Aromatherapy – Essential Oils for Autism


A few months ago a friend of mine shared with me the benefits of essential oils for autism.  Since then I have also read more information about it and discovered for myself how effective EO’s are for you.  During the early stages of my son’s health problems my life became so hectic and stressful that I started experiencing what the doctor’s termed as panic attacks.  Their suggestion was long term antidepressants which left me with more problems than before, at this stage of my life I was already so wired and strung that I wasn’t eating well or sleeping.  Conventional medication was not an option for our family.  We needed something that helped us through the period not kept us dependent on it.

This is when I learned about Lavendar Oil, this oil is very effective for calming the nervous system.  You can either apply it much like cologne or a steamer unit that you mix the oil with water and steam, while inhaling the vapors.

Also during this time both my son and I started experiencing problems with allergies/colds.  This is the time that we learned about Eucalyptus Oil. Eucalyptus vapors are strong and will help open the nasal pathways making breathing a little easier.

However, just recently we were referred to more Essential Oils for cognitive benefits.  The ones that my friend recommended are:

*Sandalwood Oil

*Franckincense Oil

I also found an article in “Herb Quarterly” magazine recommending the use of Rosemary Oil to help improve brain function.

I have started using all of these oils and have noticed positive results.  IMPORTANT NOTE: these oils are very strong and powerful – in their odor and strength.  If you do decide to use Oils make sure to get the ones that are pure, not watered down or mixed with others, and that they are Organic if possible.  If you give your child a mixture of Essential Oils and he/she has a reaction, how will you know if they had a reaction to one of the herbs or all of them?  This is a mistake that most people make, it may not be one item but the way the items are mixed that are affecting you.

I usually purchase my Essential Oils online, but you can purchase them at most local health food stores.  The ones I have purchased online are Organic and Pure, not a mixture of oils; also make sure to get ones that are safe to use on the skin if this is the route you would like to use.  I have purchased mine from Ebay for less than $3 and reasonable sizes.

As I have stated before when starting a therapy I don’t recommend investing a lot of money into it in the event that the therapy does not produce results, try starting out with trial sizes and see how they help your child.

In Loving Remembrance of Mildred Mansager


With much sadness and grief a dear sister and friend very close to our family, recently passed away.  Mildred was such a blessing and inspiration to those around us, she will be deeply missed!  When our family first moved to this area we had the pleasure of meeting this woman who was busy caring for her family and those in the Assembly!  She had much to offer in spiritual leadership and maternal loving that we often considered her our “mother” and “grandmother” to ourselves and children.Mil MansagerMildred Mansager was quick to make you feel at ease and welcome in a new place.  Even as her health was limiting her physical abilities that didn’t stop her from continuing to help her husband in serving Yahweh.   When there was work to be done at the Assembly, she would joyfully come and serve for many hours straight just as though she were in her twenties.  Her flesh may not be willing but her spirit certainly was!

We feel that it was a great honor to have known her!  Her wisdom and love will be deeply missed!!

May Yahweh console her family and all who loved our dear sister in the faith.

http://praisesforyahweh.org/MildredMansager.html

Vitamin C Powder


As a parent of a child with Autism, I learned early on that one problem that plagues most children with disabilities and sensory disorder is constipation.  For whatever reason, children with sensory problems either cannot voice their need to have a bowel movement or don’t recognize the urge.  This is often the reason for the difficulty with potty training as well, they cannot distinguish the feeling between being wet or dry.

In this blog I’m going to address constipation…. I’ve learned that regular bowel movements are VERY IMPORTANT to bodily health.  When we don’t relieve waste from our body it stays in the system and continues to putrify, what results is toxic fumes being released into the blood stream, thereby causing various health problems.

One way to rectify this problem is regular doses of Vitamin C.  I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I usually purchase my Vitamin C from Walmart.  We have now switched to purchasing our Vitamin C in powder form.  I now purchase it online – you can purchase it in bulk form from http://www.bulkfoods.com or you can find some on ebay from reputable sellers.

The powder form is better suited to the body and will produce faster results without a prescription.  You can safely take as much Vitamin C as your body can handle, anything more will NOT be stored in the body and will be flushed out.  I recommend adding it to juice or whatever drink your child consumes.  The taste can be pretty bitter so I don’t recommend it plain.  The purpose is to get the bowels to a runny consistency, it will be much easier on your child especially if he/she is backed up.  Make sure to do the first few doses when you are at home, as you will most likely have “accidents” until the bowels have been cleaned out.

From Squiddo.com:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is helpful in softening the stool. Too much can lead to loose stool though. The amount needed to help with constipation varies from person to person. Start with 1-3 grams per day and work up until you experienced your desired results. 

