Zinc--a critical element for autism

Zinc is detrimental in the nutritional healing process of autism, ADHD or other behavioral condition.

It is known to play a vital role in neonatal development and is involved in countless metabolic and signaling pathways within the body.

One of the many critical roles of zinc is in gastrointestinal function and gut-brain interaction. There is indication in some research that zinc deficiency among mothers during pregnancy can play a role in the development of gastrointestinal functions of infants/children.

Zinc is critically important for neurotransmitter production, thyroid function and hormone balancing.

Zinc has been found to improve cognition in children with autism and ADHD as well as lessen hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Zinc has also been found to play an important role in sensory integration as well as taste and smells with food. Because of this, zinc supplementation can sometimes be very beneficial in getting extremely picky eaters to try new foods.

Having zinc and copper serum levels checked are proving to be very helpful in knowing the right amount of supplementation to acquire. Zinc and copper ratios have shown in research to be a major indicator of severity of autism.

Studies indicate that zinc and copper have a huge impact on GABA neurotransmitters as well as mercury accumulation in bodily tissues.

The highest amounts of zinc are found most abundantly in oysters, lentils, and green peas. Absorption from food is typically only about 33% in healthy adults, which makes supplementation necessary in many individuals.

Zinc supplementation is also typically necessary to pull someone out of a deficient state. The recommended daily dose is 12-15mg for healthy individuals but may need more depending on signs, symptoms and nutritional status.

Speak to your healthcare provider or Clinical Nutritionist to have a better understanding of yours or your child’s individual needs.



Shawna Kunselman, MSACN

Contact me for more information






Bjourklund, G. , The role of zinc and copper in autism spectrum disorders,Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2013;73(2):225-36.,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23823984

 Guillermo Vela, Zinc in Gut-Brain Interaction in Autism and Neurological Disorders, Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 972791, 15 pages

Babaknejad N, The Relationship between Zinc Levels and Autism: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis., Iran J Child Neurol. 2016 Fall;10(4):1-9.



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vegetables pizza

Gluten Free/Casein Free Food Substitutions for Autism Kids

Transitioning to a new way of eating doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine. Let’s look specifically at Gluten free/Casein free food substitutions for the extremely picky eater.

Many children with autism have food aversions and will not try anything new. I get it. My son was the same way.

There finally came a point that I knew we had to try the nutritional approach because his behaviors were very difficult to manage, he was not making progress with his therapies, and he was literally sick all the time. Even before I was a Clinical Nutritionist, I knew that he was not able to get adequate nutrition from the 4 or 5 things he was eating.

With autism and sensory processing disorders, this can be a slow transition. Do what you can, when you can.

As I talked about in the article, What about my picky eating child, I talked about taking the approach of substituting their favorite foods with gluten free, casein free (GFCF) alternatives. Typically, a child on the spectrum is going to be “addicted” to foods in this category.

Pizza, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, grilled cheese. It all comes down to cheese and bread. Gluten is the protein found in many grains including wheat and casein is a protein found in dairy products.  Read more about how these proteins affect autism here.

The first step is many times to simply replace these with a GFCF version.

Below, I will list some of the best substitutions for many of these products. I would like to add, that many of these products are not “ideal”, but it is a great place to start.


*Transitioning off grains and off most processed is the most ideal for speedy healing of the gut and as a result, improved behaviors.


Barlean’s Butter Flavored Organic Coconut Oil


UDI’s (also has hamburger buns, hotdog buns, dinner rolls, etc)
Food for Life Organic Rice Bread


Pizzas and Pizza Crusts

UDI’s—Gluten free/casein free crusts but the fully made frozen pizzas have real cheese (casein)—You can just buy the crust and make your own pizza with Daiya cheese and Hormel Naturals Pepperoni.

Amy’s Organic (frozen)—They do provide a fully prepared Gluten Free, Casein Free Pizza. Try to get soy free as well.


Daiya ( highly processed and not the best ingredients)

A better choice is finding a recipe for Cashew "cheese" such as this

Mac N Cheese

Amy’s Organic (frozen)—The only brand I know of that has a Gluten free and Casein free option.

