Hi, I just moved back to US. I have a three and a half year old on the spectrum. We received medicaid for the family. I am very confused about choosing a health plan. We have four to choose from: Aetna, CoventryCares, Health Partners, UnitedHealthcare. Which one of them covers better the specialists that my child will need - SLP, OT, behavioral, psychotherapy, etc.? Or does it go through Magellan and as far as it comes to these services so it doesn't matter what I choose? I was looking at Health Partners and CoventryCares because they provide gym membership, but I was told that they are not that good, and that Aetna is better...what should I compare? Thank you very much, Tania
Answered: May 9, 2013 by Dr. Sidney Baker
This is a really good question and I hope some Autism360 members can come up with information on the subject. I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who can.
My son is 4 years old. He was diagnosed with ASD when he was 2. He is on a casein- and gluten-free diet for 5 months now and made some progress. I did not do the casein-free diet trial before doing the casein- and gluten-free diet. I started both at the same time. So how do I know if I should do the casein- and gluten-free diet or just the casein-free diet?
Answered: May 8, 2013 by Dr. Sidney Baker
Reintroduce gluten and see what happens over a 5 day period. But first consider the following. Careful scientific research carried out by Alissio Fasano, MD has proven that gluten is bad for everyone. (see...
Our 19-month old daughter doesn't speak, she says "ma ma ma" and "dad", and we can coax "ball" out of her sometimes...I understand this is behind developmental curves, but I am chalking it up to the fact that she's hardly ever around other kids and we both work demanding jobs that doesn't allow us the time we'd like to spend one on one teaching all day... My wife's concerns: speech is not existent, she does tend to "organize" like items, she doesn't really play with other kids all that well... My beliefs: she's communicating, or at least understands quite a bit... -she doesn't eat well, so I started lining up a few options, she will point out the one she wants and says "mmmmmmm." This I believe comes from me saying "mmmm that's good isn't it" when she finally finds something she enjoys eating..She will do this for juice, water, milk, food, etc...she even went into the pantry and grabbed a box of unopened Bisquik the other morning came up and handed it to me and said "mmmmmm." I made her pancakes and she ate them.. -When you say, tell Momma night night, she'll turn and smile at her mom and wave like saying goodbye and then she'll put her hand up to her mouth and say mmmuah like she's blowing a kiss.... -When you yell her name from another room she comes running full speed in to see what you want... -She's very curious about new things, and in facts wants any new toy that you put in front of her... -When she wants out of her high chair, she rubs her hands puts her hands together over her head and then pats her belly like she's saying she's full -When she really wants something that you're not giving her, or she's excited for something she wants, she rubs her fingers together like somebody saying they have money I can't explain the organization because I don't know if that's normal or not, for instance the other day, she took out all her shoes from the shoe bin, and sorted each pair by the mate...side by side, left and rights were on the correct side...She didn't freak out and do this for hours, she just did it...If she sees the A1 bottles in the kitchen on the bottom shelf, she turns so both labels face out (kinda freaky the first time I saw it)...We gave her our old measuring spoons to play house, and she loves to sort them so they stack together... Also, the final thing about playing with kids is that she sees another kid maybe 1 hour every other week because her caretakers are our parents, and they don't have kids...My wife has started to watch another 3 year old girl on her off days who is super intelligent, and we're hoping this sparks something. Just one day with this other child and my wife asked her to pick up some toys, she did and my daughter who never picks up for us, walked over and started putting toys away with her...She does NOT share well, she hoards anything you try to play with, which is annoying, but again I think its because she isn't forced to share anything... We're taking her to an early prevention person, but I just think she's behind the curve a bit...she was only 5 lbs. when she was born (full term), but wouldn't take to breast feeding at all, so we switched to pumping, and eventually formula...we recently had our house and her blood tested for lead since we live in a 100 year old house and both of those came back fine...
Answered: March 15, 2013 by Dr. Sidney Baker
Of all the delays in children’s development speech is the one that worries parents the most but most often – in the long run – ends with a 7 year-old with clear speech.
Speech therapy helps, but time turns out to be the decisive factor...
My son has never had an ear infection, but has likely had fluid in his middle ears from birth. (He's 15 months.) So now they want to put in the ear tubes. Any thoughts? His diet is Gluten/Casein/Sugar Free. I've also had him to a chiropractor just to see if it would help.
