Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Stop Verbal Stimming


What is verbal/auditory stimming and how can we stop it?

First, What is Stimming?  

Stimming is short for "stimulation." According to Neurodevelopmentalists Marilee Nicoll Coots, B.A. and Cyndi Ringoen, B.S., B.A. in their article, "Sensory Play": 
...It is repetitive, often appears compulsive and can occur using any of the senses. Parents usually describe it as something that doesn’t seem quite right...
Sensory play is a learned behavior that an individual develops for several reasons. Primarily, it feels good so the behavior is repeated.
You may have heard some say that sensory play is beneficial, calming, a communication attempt or even a type of psychological mechanism. It is possible that on an unconscious level some children use stimming to control their environment or to avoid the things they wish not to do. For example, if a child stims, he may be able to avoid uncomfortable social situations. It is important to consider that many adults engage in various behaviors for the same reasons -- including: smoking, drinking, taking drugs, overworking etc. Just because a behavior has a purpose does not mean the behavior is healthy or developmentally helpful.
There is often a metabolic component to stimming. When children are out of balance metabolically, their stimming is increased. Appropriate metabolic intervention can often reduce stimming and occasionally halt it.
Repetitive sensory play creates endorphins, “happy,” “feel good” chemicals in the brain, much the same as the “runner’s high.” These chemicals become addictive, causing the individual to repeat the activity in order to renew the good feeling. Thus, the child becomes trapped in a compulsive behavior. Development stops progressing, becoming more and more delayed...
We seek to stop sensory play, not as an end in itself, but as part of an overall treatment plan, which includes addressing the underlying neurodevelopmental causes of the behavior...

The most frequent verbal stimm that I've heard is a constant "Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....." But that might just be because it's hard to ignore in public. Jett's verbal stimm when he was little was to talk non stop. At his worst, he'd repeat every single word that he heard. Everything. Any conversation, anything on TV, etc. It was maddening!!

Examples of Verbal Stimming from "Sensory Play":


  • blurting out loud and/or high pitched noises
  • Repetition of odd noises/sounds
  • talking to self-- excessive and nondirective
  • echolalia of phrases, movies, songs........
  • humming
  • nose humming
  • banging on everything
  • throat sound--compulsive (Andi's Note: this can also be from a mycoplasma infection. Read the book America is Infected.)
  • pounding toys or books
  • excessive giggling (Andi's Note: this can also be from yeast overgrowth.)
  • electronic games that repeat sounds
  • inappropriate giggling (often a sign that they are stimming)
  • repeating a video scene over and over
  • telling the same story over and over
  • constantly singing
  • reciting alphabet over and over

What Stopped Jett's Verbal Stimming?

Jett quietly standing still.
Bacopa monera extract!  

BME is an Ayurvedic medicinal herb traditionally used for enhancing cognitive functioning. I discovered this cure by accident. I was trying to stop Jett from running around in circles... which led me to why animals in cages do it... which is because of stress... which led me to trying to regulate his stress levels... leading me to bacopa monera. After about 2 weeks upon giving Jett BME, not only did it stop the running in circles, but it also stopped the verbal stimming! Score! 



Jett started it when he was a year or so old. And it has never come back -- unless I run out of BME. Then it reappears about two to three days upon stopping it. I also saw that Jett was more affectionate.





Benefits of Bacopa

  • Memory Enhancer. Human studies conducted on 76 adults, between the ages of 40 and 65, showed significant improvements in memory retention of learning new information.
  • Neuro Protection. Acting as a powerful neuron antioxidant, BME was shown to provide significant protection against free radical induced toxicity of the neurons as well as a protector of DNA against damage. Further protection was demonstrated for aluminum induced oxidative stress, and against excitotoxcity elicited in epileptic rats.
  • Anti-Depressant. BME was found to provide important antidepressant activity in animal studies.
  • Reduction in beta-amyloid deposits in the brain (as is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease), in animal research. The authors suggest that such mechanisms of action may have application in Alzheimer’s.
  • Enhance learning and academic performance and improve mental alertness.
  • Enhances mental focus in stressful situations and improves mental clarity and mood.
  • Helps regulate cortisol levels.
  • Thyroid-stimulating. An animal study investigating the effects of botanicals on the thyroid found Bacopa increased T4 (Thyroid Hormone) levels by 41 percent. (If you do give this to your child, be sure to watch for signs of hyperthyroidism although many of our children can't convert T4 to T3 anyway!) 
Check out this post for more about bacopa, including recommended brands and dosing information.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Two Down Syndrome Conferences for the Price of One!



 http://www.downsyndromeinnovations.com/


Register here.

Registration already includes free access to the 2016 videos, so this is a great bonus!

Note: Several speakers will include information about Green Tea Extract in the Down syndrome population in their presentations at the conference.

