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The Benefits of Nutritional Therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders

written by: theMallorys • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 8/24/2010

Nutrition therapies for autism spectrum disorders can help in a number of different areas. Parents have reported improved speech, better sleep patterns and longer attention spans after adjusting the nutritional intake of their autistic children. These therapies are often all natural and have no side

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    Nutrition therapies for autism spectrum disorders offer many benefits that can change the world of the individual who has autism. Nutrition plays a vital role in how well the brain functions, which can lead to improvements throughout the body. Therapies include special diets, vitamins and supplements and the inclusion and elimination of certain foods that are deemed problematic. Here are just a few of the benefits resulting from nutrition therapies:

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    1 – Improved Speech

    Individuals have reported an improvement in speech after trying various nutrition therapies for autism spectrum disorders. The brain is so intricately related to the gut, that once the gut begins to heal through proper diets, vitamins and supplements, the brain can work better, including the area that controls speech. For example, parents of children with autism have reported improved speech after their children took Carnitine and Omega-3s, which are both all natural supplements. Therapies help to reduce “the brain fog” in autistic individuals, giving them more opportunities to think about speech and articulate what it is they want or feel.

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    2 – Social Interaction

    It’s difficult for autistic individuals to interact with others when their bodies are in constant pain. Some appear as if they are in a daze, and the most you can get out of them are blank stares. When you can use nutrition therapies to ease their pain, they’ll be more responsive to interacting with family members and others. Simply eliminating foods that hurt can produce immediate results, such as yeast which can feed bacteria and irritate the gut.

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    3 – Sleep

    A host of sensory processing issues can result from eating the wrong foods. Nutrition therapies can help to regulate the bodies of autistic individuals, which can lead to better sleep habits. It’s a known fact that individuals with autism often have sleep problems. The problem is either not being able to fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night or both. Vitamin supplements, such as melatonin, can help individuals with autism to fall asleep, as well as removing additives and processed foods from the diet that can agitate the gut.

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    4 – Longer Attention Spans

    Eating the wrong foods can make individuals hyperactive, and many must deal with attention deficit disorders. For example, pesticides have been shown to be a part of the cause of the rise in cases of ADD and ADHD. By eliminating problem foods and introducing nutritional therapies for autism spectrum orders, an individual can benefit by having a longer attention span. For example, try eating only organic produce that is free of pesticides. Reported improvements include more learning and retention, as well as an increase in interaction with others.

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    When you’re trying to decide whether nutrition therapies for autism spectrum disorders are right for you, start with the area where you need to see improvement first. If you’re not getting enough sleep because your autistic child has sleep disorders, begin with a therapy that can help solve that problem. Add more therapies based on the priorities of improvement. It’s often safe to combine many therapies at once, if they are all natural and have little or no side effects.

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    Image Credit

    Released into the public domain under Creative Commons License