Saturday, April 2, 2022

World Autism Awareness Day
A Look at Nutrition and Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself usually during the first three years of life. The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and it has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities, and societies.

The Center for Disease Control reported the number of U.S. children with autism has surged to one in 68, this is a 30 percent increase since the agency estimated just two years ago that one child in 88 suffered from the disorder.

World Autism Awareness Day

We are dealing with a national emergency that is in need of a national strategy. At 1 in 68, we now have over 1 million children directly affected by autism.  

Throughout its history, the United Nations family has promoted the rights and well-being of the disabled, including children with developmental disabilities. In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. The United Nations officials highlighted the contributions to humanity by people with autism, noting that shunning them is a “violation of human rights” and a “waste of human potential.”

Nutrition and Autism

For decades nutrition and diet therapies have been used to treat people with autism, yet no single protocol has emerged. The development of individualized nutritional assessment and a plan of care is crucial in meeting the needs of people with autism.

Research has shown nutritional deficiencies can impair learning, growth, and development in all children. Children with autism have nutrition problems and gastrointestinal issues more often than other children. These problems can present developmental challenges.

Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD is a registered dietitian and the founder of Nutrition Care for Children, LLC (NCPA). She specializes in autism diets, special diets, biomedical interventions for autism, nutrition-focused strategies for babies and kids that help them learn, grow, and thrive.

Judy provides nutrition services for children ages 0-21, and works with non-profits, federal programs, and nutrition companies to provide education, training, and support on how nutrition and diets work for children with special needs.

The goal of NCPA is to assess nutritional status and develop a plan of care to "restore adequate and appropriate sources for calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and correct essential mineral deficits. This can accommodate users of a variety of special diets."

For families affected by autism, gluten is one of the first items to be evaluated. Gluten sensitivity can have devastating effects on learning, growth, and behavior. Many studies have shown improvement in these factors when a gluten-free diet is followed.

To learn more about the work of Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD follow her online at:
Website. Integrative Health and Nutrition For Kids
Twitter. @NutrCareAutism
Facebook. Nutrition Care for Children

National Autism Awareness Month

The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. They do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy.

Founded in 1965 by Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Ruth Sullivan and many other parents of children with autism. The Autism Society is the leading source of reliable information about autism. The Autism Society's Advisory Panel is comprised solely of individuals with autism. They help Autism Society staff create programs and services that will advocate for the rights of all people with autism to live fulfilling, interdependent lives. News

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