Holiday Tips For Families With Autism

November 24, 2015 11:13:02 AM PST

Holidays can be overwhelming for anyone but for those on the spectrum and their families there are special challenges that may occur as schedules and routines are disrupted. The additional crowds and sensory issues are difficult for children with autism but with planning and information sharing the holidays can be more enjoyable for everyone


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Posted in Sensitive Living By BrainChild Nutritionals

New sponsorship with TACA

August 4, 2015 4:31:15 PM PDT

BrainChild Nutritionals is proud to announce its new sponsorship with TACA, a national organization dedicated to providing information, resources and support to families affected by autism.

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Posted in Medical News By BrainChild Nutritionals


July 28, 2015 10:34:00 AM PDT

BalancedBiotic Infant Formula

What Is It?

The Balanced Biotic Infant Formula is a high potency hypoallergenic blend of 5 Lactobacillus species and 5 Bifidobacterium species that is specifically designed to safely meet the metabolic and intestinal support needs of infants up to 2 years of age. These two genera of bacterial microorganisms have been intensively researched for their probiotic health benefits and have been found to minimize the harmful effects of gastrointestinal pathogens, improve digestion and absorption of dietary nutrients, augment intestinal barrier function, lessen enteromucosal inflammation and favorably assist immune responses. All Lactobacillus species in Balanced Biotic Infant Formula produce predominately L(+)-lactic acid that can be safely metabolized by infants. An infants gastrointestinal tract is not fully mature at birth and cannot metabolize the D(-) isomer of lactic acid produced by many lactobacilli. Each species in the Balanced Biotic Infant Formula has been selected based on the scientific literature documenting its safety and crucial importance to the normal development of and infants gastrointestinal and immune system.


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Posted in Product News By BrainChild Nutritionals


April 20, 2015 10:34:49 AM PDT

Liquid Zinc BrainChild Nutritionals

What Is It?

Zinc is vital for a wide range of physiological mechanisms,including support of the body's defense system and tissue development and repair. Our body does not easily absorb zinc, unless the zinc is first attached to another substance.

Chelation is one of the processes used to attach zinc to other substances. Our elemental zinc has been attached to specific organic molecules that have been electrically charged,  known as Chelates. Their properties allow a better bond to the zinc and enables higher absorption and bio-availability*.


This Zinc supplement is suitable as a Autism supplement and a dietary supplement for increasing Zinc level in Children with Autism. Autism Supplement needs to be carefully selected in order to obtain the desired dietary value.

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Posted in Product News By BrainChild Nutritionals

Study links synaesthesia to autism

December 2, 2013 6:35:47 PM PST


Study links synaesthesia to autism

In synaesthesia, people's senses are jumbled up. This condition where people experience a mixing of the senses, such as tasting words, has been linked with autism.

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Posted in Medical News General Health By BBC NEWS


New discovery shed light on a long puzzled vital mechanism of our body namely, how thousands of species of bacterias survive and thrive in our gut eco-system.

The gut is in an environment that is constantly changing , when we eat food and drink or even when we are under too much stress. Despite this constant change our gut is host to a variety of bacteria which thrive and survive in a stable eco-system.  As a matter of fact most mammals are colonized throughout there life with 100 trillion bacterial cells consisting of hundreds of microbial species. Researchers have long been puzzled by how these thousands of species do this, why certain bacteria's thrive over others and more importantly the contributions of this enormous and diverse ecosystem to human health.


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Posted in Medical News Biomedical By BrainChild Nutritionals



According to a new brain study it is believed that there is a biological distinction between Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The findings of one neurologist who has been focused on a spectrum disorder study has said that those suffering from Asperger’s could likely benefit from approaches that are different than what is used for those with a broader diagnosis.

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Posted in Medical News By BrainChild Nutritionals

New perspective: Gut bacteria and Autism

July 29, 2013 3:57:06 PM PDT



New Study Finds Link between Autism and Heterogeneity in Gut Bacteria

An Arizona State University research team has found an association between autism and the diversity of bacteria in our guts. The new finding could pave the way for specific supplements that will reinforce the gut’s microflora (bacterial population).


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Posted in Medical News Biomedical General Health By BrainChild Nutritionals

Helping Autism with High Tech

May 7, 2013 11:42:26 AM PDT

It is often stated that the latest and greatest consumer electronics have quickly eroded our social skills. While that may be true, these devices can have the opposite effect on children with autism by providing new ways to effectively teach social skills.

I've been fascinated by how consumer electronics can aid families and individuals with special needs since my undergraduate research project at Scripps College. In this case, I studied video-modeling, a technique that uses video to teach a child to observe and learn new skills or behaviors. Video-modeling actually builds on the strengths of a child with autism: visual processing as opposed to auditory processing used in didactic teaching methods. Studies have shown that children with autism learned skills quicker using video modeling than live modeling. It's a prime example of how technology can provide an economical, efficient and effective treatment that results in quick acquisition of behavior.

Technology is increasing by leaps and bounds, and more manufacturers understand that there is a market for people with autism, specifically parents. As this field develops, I hope that more parents and decision makers rely on the scientific method to determine whether these technologies can empirically show learning and growth across a spectrum of individuals.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a number of companies displayed new technologies not specifically designed for people with autism, but whose advanced capabilities could be applied to help treat people with these special needs. These include:

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Posted in General Health By Terri Mykland

Could a Blood Test Detect Autism?

May 7, 2013 11:27:28 AM PDT

A simple blood test might be able to reveal whether a child has autism, according to researchers who recently launched a study to evaluate such a test.

The study, which began this week and involves 660 participants at 20 facilities around the United States, will examine whether the test can accurately distinguish between children who have autism and children who have other developmental delays, the researchers said.

While the blood test by itself cannot diagnose an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the researchers hope it will speed up the time it takes to diagnose the condition, which can be a lengthy process.

"If a blood test could indicate ASD risk, it would help families and physicians know when to refer children to an ASD expert, potentially leading to earlier treatment and better outcomes," Dr. Jeremy Veenstra VanderWeele, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, said in a statement.

The study is being funded by SynapDx, the company that hopes to develop and market the test.

Autism spectrum disorders are a range of developmental disorders characterized by social impairment, language difficulties and repetitive behaviors. Currently, ASD is diagnosed by evaluating a person's behavior and taking into account their medical history.

The new test could provide an objective marker for autism that would be used in conjunction with clinical evaluation, the researchers said. The test looks at gene expression — whether a gene is "turned on" or not — and is aimed at distinguishing between children who have autism and those who don't.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Terri's Thoughts for World Autism Day 2013

April 2, 2013 12:32:46 PM PDT

Today is world Autism awareness day. I'm guessing that many of you, like myself, are already more aware than you ever wished or dreamed of being. On this day, I try to look beyond "awareness" (and exhaustion!) and see positive things autism can bring: Today I see hope and gratitude.

My son is 19. At age two, we had an appointment with a neurologist, in which my guy played with my car keys through the entire hour: Moderate-to-mild, possible brain damage, school programs available, good luck, out the door. Photos from that time show a cute redhead, with absolutely no affect: dead eyes, staring out from a sweet toddler face. Ten months before, he'd had sparkling eye contact. I went home and lived on the internet, reading, researching, digging into the night for anything that gave me something to believe in: PDDNOS, what? Regressive, how? What might help?

