Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Power of Probiotics

I'm going to start the New Year off by talking about supplements again. Supplements were a key ingredient in helping Doodle recover from Autism and her developmental delays. Over the past two years, I have tried different supplements - one at a time - and monitored their affect on Doodle's behavior. Did she seem to improve? Was there any difference in her verbal skills? When taken off of the supplement, did she regress? Was her school noticing any differences? (Rule of thumb - never tell the school or daycare when you have made a change in the diet. Wait and see if they mention any differences to confirm what you are seeing is true.)

This past fall, I took Doodle off of Probiotics. Mostly because the brand we buy is fairly expensive and I wasn't sure they were really doing any good. So, we went for a period of several months without taking any Probiotics. I didn't think much of it, until we went Trick-or-Treating for Halloween. I watched as Doodle repeatedly stumbled, fell, and lost her balance (and it wasn't because she had on a tricky costume). She couldn't seem to run like the other little girl we were with - like her limbs weren't coordinated at all. She also didn't have this problem during the school year prior - when she was completely on Probiotics.  I told Doodle that she seemed "trippy" that night and we placed an order for Probiotics the very next day. Since being back on the Probiotics her "trippy" behavior has been eliminated and she is much more in control of her limbs. Lesson learned for me - keep up the Probiotic supplementation!

Doodle in her Halloween Costume

There have been some studies to support the use of Probiotics for Autistic children. Some Autistic children suffer from an imbalance of bad bacteria in their gut and the Probiotics help to bring stability back.  I read this article recently about how a study on Probiotics in Autistic children was so successful, it failed. Parents of Autistic children who were given the Probiotic noticed such a difference, that when it was time for the two groups to switch (and go onto a placebo), the parents in the initial group dropped out - they didn't want to take their children off of the Probiotics!

For my Doodle, I've found the use of Probiotics with a daily supplement of Zinc also helps with her ability to focus. I had also been lax about giving Doodle her zinc every day and her teachers have been complaining about her ability to focus in class. Saying she needs to be re-directed many times during an activity. I decided to be diligent about giving Doodle zinc every day (I use a zinc lotion for this). After only one week, her teacher sent home a note saying that her ability to focus had greatly improved that week. Another note to self - be diligent about zinc!

Both the Probiotics and Zinc I order from Kirkman Labs. You can find them here, if you are interested.

Zinc -
Probiotics -

I offer this advice based on my own experience. I am not a medical professional, so please consult your doctor before applying to your own circumstances.

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