Vitamin C

Most experts agree that determining Bowel Tolerance (see below) is the best method to establish what amounts of Vitamin C your body requires for maximum protection. When your body is under stress, your need for Vitamin C is increased considerably. Vitamin C is not toxic and therefore, your body will tell you when you have taken enough. If you experience diarrhea or soft stools, it is a sign that your body has reached Bowel Tolerance (BT). Once you reach BT (whether it is 1 gram or 20 grams) you can cut back to 75% of the dose that represents BT for you and then keep taking that dose EVERY DAY.

Keep track of the 4 daily doses (begin with 500 mg recommended) because you will be increasing your intake gradually until you find the amount that you need for maximum immune support. Vitamin C appears to be most effective in fighting disease when the dose is close to the bowel tolerance limit. This dosage information is important enough that it could literally save your life. Incidentally, excreted Vitamin C is not a complete loss.

According to Nobel Laureate Dr. Linus Pauling, Vitamin C protects against urinary tract infections. He recommended using this laxative effect to reduce chances of developing colon cancer. The laxative effect of Vitamin C is said to be greater when the vitamin is taken on an empty stomach.

Dr. Irwin Stone, a pioneer in the use of Vitamin C, recommended taking 1.5 to 2 grams (note: each of our tablets are 500mg or .5 grams) by mouth at the first sign of a cold and repeating the dose at 20 to 30 minute intervals until symptoms disappeared. He said this usually happened by the third dose.”

I recommend giving daily doses of Vitamin C as this is a natural antihistamine and will help with allergies (another common ailment in Autism).   I’ve also noticed that by keeping my son regular that his cognitive ability has also improved.  “Vitamin C — One of several natural antihistamines is vitamin c. In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant and immune booster, some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin c can help reduce sensitivity to allergens and reduce inflammation, mucus production, and wheezing. Researchers at Arizona State University indicated that taking 2000mg of vitamin c per day reduces histamine levels in the blood by up to 40%. In order to act as a natural antihistamine the dose is usually greater than 1000mg per day.”  http://www.healthy-skincare.com/natural-antihistamines.html

Some parents have reported side effects or other health problems by taking prescription medication for the bowels.

MSN News article about Food additives


A family member sent this article to me recently, if you haven’t read it, you may be surprised about some of the ingredients listed….

9 Food Additives That May Affect ADHD

There is much controversy about whether or not certain additives and preservatives affect children on the ASD/ADHD, Asperger’s spectrum.  I tend to hold the view that much of our food is no longer nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals as it once was.  It is very important to check food labels and realize that many of these additives can have a negative effect on our nervous system, you may also be surprised at the source of many of the colorings and additives that are being put into our food.

Gluten Free Casein Free Recipe Resource


For those who may be interested in going glutein-free, casein free you may be interested in checking out this valuable resource of recipes!

www.frugalabundance.com

This mother also shares cost effective ways of saving the food you purchase.

Note: to find some of the ingredients listed in the GFCF diet, items can be purchased at local health food stores, Dutch/Amish stores in your areas, Whole Foods, Trader Foods or online.

Free Educational Software Download!!


I received this link from another homeschooler. www.funnix.com We tried it out and if your child needs one-on-one training then this is an excellent program!  This program goes over the letter or object has the child point to the letter/object until they have it right. The program also included prompts for saying the letter/object.  Some educational programs we use run through the material so fast that they don’t have a chance to comprehend the information.

When I am working with my child I’ve noticed that I have to slow things in order for him to repeat or understand what I am saying.  They are only offering this program download for free through the month of January, after that is will be approximately $250 or more depending on what you purchase.

Enjoy!

Help with vitamins/tea


If you have started your child on supplements and things are not going well, these tips may help you.  Fish/flax oil is not a pleasant vitamin to take.  It is very smelly and can produce “fish burps”.  I recommend adding the fish/flax oil to applesauce or some other food that is thick and will absorb some of the smell.  Since our family does juicing we often have fruit pulp left over.  I juice carrots and celery together and then clean out the machine and do my apples and cranberries after that.  We will take the apple/cranberry pulp and make it into applesauce or jelly.  If you do decide to make jelly from it this is another option for the vitamins.

I had a question presented to me regarding Yerbe Mate tea being unpleasant for drinking.  We use Eco Teas Organic & Fair Trade Yerbe Mate Unsmoked Green Energy, which can be purchased at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and most health food stores.  This product comes in tea leaf form which we will make in the tea pot.