Better Choice>>> Or easily make your own with Brown Rice or Quinoa Noodles with some Cashew Cheese

Snack Bars

Lara Bars

Chicken Nuggets, Corn dogs, Deli Meats, Pepperoni

Applegate Farms
Hormel Naturals


For Baking:

• Coconut oil/butter
• Flax seed oil
• Macadamia nut oil
• Palm oil/palm kernel oil shortening like Nutiva Organic Shortening or Spectrum Organic Shortening
• Safflower oil
• Sunflower oil
• Walnut oil

For Sauteing:

• Olive oil
• Rice bran oil
• Sesame oil

For Salad Dressings:

• Avocado oil
• Grapeseed oil
• Olive oil

Egg Substitutes

• While not gluten or casein, many people have a sensitivity to eggs. These are my favorite egg substitutes for baking

• 2 tbsp. arrowroot flour = 1 egg
• 1 tbsp. chia seeds + 3 tbsp water=one egg
• 2 tbsp. potato starch = 1 egg
• 1 banana = 1 egg in cake recipes
• 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds plus 3 tbsp. water = one egg


I also highly recommend getting vegetables in as much and as soon as possible. One way I did this was to chop bell peppers, carrots, garlic, onions, etc with a food chopper as small as possible and mix it in to their pizza or spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.

 Avocado is an extremely good, nutrient dense food for getting healthy fats in. Here is a good recipe for Chocolate Pudding that hides the avocado.


**If you have a question regarding a gluten free/casein free substitution for a specific food, please Contact Me.  or comment below. I will also be adding to this list as I get more questions.



ocean , magnesium

Magnesium: Why is it so important?

Love this picture I took of the ocean off the coast of California last summer—did you know Magnesium is found abundantly in sea water—along with many other minerals which is one reason swimming the ocean is so healing –don’t drink it though 😉

Magnesium is required in the body for over 350 biochemical reactions! That makes this mineral quite critical in many different ailments and conditions.

Unfortunately, 80% of us are deficient in magnesium! There is tons of research showing how important it is to not only eat magnesium rich foods, but also probably supplement with this mineral to lessen your risk of becoming deficient.

Lack of magnesium may lead to irritability, muscle weakness, and irregular heartbeat. Every organ in the body — especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys — needs the mineral magnesium. It is also important in the synthesis of teeth and bones. Most important, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.

Low dietary intake of magnesium is common and can quickly lead to deficiency.

Periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy and childhood adolescents also increase need of magnesium.

Use of certain medications can deplete magnesium from the body and increase need of supplementation. Some examples of medications which may contribute to increasing your magnesium needs are diuretics (thiazides, furosemide), chemotherapy, cortisone, laxatives and PPI’s (Nexium, prevacid).

Those with diabetes or anyone with intestinal hyperpemiabilty (leaky gut) are also at an increased risk of deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency in children is characterized by excessive fidgeting, anxiety, restlessness, psychomotor instability and learning difficulties.

Some common signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:

• Muscle cramps and spasms
• Personality changes: depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating
• Irregular heartbeat
• Increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol
• Water retention
• Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
• Anxiety
• Insomnia

Magnesium will help:

• relax nerve impulses and muscle contractions
• promote relaxation; aid in restful sleep
• help lower blood pressure
• keep your bones strong (especially when taken with calcium)
• keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol
• relieve symptoms of menopause and PMS
• help the body absorb calcium and potassium

Diet: The best food sources of magnesium are sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, okra, almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, spinach, long grain brown rice, chives and cocoa. For example, spinach (1 cup) and pumpkin seeds (1 ounce) will provide about 157 mg.; long grain brown rice (1 cup) provides 84 mg.

