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21/Nov/2022

Mental Health & Autism Children

Autism is not a mental health problem, but autistic children can have good and bad mental health like anyone else. It’s a developmental condition that affects how they see the world and how they interact with other people. Children with autism do often experience mental health problems. seven out of ten autistic people have a mental health condition such as anxietydepression or OCD. It can be challenging to untangle autism and co-occurring mental health conditions.

The co-occurrence of mental health disorders among autistic children can complicate how clinicians understand the child’s behaviour, evaluate interventions they are participating in, and provide strategies for supporting them. When an child is showing signs of distress, knowing the cause of the symptoms can be rather challenging. For example, an autistic child in the classroom may begin to engage in disruptive behaviour, such as ripping up their paper. The teacher or other support staff may assume this behaviour is a result of autism; however, the child may be displaying an anxious behaviour because they do not understand the task at hand. There is little research into why this is, but it may be because autistic people:

  • Can struggle to try to fit into or make sense of the world, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety
  • May face delays in getting their mental health problems diagnosed
  • Children are more likely to face stigma and discrimination
  • Children are less likely to have appropriate support available. For example, group therapy might not be suitable for some autistic people, or therapists might not know how to adapt their approach to helping an autistic person

Research has shown that autistic youth with co-occurring anxiety, depression, OCD, and/or eating disorders often have difficulties in regulating emotions. Emotional dysregulation is the inability to adjust or control one’s emotions, making calming down and/or identifying one’s feelings much harder. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown positive results for assisting autistics to understand their emotions and develop the skills to manage their emotions. It is important for parents to have a positive and open communicative.

At Jeevaniyam, we support autistic children with co-occurring mental health conditions by understanding the triggers instead of making vague assumptions with the help of our doctors and supporting staff and digging into the root cause of the problems. Because of emotional dysregulation, autistic individuals are more likely to use maladaptive and involuntary emotional regulation methods, if an individual’s triggers have been addressed and supported yet the individual still demonstrates symptoms of anxiety, professionals should consider evidence-based treatments to provide the individual with healthier regulation methods. Getting an autism diagnosis with our team and developing a better understanding of themselves has helped many autistic individuals with depression to improve the overall mental health.


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22/Oct/2022

Virtual Autism – A New Threat To Toddlers

Virtual autism is a condition that is understood to occur when young children under the age of four are exposed to excessive screen time. Studies have shown that children with autism show impaired social communication skills and repetitive behaviours. When children spend hours a day interacting with screens, it can lead to reduced brain function and challenging behaviour. It is thought that this may be caused by the fact that many of the games and apps we use on our phones, tablets, and computers have been developed specifically for children. This has led to an increase in prevalence among children under four years old.

Over-exposure to screentime is defined by experts as more than two hours per day. More than this has been found to affect brain development, leading to cognitive abilities being affected, speech delay and certain behavioural issues, resulting in children that are not able to interact positively with their peers. The age up to three years is very crucial for any toddler to develop language and speech skills. It is through observing lip movements of those around them that babies learn to speak. Experts opine that if this is replaced by mimicking characters as seen on TV, developmental issues are sure to develop in the child. To find features in children, parents should pay attention to every activity of the child, especially when the child is playing games on the mobile phone computer or PC, watching movies. If these symptoms are ignored, then your child will grow up with this idea. Takes this direction. The baby is small. As their symptoms start to appear, you have more time. You can stop your child early, which affects his mental capacity.

The symptoms of virtual autism are like other forms of autism. The main difference is that they do not have any physical symptoms. Some of the major symptoms found in children are:
  • They can’t interact in society and are unable to speak, read, or write.
  • Lack of eye contact.
  • inability to play with other people.
  • Unusual speech patterns.

 

Physical activities have a major impact on the emotional development of the child. Emotional health is very important for the development of the child and can be greatly stimulated by movement. With the help of sports, the child grows physically, mentally, and emotionally fulfilled. Sports stimulate interactions.

At Jeevaniyam, we are a team of experts who want to help as many parents as possible understand what is happening with their children so they can take adequate actions. Our protocol includes a combination of ayurvedic protocols, diet and physical activities which will enable the child to improve their physical, mental and emotional health.


