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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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08/Oct/2022

Behavioural Therapy For ADHD Kids

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be difficult to diagnose in children and adolescents because symptoms can vary greatly from one child to another. Behavioural therapy is a treatment that addresses behaviours and emotions that cause problems with concentration, organization, time management, self-control, and cooperation. This is also one of the most widely seen neurodevelopmental problems of children while growing up. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. One of the major treatment techniques used for controlling ADHD is behavioural therapy. Behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that can improve a child’s behaviour, self-control, and self-esteem.

Behavioural Therapy an umbrella term for types of therapy that treat ADHD. This will benefit your child by limiting their destructive behaviour, strengthen their good behaviour and most importantly enable the child to express their feelings in a peaceful manner. Behavioural therapy is used to treat the following symptoms like:

  • Eating Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Social phobias
  • Self-harming behaviour

The four most common treatments for ADHD under behavioural therapy are:

Applied behaviour analysis (ABA): This is a form of therapy where the child’s environment is changed to help them learn how to behave in a more normal manner. It involves using rewards and punishment to encourage or discourage certain behaviours.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is based on the theory that many of the problems experienced by people with ADHD stem from their thoughts, feelings, and actions. CBT focuses on helping the individual understand their own behaviour as well as why it may be inappropriate.

Cognitive behavioral play therapy: This type of therapy uses play to help children learn about certain situations and challenges they might face in life. The therapist helps children think about how they would react if they were faced with these challenges and then works with them on how best to handle them.

Exposure therapy: This type of therapy involves exposing the individual to something that scares them so that they can become desensitized to it over time. In this way, the person will eventually stop responding so strongly when faced with similar situations in the future

At Jeevaniyam, we have an integrated approach, which comprises of ayurvedic therapies and behavioural therapies by doctors and professionals, as ADHD is a serious mental health disorder that can make it difficult for some people to work, study and get along with others. Behavioral therapy can help people with ADHD manage their symptoms, so they are less disruptive and more manageable.


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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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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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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.


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27/Nov/2021

Importance of Speech & Language Pathology In Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speech is the unique characteristic feature of the human being. Speech is the ability to convey thoughts, ideas, or other information by means of articulating sound into meaningful words. Fluent speech is essential for the psychological development of the child and for the proper convey of thoughts. It enables one person to convey knowledge to a roomful of other people.

One of the major challenges faced by children who are diagnosed with ASD is the difficulty with basic communication and social skills. They often find it hard to have conversations and may not pick up on social cues. Some people with autism may not talk at all, and others may talk very well. But all will have some challenges making friends and communicating socially.

You can often observe signs and symptoms of autism in very young children. But sometimes they are not very noticeable, and they might not be recognized until school age or even adulthood. Signs and symptoms may change as the person gets older, but there will always be challenges with communication, social skills, and behaviours.

Language training assumes a significant part towards the comprehensive improvement in a youngster with mental imbalance range issue. It works on generally speaking correspondence, improves social abilities, empowers to adapt up better to the general public and capacity in everyday life.

At Jeevaniyam we check for early signs of ASD by assessing & analysing the communication skills, social skills and behavioural issues by our eminent panel of doctors and SLPs and speech & language therapy is given to the needed patients at a very young age with its unique Ayurvedic protocols.

  • The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) can help training for the muscles & organs involved in speech. SLP also improves modes of personal interactions & communication. In special children, it will be age-appropriate and child friendly along with Ayurveda treatment.
  • We provide face to face speech therapy sessions for the children individually. Initially, the SLP will assess the child and diagnose the problem. A discussion and consultation with other departments are also arranged if needed.
  • With the clinician’s consent, the treatment plan and therapy sessions are planned. This is set up with respect to the child’s condition using appropriate test materials. Each goal will be set considering the child’s needs and baseline.
  • Parents are interviewed thoroughly during the case history to know the child and parents. We also provide online sessions particularly for parents to guide the child in the right way. The parent can monitor the child at home and home exercises will be given for continued improvement.

We prepare the children to successfully lead an individual & independent life as their age progress and be a part of this society.


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23/Nov/2021

Sensory Processing and its Applications in ASD

In this world with over 7 billion humans, one thing we all have in common is our senses. In this social environment, we respond to various kinds of senses in order to receive information and to communicate with other beings. We get various cues from our surroundings that is fed to our brain using various senses provided by our overall sensory system. For example: While we are in a conversation with other persons, there are various senses that work together that enable each other to communicate in an adequate manner such as their looks, their voice, touch etc. Likewise, humans respond to different cues provided by our surroundings in different manners varying from individual to individual as human sensory system responses act in various methods i.e from person to person. For example, how we respond to situations that create happiness, fear, anxiety etc, differ as well.

Sensory processing deals with how the brain processes sensory input from multiple sensory modalities. These include the five classic senses of vision (sight), audition (hearing), tactile stimulation (touch), olfaction (smell), and gustation (taste). Other sensory modalities exist, for example, the vestibular sense (balance and the sense of movement) and proprioception (the sense of knowing one’s position in space) Along with Time (The sense of knowing where one is in time or activities). The above seven senses work in a multidisciplinary fashion that helps the brain to process & responds to different situations.

