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 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 (

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 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!

The Road to Successful Outcomes

By Colleen Whitman, With Danny Boy Whitman

I Have a Dream

My name is Colleen and I’m here to tell you there is HOPE.

My youngest son, Danny Boy, was diagnosed with Autism at 2 ½ years old. He is now 18 and attending College, working toward his degree in Computer Animation.

When I asked Danny what advice he had for Parents of Children with Autism to help them to be as successful as he is he said, “Tell them to be loving and passionate!”

I certainly can’t top that. The best advice I got before asking Danny for his was, “Your instincts are there for a reason. You need to listen to them. Nobody knows your child better than you.” Great advice, truer words were never spoken.

So how did we come this far? First, we had to decide what we wanted for Danny. We wanted him to be a happy, healthy, productive, independent, responsible, thoughtful, safety conscious, law abiding, civic minded, tax paying, home owning, contributing member of society who is not sitting on my couch playing video games at 30.
Whew! No pressure…

We needed a plan

The IEP (Individual Education Plan/Program) offered by his school was a good start but we needed much more. ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) was highly regarded but expensive. Our state lags far behind most others for funding and services. Danny is STILL on the waiting list to receive services. I had to learn to do ABA myself and did it constantly along with Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapies.

Anything I thought might help that wasn’t invasive or dangerous. Diet, Nutritional Supplements, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Sound waves… A word on Programs and Therapies – Again, your instincts are very important here, I was immediately concerned about the way that PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) was being implemented at Danny’s School. I do believe that these kinds of systems can be useful when used correctly. GREAT care must be taken to ensure that the child doesn’t become dependent on them. They should be used as tools and reinforcement, not as a substitute for instruction in Speech and Language.

Why would a child ever bother to learn Speech when they can simply hand you a card or push a button? Break down the word but insist that they TRY to speak. You want a drink? Say “D” once that’s mastered, they need to say “DR” then “DRI” until they are saying DRINK. It’s not easy but today Danny has beautiful Speech and Language.

Some kids may never be verbal but don’t give up. I’ve heard of many people on the Spectrum who didn’t become verbal until Adulthood. Always have hope. Here’s a tip to encourage reciprocal language, get them a cell phone and computer. Start with texts and IM’s and work up to speaking on the phone, natural reciprocal conversation. Try it.

Think outside the box or inside as the case may be
Here’s another tip: Turn on the closed captioning on your TV. Danny taught himself to read this way. He could read anything by age 3. Comprehension would come MUCH later but did come. Seeing the words they’re hearing really helps kids learn to read. Since he was not yet verbal, nobody believed me when I told them Danny could read.

I proved it by writing dozens of words on Post it notes, sticking them all over the Dining Room table and having him hand them to me as I said the word. Use what works! Give kids the tools they need to be successful. Give choices and include them in decisions whenever possible. I also used Natural Consequence, “You’ll need to hurry so we’ll have enough time to get French fries.” If he didn’t hurry, he didn’t get fries. Of course there was a tantrum but the next time he was ready and waiting for us.

Foster independence any way you can think of. After basic skills like Hygiene, teach them to order at restaurants, cut their own food, fill out their own medical forms.
I know some may be laughing now, thinking, “My child will never do that!” Don’t give up. It’s a process. You may be surprised by what your child can do. I know I was, many times.

Keep them actively engaged but keep an eye out for over stimulation

My job is to educate Parents of Children with Disabilities on their rights and responsibilities under the IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act). I teach everything from Evaluation and the IEP process through Transition into Adulthood. At one of my conferences, we had a little girl who was attending our Fun Camp Program with her Neuro Typical Brother. Her parents told me that her school reported she was “Uneducable”. Among other issues, she was a runner and wouldn’t keep her shoes on. At the end of the day, her Brother told me that she never ran or took her shoes off all day. Why? She was actively engaged.

If something isn’t working, try something else. We’re currently doing a program called RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) with Danny to improve Social Skills.
He’s doing great with it. I wish I’d known about it earlier. Live and learn.

Be firm but fair but also flexible

Recently, after an agency had spent 5 hours testing Danny for evaluation purposes, he was FRIED. When we went across the street for groceries, he had a MAJOR MELTDOWN right there in the grocery store. People were literally pulling out their cell phones.

Under different circumstances, I might have admonished him for inappropriate behavior. But after 5 HOURS of testing, I would have been frustrated too. All I could do was give him a big hug and tell him everything would be ok. I just held him until he calmed down, eliciting the stares of onlookers, then we got out of there before the authorities showed up! For the record, they told me the Evaluation would take an hour and was necessary to determine eligibility for College Funding. I always had to push hard to get Danny what he needed. It does get easier. Now it’s like breathing for me.

Encourage their gifts

We determined that Danny had aptitude and interest in Art and Computers. We made sure to get him whatever instruction we could and include this info on his Transition IEP and Post School Outcome Statement. We brought in Agencies who could help such as DVR (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation) and never took no for an answer. We took every opportunity to educate others when needed and always tried to be collaborative and proactive rather than adversarial and reactive. Not always successfully, but we tried.

It’s all worth it in the end

There were times that were harder than I could have ever imagined but in the end I feel rewarded and blessed. I know I’ve had a richer more fulfilling parenting experience than many parents who only get to raise Neuro Typical children.

Danny has a brother and sister and when they walked and talked and rode a bike, it was great but when Danny, my son I was told would NEVER do those things did them, the Earth moved. I wept tears of joy. It’s a Religious experience that other parents just don’t get. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for them. We never gave up and it’s paid off big! VIVA HOLLAND!

My name is Colleen and I’m here to tell you there is hope.