Answered: January 28, 2013 by Dr. Sidney Baker
The answer to your question depends on the status of his hearing. If it is impaired the threat to development of speech presents high stakes, which enter the risk to benefit equation by calling for haste. If hearing is normal then you have...
Dr. Baker, what would you recommend to me, a 41 year-old expecting my first child? I have a severely autistic nephew - who has been called by many doctors a "tough nut." I, myself, suffer many allergies (many near death allergy attacks) and my angioedema situation. So, the question is: should I breast feed or use the powders available that are GF/CF and created for those of ultra sensitive allergies and probiotics? Will I pass on my bad bag of antibodies to my child in my breast milk? They say Breast is Best --- but when a mom has my genetic issues and allergies -- is that still the case?
Answered: December 28, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
This response also addresses another Autism360 member question: "I have two small children on the autism spectrum (older child with Asperger's and younger child with high-functioning autism). I've read that there is a connection between...
My son, Adam, has improved his behavior so much in his 29 years. I write this question because I would have loved to speak with a mother of a grown child with autism. He wasn't diagnosed until he was about 10 years old. He has always talked (sometimes I wonder if there was a time that I missed that he didn't speak) but because he was born with a very severe congenital heart defect, his early development was very mixed up with surgeries, medical intervention, and literally just trying to keep him alive. We have tried EVERYTHING from auditory training to biomedical to sensory interventions, many medications, and treatments. We even bought our own squeeze machine for Christmas two years ago. This past January Adam told my husband and I that he "doesn't want to do anything that could help him." He said "we've tried so many things and it is distressing." I have to admit we were impressed. We do respect that, and, of course, here I am trying to find something to "help him." He has a major problem letting go of things that happened 20, even 25 years ago. The grudges he suffers with hurt him. And when he feels stressed, worried, concerned, embarrassed, or just sad, he says VERY inappropriate things like "I'll hit this person or that person," and worse things that I don't want to repeat because it too upsetting. What can we do to give him some other way to express those uncomfortable feelings that we all feel...something socially acceptable.
Answered: December 21, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
Dear Mary Ann,
Music, acting, muscles (athletics, dance), art and, of course, words are useful ways of expressing feelings. “Only love can break your heart” (Neil Young) and love can mend a broken heart - but...
How can I know for sure if my son is autistic? Is there a test?
Answered: December 10, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
Yes, there are tests.
It is important to have such tests done by a developmental pediatrician – usually in a medical center – in order to have your son “officially” diagnosed if he is to receive benefits within the educational...
Thanks for providing the information about yeast overgrowth. What are the signs of yeast overgrowth? I have a 8-year old daughter on the spectrum. She doe NOT have a history of infection and antibiotic treatment, no diarrhea, bowel movement every other day if she eats enough fruits and vegetables. She gets hungry frequently even she eats healthy home-made foods. We haven't done urine or stool test, her doctor prescribed ketoconazole because her NK cells were low. She has been taking ketoconazole 100mg/day for four months with no sign of any improvement! I'm wondering for how long we should continue it? Can we give her Saccharomyces boulardii or probiotics at the same time as ketoconazole? What dose of Saccharomyces boulardii you would recommend?
Answered: November 29, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
“Overgrowth” may not be the right word to cover an issue that has elements, in various degrees, of sensitivity and overgrowth in different people.
That said, common symptoms in people with “yeast problems” are:...
My son is 8 years old. He gets prolonged erections that seem to make him aggressive and stay up late at night. When I try to put him to bed early, he becomes agitated. Sometimes he gets too excited and anxious and keeps laughing. Can you help please?
Answered: October 15, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
You raise a touchy issue. It is one that I have dealt with face to face and in groups of parents with widely varied cultural backgrounds over the past 40 years. That leaves me confident that only a tiny minority of...
It's a question about Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments, Section II, p. 3. Pangborn wrote that section, but I don't know how to ask him, so thanks in advance. It says, "With the removal of thimerosal from vaccination sera during 2002-2004, we will have to wait until 2005-07 to see if the increasing incidence of autism has been arrested." What was the outcome of that?
Answered: October 5 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker
The incidence of autism continued to rise after the withdrawal of thimerosal from DTaP vaccines. Thimerosal continued to be included in some brands of flu shots and flu shots were recommended in younger and younger children. A...