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Why Nutrition Matters


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Last Saturday, I started work at a center that teaches social skills to kids with ASD, ADHD, PDD etc. While the kids are in their 2 hr class, another mom (DS9 has moderate ASD) and I met with the parents for education/support. The current group consists of 3 sets of parents with kids who are btw 3-6. They aren't new to the world of autism - most have had the diagnosis for 2-3 yrs. But they have mostly followed the course of traditional treatments, primarily ABA therapy and birth-3 services. They work with developmental pediatricians but don't seem to have any idea what I mean when I use the term "biomedical approach" and don't seem to know there's a group of parents who feel many ASD symptoms can be "fixed" or mitigated with complimentary or integrative medicine. I didn't get the sense they knew what a DAN was. None of them seemed to have reached a point where they felt the need to move beyond a pediatrician's advice.


This Saturday, we want to talk about nutrition. One boy will only drink Pediasure and consumes little else in terms of food. One boy eats at McDonalds several times a week - craves it, esp. their french fries. Now, I remember a few years ago when I was talking to an autism advocate at AutismOne and I mentioned that I'd given my son a McDonald's milkshake and she acted like I'd just fed him arsenic. Today, I see the milkshake for the evil that it is. But back then, I was like "whoa - don't get your undies in a bunch. It's just one milkshake!"

So I have to remind myself that the journey is a long one and I too was once oblivious to the gut/brain connection.


My question for all of you is - do you have any short (1-2 pg) articles that nicely explains the gut/brain connection and why getting the right foods - or the right supplements if they won't eat the right foods - is so important? Something that doesn't dig deep into methylation, mitochondria, et al but does go beyond "veggies are good for you and sneak them in when you can".


I've been searching the net but can't seem to find something meaty enough without producing a deer in the headlights response to a newbie. Anyone have any links?

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How about this?




On a side note, DD15 and I watched "Hungry for Change" last night on streaming Netflix, though it is more about adult weight loss, it really compelling and does a very good job of tying food choices with feeling great. Moms will really like it.


We are an ovo-lacto vegetarian family (I have been one for 25 years), so let me know if I can help. We have been through the school lunch, fast and junk food challenges (even DS15 who has to deal with "real men eat meat" in a scouting, hunting, fishing context) so let me know if I can help.


I am a true believer in giving kids a shopping basket and letting them choose some of their own veggies and fruit, growing their own gardens (I am a believer that will eat ANYTHING they grow on their own) and cooking/preparing their own foods as early as possible.


Hope it helps.

Edited by SurfMom
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