Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Universities Studying the Benefits of a Uniquely Exceptional Communications Device, The ProxTalker

Editorial Board - Autism Health and Wellness
Logan, With the Logan ProxTalker

Autism Health and Wellness Magazine is always looking for breakthroughs in technology that truly improve the lives of special needs children. As such, we were thrilled when the ProxTalker came onto the market. The ProxTalker has all of the features of the overly complicated talking devices and an even greater range of words. Unlike those complex devices, the ProxTalker is user friendly. This is most important because there’s no reason to buy a device that’s too complex for a child to use properly. This unique balance of quality and ability to use makes the ProxTalker a true benefit to the autism and special needs community.

Universities have been quick to notice this as well. Purdue University, along with Northern Arizona University’s Assistive Technology Center, are launching an indepth study into the ProxTalker, something they only undertake on products that are deemed to be breakthroughs. As communication is especially important, the quality of life for children who are in need of communication devices stands to be truly elevated due to this breakthrough. Allowing a child to communicate is not only one of the greatest benefits imaginable, its benefits also go far beyond just enhancing communicative abilities. Facilitating communication leads to more social interaction, development of social skills, increased positive outlook and less frustration/tantrums.

Dr. Oliver Wendt, who heads the study at Purdue, along with Miriam Chacon Boesch, M.S., & Anu Subramanian, Ph.D., explained the vast benefit that devices such as the ProxTalker can have upon society as a whole. Titling their study: “Combining Exchange Based Communication Intervention and Speech Output Technology to Enhance Communicative Development in Children with Autism,” they explain:

“Given that the prevalence of autism continues to increase, families are seeking more support for behavioral interventions such as PECS (the basis of the ProxTalker) approaches from the professional community…. Second, from a perspective of evidence-based practice, there is an urgent need for rigorous treatment efficacy research in this area to establish the effectiveness of this intervention empirically. After the completion of this study, external funding can be sought from several sources including government agencies and nonprofit organizations.”

It is clear that academics who devote their efforts exclusively to the study of speech development methods see the great value in the ProxTalker. Founder Glen Dobbs, a technology expert who, along with business partner Kevin Miller and their team, invented the device to meet the needs of his son (and named the device after him) has clearly invented a superior product that stands to revolutionize communication among non-communicative children. It is also noteworthy that the Logan ProxTalker is now available with Spanish sound tags as well.

Whether using English or the Spanish sound tags (both can be used on the same unit for bilingual classrooms), the ProxTalker allows non-communicative children to form full sentences with relative ease. Combine that with the fact that the device is made to be water proof, crash proof and child resistant (as far as unwanted opening of the device is concerned) and the ProxTalker seems to have all needed and hard to find benefits of a communication device. It is not only unique. Its numerous quality attributes make the device uniquely beneficial for children and parents alike.

To find out more about this revolutionary device please call (877) 776-9177 or visit www.proxtalker.com.

The Vaccine Debate

Do vaccines cause autism ?

By Hope Fine

According to the Center for Disease control, in 2009, 1 - 1.5 million adults and children in the United States have received the Autism diagnoses. In the Early 90’s the statistics were 1 in 10,000 children exhibited symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Several years ago the CDC reported 1 out of every 150 children born in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Autism. Today that number has been revised to 1 out of every 90 children. The ratio is 4 to 1 times greater in males or 1 in every 58 boys.

The connection between the cause of Autism and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella-vaccine) and the mercury additive Thimerosal (used to preserve the vaccine), has been vigorously debated, especially over the past decade.

In February 2009 the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, attempted to settle the dispute ruling that the Thimerosal additive does not cause Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How trustworthy can a vaccine study conducted by the U.S. government be? How long did it take for the U.S. Government to acknowledge the connection between cancer and cigarette smoking or more recently the side effects of Gardasil, a so called cervical cancer preventative? The Center for Disease Control issued a report connecting Gardasil to Guilliane-Barre syndrome, lupus, seizures, paralysis, blood clots and brain inflammation. The CDC acknowledged 44 reported deaths.

Yet the drug is still being advertised on television and physicians are still encouraging patients to get the vaccine.