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Posted in Sensitive Living By Terri Mykland

A Stanford University School of Medicine study of twins suggests that non-genetic factors play an unexpectedly large role in determining autism risk, turning upside down recent assumptions about the cause of this common, disabling developmental disorder. From prior studies of shared autism in twins, scientists had estimated that 90 percent of autism risk was attributable to genes and only 10 percent to non-genetic environmental factors. But this study — the largest ever of twins in which at least one in each pair has autism — shows almost the opposite: It found that genes account for 38 percent of autism risk, with environmental factors explaining the remaining 62 percent.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

The psychiatric illnesses seem very different -- schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet they share several genetic glitches that can nudge the brain along a path to mental illness, researchers report. Which disease, if any, develops is thought to depend on other genetic or environmental factors. Their study, published online Wednesday in the Lancet, was based on an examination of genetic data from more than 60,000 people world-wide. Its authors say it is the largest genetic study yet of psychiatric disorders. The findings strengthen an emerging view of mental illness that aims to make diagnoses based on the genetic aberrations underlying diseases instead of on the disease symptoms.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Getting a Handle on all the Autism Supplements

February 26, 2013 2:41:11 PM PST

 As you may know, children with autism often take quite a lot of nutritional supplements. This is partly because so many of their body systems aren't functioning well on their own, and in addition, their digestive systems often cannot absorb nutrients easily.

The goal of supplementation in autism is to get required nutrients into the body in a functional form, so that the nutrients can help the body to start working better, and eventually do a better job of functioning on its own, with less help. 

Another important goal is to support gut function and give the gut the raw materials it needs to absorb and utilize nutrients better. Since autistic kids are very sensitive, one more supplementation challenge is that we must work very gently, so as not to create new problems that weren’t there before.

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Posted in Biomedical By Terri Mykland

Prenatal Folic acid linked to lower risk of Autism

February 13, 2013 5:11:07 PM PST

The use of supplemental folic acid from four weeks before to eight weeks after the start of pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of autistic disorder in children, a new fresh study reaffirms.

Supplements of folic acid were connected with a 39% lower risk of autistic disorder in children, compared with children whose mothers did not take any folic acid, according to a comprehensive research recently published.

“Our main finding was that maternal use of folic acid supplements around the time of conception was associated

with a lower risk of autistic disorder,” wrote the researchers, led by Pal Surén, MD, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo.

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Posted in Medical News General Health By BrainChild Nutritionals

What about Vaccines?

January 30, 2013 6:45:56 AM PST

This is my best shot at some well-balanced advice on vaccines.   I feel strongly that you should only give a vaccine if and when you really feel that the child will benefit from that particular vaccine, and needs it now (rather than later, when their immune system is more mature). I don't think you necessarily do "best" by a child by hitting their very immature little immune system with a germ they will likely never be exposed to.   Booster shots, giving another assault on the immune system, just to possibly hit a slightly higher level of immunity, are generally not something I'm in favor of unless there's a specific reason. 

I just want to say one thing to the moms of very young infants that haven't been vaccinated:

KEEP BREASTFEEDING AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! You're protecting your baby in the best way possible against any illnesses she might be exposed to right now, and also protecting her longterm health in about a million ways. If you ever need help with breastfeeding, there are lots of great lactation counselors, la leche league, etc. out there who would love to help.

I think that for each vaccine, you need to think hard about the vaccine itself, and the illness you're vaccinating against, and know the following information:

  • - How many cases there are in the U.S. each year (how likely will your child be exposed).
  • - The effectiveness rate of each vaccine.
  • - What the vaccine is made of and whether any ingredients in it have a bad safety record.
  • - The chance of side effects from this vaccine.
  • - What kind of treatment is available for the disease (e.g. is it deadly, disabling, or just a nuisance you can treat)
  • - Whether anyone in your family has ever had a negative vaccine reaction.
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Posted in General Health By Terri Mykland

An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism

December 19, 2012 3:46:20 PM PST

In recent years, scientists have made extraordinary advances in understanding the causes of autism, now estimated to afflict 1 in 88 children. But remarkably little of this understanding has percolated into popular awareness, which often remains fixated on vaccines.

So here’s the short of it: At least a subset of autism — perhaps one-third, and very likely more — looks like a type of inflammatory disease. And it begins in the womb.

