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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

independently.

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

same period.

What are the symptoms of Autism and how is it

diagnosed?

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

behaviors.

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

their bodies.

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

stated:

"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

improve it?

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

necessary?

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

pharmaceutical drugs.

What would your rather have your child try first to improve

his or her health challenge?


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