Saturday, November 14, 2009

NAA Conference and the How Much Longer Campaign

by Peggy Becker

I was invited by the NAA leadership, along with all the conference attendees, to participate in the How Much Longer Campaign. We were asked to sit in front of a camera and finish the sentence "How much longer.....?"

With 4 of my autism friends, I went to the location. One friend said "How much longer until the federal government spends more on vaccine safety than they do on vaccine promotion?" Another said "How much longer until my son's words will be able to reflect his thoughts?" Another said "How much longer until we can quit banging our heads against the wall, knowing we've been heard, because we're right." My sentence was "How much longer until my 11 year-old son will be able to tell me what his favorite color is?" It was a surprisingly cathartic exercise. I'd love to hear how others would answer this question!

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet: Common Problems & Effective Treatments at the National Autism Conference

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet (second from left) with NAA-NY Metro's Peggy Becker, Sabeeha Rehman, Khalid Rehman and Kim Mac Rosenberg.

Kim has posted about Dr. Bradstreet's lecture on her blog Embracing Wellness. Go to Dr. Bradstreet: Common Problems & Effective Treatments to see her overview.

Sabeeha Rehman has included the lecture highlights below.

Lessons Learned from Jeff Bradstreet

"My child is getting better". Most of the time we mean, 'our child is getting better in relation to themselves'.
Don't fall into that trap. Your benchmark should be neurotypical kids.

'Six keys to success are 'persistence', 'persistence, persistence.......'

'Your most precious resource is TIME. We cannot wait for a ten year double blind, controlled study'.

'Inflammation is present in the gut of ASD children. And it is not being tested'. The only labs that perform the Calprotectin test (a noninvasive test that may be helpful in assessing GI inflammation)are Genova Diagnostics in the US and a Swedish lab.

'Quadruplets - wombmates. A mom adopted frozen embryos and all four had autism. All four have recovered and are neurotypical'.

Why does one intervention work for one child but not for the other? The influencing factor is the bacteria in your system.

Inflammation and oxidative stress, if present, have to be addressed at the same time.

In doing research, group little kids into a subgroup. They are more likely to be closer to the event. Do not group them with older children.

To assess, you need optimal biomarkers. Neopterin is a very viable biomarker. It indicates an overly active immune system. Porphyrin is another good biomarker for autism. They can be associated with mercury and lead, but do not have to be. These are biomarkers that give you a good target.

Our brains need time-out to relax - children with ASD more so. Concentration uses more energy than flapping hands. When they flap their hands, they are calming their brain.

When comparing labs, check the control units. They vary amongst labs.

Language will take time to develop, even after the biological issues are addressed.

Take the time to take care of yourself, so that you can be PERSISTENT.

-Sabeeha Rehman

Friday, November 13, 2009

Live Posts from the National Autism Conference at Embracing Wellness

I am at the National Autism Conference in Weston, Florida this weekend and I am trying to post short overviews from as many speakers as I can on my blog at Embracing Wellness during or after lectures. Please visit my posts and share with others who might be interested. These are just short summaries of what are long presentations but I hope to convey the positive energy of the conference and give a general overview of what each speaker is sharing. The conference has been great so far.

Here are some highlights so far...
Omega 3's for ASD
Rapid Prompt Method with Soma Makhopadhyay at the NAC
Dr. Julie Buckley - Treating Autism as a Medical Disease
Dr. Dan Rossignol on Assessing and Prioritizing Treatments
Roy Leonardi & Phyllis Musumeci on De-Escalation Techniques to Avoid Restraint
Dr. Theoharis Theoharides on Autism as an Emerging Neuroimmune Disorder

Treasurer and acting Vice President
NAA-New York Metro Chapter

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dr. Devin Houston On Enzymes in Autism and Gut Issues

Dr. Devin Houston

The Role of Enzymes in Autism and Gut Issues

Wednesday, November 18
6:30 - 8:30 pm: Lecture
6 pm: Networking / Social Hour
Educational Program

The Rebecca School
40 E. 30th. St. New York, NY

Please post questions as a comment below and we will forward the questions to Dr. Houston for him to answer at the lecture.

Enzymes are proteins in our body that do work such as breaking down and arranging molecules so they can be used by the body. Often, children and adults are lacking necessary enzymes and supplementation with plant based enzymes can make up for the deficiency. The results can be dramatic for people who are particularly low in digestive enzymes. Learn all about how enzymes work and if your child (or you) might benefit from them from Dr. Houston, the researcher and scientist who created Houston Enzymes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaching Fitness to Children on the Spectrum

On Sunday, October 25, 2009, families joined together in Central Park, on a sunny, crisp Fall day, for a hands-on tutorial on teaching fitness to children on the autism spectrum. Our group of young athletes and their parents were led by Eric Chessen. Eric brings to his practice not only his knowledge of fitness and physiology but also a background in psychology and training in ABA. He works with children and their families as well as with schools and other organized programs. Eric believes strongly in establishing the fundamentals of fitness so that children have a solid foundation on which to build as they learn to play sports or other physical activities. For many children on the spectrum, basic body movements and coordination are significant challenges and Eric works to remediate these issues.

At our Central Park event, he taught parents and children some fun, simple activities that got the children moving their bodies, with adult assistance where needed. Kids were engaged in and having fun with bear walks, obstacle courses, ball activities, rope activities (like the athlete in this photo) and many other programs designed to allow them to develop the foundational physical skills that may be weak. With the help of several terrific volunteers, Eric and the parents were able to begin to help the children work on these body basics. Parents also were able to spend time chatting with Eric and getting additional tips on helping their children develop stronger physical skills and learning more about why it is important to have these skills in place so that children then can focus on learning sport-specific skills and rules more easily because movement itself will be more natural.

On his website,, you can learn much more about Eric and his programs.