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18/Oct/2022

Understanding The Effects of Autism on Brain

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that has been widely studied for over 30 years. Despite its high prevalence rate, the causes of autism remain elusive. What’s more, the treatment effect of autism varies considerably from person to person and often depends on the severity of symptoms present at birth. The causes for these differences in prevalence are not fully known at this time, although it is thought that genetic factors may play a role in some people’s risk for developing autism from birth onward. The term itself derives from the Greek word “autos” meaning ‘self’, and “-poiein”, or “to make or do”. Symptoms appear before age 3 and may be accompanied by some degree of delay in development. This disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities.

No two people with autism are the same, in terms of their symptoms. For some people on the spectrum, it’s difficult to make eye contact or read other people’s facial expressions. Persons with autism experience information processing in their brains that is different from people without autism. The brain shows less coordinated activity in autism. Uncertainty exists on whether autism affects how specific brain regions function on their own. The brain’s grey matter, which controls the majority of its functions, is far more developed in children with ASD. Children with ASD have brains that are larger overall than those of typical children but underdeveloped in certain areas. This phenomenon might help explain why some kids with ASD excel at math and other subjects that require keen visual-spatial abilities and learning by role, while other kids struggle in these areas.

The human brain contains extensive structural and functional networks. Early brain imaging shows that a brain region can have different activity and roles with both brain network activities and functions. Functional connections and anatomical connections in the brain can be distinguished from one another. The physical connections that exist between the two hemispheres of the brain contain these connections.

At Jeevaniyam, our doctors have an integrative ayurvedic approach in identifying the symptoms of autism and treating it. There is no cure for autism, but there is evidence to suggest that the earlier a child with autism is diagnosed and treated, the better their life will be and our protocols play a major role in improving the quality of life for these children.

 


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14/Sep/2022

How Social Skills Are Affected By Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that can impact the way a person communicates, interacts with the world around them, and manages emotions. The treatment of social skills deficit remains one of the most challenging areas in meeting the needs of people with autism. Social skills are formed through regular interactions with people. Since children with autism have a hard time understanding and reading others, social skills often need to be taught differently.

Social skills can be limited or different in a child with autism regardless of the severity of the disorder. Generally, a higher degree of disability means a more significant impact on behaviour, communication skills, and social interactions. Autistic children can find it difficult to use social skills they’ve learned. For example, your child might be able to share pencils at home with their siblings but not at school with their classmates. They may become easily overwhelmed or frustrated when they try to develop and sustain friendships. Making friends can be frightening, confusing and anxiety-provoking for autistic young people. There are various reasons why people with autism may find it challenging to make and maintain friendships.

The difficulties  related to  social skills and interactions include:

  • Poor non-verbal communication skills and behaviour.
  • An inability to “read” others.
  • Difficulties with back-and-forth conversations and interactions.
  • Difficulty understanding non-verbal communication cues in other people.
  • Trouble adjusting behaviour to the situation, often resulting in inappropriate behaviour.
  • Lack of interest in peers.
  • No desire for imaginary or collaborative play.
  • Inflexibility with routines and schedules.

 

At Jeevaniyam, we have a team of doctors, Behaviour Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Speech and Language Pathologists who evaluates each child and help them attain social skills. We guide the child about the importance of social skills with the help of stories, videos and other presentation tools as an introduction. Based on this, as the next step, we ensure that the child participates in all activities and games that makes it easy for the child to understand and follow. Once the child is familiar with this, we make the child  practice the same with different sets of people so that the child becomes less resistant in interacting with people. Some of the most important social skills that we improve are greeting others, sharing with others, helping others, appropriately expressing emotions, manners, interacting with other kids and adults, following multi step directions and complimenting the tasks achieved. Once all the above things are achieved, we would encourage the child to develop friendships.  We have buddy programs like learning ladders which helps the child to have an integrated play group.


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29/Jun/2022

Ayurveda Beyond Therapeutics In Autism

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems that was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and Indriya. Its main goal is to promote good health, and not fight diseases. However, treatments may be geared toward specific health problems. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. The reason for autism cannot be tagged with a single factor and this must be dealt with and healed at the physical and psychological levels.

