Supplementation for Children on the Autism Spectrum: How important is it?

"Do you think supplements actually help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders?"

The short answer is 'yes'. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are especially prone to nutritional difficulties, and it is important that they take supplements to achieve a balanced nutritional state. 
But supplementation  takes some investigation to find the right vitamins and minerals for your child. Every child on the autism spectrum is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

The first step toward addressing supplementation for ASD children is to adopt a gluten and casein free diet. These proteins have been found to potentially worsen the symptoms of ASD. In fact, gluten and casein have been found to help the brain produce natural opiates, making foods that contain them practically addictive!

Another important step is the implementation of a balanced and healthy diet. Remember, ASD children are influenced by routines, so if a healthy diet is instituted early and followed, these children will likely adhere to it.

It is also important to have the input of a doctor to determine if your child is absorbing the proper amount of nutrients. Simple blood tests can determine nutrient levels, and from this data a diet can be successfully adjusted to address any shortfalls. "Defeat Autism Now" medical professionals are a good place to start because they have been especially trained to understand the challenges facing ASD children.

Here is a partial list of common supplements that ASD children are often lacking or simply do not have at optimum levels:
  • selenium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • folinic aci
  • vitamins C and E
  • essential fatty acid
  • taurine
  • various amino acids

When beginning a regiment of supplements, it is important to work them in slowly. It is equally important to document changes in behavior. Pay close attention to the effects of supplements on your child. Note any differences and prepare to discuss them with your doctor or nutritionist. In terms of positive and negative effects that can result from the use of supplements, and a change in diet – they will not be easy to miss.

Positive changes can include a reduction in the severity of behaviors. Many ASD children can show improvement in managing behaviors and social interaction. It is equally important to note regressions in behavior. If negative behaviors are observed, the supplement added should be reduced or eliminated.

For the most part, negotiating the diet and supplementation of an ASD child is a trial and error process - but well worth the effort. It is recommended that when first purchasing supplements, you start with small packages. Buying in bulk can save you money in the long run, but if you buy a ton of supplements that produce undesired results, you are stuck with useless products.

Should you chose to add supplements to your child’s diet, you will need to do so in a controlled manner. Don’t just dole out supplements on an experimental basis. Work with a doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a specific plan that is geared toward your child’s success. This regiment should include frequent tests for metal toxicity, stool analysis, and tests for various amino acids and peptides.

There is a lot to consider when choosing supplements for your child. This process is very important and can improve the overall quality of his/her life. However, don't rush into the process, and make sure you cover all the bases before proceeding. Also, give supplements time to work. Oftentimes, it takes at least two weeks for the body to accurately process nutrients and for you to see any changes in your child's behavior.
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

Parents' Comments:

Anonymous said...Yes for sure. My son has minimal signs of Aspergers and is functioning almost on the same level as his peers because of supplements and dietary changes.
Anonymous said...Sad to say not enough proof out there.However,if these foods are irritating a child's stomach,they will behave badly because they don't feel well.Then naturally the exclusion of them will make the child feel and behave differently.

Anonymous said...Preservatives can make any child hyper active so regardless of autism this will benefit many children. Our son can not eat processed cheese at all, he loses control. We have had almost no meltdowns etc since removing it from our fridge
Anonymous said...That has always been my suspicion of our D.S., - so we've had him on elimination for quite some time - just reintroducing certain things (very tricky) ~~~ however - I also hope to try some supplements for our entire family - our everyday diet & lifestyle needs a bit of a boost - so we'll try ~ & some will be (after much research) those which families like ours suggest!
    2 hours ago · Like
Anonymous said...I have used and seen others use high doses of omega 3 fish oils to improve function and decrease behaviors. I could not live with out it for my son.
Anonymous said...Yes we do both fish oil and melatonin as well as others. We had my son tested for food allergies and when he tested positive for 5, we eliminated all 5 as well as food dyes and fake colors then added supplements. Now he shows mainly signs of ADHD but not enough to medicate for. I dont think it will always work though but thank God it did for us.

Anonymous said...I took my son to a biochemical GP who did blood tests to check for deficiencies and heavy metals. My son has been on a pyrol primer which has zinc, iron and other little goodies in to help him remove the extremely high copper level he has. He is also on evening primrose oil, olive leaf extract, melatonin, and a pro biotic to keep the good stuff in his stomach for digestion. I use to have him on a heavy metal detox called merc sol which had an instant change in his learning, behaviour and general self. My son has Aspergers but I would recommend having tests done to see what your child is lacking or high in to know what your child may need. I think there are alot of gimmicks out there and people waste alot of money on these thinking they are going to be of benefit but do nothing. I would recommend people to only use natural chemicals we have in our body not any of these mixed up concoctions that are labelled to do something like restful sleep as too many other things get added with them. Melatonin for sleep works well because it is our natural sleep chemical in the brain, it tells is higher at night time in most people naturally.
    15 hours ago · Like
Amber said...We haven't went through an official diagnosis yet with our kiddo but everything points to him falling somewhere within the Autism Spectrum. Specifically I find that he fits almost everything I research about Asperger's. That being said, he tends to definitely have more health issues than my other 2 children. One big one is digestive issues. We tried the gluten free diet for him and didn't see much change in his well-being/behaviors but I have learned that being diligent about being sure he gets his daily probiotic is most beneficial for his digestive issues.
Amber said...Being diligent in seeing that our kiddo gets a probiotic has been very helpful.

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