These are the current RDAs for magnesium depending on your age and gender according to the NIH:

• Infants–6 months: 30 mg
• 7–12 months: 75 mg
• 1–3 years: 80 mg
• 4–8 years: 130 mg
• 9–13 years: 240 mg
• 14–18 years: 410 mg for men; 360 mg for women
• 19–30 years: 400 mg for men; 310 mg for women
• Adults 31 years and older: 420 mg for men; 320 mg for women
• Pregnant women: 350-360 mg
• Women who are breastfeeding: 310-320 mg

TYPE OF MAGNESIUM: Magnesium citrate, oxide, glycinate, and sulfate. For constipation, people use magnesium citrate, however, if citrate tends to upset your stomach, glycinate may be a better form taken internally.
Epsom salt baths are an excellent way to absorb magnesium in the form of magnesium sulfate without digestive upset.




National Institute of Health, Magnesium, http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium#h2
Block, Mary Ann, DO, No More ADHD, Block System Inc, 2001
Rakel, Integrative Medicine 3rd edition

5 Reasons Why Chia Seeds Are An Amazing Superfood

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica which is native to South America.

As published on Zhou Nutrition website.

“Chia” means strength and has long been known for its energy producing qualities. Historically, the Mayan and Aztec cultures used chia seeds for energy and endurance during long distance running or even while fighting battles.

Recent research is finding even more amazing benefits to this superfood. They are extremely nutrient dense and a 2 Tablespoon serving contains:

  • Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
  • Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (5 grams)
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (1.6 grams)
  • Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
  • Phosphorus (265 mg – 30% RDV)
  • Magnesium (24% RDV)
  • Manganese (up to 50% RDV)
  • Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)

All of these nutrients and in only 130 calories!

Some Health Benefits Which Have Been Seen With Chia Seeds Are:

High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, which contribute to premature aging and diseases such as cancer. In fact, studies have shown the antioxidant levels in chia seeds fight up to 70% of free radical damage.

Weight Loss

Chia seeds can aid in weight loss with help from the high fiber and protein found in them. They can absorb up to 10X their own weight in water, which will aid in digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer. This can also help with reducing sugar cravings. Additionally, chia seeds rank as one of the top plant food sources for protein, which helps in balancing blood sugar levels, burning fat, and building lean muscle.

High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are high in ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), which is a form of Omega 3 fatty acids. This particular fatty acid has been shown to prevent and decrease tumor growth in specific cancers, such as breast and cervical.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes

The nutrient density of chia seeds fight inflammation in the body and assist in reversing oxidative stress. This along with the high levels of omega 3’s protect the heart by reducing risk of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

Additionally, these same factors, reduce the risk of developing metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance. These are two primary factors in developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Stronger Bones

Due to the high levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, chia seeds are an excellent super food to help boost strong, healthy bones.

My Favorite Quick and Easy Chia Seed Recipe

  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • ¼ cup Chia Seed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 pint strawberries chopped and hulled
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Whisk the first four ingredients together in a bowl and let chill in refrigerator overnight. In the morning add chopped strawberries. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!

Chicco, AG, et. al, Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats, Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):41-50
Deshpande, R. et.al, Alpha-linolenic acid regulates the growth of breast and cervical cancer cell lines through regulation of NO release and induction of lipid peroxidation, Journal of Molecular Biology
Martinez-Cruz, O, et. al, Phytochemical profile and nutraceutical potential of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) by ultra high performance liquid chromatography., J Chromatogr A. 2014 Jun 13;1346:43-8



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What about Medications for Autism & ADHD?

Aren’t they effective and helpful?


For this article I want to focus on medication for ADHD. Ritalin and Adderall are the two most common medications prescribed for ADHD. While they may be effective at controlling unwarranted behaviors and improving concentration, there are many side effects that come along with it. Now, I am not saying there is never a time and a place for these medications. I just want people to be aware of the side effects and know that in many times, there are other options. Here, I want to focus on Ritalin (methylphenidate).


