study published in the
Journal of the American Association of Physicians and
Surgeons examined extensive data on vaccines in children.
The astonishing conclusion:
Children who receive just three vaccines containing
the mercury-based preservative thimerosal are 27-
times more likely to develop autism, compared to
children who get vaccinations containing no
thimerosal. This was no surprise to the many
researchers who have recognized that mercury-
exposure to children through vaccines dramatically
increased over the past 15 years, while the rate of
autism jumped from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150 over the
What are the symptoms of Autism and how is it
Autism is typically diagnosed during the toddler or
preschool years, although some children are diagnosed later.
Language delay or lack of appropriate social development may
cause parents or teachers to seek an evaluation.
Some children may have a period of normal development before
the onset of symptoms and may even lose some earlier
acquired skills, such as early words or social smiling.
Currently, there is no blood test or other medical test
available to diagnose autism. Correct diagnosis depends on
extensive and accurate developmental history, as well as
observations of the child's social, communicative and play
In autistic children, the inability of brain cells to
communicate properly manifests physically in a parallel way.
Autistic children often have difficulty with verbal
communication, and in their inability to participate well
(if at all) in a conversation.
Gestures and facial expressions, known as non-verbal
communication, are also difficult. They have trouble
relating socially to people and their surroundings, and
often prefer playing alone because they don't know how to
make friends. Their playtime may be very systematic and
orderly, and not very imaginative.
A compromised immune system is common for these children,
including other autoimmune diseases. Autistic children are
often more susceptible to infections, viruses in the colon,
colds, ear infections, allergies and asthma.
Is it true that nutrition can make a difference in
my child's autistic behavior?
Good nutrition is particularly important for children and
especially important for children with any type of health
challenge. Your child's body was not designed to be ill-
and that's good news. This means you need to give your
child the fuels he or she needs to help heal and correct
In an article written by Dr. Steve Nugent, NMD, Phd and Jane
Ramberg, MS called "Reassessing the Need for Dietary
Supplements for America's Children", the following is
"Studies indicate that poor nutrition in childhood
can have irreversible efffects, ranging from mild to
serious, affecting brain development, skeletal
structure, and height. If malnutrition occurs
during the critical period of high brain growth
velocity (between the last trimester of pregnancy
and age 2), deleterious (harmful) effects on brain
development are permanent."
There should be no question that what your child eats will
affect his or her health. The only question is what can I
learn about my child's nutrition and what can I do to
WHAT NUTRIENTS DOES MY CHILD NEED?
The best way for your child to obtain good nutrition is by
consuming a healthy well balanced diet of protein,
carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It's also
important to get Phytonutrients/Antioxidents (nutrients from
plants, vine-ripe fruits, & vegetables); Phytohormones which
support proper organ health; and Glyconutrients, the newest
class of necessary nutritrients.
Glyconutrients are required for complete cellular
communication and probably the most important nutrient for a
child with any type of chronic health challenge.
Why are some nutrients considered necessary for proper body
and immune system functioning and others are not considered
In a nutshell, if you understand how a basic
computer works, you know that there is certain software,
called the operating system, that is required to make the
computer run. Then there are other software, like games and
word document programs, that use the operating system in
order to function. The same applies to your child's body.
There are necessary nutrients (as described above) that are
essential to make the human body function and then there are
supplemental nutrients (like herbs) that are useful when all
of the essential nutrients are present.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, the most reassuring thing about
necessary nutrients is that they are non-toxic. Your
child's body will accept nutrition naturally without the
toxic and sometimes life threatening side affects of
What would your rather have your child try first to improve
his or her health challenge?