Agasthya protocol in Ayurveda is proved to be one of the best ways in handling autism. One of the components of Agasthya Protocol highlights the importance of lifestyle management.

  • Dinacharya

    – Dinacharya or daily routine is a concept in Ayurvedic medicine that looks at the cycles of nature and bases daily activities around these cycles.

  • Rithucharya

    – “Ritu” which means season and “charya” which means Regimen or discipline. Ritucharya consists of lifestyle and ayurvedic diet routine to cope with the bodily and mental impacts caused by seasonal changes as recommended by Ayurveda.

  • Rathricharya

    – The regimen followed between evening hours (sunset) and night shall be included under Ratricharya. These activities shall be strictly followed for the maintenance of health and also to prevent many diseases.

Autism, as we are aware about has a strong connection with the gut-brain balance and children who are suffering from autism has various issues with the gut flora balance. So with the main principles of Agasthya protocols along with dietary protocols and Vyayama or physical exercise , we can regain the biological rhythm and thereby clearing the issues in the gut and improve the derailed metabolism of the child. Along with this we conduct Panchakarma therapies like dhara which helps correct  the sleep pattern,, sensory issues and higher mental functions.

At Jeevaniyam, for children we recommend to follow the timely protocols of at least 6 regimes like awakening, brushing, toilet activities, food habits, physical activity and sleeping patterns to tune the biological rhythm of the child. One of the most important question asked by any parent with an autistic child will be

“What would be the future of my child?”

We detect & train children from a very young age with our unique integrative treatment, therapies & training which helps the child to achieve a social smile. Our unique concept at Jeevaniyam is to identify the hidden talents and inner strength of special children and training them to be part of the inclusive world.  This will help the child find his own pace & harmony of living that can lead him to his destiny. It includes basic training like feeding, toileting, social interaction and other daily activities. It is important to find the reason, like sensory or organic in each child and train him accordingly. Here, a team of trained special educators, caretakers, and therapists work under doctors making it a complete team to train the child to become self-dependent and more confident.


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16/Jun/2022

What Is Stimming Behaviour?

Stimming behaviour more commonly known as self-stimulatory behaviour is found in children who make repetitive or unusual movements or noises.

Stimming might include hand and finger mannerisms like finger-flicking and hand-flapping. unusual body movements like rocking back and forth while sitting or standing. These movements are used solely to stimulate one’s own senses.

 This behaviour is common in many individuals with developmental disabilities; it appears to be most common in children and adults with autism. It is important to note that not all self-injurious behaviours are considered to be self-stimulatory. Self-injurious behaviour can also be communicative.

Stimming seems to help autistic children manage emotions like anxiety, anger, fear and excitement. For example, stimming might help them to calm down because it focuses their attention on the stim or produces a calming change in their bodies.

Stimming might also help children manage overwhelming sensory information. For autistic children who are oversensitive to sensory information, stimming can reduce sensory overload because it focuses their attention on just one thing. For autistic children who are under sensitive, stimming can stimulate ‘underactive’ senses.

Some of the common stimming behaviours are

  • Biting your fingernails
  • Twirling your hair around your fingers
  • Cracking your knuckles or other joints
  • Drumming your fingers
  • Tapping your pencil
  • Jiggling your foot
  • Whistling

In an autistic person, stimming might involve:

  • Rocking
  • Flapping hands or flicking or snapping fingers
  • Bouncing, jumping, or twirling
  • Pacing or walking on tiptoes
  • Pulling hair
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Rubbing the skin or scratching
  • Repetitive blinking
  • Staring at lights or rotating objects such as ceiling fans
  • Licking, rubbing, or stroking particular types of objects
  • Sniffing at people or objects
  • Rearranging objects

Other repetitive behaviours can cause physical harm. These behaviours include:

  • Head banging
  • Punching or biting
  • Excessive rubbing or scratching at skin
  • Picking at scabs or sores
  • Swallowing dangerous items

Stimming actions can vary in intensity and can occur due to various emotions. Autistic people of any age may stim occasionally or constantly in response to excitement, happiness, boredom, stress, fear, and anxiety. They may also stim during times when they are feeling overwhelmed.

At Jeevaniyam, we do manage these conditions for children with autism if, it is physically harming them. Our experts manage this using specified management protocols and trained professionals.


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31/Jan/2022

Importance of Healthy Gut & Healthy Brain in ASD & ADHD Kids – A Technical Review

Children with ADHD and ASD have shown remarkable improvement and overall symptom reversal by using food-healing protocols that increase healthy gut microbes. This can be a great relief and blessing for families that have been following a strict gluten- and casein-free diet.

ADHD and ASD are just two of the many mental and developmental disorders that can benefit from the application of nutritional therapy to improve gut health. Gut health is important for brain health and directly affects mood and emotions. A growing number of researchers are interested in the relationship between gut microbes and brain function. According to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), approximately 90 percent of serotonin is made in the gut. Researchers at Caltech are also studying the benefits of gut flora and its direct contribution to reducing autism symptoms in mice and humans.

Ayurvedic research has shown that gut microbes are responsible for creating most of our serotonin and numerous other neurotransmitters that are essential for healthy brain function. Serotonin is necessary for the brain to experience a positive mood and be resilient to stress. Microbes in the gut also have the essential task of supporting digestion by synthesizing vitamins, fermenting things we can’t digest and producing hormones that influence our immune, endocrine and nervous systems.

There is increasing evidence suggesting a link between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. Experimental and clinical studies have shown that patients diagnosed with ASD display alterations of the gut microbiota. These alterations do not only extend to the gut microbiota composition but also to the metabolites they produce, as a result of its connections with diet and the bidirectional interaction with the host.

At Jeevaniyam we follow a protocol with food therapy and neuro counselling which will work hand in hand and the future looks hopeful for children and families dealing with ADHD and ASD. Each child is his or her own unique being and will require an individualized protocol that is specific to that child.


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30/Jan/2022

Ayurveda Feeding Practices for ASD Kids

A healthy diet becomes one of the biggest hurdles when feeding the kid with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). It can relieve us of all the additional concerns about alternative diets. Nutrition can change the essence of your autistic kids. The good news is that Ayurveda has solutions for multiple problems.

Ayurveda has long used diet as a principal means of creating health within the body and mind. Hundreds of years before Hippocrates instructed, “Let food be thy medicine,” Ayurveda defined principles for making that advice practical.

Choosing foods according to your constitution, paying attention to food and eating as per your capacity are some of the Ayurvedic practices that could bring about a great deal of change in your overall well-being.

Cultivating healthy eating habits is essential for maintaining healthy body weight and the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda has some principles pertaining to just that. Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that goes back 4000 years. It believes in maintaining the balance of the bodily system through diet, natural herbs and some yogic practices.

A lot of these Ayurvedic practices are being studied in labs across the world and many of these practices have been shown to have scientific backing too. An ideal Ayurvedic diet talks about many eating habits that have the potential to cure so many of our modern and urban woes.

key areas Ayurveda concentrate related to food:

  • Digestion – Eating involves sight, smell, taste, chewing, swallowing and digestion. Suitable nourishing diet for each individual need to be set and monitored by the Ayurvedic professional.
  • Allergies – Individuals need to be monitored for food allergies.
  • Toxins – causes of illness could be related to undigested, unsuitable foods that can lead to the accumulation of toxic material.

 

Things to remember while feeding kids with ASD

  • Try to be a vegetarian maximum. Stay away from shellfishes and meat.
  • Maintain a minimum gap of 1.5 hours between food and sleep.
  • Ensure an absolute gluten-free diet.
  • Wash hands, foot, ears, mouth, and face before food with normal water/cold water.
  • The amount of food should be strict as per his/her appetite- not as per the nutritive value or affinity towards that food.
  • Food should always be warm and fresh.
  • Avoid too spicy and fried food.
  • Prefer a calm and quiet place for eating or feeding.
  • Ensure the use of an ash guard.

Food & food practices that parents need to avoid

  • Microwaved food.
  • All refined processed and chemical food (this includes white sugar, chips, chocolates, white flour, legumes other than green and white mung, soft drinks and most anything you would find on a modern supermarket shelf).
  • Dairy Products, including tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, Citrus Fruits, Peanuts. Preservatives, colours, food additives, Leftovers, Old cheeses, Cold foods and drinks.
  • If you are lactose intolerant and can’t take organic milk, then make almond or rice milk (do not purchase readymade milk powders).

