Mind Your Body
Many parents understand that there is a mind-body connection that cannot be denied when looking at our children. Anyone attending a child’s birthday party has seen this connection first hand, when the sugary cake they put in their bodies hits their sweet angelic heads. Almost immediately, angels turn into monsters, they begin acting wild and crazy, and there’s nothing to do at that point but wait out the parade of hysterics. And the kids get hyper too.
For autism parents this connection hits very close to home. As a mom of three boys on the spectrum, I hear a lot about the various things people are trying out -- diets, supplements -- hoping that MAYBE one thing will help their child. We’ve personally spent many dollars on this alone, because the cost is well worth it should our sweet boys be helped somehow in the end. It’s been a lot of trial and error, don’t get me wrong. “Never Give Up” has become the mantra around here. Well, that and “Stop Peeing On The Floor”.
So far, one of our biggest successes has been from introducing essential fatty acids (EFAs) into our kids’ diets. Since they still have a lot of sensory issues with food (i.e. they refuse to eat fish!) we give it to them in supplement form. The improvement we’ve seen has been gradual, but honestly the biggest indicator that the EFAs are helping is how my kids act when we run out of them. They begin acting really out-of-sorts, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate, and all their other autism symptoms seem amplified. We see a difference after just a day or two without their supplement, so for them to be calmer and happier just by adding something to their diet that ALL people need–to that I say hallelujah.
I think the benefits of EFAs can be seen in typical children as well, so do some research and see if it’s right for you and your family. Shop around once you decide on the brand (be sure to look for natural, quality ingredients), because you can find these products all over the place a discounted prices. Also if your kids don't have any food issues, EFAs are found in fresh water fish like salmon, flaxseed, walnuts and certain green leafy vegetables.
I am not a medical expert, but I think it’s important for parents of all kinds of kids to rally together to share information and help each other whenever we can. If you have related tips you’d like to share, include them in the comments below or email me at arianne[at]tothinkistocreate.com, and you may see them in a future post. Of course always check with your doctor before adding new supplements to your diet.