Introduction of Ritalin:

  • One of the most common central nervous system stimulants prescribed in children over age of 6
  • Schedule II Narcotic
    • Same classification as morphine, methamphetamines and codeine
      • High potential for abuse
      • S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that studies show that Ritalin is more potent than cocaine and effects the brain in the same way as cocaine does
    • Stimulants are most common treatment of ADHD and are also being used as a treatment for narcolepsy
    • According to the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief no. 42, from 2007 – 2008, “The most commonly used types of prescription drugs in the United States by age were: ….central nervous system stimulants for adolescents aged 12–19.”
    • The prevalence of children 4-17 years of age taking ADHD medication increased from 4.8% in 2007 to 6.1% in 2011
    • More than 17 million children worldwide prescribed psychiatric medicines


How does Ritalin work?

  • Ritalin increases dopamine levels in the brain
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which plays a critical role in moods, behaviors and motivation
  • Ritalin blocks a protein responsible for transporting dopamine
  • Affects chemicals and nerves which contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control
  • “Methylphenidate blocks dopamine uptake in central adrenergic neurons by blocking dopamine transport or carrier proteins. Methylphenidate acts at the brain stem arousal system and the cerebral cortex and causes increased sympathomimetic activity in the central nervous system. Alteration of serotonergic pathways via changes in dopamine transport may result.”
  • It is believed that those with ADHD may have more of these dopamine transporters than others.


Warnings and Adverse Reactions:

  • Can cause “sudden death” in susceptible individuals
    • Typically has been seen due to cardiovascular effects
  • Can lead to dependency and addiction
    • As a result of dopamine mechanisms
    • May cause visual hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and psychotic behaviors
      • Also due to the effects on dopamine


Ritalin as a Recreational Drug:

  • DEA has received reports of college students using Ritalin to help them study for all-night study sessions
  • Many also admittedly use Ritalin as a “party drug”
  • One survey of students at a public liberal arts college found that “over 50% of survey participants knew other students who had used Ritalin for fun, 16% had used it themselves, and nearly 13% reported their own use included snorting the drug.”
  • Chronic heavy use can lead to physical dependence-- withdrawal symptoms include exhaustion and severe emotional depression
  • Ritalin’s dependence can cause cravings for the drug and panic if it becomes unavailable


Nutrients Depleted from Ritalin use and Symptoms Associated:




  • “Some children are at risk of serious growth decrement when treated with MPH” (methylphenidate/Ritalin)
  • Nutrient intake and growth of children taking methylphenidate should be monitored very closely
  • Calcium/Magnesium ratio significantly lower after 3 weeks of treatment with methylphenidate
  • “the decrease in the ratio may be relevant to side effects and treatment resistance associated with stimulant use.”
  • Significantly depletes dopamine and causes cell death in olfactory bulb
    • Olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system and is involved in motivation, emotions and memory
    • May be related to the depressive symptoms associated with amphetamine withdrawal


Caffeine can enhance side effects of Ritalin so it is recommended to limit caffeine to small quantities

Alcohol should be avoided as it may increase nervous system side effects such as drowsiness, anxiety, depression, and seizures

  • When Alcohol is combined with methylphenidate, a metabolite known as ethylphenidate is produced, which can be fatal in some individuals.


There are many natural alternatives to treating ADHD which also improve optimal health status. Looking for specific food intolerance’s and micronutrient deficiencies is especially helpful. Other improvements can be seen with:

Studies have shown significant reduction in ADHD symptoms and overall health by optimizing diet and lifestyle.