The Department of Health and Human Resources issued a public health statement listing the dangers from exposure to mercury. These warnings include:

• Mercury released from dental amalgam fillings.
• The amount of fish consumed, especially indigenous fish which contains higher doses of mercury due to concentrated levels of toxins in local waters.
• The use of metallic mercury in a home or an apartment threatens the health of the people who live there that unknowingly, may be exposed. Metallic mercury is used in a variety of household products and industrial items, including thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs, barometers, glass thermometers, and some blood pressure devices. The mercury in these devices is contained in glass or metal, and generally does not pose a risk unless the item is damaged or broken, and mercury vapors are released. Spills of metallic mercury from broken thermometers or damaged electrical switches in the home may result in exposure to mercury vapors in indoor air.
You must be careful when you handle and dispose of all items in the home that contain metallic mercury.

In the 1990’s the FDA banned over the counter sale and use of Thimerosal based products such as tincture of methiolate, tincture of iodine and tincture of mercurochrome.
Several studies led the Environmental Protection Agency to conclude that up to 630,000.00 newborns in the United States have mercury blood levels at or above the agency's safety limits, almost double the EPA's previous estimate.

It takes only a teaspoon of mercury to contaminate a 20-acre lake. Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to methyl mercury because their nervous systems are still developing.

Similarly, toxic runoff into local ocean water produces levels of mercury that contaminate fish.
Methyl mercury is a potent form of the toxin that becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain.

If certain types of fish are a large part of a mother's diet, mercury passed to her baby in the womb can irreversibly damage parts of the brain, according to a study published by the Journal of Pediatrics. High mercury exposures in the womb and in a child's early years also can damage the nervous system's control of the heart, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen provided to the rest of the body.

Thimerosal is used in vaccines to prevent bacterial or fungal growth in the event that the vaccine is accidentally contaminated, as might occur with repeated punctures of multi-dose vials. Vaccines, both in the United States and throughout other parts of the world, are commonly packaged in multi-dose vials.

Under pressure from groups opposing the use of Thimerosal, the FDA required manufacturers to reduce the amount of Thimerosal in vaccines. However it has not been completely removed, leaving traces of the preservative in the vaccines.

Furthermore, most children receive approximately 30 vaccines by the time they reach the age of 5 years old, Some States require newborns to receive a hepatitis vaccine by the second day of birth no matter if the mother has been exposed to or has the hepatitis virus.
Even though some vaccines have trace amounts, considering the amount of vaccinations children receive from birth to 5 years old, those trace amounts can become cumulative in the child’s body.

Over the years, I have treated thousands of autistic children and one common factor in these children is high levels of heavy metals including mercury.
How can anyone expect an infant’s undeveloped immune system to absorb the onslaught or ambush of so many vaccines?


When is it appropriate to vaccinate your child? In my opinion, I would suggest parents wait as long as possible, at least until the child is 18 months old. In any event, vaccines should be administered one at a time, not on the same day and be sure to inspect the label on the ampoule making sure it does not contain thimerisol. Considering all the warnings about mercury, how can anyone deny the danger of its harmful effects? I do not think there is any question about the adverse neurological effects of mercury.

Hope Fine is the Founder and Clinical Director of the South Florida Center for H.O.P.E., Inc., a premier Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center in Deerfield Beach, Florida. If you have any questions email hbotx@bellsouth.net

Autism Health and Wellness encourages submission of all views on this issue for publication.

Flying Made Safe With a Most Crucial Device

Special Report on CARES Safety Device

Autism Health and Wellness prides itself on being able to provide quality information on products that change lives or that are of unique benefit to children. As such, we are pleased to inform you of CARES, a breakthrough travel safety product available at www.KidsFlySafe.com, the only FAA approved device of its kind to ensure child safety in the air.

Flying with a special needs child is generally challenging. But worrying about their safety is far worse. Reliable safety devices are key to alleviating this most pressing of concerns.
The CARES system was designed for all young children and is extremely beneficial for all. The overwhelming number of purchases are made by families with young children as it is an optimal device for ensuring safety in the air, being light weight, portable and taking less than a minute to install. However, it is most crucial for kids with special needs, as more and more parents are discovering.

CARES has received rave reviews from experts across the board. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that, “Testing has shown that aircraft seat belts alone do not adequately protect children younger than three years. All children should travel properly restrained on aircraft…a child is best protected when properly restrained in a child seat system appropriate for the age, weight and height of the child, and meeting the standards for aircraft, until the child weighs more than 40 lbs.” The National Safe Kids Campaign also states that safety seats are needed for all young children in the air.