Here are the presentations that are part of the free video access:
EGCG in the Down Syndrome Population
John Starbuck, PhD
Thinking About Trisomy 21 – Towards a Best Practices Approach
Norman Schwartz, MD

Hypothyroidism and Down Syndrome
Erica Peirson, ND

NeuroMovement: Turning the Child with Down Syndrome into a Potent Learner
Anat Baniel, ABM creator

Maternal Choline/Neurogenesis/Therapeutic Intervention for Basic Brain Cognition Support
Barbara Strupp, PhD

Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Alterations in Down Syndrome: Targeted Nutritional Intervention Trail at Arkansas Children’s Hospital
S. Jill James, PhD

Dietary Targeting of RCAN1 and Chromosome 21 Genes to Treat the Down Syndrome Population
Dana Crawford, PhD

Molecular Mechanisms Engaged in Brain Prior to and Following Development of Alzheimer’s Disease Neuropathology and Dementia in Down Syndrome
D. Allan Butterfield, PhD

Mitochrondial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in the Down Syndrome Population
Jorge A. Busciglio, PhD

Treatment Strategies for Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Richard Frye, MD PhD

Healthy Digestion-Healthy Microbiome: What to Test, What Tests Mean and What to Do
Russell Jaffe, MD Phd FACN

Oral Placement Therapy Techniques for Better Speech
Monica Purdy, MA CCC-SLP

Optimized Nutrition is Essential for those with Trisomy 21. Where’s the Debate?
Kent MacLeod, BSc Pharmacology

The Baby-Led Weaning Approach: An Excellent Option to Assist Babies with Down Syndrome in Transitioning to Solid Foods
Jill Rabin, MS CCC-SLP
Gluten Free
Paula Dempsey, Small Business Owner and Grandmother
to child w/Celiac
Balancing Minerals in the Down Syndrome Population
Morley Robbins, MBA CHC

Developmental and Behavioral Consultants
Alison Wimmer, BS Neurodevelopmentalist

Early Dental Intervention to Improve Airway Size and to Correct Oral Rest Posture
James Bieneman, DDS

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Erica Peirson, ND

My Teen Life: Living with Trisomy 21
Lydia Winans, student

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Down Syndrome Innovations Conference Sept. 16-17, 2006 Little Rock, AR


September 16-17
Statehouse Convention Center

Little Rock, Arkansas   

Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear dynamic researchers, physicians, therapists and advocates present cutting edge translational medical research and interventions to improve the health, cognition, behavior and development of individuals with Down syndrome.

Make new friends and connections. Network with other attendees who share the common goal of exploring ways to enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. Be able to speak face to face with expert vendors of supplements, quality service providers and try out innovative products for yourself.

Sponsorship Opportunities available!

Check out the Down Syndrome Innovations conference website for details.

Also join the 2016 Down Syndrome Innovations Conference Event Page for up to date news.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Preorder your Readeez Volume 4 DVD Today!

For those of you haven't heard of Readeez, it's short musical, educational video songs. In them, the words come up the same time that the child hears them. So kids are learning to read with them as well as concepts such as math, money, planets, etc. Readeez is working on a new DVD and have GREAT specials so that you get Volumes 1-3 and preorder Volume 4. But you only have a few days left to do it! 

For $10 you can preorder the digital download of Volume 4.

For $50 you can order the whole set to be donated to a family w/a child with Down syndrome or ASD.

For $75, you'll get the Readeez Volume Four DVD/CD set, signed by Michael Rachap, weeks ahead of the August release. Your name (or your child's) will appear during the closing credits. Plus you get the digital versions and the sticker. As well as everything in the Readeez Mega Bundle (that's 3 DVDs -- Volumes 1-3, 1 CD called Songeez and 6 digital downloads).

Estimated delivery: Jun 2016

Here's a sample: http://www.readeez.com/watch/22-blues

Jett learned all the Presidents of the US as well as all 50 states by listening to Readeez. (I guess that's how--I didn't teach him!) It's also the perfect distraction while feeding your child supplements, getting a hair cut or getting blood work done. Yes, we've used Readeez successfully for all three.

So not only can Jett read, but he also has nice hair, a good nutritional panel and up-to-date labs. Readeez is pretty amazing!

Don't let this opportunity to support quality products for our kids slip from our fingers!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1310173902/help-us-make-readeez-volume-four-music-and-video-f

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Watch me Online at the FREE Happy Healthy Kids Summit!

Me and Jett, 5 years old
Join me at the FREE Online Happy Healthy Kids Summit
Thursday, January 21st 
(and will be available on Friday and Saturday)

I'll be giving tips on: 
  • clearing congestion 
  • relieving constipation 
  • things to consider regarding vaccinations for our kids with DS 
  • importance of thyroid treatment 
  • my favorite supplements 
  • alternative therapies 
Sign up today to get the Summit link

It's especially good for newbies. :D
Hosted by chef/author Christine Waltermyer. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Recipe for Success: How to Get Your Child to Feed Supplements to Himself!

