World autism day takes place during April
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. (Source: http://www.autismspeaks.ca)
Though autism and autism related conditions are not nutritional and probably not environmental, research has shown that environmental factors as well as nutrition play a role in exacerbating or improving both the disease symptoms as well as treatment outcomes. Over fifty years ago American clinical psychologist, Dr. Bernard Rimland began using nutrition to help his autistic patients. In 1967 he founded the Autism Research Institute in order to further research on this disorder. For those interested in supporting autistic individuals, a visit to their web site is an eye opener: www.autism.com. Rimland's and others' research have highlighted the positive role of certain nutrients, such as vitamin B6 and magnesium, in reducing autistic symptoms. They have also shown how certain food ingredients and additives such as refined sugar and artificial food colours may play an important role in exacerbating autistic symptoms. Food intolerances, or type III food allergies, as well as candida yeast infections, have also been accused of playing a role in autistic symptom intensity.