There are Some Common Causes Why Children With Autism Have Trouble Focusing, however, as we do this there are natural supplements that can assist. We will discuss both. Know I am here to help you on this journey.
Natural Supplements to Help Focus and Behavior
Prescription medications come with negative side effects. There are natural ways to work with focus and attention issues. Always check with your practitioner for individual dosage needs.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to brain function, concentration, and mood, energy, and they are anti-inflammatory. Take with food for best absorption.
- L-tyrosine is an amino acid that will help the ability to focus. It builds the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Take away from food. Do not use it if your child is in a PANS flare.
- SAMe helps with motivation
- 5HTP is beneficial for mood stability and better sleep (5HTP helps makes neurotransmitter called serotonin). Note: 5HTP works so well that you should not take it if you are on medications. Take away from food.
- Gingko Biloba for focus and memory
- Phosphatidylserine is a natural phospholipid compound found in high concentrations in the brain. Supplementation has shown improvements in thinking skills and memory.
These next two have strong caveats with them so let me explain further…
Probiotics build good bacteria in the gut. This also crowds out the bad bacteria which interfere with immunity and clear thinking. You must start slowly with probiotics due to a die-off reaction that happens when too many bad bacteria die at once and release their toxins. Half of a capsule is plenty to begin as you watch for symptoms. Reduce the dosage if symptoms arise.
Parents are rarely educated in the essential knowledge of die off reactions that can happen from detoxifying too rapidly and not having enough proper toxin support binders in place.
When yeast “dies off” it releases toxins that can enter your bloodstream. This is also known as Herxheimer’s reaction. It means that the liver cannot keep up with filtering out the toxic waste being released by the dying pathologic organisms.
Symptoms of die off include irritability, headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. Some people also experience either diarrhea or constipation.There may be heightened emotional outbursts or hyperactivity.
Vitamin Methyl B12 , (vital for proper function of many things including methylation, digestion and food absorption), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6, for brain function and coping with stress).
B vitamins, especially B12 as Methylcobalamin (not cyanacobalamin) can help with concentration, however, it is often best to do some detoxification before beginning with methyl B12 due to MTHFR gene mutations.
Methyl B12 should be started very slowly. If you see hyperactivity when you begin using it then stop and do not resume until you’ve done some detoxification work first. With the MTHFR mutation detoxification pathways are not working well, metabolic issues are common, and so is the deficiency of folate.
Folate is natural and comes from food sources such as green vegetables, beans and other whole plant foods. It is responsible for synthesizing DNA, making red blood cells, transporting oxygen, and supports the functioning of our nervous and cardiovascular systems. Adequate B vitamins, including folate are also necessary for proper cognitive function.
Folic acid is synthetic and commonly in multivitamins and fortified foods. This can cause excess to build in the body. The body has a limited ability to convert folic acid to folate. Too much folic acid can affect gene expression, may reduce immune system function, and exacerbate vitamin B12 deficiency.
It is critical to make sure to check your multivitamin because most will contain folic acid and not folate. Also, do not give your child food that says “fortified” with B vitamins. They are synthetic and accumulate in the body which may cause hyperactivity.
Natural supplementation can take up to three weeks to begin taking effect. It is common to notice differences much sooner, but I always want to be sure this is known so that people do not quit on them too soon. The gut directly affects the brain, so detoxifying and cleansing the digestive tract along with a healthy diet is essential.
Some Underlying Causes of Poor Focus and Concentration
Low energy, irritability and lack of focus could be the symptoms of an overgrowth of candida in your body. Below are more signs of candida overgrowth in your body.
Common Emotional Symptoms Of Candida:
• Hyperactivity or other behavioral problems.
• Excessive irritability
• Decreased cognitive function (brain fog)
Many people on antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication can have their symptoms disappear after a proper GI program that rebuilds, strengthens and balances the good bacteria in their gut.
Chronic inflammation is neurotoxic and creates multiple cognitive disabilities. Depression is quite common in people with the mold biotoxin illness. The inflammation depletes dopamine creating problems with fine motor control and mood disorders such as depression. The common prescription for depression is serotonin re-uptake inhibitor medication (SSRI’s). Typically, SSRI’s do not work on mold patients and often make them worse. The part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex is commonly damaged by chronic inflammation. This causes a loss of executive control leading to irritability and anger issues.
The most common symptoms in children with the triggered mold genotype are:
- Chronic headaches that last more than one to two months
- Fatigue for more than two weeks
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Bed wetting in children older than six years of age. Note, if either of the child’s parents had bed wetting issues as a child, or even as an adult, as this is hereditary.
- Inattention and ADHD (once treated for the mold biotoxin illness children who are on drugs for varied behaviors such as Ritalin, can often be taken off of them).
When treated correctly younger children get better faster. Testing for mononucleosis and H. pylori bacteria are important to rule out symptoms of chronic fatigue and abdominal cramps, but it is important to remember that the mold genotype illness mimics these symptoms.
The biotoxins must be cleared from the body properly because they cause a chronic inflammatory response which inflames the brain making it difficult to think and causes excessive fatigue. As this is being done be sure there is not ongoing exposure anywhere your child frequents such as school, therapists offices, etc.
Test your home with an ERMI or HERTSMI test from www.mycometrics.com.
Eradicate the cause with an expert from wondermakers.com.
Parasites not only disrupt the gut but they disrupt the brain and its ability to function. They are commonly missed in testing too.
Lyme disease is on the rise and it is estimated that close to 100% of children with autism have Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease (which can also mimic other disorders):
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Learning difficulties
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Increase in oppositional behavior
- Abdominal pain
- Night sweating
- Possible fever or flu-like symptoms
- Frequent urination
- Sudden onset of sleep disturbance
- Joint pain
…and much more!
Naturally Detoxify Heavy Metals
Heavy metals include aluminum, cadmium, mercury and lead. They are prevalent in our society today. I also offer a podcast on Heavy Metals Linked To Severe Autistic Behaviors.
Lead can go undetected, showing no obvious symptoms, however a child with high levels of lead in his system is more likely to fail the third grade due to learning difficulties. The heavy metal toxicity may be overlooked.
Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
- Neurological problems (learning disabilities)
- Poor memory
- Problems with social engagement
- Aggressive and even violent behavior
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- excessive fatigue
Some symptoms of mercury toxicity include:
- Excessive irritability/anger
- Timid behavior
- Impaired concentration
- Poor memory
- Abnormal motor coordination
- Suicidal tendencies
- Personality changes
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
Aluminum affects the following neurotransmitters:
- Acetylcholine and the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine: involved in learning and memory.
- Norepinephrine: involved in attention and focus
- Dopamine: the feel good chemical, also involved in our ability to concentrate and focus
- Serotonin: affects mood, appetite, and sleep
The Wrong Diet
Remember it is crucial to feed your child a healthy diet. Protein foods help us think. Carbohydrates make it harder to think, so be sure your child’s breakfast, especially before going to school. Those muffins, pancakes, or cereal will feed the bad bacteria in their gut, plus they won’t do them any good when they need to focus.
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This is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat.