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Posts Tagged ‘signs of autism’

Amazing Video- Nonverbal Autistic Teen Carly “Talks” about Autism

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012



In a recent video that’s sure to change your perception of autism, Carly Fleischmann, a not-so-typical autistic teenager tell us what it’s like inside her head, explaining why other autistic children act the way they do- bizarre behaviors that continue to puzzle autism experts, like head banging, swaying, and refusal to make eye contact with other people.  Only instead of using verbal communication, of which she is incapable, Carly has learned how to communicate using iPad apps for autism.


Branded “autistic” from birth

Born autistic, Carly started showing the first signs of autism as an infant; developmental delays like her inability to start crawling, sitting upright, walking, or talking at the same age as her twin sister Taryn told her parents that something was amiss.  Experts said that she was mentally retarded, and close friends recommended sending Carly to an institution, but her parents refused.

“I could never do it,” admitted her father.  “How can you give up your kid?”

Instead, they introduced Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a popular therapy for autism, which also helped her with her severe verbal apraxia.  With ABA, autistic children learn small tasks, one at a time, at their own rate of learning, using positive reinforcement.  From the age of four, Carly started receiving 40-60 hours of one-to-one ABA per week.

“I am autistic, but that’s not who I am.  Take time to know me, before you judge me.”

Still, Carly suffered severe autism, and progress was slow; she would rock back-and-forth incessantly for hours, lash out, break furniture, have sudden angry outbursts, and didn’t seem to comprehend anything that was going on around her, or understand what family members would say in front of her.

But looks can be deceiving…

“You know, I can hear you.”

At the age of 11, Carly was working with a therapist, and she was not happy about it.  She was in one of her “off moods,” and didn’t feel like sitting still to learn her vocabulary.  Sitting in front of a touch-screen device, she communicated her first word- “No.”

That one word opened up the floodgates for her; she started typing more words like “hurt” and “help.”

“People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk.”

Over the course of months, and after much coaxing from therapists, Carly learned how to type every time she wanted to say something.  She learned how to say things to her parents that she was never able to express verbally, things like “I love when you read to me, and I love that you believe in me. I love you.”

For the first time, Carly, a teenager with autism, had control over her environment.  For the first time, Carly was able to have conversations with her parents.

“I stopped looking her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenaged girl,” says her dad.  “She sees herself as a normal child locked in a body that does things that she has no control over.”

Carly describes her symptoms of autism

In her writing, Carly conveys a deep understanding of the world around her.  Likewise, she struggles to get others to understand what her world is like…

AMAZING VIDEO- NONVERBAL AUTISTIC TEEN CARLY “TALKS” ABOUT AUTISM, B12 PATCHOn chronic pain: “You don’t know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms…I want something that will put out the fire.”

On head banging: “Because if I don’t, it feels like my body is going to explode. It’s just like when you shake a can of Coke.  If I could stop it, I would, but it’s not like turning a switch off.  I know what is right and wrong, but it’s like I have a fight with my brain over it.”

On covering her ears, moaning, and rocking: “It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that overloads us all at once.  We create output to block out input.”

On refusing eye contact: “People say that we have a hard time processing information.  It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently.  We take in many sounds and conversations at once.  I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them.  That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”

On autism experts: “How can you explain something you have not lived or if you don’t know what it’s like to have it?  If a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what’s wrong with the horse.  You go right to the horse’s mouth.”

Carly becomes a delegate for autistic kids everywhere

Today, Carly communicates with other nonverbal autistic kids on the internet.  She Twitters like any other teen, and she has a large fan base on Facebook and her blog, Carly’s Voice.

Carly has been the subject of many television talk shows and news segments, like Larry King Live, 20/20, and Ellen, to whom she donated over $500.00 to the Make it Right Foundation.

“Everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out.”

She has also interviewed celebrities like autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism.  She is also working on her first novel.

Here is her story on YouTube

Why post this story on a vitamin B12 blog?

If it seems strange that a site containing information on vitamin B12 deficiency would also focus in autism, then know this:

  • Vitamin B12 is brain food. In a study focusing on 50 autistic children who were given vitamin B12 supplements, nine of the children experienced favorable results related to cognitive skills like language and socialization, in addition to changes in biomarkers for oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin B12 is good for the nerves. By supporting the myelin sheathe that insulates your nerve cells, vitamin B12 protects you from severe nerve damage like apraxia and paresthesia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency correlates with autism. Many children with autism also have vitamin B12 deficiency.  By supplementing with extra B12, parents of autistic children note dramatic neurological health benefits.

Read more about autism:

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

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

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

Unlocking Carly: Using one finger, autistic teen uses iPad, laptop to communicate

Carly Fleischmann — Overcoming Autism

4 Promising Autism Treatments, From Vitamin B12 to Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda

Images, from top:

Pink Sherbet Photography, Horia Varlan

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6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Monday, June 6th, 2011



What are the best diets for children with autism? Here are some gluten-free diet dips, plus 5 more great eating plans for kids with special needs.


Autism is a brain disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate feelings, desires, and needs. Autistic children are often referred to as “special needs,” because they require individualized attention.

One common symptom of autism is the tendency to suffer gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and constipation. According to Livestrong, almost half of all children diagnosed with autism spectrum require a special diet, such as a gluten-free diet plan, to prevent stomach upset. Additionally, scientists have also noticed a decrease in some of the behavioral signs of autism in children who followed special diets.