Autistic children are different in a lot of ways due to various reasons, sensory disorders being one of the major ones. Sensory processing in autistic children is different from that of normal children. Children with ASD possess either Hyper Level Sensory Processing or Hypo Level Sensory Processing Unlike normal children, where the sensory processing is in the normal range where they can accumulate the senses and respond to it in an appropriate manner. Autistic children often show tactile issues and other discomforts where parents conclude that it’s their adamant behaviour but it is actually a sensory dysfunction.

There are various categories in sensory processing disorder such as sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder, & sensory-based motor disorder. Children suffering from any of these disorders may show much less sitting tolerance, learning disability, behavioural issues etc. Until we correct the sensory processing issues we will not be able to manage ASD and make them independent in society.

At Jeevaniyam we manage this issue by doing sensory profiling and finding out the issues that are faced by the child. Once the profiling is completed we analyse the results & provide professional sensory integration therapy along with sensory diets, Ayurveda medicines & treatments such as Udwarthanam, Nasyam, Thalapothichil, Dharas, Avagaham, Dhoopanam etc. in the needed cases. Tremendous improvement is seen in children when more than one therapies are scientifically used in one child with proper Ayurveda treatment protocol because these treatments are also good sensory diets as well. We perform these above-said diets in a periodic manner under the professional guidance of Ayurvedic Consultants at our state of the art lab at our facility. We also provide adequate training for parents or caretakers so that they can help the child follow the sensory diet chart that is to be followed at home.


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01/Nov/2021

Ayurvedic Perspective of Autism

To know and understand the hassles of autism, you need to be up close to a person suffering from it. One of the most difficult factors of coping with autism is that the physical and emotional behaviour of one with autism keeps varying. Hence, it makes ASD a challenging one. This peculiarity of ASD makes it one of the hardest to deal with due to its severity.  Among the researches conducted for managing ASD in Ayurveda and Alternative medicine, The Agastya protocol is one of the most renowned ones. The Agastya protocol portrays great signs of management when it comes to ASD cases among patients.

Ayurveda is the famous traditional system of medicine practised in India thousands of years ago. The word implies the science of life in Sanskrit. In Ayurveda, we have 8 links known as Ashtanga and one of the major links is known as Kaumara Brityam which deals with the health issues of kids below the age of 16 years. This link details you to have a healthy prodigy and the various regimes to be practised to have a healthy individual right from infancy. This also suggests various medicines, treatments and procedures to be done to improve health, management of diseases and mental functions associated with children.

Neuro-developmental disorders are considered as the clinical manifestation of an angry Vaata dosha, one among the mighty tridoshas or basic functional units in most cases. Though it is stated that controlling Vata is a difficult task, many medicines & therapies are there to be done in such cases. 

According to Ayurveda studies, a new era in medical science has dawned with the realization of the critical role of the “forgotten organ”, the gut microbiota, in health and disease. Central to this beneficial interaction between the microbiota and host is the way bacteria and most likely other microorganisms contained within the gut communicate with the host’s immune system and participate in a variety of metabolic processes of mutual benefit to the host and the microbe.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by stereotyped behaviour and deficits in communication and social interactions. Gastrointestinal (GI) Dysfunction is ASD-associated comorbidity, implying a potential role of the gut microbiota in ASD GI pathophysiology. Several recent studies found that autistic individuals harbour an altered bacterial gut microbiota. In some cases, remodelling the gut microbiota can alleviate the symptoms of ASD.

The gut consists of millions of microbiotas, and we hypothesize that the microbiota and its metabolites might be involved in the pathophysiology of ASD. In Ayurveda, all Psychosocial abnormalities have been included under the category of Unmada. A defective digestive and metabolic function are postulated as the root cause of Unmada, leading to systemic accumulation of metabolic wastes (Dhatu Gautama). The metabolic wastes act as systemic toxins and impair the functional integrity of the brain.

Ayurveda can give wonderful results in differently-abled children when united with supportive & integrated therapies. Proper diet, lifestyle modifications and organic herbal formulations can help the child’s body systems function in a better way.  

One of the primary treatment protocols in Ayurveda is Ama Chikilsa in which Ama means – Undigested Food Particles transformed into toxins”. In this protocol, the first step of treatment should always be the management of ama which is the root cause of that disease. This will help in metabolic correction and detoxification of the body, which in return will give the kid a better appetite and stabilize the brain stress that is created by ama.

At Jeevaniyam, with the unique blend of Ayurveda we use the Agastya protocol to manage ASD at three levels: 

  • At the bodily level starting with Ama Chikilsa which takes out the toxins and heavy metals from your body clearing channels which in turn results in improvement of the microbiome in the gut, resetting the metabolism to an appropriate manner. 
  • At the mental level by correcting the higher mental functions and correcting the brain pathogenesis.
  • At the conscious level correcting the energy mechanism or the biological rhythm.

Along with the ayurvedic protocols we also have regular integrated therapies are also performed. We also introduce dietary and lifestyle inventions throughout the treatment period that enhances the kid to face challenges and cross all the obstacles that can make them a better person in society. 


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