Friday, January 6, 2023




Registration is open for the 

2023 Down Syndrome Innovations Conference!

February 24-25

Live Stream is available.

This is the perfect venue to learn alternative strategies to support the progress of people with DS.  
The speakers are hand-picked by parents like me who have seen results.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 Down Syndrome Innovations Speakers and Topics

September 2017
Conference Speakers, Presentations & Deadlines
Doctors, therapists, parents, educators, advocates, scientists, researchers and loved ones gathered during the 2016 Innovations Conference.
September 28.... Early Bird Registration Ends
October 4..... Meet & Greet Registration Ends
October 6.... Hotel Registration Discount Ends
Speakers and Topics
Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Inflammation/
Neuroinflammation in T21 and What to do About It
Norman Schwartz, MD

My Life
Lydia Winans, student and self-advocate

Risk Reduction for Leukemia in those with Down Syndrome
Laurette Janak

Brilliant Learning Tips for Students with T21
JoQueta Handy, PhD, SLP-CCC

Hope Unexpectedly Awaits in Sound: Tomatis Listening Therapy
Ellen Young, PhD, MA, RCTC

Application of Near-infrared LEDs to Improve Cognition ...and Improve Language... Can Photobiomodulation Strengthen Connections in the Default Mode Network?
Margaret A. Naeser, Ph.D

Cognitive Improvements with Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia
Using Low Level Light Therapy
Anita Saltmarche, PhD

Reflex Integration Using Low Level Light Therapy
Bonnie Brandes, M.Ed

Neuro-developmental Therapy and SOI (Structure of Intellect)
Intelligence Can Be Learned
Linda Kane, M.CND

Growth Hormone Deficiency in the T21 Population
Richard Levy, MD

The Science Behind Reducing Oxalate in those with Down Syndrome
Susan Costen Owens, BS, MAIS

Functional Nutrition Strategies for Enhancing Digestion
and Preventing Neurodegenerative Decline
Gail Clayton, R.Ph, MS, CNS

The Importance of the C Cleanse and
Use of Functional Predictive Biomarkers in T21
Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD

Sleep, Circadian and Stem Cell Renewal Factors
in the Learning Disability seen in those with Down Syndrome
Craig Heller, PhD
Sponsored by:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

2017 Down Syndrome Innovations Conference

For more information, check out the 2017 Down Syndrome Innovations Conference site!

Integrating Reflexes Using Low Level Light Therapy

I am QRI certified to integrated reflexes using safe, effective Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT).

Jett relaxing during a QRI laser session.

Book an LLLT Session

Integrating reflexes improves speech, fine and gross motor movement, behavior, cognition and mood. Using QRI Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) allows the reflexes to be integrated faster and to remain in place longer. Reflex integration (RI) helps other therapies to work better. It's best to do RI before other therapies like PT, OT and ST.

A customized hour session could include: 

Prep Points 
Healing Sound Frequencies
Reflex Integration Protocols for 18 reflexes including Moro, Fear Paralysis, STNR, ATNR and more.
Additional Protocols concentrating on Speech, ASD, Movement, Sensory Integration, Brain Balancing, Stimming etc.

Clients include those with:

Cerebral Palsy
Down Syndrome
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Learning Challenges
Movement Challenges
Speech Challenges
Behavior Challenges

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!

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