CARES, the Child Aviation Restraint System, is the only harness type child aviation safety restraint ever certified for airplane travel by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is an elegantly designed belt and buckle device for kids that is easy to use and creates a safe airplane seat for your child without the hassle of carrying a 20 pound car seat. Special needs children over 44 lbs may apply to the FAA for an exemption to use CARES. This exemption is free, and is good for all time.

CARES weighs just one pound and fits into a 6" stuff sack. It is simple to install, adjustable to virtually any size airplane seat, and keeps your child as safe as a car seat would. It is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as your own seatbelt. It is engineered and manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the world's foremost manufacturer of airline seatbelts.

Kids Fly Safe has also made the process easy. Even if someone has a child with special needs who’s older than most children who need such seats, one still does not need to bother with an individual airline as long as they follow the easy steps to getting an FAA letter notifying the airlines that such seats are needed. More information on this process is available at http://www.kidsflysafe.com/how-to-use-cares/cares-for-special-needs-kids.
The CARES system has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mom’s Choice Awards, iParenting Media, the NAPPA Gold Award and others. The National Parenting Center has given CARES its seal of approval.

CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world. (Turn over your airplane seat belt buckle. Chances are it says AmSafe.) CARES is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as your own seat belt and is engineered to the highest aviation-safety standards. For more information please visit www.KidsFlySafe.com or call 1-800-299-6249.

Compounding As It Relates To Autism

Compounding is one of the fastest growing methods of obtaining treatment as more and more consumers realize the importance of individualized prescription. Amounts of medicine needed differ from patient to patient, as do treatments. A compounding pharmacy gives special attention to each patient and devises a healthy plan that works for the individual.

This is especially important for families that have kids with autism. It’s well known that many pediatricians have little knowledge of how to treat autism. Parents of children with autism have to search for proven therapies. A compounding pharmacy that specializes in this is often your best resource for sound and proven treatments that defy conventional limitations.
Heavy metal toxicity has been found in many children with autism. Post Haste specializes in unique chelation therapy for autism, a widely used method of metal elimination. This is one of the treatments commonly used in an attempt to get to the source of the issue.


Another huge issue for parents of children with autism is the ability to find gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free prescriptions. Compounding pharmacies such as Post Haste carry these alternatives when regular prescriptions are unavailable in these forms.

Many children with autism thrive on a gluten-free/casein-free diet. Parents plan around them and reorganize their kitchens accordingly. When a child gets sick, certain prescriptions are otherwise unavailable in gluten-free forms or are suggested to be taken with dairy products.

Even minimal amounts of gluten set some children off and undo months of progress. This is where a specialty pharmacy that monitors each ingredient is especially useful.
Post Haste Pharmacy was founded in 1970 and has developed uniquely effective and safe methods of treating autism. For the general public, it’s revolutionized the way that treatment is offered.

The pharmacy offers a full diagnostic center and patients receive one on one care and personalized advice. The pharmacy also allows for online purchases and their website offers a variety of expert “health calculators,” such as the “nutritional needs” and “calorie burner” calculators. These handy tools make their site, www.posthastepharmacy.net, a resource that should be visited by the general public. Post Haste Compounding Pharmacy can be reached at (954) 989-6524.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Proven Protocol for Children and Adults

By Dr. Annalee Kitay
Children who have learning difficulties or children who are exceptional or neuro-developmentally challenged (or both), in one intellectual form or another, are characterized by the fact that they do not learn in ordinary ways.  These children are usually given conventional help and an effort is made to support them in coping with the educational and emotional problems arising from the disabilities. Up until now, there has been no generally accepted means of dealing with the causes of the neurological processing disorder. 
Neural Organization Technique is a protocol that addresses the neurological processing disorder by correcting structural and physiological faults, allowing the appropriate signals to be sent to the brain, and reorganize the way correct information is then transmitted in the body.   Neural Organization Technique is a very powerful tool when used to help children with a wide range of neuro-developmental disorders.

In the area of learning disabilities, a pilot study was done examining the application of Neural Organization Technique.  The study was done by a Chiropractic physician, a special needs consultant, an educational psychologist, and a research sociologist.  The results were so positive that "CONCERN", a national children's journal in England reported some of the
following excerpts from the study: "Before the Neural Organization Technique, the children were given the Vernon Spelling Test, the Edinburgh Reading Test, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISCO Revised Form). After the Neural Organization Technique application, they were retested, using the same procedures. The children all showed significant improvement in Full Scale IQ with significant gains in IQ points.