Amphetamines.com, Facts and Statistics on Amphetamine Abuse, http://amphetamines.com/facts/facts-and-statistics-on-amphetamine-abuse/ Accessed December 2, 2015
 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml Accessed December 2, 2015
 Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, by Ross Pelton, R.PH., PH.D; James B. LaValle, R.Ph., N.D.; and Ernest B. Hawkins, R.Ph., M.S. (Lexi-Comp, 2001]
Atianjoh, Fidelis E. et al. 'Amphetamine Causes Dopamine Depletion And Cell Death In The Mouse Olfactory Bulb'. European Journal of Pharmacology 589.1-3 (2008): 94-97. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Schmidt, ME., et.al, Effect of dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate on calcium and magnesium concentration in hyperactive boys., Psychiatry Res. 1994 Nov;54(2):199-210
Garfinkel BD, et al. 'Individual Responses To Methylphenidate And Caffeine In Children With Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Canadian Medical Assoc Journal. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
Krueger J, et al. 'First Detection Of Ethylphenidate In Human Fatalities After Ethylphenidate Intake., Forensic Science Int. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
Zhu, Hao-Jie, Kennerly S. Patrick, and John S. Markowitz. 'Enantiospecific Determination Of Dl-Methylphenidate And Dl-Ethylphenidate In Plasma By Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Application To Human Ethanol Interactions'. Journal of Chromatography B 879.11-12 (2011): 783-788. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
Dolina, S. et al. 'Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) As A Pyridoxine-Dependent Condition: Urinary Diagnostic Biomarkers'. Medical Hypotheses 82.1 (2014): 111-116. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
B L Hungund, B G Winsberg. 'Pharmacokinetics Of Methylphenidate In Hyperkinetic Children.'. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 8.6 (1979): 571. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
DrugBank, Methylphenidate, http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00422
Neuropsychopharmacology, ADHD and attention networks, (Image), http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v35/n1/fig_tab/npp2009120f2.html#figure-title
Center for Substance Abuse Research, Ritalin, http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/ritalin.asp Accessed December 2, 2015
Holtkamp, K., et.al, Methylphenidate-related growth impairment, J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2002 Spring;12(1):55-61.
Schmidt, ME., et.al, Effect of dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate on calcium and magnesium concentration in hyperactive boys., Psychiatry Res. 1994 Nov;54(2):199-210
Atianjoh, Fidelis E. et al. 'Amphetamine Causes Dopamine Depletion And Cell Death In The Mouse Olfactory Bulb'. European Journal of Pharmacology 589.1-3 (2008): 94-97. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.


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Favorite Autism Resources

When we first decided to change the way our family ate, it was challenging.

This was such a big change and it was something completely foreign to us. My husband was not on board with it in the least because we were literally taking out the only things in my son’s diet that he would eat. His diet was extremely limited and we were already facing the struggles of a diagnosis of autism.

We could not imagine trying to change this aspect of our lives at the moment. I did so much research in this time and needed to know *why* I was going to make the change. Understanding exactly how this was going to make a difference was so important to me and it would be easier to explain to and convince my husband if I had some real understanding.

Through time, I will continue to add to my blog posts to give you the same guidance and understanding. For those of you that like to look at the science , I will provide that. So much incredible research has been done over the last few years and is continuing to be done.

It seems that every month there is a new research article released discussing the benefits of gluten free diet with autism (and autoimmune conditions) and how vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as the health of the gut microbiome (good vs bad bacteria in digestive tract) dramatically affect the symptoms while also showing some guidance toward further research looking for causal factors.

Through our journey, I read so many books and went to so many different websites. Here, I am listing some of the ones that were the most helpful in our journey. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like further guidance on this topic.



  • GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD


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autism, behavior, help, interventions

Helping My Child With Autism. Where Do I Start?

Prior to 1980, autism was only seen in approximately 1 in 10,000 kids. Now, according to the CDC, autism rates are 1 in 45.

There are many pieces to the autism puzzle.


The medical community agrees that there are multiple factors involved in autism and it is the general consensus that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental triggers.


The GI tract is now referred to as the “Second Brain” and contains 100’s of millions of neurons—more than the peripheral nervous system. Genetic factors such as MTHFR, and environmental factors, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxins, antibiotics, gut dysbiosis and food intolerances all influence inflammation and the gut/brain barrier. Getting to these core concepts can result in better communication, more focus and concentration and improved behaviors.


An increasing number of parents are seeking biomedical interventions for their children on the autism spectrum as well as for ADHD.

Clinical nutrition for autism and other behavioral conditions addresses some of the biomedical theories related to autism. The four main areas addressed under this approach are gastrointestinal abnormalities, immune dysfunctions, detoxification abnormalities, and/or nutritional deficiencies/ imbalances.

