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Posts Tagged ‘children with autism’

How does Vitamin B12 Benefit Children with Autism?

Friday, March 29th, 2013



One of the fastest-growing natural treatments for autism is vitamin B12 supplementation. That’s because vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients for the brain, making it an ideal supplement for children with autism-spectrum disorder, as well as ADD, ADHD, or other sensory processing issues.

How does Vitamin B12 Benefit Children with Autism? B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 supports the brain

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays many roles in your body’s healthy maintenance- it’s needed for your nervous system, blood cell production, and energy synthesis, among many other fundamental biochemical activities.

For children with autism, supplementation with vitamin B12 is especially important for improving cognition, language skills, mental focus, environmental awareness, and general mood.

How does B12 benefit the brain? In several ways- first, vitamin B12 supports myelin, a fatty substance which coats your nerve cells, protecting your nervous system from damage and improving communication between the brain and sensors in your hands, feet, eyes, and ears.

When vitamin B12 levels are low, as they are with many children with autism, you notice a correlation in functional deterioration, including slower responses, difficulty walking, vision problems, ear ringing, and painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

Vitamin B12 is also crucial for producing plenty of healthy red blood cells. Often, symptoms of fatigue, attention disorders, aggression, moodiness, and lack of spatial awareness in autistic children result from a comorbid vitamin B12 deficiency.

Additionally, vitamin B12 helps to correct nerve damage (neuropathy) associated with symptoms of autism. In a study on optic neuropathy and autism, scientists noted positive results in visual perception when autistic children were given high doses of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency with autism

There are several reasons why children with autism have an increased risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency. They include:

  • Damaged gastrointestinal system, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption
  • Restrictive diet low in vitamin B12-rich foods such as beef and seafood
  • Picky eating habits
  • Autoimmune disorders, including intrinsic factor antibodies


To reverse vitamin B12 deficiency and sustain healthy levels of B12, doctors recommend taking at least 1,000 mcg of cobalamin per week, although initial supplementation might require a much higher dose for the first month.

Suggested methods include vitamin B12 shots, sublingual vitamin B12, or other non-dietary forms of vitamin B12 which are available without prescription.

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Like this? Read more:

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

Autism Videos for Kids, Teens and Parents: You Tube’s Top 10

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8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+


Vitamin B12 optic neuropathy in autism.

Image(s) courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011



The Truth about Autistic Children: Misconceptions and myths about autistic children abound. Here are some facts about  autism spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome, and the many symptoms of autism.


Myth #1 Autism is a curable disease.

There is no universally accepted “cure” for autism.

However, there exist varieties of treatments that effectively help one cope with the symptoms of autism.

Some popular autism therapies include:

Additionally, doctors have noticed profound results when children diagnosed with autism receive vitamin B12 supplements. This is because vitamin B12 supports healthy cognitive functioning, protects the nervous system, and enhances general feelings of well-being in people who have vitamin B12 deficiency.

Myth #2 Bad parents raise autistic children.

Autism begins at birth.

Years ago, before we fully understood the causes of autism, people used to believe that autism was a result of mental child abuse, that only kids with cold, unemotional parents became autistic.

Today, we understand that autism is not a psychological illness, but rather biological in nature.


Myth #3 Children with autism are not able to show affection.

Autistic children display affection in their own unique ways.

People who don’t understand them can’t recognize their signs of emotion, love, and sadness, but that doesn’t mean that they are unable to express these feelings.  With time, children with Asperger syndrome learn how to show affection in ways that people outside of their families can recognize.


Myth #4 Autistic people cannot empathize.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

People with autism have difficulty communicating their feelings and thoughts to others, and for that reason, some people wrongfully conclude that they must not have feelings of empathy.

Autistic children have strong emotional connections with family and friends, but they need to learn how to recognize their own feelings, label them, and communicate them to the world.

Conversely, people who are unable to feel emotions- sociopaths- have narcissistic personality disorder, which has no connection to autism, whatsoever.

Myth #5 People with autism spectrum disorder are mentally retarded or mentally ill.

Autism spectrum is a neurodevelopment disorder, not a mental illness.

Also, studies show that people with autism have average to medium intelligence.  However, children with autism often suffer from psychological problems because of having to deal with their disorder.  Many autistic children experience social anxiety, frustration, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.

In addition to receiving autism-based services, a child with autism also benefits greatly by receiving psychotherapy.


Myth #6 Children on the autism spectrum cannot communicate verbally.

The symptoms of autism vary by severity, hence the “spectrum.” Children with autism often differ in their modes of communication, but rarely are they ever completely mute.  For autistic kids, speech patterns range from repetitive noises and mimicked phrases, to sign language and verbal communication.

Myth #7 Autistic kids are savants, i.e. hidden geniuses.

No such “savant syndrome” exists, at least not by definition.

It is more likely that savant syndrome, the ability to excel at one activity, while performing exceptionally poorly at another, is one of many common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Just like a young genius who masters complex mathematical theories but fails to understand grammar, a child with autism might excel at spatial awareness skills, while scoring poorly on fine motor-development.

Myth #8 Children with Asperger’s syndrome, or other forms of autism, cannot sustain healthy, long-lasting relationships.

For most children with Asperger’s syndrome, forming friendships is a constant struggle.

Autistic children often have difficulty maintaining eye contact, and feel overwhelmed in large groups; they respond negatively to tactile experiences, such as hugs and kisses.

In many cases, children with autism learn the social skills needed to achieve healthy relationships with others.  Even children who don’t master these social skills are still able to experience loving, mutual relationships with family members and friends who understand their special behaviors.


Myth #9 Autism is becoming an epidemic.

An epidemic is something that strikes suddenly, and with great numbers.

Contrary to popular belief, there are no more autistic children today than there were fifty years ago.  If anything has changed, in regards to autism, in recent decades, it is our knowledge and awareness of the facts of autism spectrum disorder.  It may seem that there has been an increase in instances of autism, but it is more likely that there has been an increase in its diagnoses, because we have become better at recognizing the symptoms of autism and administering treatment.


Related reading:

Back to School- the Top 10 Metro Areas for Autistic Children

Autism Videos for Kids, Teens and Parents: You Tube’s Top 10

10 Fun, Easy and Cheap Summer Activities for Autistic Kids

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+


The 5 Most Harmful Myths About Autism Revealed

10 Myths About Autism

10 Myths About Autism-ABC News

Common Misconceptions About Kids with Autism and Asperger Syndrome


hepingting, KOMUnews, AngelsWings, hepingting

10 Fun, Easy and Cheap Summer Activities for Autistic Kids

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Stress-Free Trips for Children with Autism


Summer’s here. Now what?

It’s only the middle of the summer, and already your kids are climbing the walls looking for something to do.  If you are a parent of a child with autism, then you understand that your child finds comfort in structure.  If your son (or daughter) has spent the school year learning in a special education class geared towards children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), then he’s used to living by a rigid timetable with scheduled activities, naps, and mealtimes.  Your task is to provide a similar environment at home, while keeping up with your regular weekday routine, such as work, housekeeping, laundry, and local errands.  Support for Parents of Autistic Children

A little bit of structure can go a long way.

With a bit of planning, you can put together a day schedule of summer activities that meets both you and your autistic child’s needs.  Instead of planning long, overwhelming field trips that nobody will enjoy, take mini-field trips on assigned “family trip days.” Fill up the rest of your time slots with simple, inexpensive activities that are spaced far apart.  Allow for quiet spells, including your own “me” time.  Remind your child periodically what the agenda of the day is, in order to spare him of any surprises.  Have all your things ready the night before, including sunscreen, lunches and snacks, clothes, and craft materials, like paper, glue, markers, and child-safe scissors.