Some of the gains made were particularly remarkable. For example, a fifteen-year-old child achieved a ten-month gain in spelling.  It is very difficult for older children to achieve a gain, especially to this large degree. There were also substantial gains made in reading skills, ranging from12 months to 49 months.

On the whole, the results are extremely positive. Some of the most frequently mentioned changes were increase in confidence, being more curious and questioning, more eager to learn and do new things, improved ability to communicate- more talkative, improvements in writing, spelling and reading, improvements with relationships within family and other people and becoming more mature.

Other changes mentioned include becoming more organized, able to coordinate thinking and actions, finding it easier to remember, more skilled in particular sports, increased physical strength and fitness, better ability to see and focus, and neater presentation of school work.

All the children in the study made gains to some degree on one or more of the tests. The majority made progress that was assessed as statistically significant in all areas. The children's progress was achieved during a period of only six months. In a short time, it is known that children with these learning disabilities generally show little to no improvement in
intellectual functioning or in spelling and reading skills. These results indicate that Neural Organization Technique was the major factor in enabling these children to make such exceptional gains.

Learning disabilities as well as other neurological disorders may be the result of improper signaling from the body or from outside sources.  This improper signaling causes a break in the normal flow of information to the brain, creating disorganization in the system.  The brain may then redirect inappropriate Physiological reactions.  The Neural Organization Technique is a noninvasive protocol that has be used with great success that is dependant on the individual and the neurological disorder.

Dr. Annalee Kitay is a chiropractic physician who uses Neural Organization Technique, along with nutritional support to aid children and adults with Neuro-developmental Disorders.  She sees patients by appointment at Alternatives in Healthcare, 1580 NW Boca Raton Blvd, Suite 4, Boca Raton, Florida and has a satellite office in Whippany, NJ.  She can be reached at 561-620-6007 or 1-888-456-0065.

For Kids With Autism, Certain Toys Teach Life Skills

There are toys and then there are toys.  Some toys help develop the character of a child and help build needed life skills.  For kids with autism, toys can be life changers.
We’ve researched a number of toys that have tangible benefits for special needs children.  Some help with motor and sensory issues, others build social interaction.  All are more than just toys and each has a unique therapeutic value.

The following is a list of the most recommended toys from Playworks, a company that specializes in toys for special needs.  

Snap Bags
Throwing and catching are made easy with two Snap Bags linked together. Snap Bags create a calming presence when all six are attached and used as a shoulder or lap weight. Snap Bags open an entirely new world of gross-motor, fine-motor and social skill game opportunities. Game booklet included!

Explorer Ring
Open the doors and make the beads-go-round! Learn fine motor skills with the motivation of flowing beads. The Explorer Ring works on a range of skills while encouraging tactile, auditory and visual exploration. You can Squeeze the buttons, Pull the knob, Rotate the cuff, Turn the key and Spin the handle to make the beads flow. Game booklet included with play options for all levels.

Bumpity Blocks
Bumpity Blocks are a weighted foam alternative to classic blocks. The extra weight and unique texture provide increased motor control. The non-standard shapes encourage creativity in building. 8 blocks in 4 distinct shapes and 4 bright colors. Game booklet included!

Play Packs
game-501 - 506
Development by Design, the creator of Play Packs aims to give all children of all abilities access to play. Designed with a licensed occupational therapist, DbD products encourage exploration and skill development. Versatile designs, multi-level game cards and a unique icon system allow parents and professionals to tailor games to any child.
Each Play Pack includes 15 skill-based game cards and six information cards printed on thick coated card stock. All games use readily available supplies. Designed for developmental ages 3-12+, each game card features an illustration to entice child's participation, easy to follow directions, and reference icons showing specific skills involved: gross motor, fine motor, bilateral coordination, motor planning, visual perception, eye-hand coordination, oral motor, social, sensory processing, and pre-academic.

Textured Pop Beads
Remember the fifties and the pop bead fad?  Enhanced with texture, what's old is new again.  Sized for easy gripping, Textured Pop Beads offer a fun way to increase tactile awareness and develop fine motor skills. 
Differences in color and texture invite sorting and counting and enhance language development as adult and child use words to describe how the beads are alike and different.  Math comes into play as the child creates chains and rings of different lengths and diameters, then measures, and compares.  An ideal fidget toy, Textured Pop Beads come 100 in a reusable plastic tube.