At Jeevaniyam we have professionals & specialists to guide parents or caretakers to create a food habit like this for the child from a very young age.


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24/Jan/2022

Why Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets For ASD Affected Children

One of the most important issues faced by parents having children affected with ASD is eating disorder. This will result in lower gut health thereby affecting the general health of the child. In Ayurveda, we manage this gap by suggesting & cultivating healthy food habits for the kids.

A gluten-free/casein-free diet is also known as the GFCF diet. It is one of several alternative treatments for children with autism. When following this strict elimination diet, all foods containing gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) and casein (found in milk and dairy products) are removed from the child’s daily food intake. The benefit of a gluten-free/casein-free diet is based on the theory that children with autism may have an allergy or high sensitivity to foods containing gluten or casein.

Children with autism, according to the theory, process peptides and proteins in foods containing gluten and casein differently than other people do. Hypothetically, this difference in processing may exacerbate autistic symptoms. Some believe that the brain treats these proteins like false opiate-like chemicals. The reaction to these chemicals, they say, leads a child to act in a certain way. The idea behind the use of the diet is to reduce symptoms and improve social and cognitive behaviours and speech.

Autistic children can be notoriously fussy eaters, this diet may be very difficult to implement. Also, some supporters of this diet suggest parents stick with the diet for a year ideally, which can be a long time simply to evaluate this type of intervention.

Cutting any food from one’s diet unnecessarily and without guidance from a dietitian or other medical professional may lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients. There have only been a few scientific studies regarding whether a gluten and casein-free diet is effective for those with ASD. It is important to make sure that the child (or other people) receives ample fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Ayurveda feeding practices and dietary interventions will help your child to have a healthy gut and a healthy brain.

At Jeevaniyam once we adopt these kinds of diet changes and make sure the there are no deficiencies for our young patients, the majority of their parents reported significant improvements in various aspects of their child’s wellbeing on a gluten and/or milk-free diet with significant improvements in bowel habits, general health, sleeping patterns, concentration and social communication.


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10/Jan/2022

Dietary interventions & Correct Feeding Practices In An ASD Child

 

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are commonly affected by eating disorders. Parents and loved ones of individuals with autism know only too well that autism often goes hand-in-hand with picky eating. Children and adults with autism may exhibit strong food preferences and aversions, making it difficult to give them a nutritious diet. 

This is a vicious cycle, because various nutrient deficiencies, suboptimal digestive function, and gastrointestinal problems—which many individuals with autism also exhibit—may exacerbate the behavioural aspects of the condition. Their preference for energy-dense food with low nutrition can alter their metabolism, leading to the accumulation of oxidative radicals, causing them to deteriorate mentally and physically. Although dieting and losing weight are now commonly seen in the general population, it has become hard to bring awareness to children with special needs about diet, nutrition, and obesity. Despite efforts, parents of such children usually cannot help control their eating because tantrums and behavioural problems are common.

dietary intervensions

Children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are the commonest population to manifest with an eating disorder when compared to the general population. Recent studies indicate that up to three percent of children or at least 23 in 1000 children in India may have autism and ASD with eating disorders. Many studies also indicate that parents of children with ASD have no formal education, belong to high socioeconomic status, have reduced sleep and affective problems that significantly contribute to their condition. Reports indicate that at least 30 percent of autistic children fall under the obese category. It is now imperative for doctors and parents to work alongside nutritionists and dieticians to help these children eat healthy to be fit and improve their quality of life. A trial and error of diets is a must to see what suits them best.

At Jeevaniyam it is our duty as doctors to educate parents to nourish the culture of eating healthy as children with special needs may not completely understand the concept and the benefits of healthy and nutritious food. We prescribe diet patterns which are rich in macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, acts as antioxidants and improves these children’s better functioning. This will help in improving the gut health thereby reducing the stress that is suffered by children.


Copyright by Jeevaniyam Ayurveda Hospital. 2022. All rights reserved.