Here are 10 summertime activities that the whole family will enjoy:


  1. See a sensory-friendly movie at AMC. Going to the movies can be stressful with small children, especially if you have children with special needs.  Why pay all that money on movie tickets and popcorn, when you know the dark room, the scary trailers, and the loud noises frighten your child?  AMC Entertainment offers special movie showings for families with autistic children.  The lights stay on, the volume is child-friendly, and your children can get up, move around, and talk without being shushed by angry moviegoers.  It’s like home, only with a bigger TV screen.
  2. Visit your local science museum. Science and natural history museums offer many fun activities for children of all ages.  Yearly memberships are often inexpensive, and allow you the freedom to visit whenever you like.  In addition, you’ll receive notification of special events.  Ask your curator what the quietest hours are for the museum, and plan your visit accordingly.
  3. Get a pool membership. All kids love the pool, and autistic kids are no exception.  Visit your local city council for a list of recreational pools in your area, including swim lessons.  Take advantage of pool time to practice some aquatic therapies for children with autism.
  4. Explore nature. Go on a nature walk with your family.  Some parks feature special trails for the handicapped or stroller-bound.  Have a picnic lunch in a shady grove.  Collect pinecones, acorns, branches, and other natural artifacts, keeping away from poison ivy or state-protected wildflowers.  When you get home, prepare a nature craft for your kids to do while you wind down.  Give them some glue, strong cardboard, and glitter, and show them how to make a leafy collage of their park souvenirs.  Or, supply googly eyes and pipe cleaners, and see who can make the scariest pinecone creature.  6 Great Diets for Autistic Children
  5. 10 FUN, EASY AND CHEAP SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR AUTISTIC KIDS, WWW.B12PATCH.COMMake a memory album. Bring disposable or digital cameras on all your ventures, and end each week by assembling photo album pages to go into your summer memory book.  Autistic children in particular will benefit from the visual reminder of all the fun things they accomplished.
  6. Visit your local library. Reading to your child is an essential tool for broadening their vocabulary.  Kids with ASD benefit greatly from story time, as it teaches them the words they need in order to better communicate.  Have an early dinner, and visit your library during the quiet evening hours.
  7. Play musical games. Music therapy is an essential part of special education classrooms.  All children, whether autistic or not, enjoy moving to background music.  Encourage your children to express themselves through dance by leading them in musical games, such as Freeze Dance or Musical Chairs.
  8. Make homemade play-dough. Autistic children require sensory experiences for brain development.  Commercial modeling clay can be expensive, so why not make it yourself?  The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions has dozens of simple science crafts you can do with your kids, including several formulas for play dough, including a scented clay made with applesauce, cinnamon, and white glue.
  9. Wash your car. Sometimes, what adults consider as chores can be fun activities for kids, and running a “car wash” is at the top of the list.  You supply the buckets, suds, and cloths, and your kids can go to town while you supervise in the shade.  Alert your friends and neighbors, and invite them to participate.
  10. Run in the sprinklers. If you water your lawn in the early morning or evening hours, send your kids outside to play tag under the watery sprays.  If you’re feeling adventurous, fill up a few water balloons and show them how to play Hot Potato.


Related reading:

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autism: Summer Activities for the Autism Spectrum Crowd : Laura Shumaker : City Brights

5 Great Summer Activities To Do Outdoors With Your Kids | Autism Learning Felt

Leisure Activities For Kids With Autism | LIVESTRONG.COM

Activities For Kids With Autism | LIVESTRONG.COM

The Medford Sun – 10 inexpensive summertime activities for children with autism

New Music Video Game Engages Autistic Children

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Guitar Heroes for Kids with Autism


A musical video game which uses the same technology as Guitar Heroes may be used in special-needs classrooms as an educational autism treatment.

Designed by John Steven, graduate of the University of Abertay Dundee, the newly publicized computer kids game teaches young students with autism spectrum disorder about basic colors and shapes in a visually appealing, non-intimidating atmosphere.