What I do for my son is add it to his morning juice.  I purchase 100% juice from Walmart.  They have two brands that do not have any added sugars or preservatives, one is a punch blend and another is pure apple juice. (Walmart brand)  Try mixing in more juice than tea and then gradually increase the tea.
Sweeteners:
I don’t know what you are using for sweeteners but our family uses Stevia or Raw Sugar.  The stevia is healthier than raw sugar, as it is an herb, contains lots of fiber and is a great product for diabetics.  This can be purchased at most grocery stores, health foods stores. We found an excellent bargain at a Dutch Bakery Store in our area for Raw Sugar (Sugar in the Raw). You could also try adding honey but I only recommend this if the tea is warm/hot, it won’t mix well cold.
A friend of mine shared this recipe that you might enjoy as well…  we don’t have an official title for it
Brain food:
ok not really measurements but…you can get the gest of it….i do not measure….
approx 2 cups of rolled oats raw ( vit E)
a handfull of raisins or dried cherries or blueberries you pick
a half cup of raw pumpkin seeds (protein)
a half cup of raw sunflower seeds (protein)
about 1/8 cup of bee pollen ( b vits, minerals and enzymes)
about 3 tbl spoons of molasses ( calcium, iron, potassium)
about 4 tblsp of honey (trace minerals)
about 2 tblspoons of real maple syrup
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (omega fats)
4 tblspoons of whole flax seeds (omega fats)
about 1 and 1/2 cups almond butter or peanut butter
mix all ingredients
wet your hands frequently while you make little rolled balls of the mixture
then roll each ball in a dusting of the coating……
1/2 cup of each…
oats, almonds
and a little bit of pump and sunflower seeds
freeze for 1 hour remove from freezer and refridgerate.
no cooking required
Hope you enjoy!  Until next time

More Sensory Activities


Time sure does fly by fast.  I wish now that I had paid more attention to the pamphlets and brochures given to me by the therapist and specialists.  In some ways, though, I don’t think my son was ready for activities.  Now that he seems to be understanding more of what I am trying to teach him – I revisited the pamphlets and I wanted to share some activities that might help your child as well.

One component of autism is sensory problems.  If you are NOT familiar with this term let me explain – most of us can process lots of outside stimuli such as: the radio being on, fans, dryers, pots and pans clanging, vacuums, etc. etc., for a child with autism all of this “stimulation” is like running your fingers down a chalkboard.  Their nervous system is not able to process and interpret the noise therefore they will retreat and find ways of calming their “nerves”, it is similar to information overload.   If you have been around children with sensory problems you may know that some of thes calming behaviors they obtain are not acceptable or tolerable.  A child with autism may run around in circles, flap their hands, lick the furniture or other objects, bang their head into walls, and the list goes on.

As parents/loved ones how can we help our children to learn appropriate behaviors to process and internalize their environment?  I will share some exercises that have been recommended to me by therapists as well as activities that we have used ourselves and noticed an improvement.

Some of the first things to consider when working with the sensory & vestibular system is that people with functioning nervous systems know where their limbs and bodies are in space at all times.  If I were to ask you right now where your foot is you can tell me without hesitation.  As my therapists explained to me that a child without sensory input may lose the ability to know where he/she is in space and time.    “The vestibular system plays an important part in our ability to interact with the environment.  It tells us how and where we are moving, if we are moving up, down, fast, slow, angular or circular.  Now think about times when you have been dizzy, and the whole room seems to be spinning – imagine that you are trying to negotiate a crowded hallway.  You are not able to accurately perceive the information about your own movement.  The receptors for the vestibular system are located in the inner ear, and are stimulated by movement of the head and input form the other senses.  This system tells us where our body is in space.  It lets us know the quality of our movements, and tells us if it’s our body or the environment that is moving.”

Depending on your child, you will need to determine if you need to apply calming or alerting activities to his daily activities.  For my child he has problems staying motivated and on task unless someone is working with him one-on-one, therefore, I try to  institute alerting activities.  It stands to reason then if your child is hyperactive and cannot sit still then you would need to instigate calming activities.

Alerting activities:

*Jumping on a trampoline or doing jumping jacks

*Hanging upside-down by the knees on the jungle gym

*Riding a scooter down a ramp

*Sitting and bouncing on a therapy (or any kind of plastic ball that is big enough to sit and bounce on; an exercise ball is great too)

*Standing and twirling in a circle

*Bending over with head between the knees

*Changing positions

Calming activities:

*Jumping on a trampoline or doing jumping jacks

*Swinging on a playground swing

*rocking in a rocking chair

*Sitting on a teeter–totter

*Sitting on a air cushion, therapy ball (or any plastic ball) to receive input during class activities

*take a break to do an errand for the teacher

*rolling slowly back and forth in a barrel

As I previously mentioned, I tried instituting some of these activities when my son was younger but did not notice any improvement.  Please don’t be discouraged if your child is not ready for these exercises.  The main point is to keep trying and find what works for your child!

Until next time! 🙂