Ask Autism360

Picky Eater

My 2 year old is on the spectrum and is a very picky eater. We tried to go gluten/casein free a couple of weeks ago, and he almost completely stopped eating. We added pediasure back in. He is already very slim (60% height, 10% weight) and the one thing that we know he will eat is pediasure. Since strictly avoiding gluten almost 2 weeks ago, he is quite a bit calmer and happier. I want to take out the casein too, but don't know how and still be sure he gets enough calories and nutrition. His eczema has increased with more pediasure, and I know it's not good for him, though he does look a healthier weight. I have tried every substitute I can come up with, but he recognizes the difference and refuses it. Any advice on how to safely remove the pediasure? Thank you!

Response

Responded:  June 4, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Repetition, repetition, repetition. We humans have an inborn response to anything “strange.” The process of moving experiences into being familiar is a series of experiments that, on average, requires about 20 attempts involving smell, touch,...

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Trouble Sleeping

My son is 8 years old and hyperactive. He does not sleep. Is there anything to help him sleep?

Response

Answered:  May 25, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Strategies to Improve sleep: As described below, there are “pills” you can try for sleep, without getting into “sleeping pills,” which are inappropriate for extended use.  However, remedies other than pills may work better, so I am describing...

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Actos

My 7 year old is on Actos 30mg daily. I have tried several times to wean him off but he gets very sick. Actos is the only thing that keeps him from chronic ear infections, upper respitory etc... I read that there is a high incidence of bladder cancer with this drug. Is there anything new for immune function? I've tried diet and supplements. He takes fish oil, multi vitamin and acidpholus but off the actos he is so sick. He eats only organic, little sugar, very healthy diet.

Response

Answered:  May 22, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Actos (pioglitazone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone) are drugs from the same family (Thiazolidinediones) used to control type 2 diabetes.  Both are very effective and have infrequent but serious side effects. 

In type 2 diabetes insulin is...

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ADHD Medication

What is the relationship to ADHD and autism? My son (7yo) was diagnosed with autism at 3 years and now he has been diagnosed with ADHD. I thought most of what the doctor was describing as ADHD symptoms were autism symptoms. Is it important to differentiate? I thought he had a hard time focusing because he's often in his own world, but maybe it's more than that. I'm also a little apprehensive to put him on ADHD medications at such a young age and also because I fear that it will change his outgoing personality which has helped him cope with the autism symptoms. Do you have any other suggestions for treatment? Thank you!

Response

Answered:  May 17, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Attention is the hardest thing we do. It is the first thing to go when we are under stress that may variously narrow one’s attention to focus on the teeth of a big dog, or a flying object coming in your direction, or flatten it when trying...

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Diet Matters

A lot of people say that what an autistic child eats shouldn't matter. But it does. I saw a question for you about gluten free, and I wanted to add to that. We have been doing GF/CF/Soy free diet with my 6 yr old and also found that he has a reaction to eggs, mustard, sunflower, and crab. We took all that away, and his behavior was dramatically changed. He has a calmer demeanor, hardly any tantrums, and his constipation went away. We basically do high protein, fatty acids, no sugar and only coconut milk and water for drinks. It's totally crazy how this has helped him, and us.

Response

Responded:  May 17, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Thank you for your comment.  We who belong to modern industrialized societies with access to contemporary Western medicine are encountering a rapid rise of prevalence of thyroid problems, every sort of auto-immune problem, cognitive problems at...

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Lactose & Casein

Can combined lactose intolerance and casein allergy cause autism in a child whose mother has an autoimmune disease? If yes, can milk removal cure the child? Would you feed the child at infancy soy milk, or would you offer another kind of milk when breastfeeding is not an option?

Response

Answered:  May 15, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

“Can” and “cause” are mischievous words in a question aimed at me.  Can and could in the context of foods or just about anything that might disagree with a particular person pretty much guarantee a yes answer.  I’ll forgive you for putting it...

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Treatments for Stimming?

My 7 year old has stimmed since before the age of two. He squeezes his hands into a fist, leans forward, wiggles his fingers, and holds his breath for about 5 seconds. Then he releases a giant breath and goes right back to what he was doing before. He says he is thinking of things he likes when he does that (favorite movie, etc.). He can hear me while he's stimming, but doesn't respond until he gets it out. He also stims by hopping/flapping across a room about 10 times in a row. Other than stimming, he has no more autism symptoms and is doing very well in a typical school. Any biomedical suggestions for this? Thank you

Response

Answered: May 13, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Happy Mother's Day!

Short answer: no. If we broaden the definition of stimming to include a variety of repetitive self-soothing gestures, we will see that most of us stim and learn to do so within socially appropriate ways except,...

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Hyperbaric Chambers

Are hyperbaric chambers helpful in the treatment for a low functioning autistic child?

Response

Answered:  May 10, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

The status of hyperbaric oxygen in individuals with a wide range of neurological problems, in common with those of children and others in the autism spectrum, is still evolving.  In the mainstream medical use of hyperbaric oxygen, specialists...

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Treating Clostridia

My 18 year old son with ASD suffers from reocurring bouts of Clostridia. At best, this causes him pain and bloating in his abdomen - and at worst, starts to affect his behavior and he can become self-abusive. We have been doing biomedical interventions and diets since he was four. In the past, the SCD diet, combined with HBOT and bioresonance therapy were our most effective treatments for this. Now, keeping to SCD strictly is really challenging (we do our best!), HBOT is currently not available to us and bioresonance is not sufficient on its own. Would you suggest antibiotics like Flagyl or Vancomycin or do we have any other options? We are using strong probiotics daily -VSL3 and Sach. Boulardii too. What else could we try?

Response

Answered:  May 8, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Genta/Vanco is my short cut name for the combined simultaneous use of two different antibiotics: Gentamycin and Vancomycin.  Each is an antibacterial (as opposed to, say, antifungal or antiparasitic) medication.  Gentamycin is used almost...

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Gluten-Free Diet During Pregnancy

Do you recommend GF diet during pregnancy, if you have one child with autism in the family?

Response

Answered:  May 5, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Understanding Gluten and Its Impact on our Immune System

Gluten is the sticky protein in wheat, rye and barley.  It accounts for these grains’ property of forming the bubbles that raise their dough.  The air in the bubbles comes from...

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