Below is a list of 6 popular diets for children with autism which have been found to drastically improve their health:

1) Gluten-Free Diet (GF)

Gluten is a protein which occurs naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Many individuals, in addition to children with Asperger’s syndrome or other forms of autism, have benefited greatly from removing all products which contain gluten from their diet. A wide range of bakery items, mixes, packaged snack foods and flours which are labeled gluten-free are available at most health food stores. Grains which do not have gluten are popcorn, brown rice and whole-grain corn meal.
2) Casein-Free Diet (CF)

Casein is a protein found all milk products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, cream and milk derivatives, such as whey. Many people who benefit from a dairy-free diet will often omit gluten as well.  The gluten free-casein free (GFCF) diet has helped children and adults manage allergies and promote intestinal health.

3) Body Ecology Diet (BED)

The Body Ecology Diet was developed to correct digestive flora when fungal infections occur in the gut.

Based on the theory that autism and a multitude of other health problems are caused by pathogenic organisms which escape the infected gut and attack the rest of the body, the BED diet incorporates a combination of cultured foods, healthy oils and reduced carbohydrates and sugars for generating good bacteria in the intestines.

4) Low Oxalate Diet

Oxalates are salts which occur in naturally in many vegetables, fruits and other plant-based food items, such as sweet potatoes, strawberries and chocolate. A low-oxalate diet is often prescribed for people who get kidney stones.

Many autistic children whose parents have restricted oxalates from their diets have experienced improved urinary tract health, clearer skin when eczema was a factor, better digestive health, and enhanced feelings of wellness.

5) Nutrient-Rich Diet

The inclusion of various vitamin-rich foods, supplements, healthy oils, lean proteins and dietary fiber has been used as an autism treatment for children with autism spectrum and Asperger’s, in addition to children with ADHD.

Children with autism who suffer vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, often feel fatigued, irritable and restless. Nutritionists who treat special needs children have noted a rapid improvement in mental clarity, energy levels and overall health with the addition of beneficial vitamin B12 supplements and omega-3 foods, such as salmon, flaxseed and walnuts, t0 their diet.

6) Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SC)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was originally developed for patients of Crohn’s disease and colitis, and is based on the premise that rotted, undigested carbohydrates sit in the gut and harm our immune system. The SC diet recommends restricting certain carbohydrates, while encouraging the consumption protein foods such as meat, fish and eggs, vegetables and fruit, and healthy oils, such as nuts and seeds.

If you liked this article, you might also like:

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Top 10 Children’s Books Which Raise Autism Awareness

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Support for Parents of Autistic Children







New Health Screening Detects Signs of Autism in Babies

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Can a simple questionnaire pick up signs of autism in your baby?

A 5-minute screening test could warn you if your baby has any of the signs of autism or autism spectrum disorder, from as early as 12 months of age, which, on the heels of Autism Awareness Month, is good news for parents everywhere.

Scientific study buys parents and children more time to get treatment


Recently, researchers tested a questionnaire designed to diagnose autism on 10,500 children in San Diego, California.

  • The study was led by Dr. Karen Pierce, neuroscientist at the University of San Diego School of Medicine, and involved 137 pediatricians in the San Diego area.
  • Parents who brought their children in for their 12-month checkups were asked to fill out a 24-part survey which inquired about their children’s emotional health, communicational abilities and eye contact.
  • Out of the 10,500 toddlers tested, 32 were diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorder.
  • Also, 100 children were diagnosed with language-related disorders or delays.
  • Children whose parents participated in this study were able to begin treatment as early as 19 months of age.
  • According to the Journal of Pediatrics, most children don’t begin to show noticeable signs of autism such as eye contact avoidance until the age of 2 or 3. Another study suggests that autistic children don’t usually get diagnosed before the age of 5 or 6.  This simple checklist means that autistic children will be able to be diagnosed and start receiving therapy for autism as many as 1 to 5 years earlier.

Also read: Support for Parents of Autistic Children

What kinds of questions were used to detect autism?

In this study, parents of toddlers were asked to answer questions such as:

  • Do you know when your child is happy and when your child is upset?
  • Does your child do things just to get you to laugh?
  • Does your child wave to greet people?
  • When you call your child’s name, does he/she respond by looking or turning toward you?
  • Does your child smile or laugh while looking at you?

What symptoms of autism were included in this test?

The checklist given to parents of 1-year-olds was designed to detect autism, autism spectrum disorder, delays in communication and other developmental issues. Symptoms of autism include:

  • difficulty communicating, both verbally and nonverbally
  • low attention span
  • obsessive compulsive behavior, such as fixations on certain objects, repeating words or phrases, body rocking and hand flapping
  • difficulty being in a group or social gathering
  • avoidance of eye contact
  • difficulty bathing, grooming, feeding and dressing oneself

How effective was the survey at diagnosing autism?

According to Dr. Pierce, the survey was wrong only 1 out of 4 times- meaning it was 75% accurate at diagnosing children with autism, autism spectrum disorder or other language problems. Currently, approximately 1 out of every 110 children exhibit some of the symptoms of autism or autism spectrum disorder.

Treatments for autism

Many researchers and physicians confirm that vitamin B12 supplementation is an effective treatment for some of the symptoms of autism, including anxiety, depression and digestive disorders.  Numerous studies have indicated a high correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and autistic behaviors.

For more information about the benefits of vitamin B12 for treating autism, read: Autism, B12 and Your Child

Also read:

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Top 10 Children’s Books Which Raise Autism Awareness

Equine Therapy and Autism: They’re Not Just Horsing Around


US News, WebMD, Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Livestrong

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