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Innovative Health Foundation
Sunday, May 25 2014
GPS - New Directions to look for the Cause of Autism, ADHD, and more

For decades, charitable organizations that benefit those with disabilities that are sufficiently widespread to command public attention have focused on the care of those stricken with disease, and assisted families to cope with their affected loved one. Of lesser import, yet still kept on the public’s radar, is application of funds to finding a cure.

Nationwide, on-air fund-raising began with Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, initiated in 1966, whose primary attention was, and continues to be, directed at treatment and support. While Susan G. Komen®’s high-profile efforts to save women from the worst outcomes of breast cancer are to be lauded, only a single page of hundreds on their web site is dedicated to prevention—as distinct from enumerating risk factors.

Along comes a recent spate of research that demands the attention of both those already suffering debilitating disease, as well as those whose larger public-health agenda includes prevention. While it is unlikely there will ever be sufficient resources to help all those already under the pall of disease and dysfunction, can we look to the future and establish a long-term plan of elimination through prevention?

At Innovative Health Foundation, we assist families of children with neurological, psychological, and learning (NPL) disorders—the focus of this article—but there’s no reason to believe this strategy would not equally apply to every dysfunction and syndrome, just as it does with bacterial, viral, and other microbial diseases.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome [Medinform Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-9548520-2-3] calls it GAP. This writer prefers the allusion of GPS as it guides us, turn by turn, in the direction of our destination: the societal elimination of NPL disorders. More realistically, could following her recommendations—and those of more recent clinical research—turn the trend-line downward from the explosive rise in NPL disorders over the last few years?

A more extensive review of Dr. Campbell-McBride’s work will appear in a subsequent article, but in its most distilled form, she points her finger at leaky gut syndrome—among other similar dysfunctions—as responsible for allowing psychoactive poisons into the blood stream from the intestines as the cause of a wide range of NPL disorders including, autism, dyspraxia, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, depression, and even schizophrenia.

In April, 2014, research in the United Kingdom was announced that associated the excessive use of ibuprofen—a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID—with the onset of coeliac disease [celiac in the US]; celiac is normally considered an autoimmune response to gluten. If further research solidifies this association, it will be a red-flag that chemicals we put into our bodies have a profound impact on our digestive health—as if many of us didn’t already know that.

Newly released research highlighted in Huff-Post, May 21, 2014, The Stomach Bacteria that Could Save Your Life [] echoes the association of intestinal flora with health, the obverse of which is stated, “The number of 8-year-old children diagnosed with autism has surged in just two years from one in 88 to one in 68, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March. And while the cause of the disease remains unclear, new research, including a small study presented this week at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, suggests children with autism host a very different array of microbes in their gut.”

It’s time to look at environmental factors—the foods our children eat, the drugs we give them, and the chemicals to which we allow them to be exposed—as elements that exacerbate whatever genetic factors may bring on autism, and the other NPL diseases and disorders.

Is GPS telling us that the exit ramp is just ahead? Could the difference between a high-functioning autistic child, Aspberger’s or otherwise, and one entirely disabled by the disease, be mitigated by getting off the conventional diet and environmental highway? Can autism be reversed by doing a U-turn with improved diet?

More to be considered in future articles.

Robin D. Ader is Executive Director of Innovative Health Foundation, Inc., and author of Weight Loss with Nutritional Leverage: a Guide to Living Young as Long as Possible

Posted by: Robin D. Ader, Execurive Director AT 02:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, April 27 2014
Book Review: The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

Naoki Higashida, author
© Copyright 2007, Naoki Higashida
Translation © 2013, David Mitchell
Ransom House, ISBN: 978-0-8129-9486-5
Hardcover, 135 pages, non-fiction

If you’ve ever looked at an autistic child and wondered what’s going on behind those soulful eyes, this presentation will get you as close to understanding the quite different world of the affected mind as is likely possible for a “normal” person.

Young Higashida juxtaposes the terms autistic and normal and places autistic people in a space parallel to those not afflicted. He acknowledges that his perception of normal is as much guesswork as a normal person’s attempt to fathom autism. Still, he expresses a profound comprehension of his limitations, the differences between his control of his body and his mind as compared to that of normal people, and how his actions impact those around him.

After an introduction by David Mitchell who facilitated the translation of The Reason I Jump from its native Japanese, and a preface by Naoki, the book is organized as fifty-eight direct questions and anwers plus a short story written by Naoki.

How are you writing these sentences? is the first question, a topic that is also addressed by Mitchell in the introduction, is answered by Naoki in “Q1.” Q2: Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly? Q3: Why do you ask the same question over and over? Q11: Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking? Q37: Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face? The answers are astonishing and embarrassing: we normals have gotten it so wrong.

Throughout Naoki’s presentation, his response to so many questions about his actions, tantrums, sorrows, and fits of rage is that it just happens. He may not be reacting to a stimulus of those around him. The parent may not have done anything to offend him. To Q19, What are your flashback memories like, he describes inner torment and ends his answer with, “…let us have a good cry then we can get back on our feet. Maybe the racket we make will get on your nerves a bit, but please try to understand what we’re going through, and stay with us.”

Naoki describes the altered universe of his autistic mind and body, how he feels and sees things differently than normal people; time itself is perceived very much differently. That he understands those differences, and that he can observe a normal person being asked to do something and react immediately and satisfactorily, and that he can understand that he is unable to respond to requests in the same linear fashion is remarkable. That he communicates it in this work is nothing short of miraculous.

In the Foreword to his short story, Here I Am, presented after his Q&A,  Naoki writes, “I wrote this story in the hope that it will help you to understand how painful it is when you can’t express yourself to the people you love…”

This kind of powerful insight into the mind is what makes this book a must-read for those dealing with an autistic child. It will change the way you interact with your child. It will ease the burden, knowing that your child is dealing with his or her own situation and is not lost down a dark hole of despair.

If there is any shortcoming it’s the absence of a table of contents or index listing the questions, but that’s a very small concession to the power of this work.

Reviewed by Robin D. Ader
April 27, 2014

Posted by: Robin D. Ader AT 08:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, April 25 2014

Autism, ADHD, Down's and Tourette syndromes, and numerous other neurological, psychological, and learning disorders are not just an affliction borne by children, they challenge entire families and communities. We know that the rate of autism—just as one example—is rising dramatically, and our towns, schools, and families will have to accommodate a new generation of special needs children in the coming decades.

Innovative Health Foundation, Inc., IHF, addresses these needs on two fronts. First, as an organization, we channel money from unsung heroes—our donors—to families in need of financial assistance to provide their children with the therapies and treatments essential to moving them in the direction of independent living. Second, the clinical professionals who comprise a majority of the seats on the Board of Directors, work tirelessly in their own practices to provide care for these young people. Other board members help collect and direct monies from those who can afford to contribute to those who so desperately need to care for their loved ones.

Each month, and likely more than once per month, we’ll be posting news and reviews of progress and opportunities of interest to those of you who have a loved one challenged by one of these disorders, and for those whose hearts are large enough to dig deep to help them.

Thank you for your time, and be sure to sign up for our email list so we can let you know each time a new posting is made to this page.

Posted by: Robin D. Ader, Execurive Director AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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