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The importance of Nutrition in Children on the Autism Spectrum

Nutrition is an often overlooked, but vital part in the care of Autism, as many children with autism tend to demonstrate increased digestive issues,  food sensitivities, and an  imbalance in gut flora.  While many foods can worsen  autistic symptoms, research indicates that the most common symptom-increasing foods are:

-Dairy Products
– Citrus Fruits
– Peanuts
– Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers.
– Preservatives, colors, food additives, insecticides, pesticides and heavy metals

These foods can cause intestinal cramping and severe pain, which can often stop even the most motivated child from being successful at more traditional therapies such as ABA. In addition to taking out offending foods, there are many digestive aids that can help children who suffer from digestive issues.  Ginger and Pepper have long been know to help digestive issues and to promote absorption of nutrients.

Children on the Autism Spectrum often suffer from many food sensitivities due to weakened digestive systems, which then causes improper digestion of food and malabsorption of essential nutrients.  If food is not properly digested, partially digested food can move into the bloodstream, causing an autoimmune attack and a response similar to an allergic reaction.  One of the children in our clinic used to have stomach pain and severe sinus congestion coming out of his nose as if he had a horrible long-standing cold or virus. The nutritionists suggested trying a gluten-free diet, and his sinus and stomach problems disappeared.  The family tried going back on gluten several times, but the difference in this child’s health and behavior was so stark that he has been on a  gluten-free diet ever since.  No longer in pain and fighting through congestion, he has had much more success in working on emotional and impulse control.

One of our favorite recommendations for Autism nutrition is the use of Probiotics, it makes a huge difference in so many kids! Join us next week on the blog for a discussion of Probiotics, and how they work.

Curious about what may work for your child?  Come and meet with out nutritionists Haleh Olsen for a free introductory session!  We are offering several open house sessions where you can meet with our in-house nutritionist to ask questions about neurodevelopment nutrition and how it can change your child’s functioning.  Sign up for a free 15 minute slot for a private one-on-one session!

  • Thursday July 9th
  • Monday July 13th
  • Wednesday July 15th

Neurodevelopmental Nutrition Haleh Olsen

 

 

Inspired by her background in human biology and her passion for cooking, Haleh offers a refreshing connection  between gut health and  brain/mental development health using the healing power of whole foods, especially in early childhood. Known for her warmth and nutritional expertise, Haleh believes that every individual is unique and she tailors her nutritional approach to each client’s personal goals and comfort level.

Equipped with her Master’s degree in research and her involved work in nutritional counseling related to autoimmune disorders over the past several years, Haleh has the skill set  to create a stress-free and realistic plan to help families embark upon a path to a manageable diet. She believes that in order for a nutrition therapy plan to be successful, it should be suitable to the whole family.

Haleh received her Master’s of Science from Bastyr University and is a Certified Nutritionist in the State of Washington. She is bilingual and speaks both English and Farsi. When she is not working with clients, Haleh splits her time in the kitchen preparing gourmet Iranian food and fresh pastries for her family, teaching tricks to her dog, traveling the world and gathering the best recipes.

 

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Autism times at Pacific Science Center

Here is a peek at what Exploration for All at the Pacific Science Center is like for kiddos with autism. What an incredible opportunity! ”

SEATTLE — The thing about “firsts” in your life is they stick with you. For a lifetime they can stick with you. We got to see some kids experience some “firsts: the other day at the Pacific Science Center. It’s all part of a program called “Exploration for All: Autism Early Open.”

“It’s cool these things I’ve never seen before,” said 15-year-old Carson Terrault. ”

For more on this article, click on the link: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/seattle/2015/06/18/opening-doors-for-kids-with-autism/28954051/

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Autism Screening

April is Autism Awareness Month! Our Free screenings for Autism on National Autism Awareness Day was such a success that we are offering one free screening per day for the Month of April. If you have concerns about your kiddo and want some answers, give us a call to book a slot at 425.748.7000 while they are still available in our Bellevue clinic.  http://www.cogwheelclinic.com