It starts with what scientists call immune dysregulation. Ideally, your immune system should operate like an enlightened action hero, meting out inflammation precisely, accurately and with deadly force when necessary, but then quickly returning to a Zen-like calm. Doing so requires an optimal balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory muscle.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Common Heart Drug Might Dampen Some Autism symptoms

December 13, 2012 12:01:46 PM PST

Recent research suggests that enhancing inhibition in the brain may help improve social interactions in people with autism. A drug used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions has shown promise in a small clinical trial for autism. The drug, bumetanide, reduced the overall severity of behavioral symptoms after 3 months of daily treatment. The researchers say that many parents of children who received the drug reported that their children were more "present" and engaged in social interactions after taking it.

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Posted in Medical News By Celeste King

G is for Glutathione

December 12, 2012 3:13:38 PM PST

It has been a while since I have done an ABC post, but I thought I would add in a letter since I have learned so much about this biochemical in the last year and it’s importance to a person or child’s health and well-being.

I have blogged about Glutathione a few times, here (acetaminophen/Tylenol LOWERS glutathione) and here (and so does aspartame). I am revisiting it today, in light of some recent blood work that we got back for Lady A and some new research I have done, that I feel VERY compelled to share, because I think this Mighty Chemical Glutathione {G} has implications in ALL OF OUR HEALTH!

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Posted in Biomedical By BrainChild Nutritionals

Gut-brain Connection no longer "Crazy Talk": AAP

November 27, 2012 12:23:06 PM PST

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just taken a giant leap toward recognizing the association between gastrointestinal problems and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD.)

The November 2012 issue of their journal, Pediatrics, has a 200-page supplement entitled Improving Health Care for Children and Youth With Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  As I perused the various articles to see what the AAP was up to, one particular gem caught my eye: Gastrointestinal (GI) Conditions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Developing a Research Agenda...

After a mere three sentences, my jaw dropped.

“Many individuals with ASDs have symptoms of associated medical conditions, including seizures, sleep problems, metabolic conditions, and gastrointestinal disorders (the italics are mine), which have significant health, developmental, social, and educational impacts.” A few lines later I found there is a “lack of recognition by clinicians that certain behavioral manifestations in children with ASDs are indicators of GI problems (eg, pain, discomfort, or nausea).”

My first thought was that someone from ARI or MAPS had snuck into the AAP and switched a few words in the article before it went to press, and no one had noticed. But as I read the entire piece, I was shocked to see other crazy ideas such as...

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Newborn blood may reveal early signs of autism

November 27, 2012 12:06:56 PM PST

Children diagnosed with autism tend to have low blood levels of several immune molecules at birth, according to an epidemiological study published in August in the Journal of Immunology

Studies have found differences in the immunological profiles of children and adults with autism, as well as in the mothers of children with autism during pregnancy, but only a handful of studies have examined this issue in newborns.

“There’s something altered about the immune status of these offspring that’s different from [that of typical] children,” says Paul Patterson, professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the study.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Amino acid deficiency underlies rare form of autism

A rare, hereditary form of autism has been found — and it may be treatable with protein supplements.

Genome sequencing of six children with autism has revealed mutations in a gene that stops several essential amino acids being depleted. Mice lacking this gene developed neurological problems related to autism that were reversed by dietary changes, a paper published today in Science shows1.

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Posted in Biomedical By samuel swerdlow

FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Autism researchers have been given the go-ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch a small study in children with autism that evaluates whether a child's own umbilical cord blood may be an effective treatment.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland

Early Therapy can change brains of kids with autism

November 5, 2012 2:30:50 PM PST

As the number of children with autism has risen dramatically over the past couple of decades, experts have learned that the earlier a child gets diagnosed, the earlier specialized therapy can be initiated, which can significantly improve outcomes.

Now researchers have been able to show that a particular type of behavioral therapy called the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) not only improves autism symptoms, but actually normalizes brain activity and improves social behavior.

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Posted in Medical News By Terri Mykland