About Autism Parenting Magazine

Autism Parenting Magazine is the leading magazine for parents of autistic children as well as professionals working with children on the spectrum. Our magazine features articles from hundreds of contributors including respected professionals, autism experts, parents of children on the spectrum, and adults with autism. Since 2012, our focus has been on objectively publishing autism-related topics, events, developments, treatments and news stories on autism to include health, safety, sleep, toilet training, sensory issues, stress, innovative products, and newly published books. We believe focusing on a person's strengths and interests will increase confidence and foster living the most independent and successful life possible. We know every child with autism is different, and as such, respond differently to a variety of approaches and techniques. All people should have the same opportunities presented to them with assistance as needed. Amy KD Tobik Editor-in-Chief Autism Parenting Magazine

Breastfeeding and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

“Breast is best,” is a saying many of us have heard. But is breast milk really best for babies with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Is there any connection between breastfeeding and the development of autism? And is it advisable for autistic mothers to breastfeed their babies?   It seems any article about breastfeeding needs to be introduced with great sensitivity, a disclaimer or two, and even then there may be enough reason for accusations of being a “nipple nazi” or alternatively pushing the agenda of formula feeding by manufacturing companies. Maybe it’s better to acknowledge, right off the bat, that there are no clear answers. Plenty of research still needs to be conducted, and most importantly, for moms with autistic children, no one should be adding any more pressure to the (possibly) already boiling pot. Instead, mothers at higher risk of having autistic children may need more information about the suggested role of breast milk in autism prevention or symptom management. Mothers with children with ASD may require information about prolonged breastfeeding and, finally, autistic mothers may be interested to learn more about the influence of neurodivergence when it comes to breastfeeding a baby.   Autism spectrum disorder and breastfeeding Definitive answers about the link between autism prevention and breastfeeding are difficult to provide. There are so many variables, making it difficult for scientists to provide definite conclusions. However, research does suggest a correlation between reduced risk of ASD when breastfeeding. Factors complicating research include things like gestational age and socioeconomic status of mothers. These two factors may influence whether a baby is likely to be breastfed, and it may also influence autism risk. There are, however, some suggestions from recent studies and research about the influence of breastfeeding on autism.   Can breastfeeding reduce the risk of autism? A recent meta-analysis—a statistical analysis combining results of multiple scientific studies—reviewed the association of breastfeeding status with the risk of autism (Ghozy et al., 2020). The authors shared the following: According to their dose-response meta-analysis, breastfeeding a baby for six months was linked to a 54% reduction in risk In the conventional meta-analysis, the greatest reduction in the risk of autism spectrum condition was associated with prolonged breastfeeding of young children, between 12 to 24 months The conclusion of the authors highlights the importance of breastfeeding to reduce the risk of autism. This may be a sound conclusion, reached after a meticulous meta-analysis, but for many women it may feel like a scientific reprimand. A recommendation from the ivory labs where babies don’t latch on incorrectly, inflicting the pain of a crazed piranha intent on destroying human flesh (or at least that’s the downplayed version of my first lactation attempt). For some women, breastfeeding is painful, impractical and demoralizing. For others, circumstances just don’t allow the time and commitment needed to breastfeed. If I didn’t have a village of support, I probably would’ve quit after the first week, where I ended up crying more than my [...]

