We hear thanks to tiny “hair cells” that live inside the cochlea, or the snail-shaped organ beyond the eardrum. Hair cells can be damaged by exposure to loud noises and don’t grow back. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association cautions that sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. However, some iPods and other MP3 players can produce sound upwards of 110 decibels! Protect your child’s hearing by avoiding loud noise whenever possible and using earplugs/earmuffs when loud noise is unavoidable. If you can’t hear someone clearly three feet away from you…it’s too loud!
Problem solving skills are important to learn from a young age. It helps us become more independent individuals and a functional member of any team! Having children become an active participant in the problem solving process rather than simply doing/solving the problem for them can increase their independence and cognitive skills. Try engaging children in a variety of situations where they need to help you solve! For example, “help me set the table for dinner”
-How many people will be eating? (how many of each item do we need!)
-What kinds of dinnerware do we need? (bowls or plates!)
-What kind of utensils do we need?
-Will we need napkins?
-Where should we set the dishes down? (location of dinner)
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:
– Citrus Fruits
– 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
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.
Social Skills and Pragmatic Language are notoriously difficult for children on the spectrum. Our age and skill-based Social Skills groups and camps are a wonderful way to teach children these imperative skills, such as what things really are worth getting really upset about (and what things aren’t), how to engage with peers, how to read other’s social cues, and more. The Cogwheel Clinic will be offering a “Superflex” summer program, which bases social skills in a curriculum featuring super heroes – perfect for our own superheroes at Cogwheel! These always book up fast, so call us now to book your child’s spot!