Autism Health and Wellness has arranged a special discount with Playworks for readers.  Simply log on to www.Playworks.net and enter code AHW for special discounts.  Or call (877) 579-9300 and use code AHW for the same savings.

The Little Gluten-free Bakery from Quebec That's Won Accolades Across North America

What would you do if you could no longer eat bread, bagels, cookies or any of the other wheat-based foods you take for granted? This was the challenge faced by Pat Libling when she was diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten-intolerance) in 1987. "My first reaction," Pat says, "was there's nothing to eat — especially after trying many of the gluten-free products available." When two of her daughters were also diagnosed with the condition, the former school teacher decided it was time to take matters into her own hands.

From home-based business to full-scale artisan bakery

Begun as a home-based business in 2001, the PatsyPie bakery has long since moved into a larger, dedicated gluten-free facility, occupying 3,000 square feet in Montreal, Quebec. Current offerings include cookies, biscotti, mini brownies, and mini muffins.

Not only has PatsyPie become one of the fastest growing gluten-free brands in Canada, available in both major supermarket chains and independent stores, this innovative line is now sold across the United States, as well—in both stores and via the Internet (www.patsypie.com).

Even the employees' lunches are gluten-free

"Often, over the years," Pat says, "I'd hear about a gluten-free bakery in one place or another. New York. Boston. Ottawa. Maine. Vancouver. Toronto. And I'd drag my husband and daughters along to find these wonderful goodies. But I can't recall a single time I wasn't disappointed.

"Yes, the baked goods were gluten-free. But they were also excessively sweet or pasty or dry. When I started PatsyPie, I vowed I would never be that sort of bakery. I will not disappoint people the same way those bakeries disappointed me."

Pat was also disturbed by the fact that many of these bakeries were not 100% gluten-free. "PatsyPie is strictly gluten-free—right down to the lunches our employees bring to work. In fact, no wheat is permitted on the bakery's premises. If someone wants to bring a sandwich," Pat explains, "we supply the gluten-free bread!"

Taste-tested on people who don't need to eat gluten-free

According to Pat, the downfall of many gluten-free baked goods is obvious—the taste and texture. "My goal was to create baked treats that were every bit as good or better than regular bakery items—snacks the whole family could enjoy. It's why we taste-test our products on all sorts of people—not just those restricted to gluten-free diets. After all, if they can't tell the gluten is missing, we know we've done it right."

Often adapted from favorite family recipes, PatsyPie cookies, biscotti, brownies and muffins are considered as close to homemade as store-bought can be. All items are made by hand in small batches, using only wholesome, natural ingredients, with no trans fats, preservatives or "icky aftertaste". "Even the fork marks on our peanut butter cookies are real," Pat states with pride. "My baking sells itself."

Pat attributes a large part of her success to a simple philosophy. "I don't believe it's enough to be just a gluten-free bakery. My goal from the start was to build a really good bakery that just happens to make only gluten-free products. I think that's the big difference between us and others. The way I see it, there's no reason why any gluten-free product shouldn't taste as good as or better than regular baked treats."

Taking the time to get every recipe right

It takes an average of two years of development and testing before a PatsyPie product is deemed ready for market. "We don't rush anything just for the sake of getting it out there." The new Lemon Shortbread cookies, for instance, took two years before Pat felt they were ready to go.

"In gluten-free baking, it's not just a matter of throwing ingredients together. It's about trial and error and finding the perfect balance. It's why we're always tweaking. Recently, we added a simple step to the baking of our Raisin Cookies. The ingredients are the same, but the finished cookie is even better. And the Raisin was already very popular."

In addition to Lemon Shortbread and Raisin, PatsyPie offers Chocolate Chip, Snappy Ginger and Peanut Butter cookies. Biscotti flavors include Almond, Almond & Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Pecan and the highly popular Cranberry Orange. Two frozen products are also offered: Double Chocolate Mini Brownies and Morning Glory with Flax Mini Muffins.

Widely available in Canada, PatsyPie artisan-baked treats are now found in a growing number of health food and grocery stores across the United States too—a not unimpressive feat for a company that began as a home-based, one-woman operation just over eight years ago.

To learn more about this innovative, strictly gluten-free specialist, visit www.patsypie.com or call toll-free 1-87-PATSY-PIE (1-877-287-9743). Chances are that Pat will be the person who picks up the phone!