2021-12-27T13:39:29-08:00By |

Best Essential Oils for Autism and ADHD – The Ultimate Guide

When you hear the words essential oils, does it make you want to head to the spa? It’s true, massage therapists use oils to help people relax and unwind. But, did you know essential oils are also effective for children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Before we discuss the best essential oils for ADHD and autism, let’s talk about what they are and what they can do for the body. What is an Essential Oil? An ‘essential oil’ is a liquid distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, and other parts of a plant. The term is a contraction of the original ‘quintessential oil’ which originated from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, quintessence, is the spirit or life force of matter. The chemical composition and aroma of essential oils can provide many psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. These benefits can be gained by either inhaling the scent or by applying diluted versions to the skin. Essential oils are obtained from plants through distillation, usually by using steam. Manufacturers also use an expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and cold pressing. Despite the use of the word ‘oil,’ most essential oils don’t have that oily feeling. These oils are usually clear, but patchouli, orange, and lemongrass can be amber or yellow. Some people may believe essential oils are the same as perfume or fragrance oils, but they are not. Essential oils are derived from true plants and contain the true essence of the plant they came from. Fragrance oils are different because they contain artificial ingredients and substances. Also, they do not have the therapeutic benefits that essential oils can provide. General Benefits of Essential Oils for Kids Throughout history, essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes by people all over the world. Some known benefits of these oils are their ability to: Support healthy body functions and help boost the immune system. Relieve discomfort and sore muscles after exercising. Soothe the digestive system. Peppermint, for example, is known to support the healthy function of your stomach and digestive organs. Enhance a massage. Boost your ability to focus and concentrate. Help you relax and reduce your stress levels. This is perhaps one of the reasons essential oils for ADHD and autism are gaining in popularity these days. Essential oils can penetrate the skin and cross the brain-blood barrier to reach the amygdala and other limbic parts of the brain that control our mood and emotions. Promote wellness. Provide safer and non-toxic ways to clean and purify both home and workspaces. Help you achieve healthier skin and great-looking hair. Using Essential Oils on Children with Autism, ADHD, and ADD Transition periods can be challenging for many children with an autism spectrum disorder. For example, it can be hard when a child has to transition to bedtime. Studies show more than half of kids with autism have issues [...]

2019-08-06T16:56:30-07:00By |

Probiotics and Autism

Learn the Possible Cause   Many autism experts claim that several types of foods and diets can effectively treat or help children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some autism researchers also believe there is a strong link between the functioning of the brain and the gut. But with the very large number of foods and recommended diets out there, how can you determine what works best for your child and adult family member(s) with autism? In this article, we discuss the various theories, as well as the effectiveness of probiotics or the so called “friendly bacteria” and diets in helping ease the symptoms of autism. What is the Possible Cause? In their study on autism, researchers led by Dr. Paul Ashwood of the University of California, Davis’ Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) Institute identified proofs linking autism with changes in the brain, gastrointestinal (GI) distress, immune dysfunction, and severe repetitive behaviors. According to Dr. Ashwood, they found that children with autism have elevated levels of dendritic cells, which are considered as the ‘generals’ of the immune system. He claimed the dendritic cells serve a key role in the body’s immune response to microorganisms, including the disease-causing germs and normal digestive bacteria. Several scientists, meanwhile, have discovered several rare genetic changes or mutations linked with autism. However, they also found an intricate and different combination of genetic risk and environmental factors affecting early brain development of a child that further increase his/her risk of developmental delays or autism. Among the most discussed theories include environmental risk factors, advanced age of both father and mother at the time of conception, very low birth weight, maternal illness during pregnancy, extreme prematurity of birth, and difficulties during birth, particularly the times in which the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen. Download your FREE guide here   Autism, Probiotics and Digestive Health Based on various studies, individuals with autism often have abnormal digestive health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Kids with autism were also found to have an elevated number of the pathogenic bacteria called ‘Clostridia’, as well as the lesser known bacteria called Sutterrella in their guts. Meanwhile, a number of studies showed probiotic microorganisms have positive effects on the digestive health of both adults and children. These healthy microorganisms are contained in the probiotics supplements that can be used to treat ASD, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly in children. The US Department of Health’s (DOH) and National Institute of Health (NIH) claimed that gut health and autism are interrelated. According to the agency, the postnatal development of a child depends largely on the microbiome or the balance of organisms in his/her digestive tract. Every child should have a healthy gut in order to develop proper immune function, regulate inflammation, and support proper and healthy development. To achieve a healthy gut, the thousands of strains of good bacteria should live in balance with the “bad bacteria.” In the event that the bad bacteria [...]

2020-07-10T09:49:34-07:00By |