Finally, a way to give supplements without a struggle! This is also how your child can get his supplements at school. Jett takes his morning dose of vitamins, herbs and minerals mixed in his applesauce or a mashed banana while he watches one or two 3-4 minute educational videos from Brain Pop, Jr. But I also put in 4-5 "party balls" in his lunch with about six supplements and he always eats them. I also brew him some holy basil or rooibos tea (with apple cider vinegar and probiotics-- I know, yum!) and put it in his straw cup that he brings to school.

video


The video is of Oliver, Jett's 25 month old brother who has cerebral palsy, feeding himself his supplements. I did make too many (11) so he ate 3-4 at the first sitting and 4 at the next and then the rest a couple of hours later. But that's okay because he's still getting them! Since then, I've been adding much less nut butter and making only about 4-5 "party balls" so he eats them all by noon.  

video

And here's Jett's (5 years old) review of them while doing a little math. (I swear, HE started the math -- I was just following his lead.) :)

Recipe for Supplement Success

They are a gluten and casein free, nutrient-dense treat.

Party Balls

Ingredients
You can purchase all the ingredients here. 
  • Supplements of your choice (See how to decide what to give here.)
  • Nut butter of your choice (preferably sprouted and organic so that it becomes a nutrient as well rather than an anti-nutrient) or dates/figs can replace the nut butter:
Pumpkin seed butter     or          smashed dried dates/figs
Sun nut butter
Peanut butter
Almond butter
  • Organic sweetener of your choice:
Stevia (plus one of the others)
Manuka honey
Maple syrup  
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt (as needed)
  • Organic "goodies" of your choice:
Puffed amaranth
Shelled hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Coconut shavings/shredded
Finely chopped organic, unsulphured, dried goji berries
Finely chopped organic, unsulphured, dried gooseberries (amla)
Chia Goodness cereal like apple almond (It's not organic but it's quicker and cheaper--in the short term--because it has most of the ingredients already in it.)

Directions

These are the supplements that Oliver is eating in the video: 1 MitoQ, 2 Curcumin Longvida, 1 Partoid PMG (for detox), 1 MegaFolinic, 2 Stress Guards (organic B vitamins with adaptogens), Mega Food Zinc, Raintree Immune Support (natural antivirals/antibacterials/antifungals), 2 Vitamin Code Vitamin Cs, 2 Cognitex (brain support mix), 2 Prenatal Fish Oils and 2 Garden of Life Children's Multivitamins. 

1) Crush tablets, open capsules and squirt soft gels into a bowl. 


2) Add a nut butter to the supplements with a bit of cinnamon and stir until well blended. Taste. Then add a tiny bit of salt (helps with bitter flavors), a drop of stevia and a bit of maple syrup (helps with sour flavors) until you think your child will like it. The first time you make it, I'd err on the side of a little too sweet just so that he'll like it. Then once he already thinks of it as good, then the next time you can make it less sweet.

Notes: It seems that the less the mix contains synthetic ingredients, the easier it is for their palates to tolerate. When I buy the raw sprouted pumpkin seed butter, I try to buy it without added sweeteners or salt so I can add my own. When I first open the jar, I stir in some pink Himalayan sea salt (more nutritious than processed salt) and maple syrup if absolutely necessary. I would use manuka honey instead of maple syrup, but both Jett and Oliver muscle test negatively for honey at the moment.


3) Get some nutrient-packed goodies and put them in a bowl and stir. Pictured: Chia Goodness cereal, shelled hemp seeds, chia seeds and puffed amaranth. I also add coconut flakes and finely chopped goji berries or gooseberries.


4) Roll the nut butter/supplement mix into balls and put in the goody mix. 
Note: Now, I smush the balls into the mix first so that the goodies are incorporated throughout the nut butter then I roll into a ball. I add more puffed
amaranth to coat the outside.


5) Coat with goodies and give to your little one for a healthy treat that he can feed himself and you can feel really good about!

Note: If there's any extra goodies left over that I didn't use, I put in a wax paper baggie and use for the next day. 

Make Ahead Suggestions
  • Premix the "goodies" in a wax paper bag for quick easy mixing the morning of.
  • Put the unopened capsules, uncrushed tablets and unpunctured softgels in a small container ready for the next day.
  • I don't know that I would premake the balls other than one serving the night before because you can't be certain how potent the supplements would stay. I do make mine every morning. I did premake it once and the balls were more crunchy on the inside. Jett enjoyed that texture was well as the softer texture of the freshly made ones.


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