Addressing these issues can help control specific behaviors associated with these conditions!

It is often wondered how the gut can cause certain “autistic behaviors”. The medical literature is revealing that an imbalanced microbiome combined with “leaky gut” can cause an inflammatory immune response in the brain.

What about Genetics?

There are many aspects to genetics in autism. There is continuous research in this area as well. However, as we are finding out, genetics just sets things up ….there is something environmentally that triggers the spiral. A lot of this genetic research is focused on methylation and detoxification.  According to University of California Davis, “nutritional genomics, or nutrigenomics, is the study of how foods affect our genes and how individual genetic differences can affect the way we respond to nutrients (and other naturally occurring compounds) in the foods we eat.” Genetics cannot be fixed…however, supporting the system can make a profound difference in prevention and treatment of certain conditions.

One of the most commonly discussed methylation and detoxification genetic mutations is MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase). It is estimated that up to 60% of the population has MTHFR. This specific mutation causes an interruption in the methylation pathway which assists the body in converting folic acid/folate to its useable form. Additionally, those with MTHFR have a reduced ability to eliminate toxins and heavy metals.

This mutation has been linked to many ailments, not just autism. It is important to note that having MTHFR does not mean autism or another condition is going to happen. It is just something to be aware of so the body can be supported appropriately.


What can be done?

  1. Heal the gut.

 This is done by removing problematic, inflammatory foods which are heightening the immune response in the body. Also, adding in reparative nutrients and supplements that will help the body to rebuild and repair tissue in gut lining. Many people see incredible positive changes in autistic behaviors just by taking addressing this core issue.


  1. Dietary Changes.

Up to 80% of parents report marked improvement by removing gluten and casein from their child’s diet. There is so much science behind this, but it leads back to inflammation and “leaky gut”.


  1. Supporting the immune system.

There are many natural ways to do this through dietary means and herbs. One of my favorite additions is elderberry syrup which has loads of benefits and anti-viral properties.


  1. Full Integrative Approach.

There are many modalities that can improve autism behaviors and symptoms. Speech therapy, ABA therapy, Music therapy, Martial Arts, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Massage (specifically Craniosacral work), Equine Therapy, and Pet Therapy. These are some that we have engaged in over the years with much success from each one. I believe a wide variety of therapies is the best intervention.


For questions or further information, feel free to Contact Me directly.


Shaik Mohammad N, et. al, Clinical utility of folate pathway genetic polymorphisms in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders., Psychiatr Genet. 2016 Dec;26(6):281-286




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eczema, nutrition


So many people suffer from eczema! If you have ever had it, you know how irritating it can be. Eczema is a dermatitis condition caused by an allergic inflammatory response.Eczema can stand alone or be common with those who also have autoimmune conditions or children with autism spectrum or ADHD.

Symptoms can range from very mild to very severe. There are many possible triggers to eczema but one of the most common is gluten and/or dairy.

In one specific study, it was found that the eczema in the group of patients was not improved with standard medical treatment (corticosteroids), however, “showed prompt resolution when GFD (gluten free diet) was introduced”.

Corticosteroid medication, the typical treatment for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions, can come with many side effects including deficiencies in the following nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Phosphorus.

Lowered immunity and adrenal problems are common potential risks of taking corticosteroids.

The food/eczema connection has been established and should be considered when looking for treatment options.

Also, be on the lookout for other signs of leaky gut/gut dysbiosis, such as digestive issues, other allergies, and behavioral conditions. Tune in to what specific foods he/she consumes most often/or craves- -many times these are the foods which may be problematic.

Some other areas of assessment which can be considered are Allergy Antibody Assessment, looking at both IgE and IgG levels as well as assessing for fatty acid imbalance.

Many times, essential fatty acids such as Evening Primrose Oil or Fish Oil can also help dramatically with skin conditions such as eczema.

Bonciolini V, et al. "Cutaneous Manifestations Of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: Clinical Histological And Immunopathological Features. - Pubmed - NCBI". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26389946

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