Music and colors soothe children with autism

In this interactive game, players are persuaded to click on keys which correspond to various geometric shapes; children are rewarded with different musical chords at each click, depending on which shape they choose. With each correct answer, a virtual flower begins to grow and eventually bloom by the end of the game. Studies have found that children with autism learn better with programs which incorporate melodies, colorful images, repetitive movements and positive reinforcement. The video game utilizes similar guidelines, followed by many popular forms of autism therapy which help children learn to relax and focus in the classroom.

In a world which is filled with many limitations and “can’t do’s,” John’s video game is a breath of fresh air for autistic children who rarely feel a sense of control in the classroom. Whether at home or at school, special needs children are able to complete each simple, progressive goals and feel a sense of accomplishment while, at the same time, learning important developmental skills.


Filling the video game void for children with autism

The video game was introduced at the university’s Creative Sound Production Graduation Ceremony.

John Steven was influenced by his mother, who has worked with special-needs children in the classrooms. He laments that similar educational video games for autistic children are practically non-existent.

But don’t expect to see his invention on the video game market just yet. “There’s so much more work to do, from testing and developing the game further to finding a company to work with to build a prototype controller. This is just the start,” he says.

For information about how autistic children can benefit from vitamin B12 supplements, please read Autism, B12 and Your Child

More good reads:

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Top 10 Children’s Books Which Raise Autism Awareness

Celebrities for Autism Awareness Month






10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Education experts are raving over the Apple iPad, but not for its ability to help kids with their homework or influence secondary language fluency; in the spotlight today is the way Apple’s new iPad touchscreen device is revolutionizing the way we teach children with autism.

Even small children like 3-year-old Hudson Holmquist, diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, are learning to utilize the iPad as a means of communicating with the outside world. Gone are the hourly meltdowns which resulted from Hudson’s frustration at not being able to ask for something or say, “I feel sad.”

Says mom Laura, “The iPad has given us our family back.”

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Approximately 1/110 children born in the US are autistic, according the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Below are 5 basic skills which autistic children learn by playing games and puzzles on their iPad:

  1. Social skills
  2. Fine motor skills
  3. Language and communication skills
  4. Sensory skills
  5. Stress reduction

Mark Coppin, the Assistive Technology Director at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, North Dakota  says that the iPad is used in their special education programs for autistic children; the hands-on design of the iPad interface is much simpler for autistic children to use than a keyboard and monitor.

Thinking of purchasing an iPad? You can save money by ordering here:Apple iPad 2

Here are 10 popular iTunes apps which are marketed towards parents and educators of children with autism:

  1. Proloquo2Go Highly recommended for kids and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, stroke or traumatic brain injury, this app-turned-AAC device utilizes colorful stick-figure illustrations and features an up-to-date vocabulary, text-to-speech voices and automatic conjugations.
  2. Grace This innovative app allows special-needs children to communicate through complete sentences by linking together colorful images and symbols in this fully customizable application.
  3. iCommunicateCreate pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, visual schedules and record custom audio in any language with this versatile program; incorporates pictures from your camera or Google images. Helps to teach social skills for children with autism.
  4. First Then Visual ScheduleEase transitioning for children with developmental delays such as Autism Spectrum Disorders by introducing this easy-to-customize scheduler into your special-needs curriculum.
  5. iConverse An inexpensive program designed for iPhone and iPod touch, this app functions as a picture exchange communication system (PECS) for autistic children and autistic adults alike, as well as others with communicative disabilities.
  6. AutismExpress This free app displays basic facial expressions in a way which is comical and instructional; excellent for children who have difficulty understanding emotions.
  7. stories2learn Illustrate your own social stories for children with autism,  using pictures, text and audio with this customizable program geared towards enriching the curricula of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  8. MyTalk MobileThe MyTalk Mobile is an AAC device for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; it also boasts the “My Talk Workspace,” which saves all info on a backup file in case of device crashing.
  9. TapToTalkMake your own AAC albums with this app, currently including a library of 2,000 pics. Children can tap on each image to hear fun audio.
  10. iComm Children who have cerebral palsy or autism will appreciate this fundamental communication system; iComm is an affordable alternative to many of the pricier communication devices.


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