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Could Vitamin D Lack Cause Autism?

A hugely controversial idea. Dr. John Cannell MD, of the Vitamin D Council thinks it's crucial. I definitely think every parent of an autistic child should know about this option...

from "The Vitamin D Newsletter, January 30, 2010."


Dear Dr. Cannell:

At age 2.5 years, between December 2007 and January 2008, my son experienced a fairly dramatic onset of symptoms that led to his diagnosis of autism. His symptoms (many of which we did not even know the terminology for at the time they first occurred) included: The inability to sleep at night, we would put him to bed at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. following his normal bedtime routine.

Development of anxiety and refusal to leave the house even to do preferred activities

Obsessive-repetitive questions and monologuing/run-on speech

Sensory issues (refusal to wear jeans or any fabrics other than fleece, screaming hysterically at bath time, complaining and covering eyes in sunlight, covering ears for everyday noises that had not bothered him before (toilets flushing, pulling pots and pans from cupboards, etc.)

Toe-walking

Flapping and self-stimulating behaviors (repeatedly tapping his cheeks and eyes with all ten fingers, continually twisting up his fingers in pretzel-like configurations, holding objects in his peripheral range of vision and straining to see them from the corner of his eyes)

Development of an unusual pattern of stuttering/vocal tic at the end of words,he would repeat the last sound/syllable,"I don't want to go to the store-or-or-or-or-or-or. It won't be fun-n-n-n-n-n-n-n." He would make sounds even in his sleep "n-n-n-n-n-n" or "s-s-s-s-s-s-s"

Loss of muscle tone (stopped walking up and down stairs and began crawling/sliding instead, decline in balance and motor skills)

Loss of handedness (began switching left to right hand, after seeming predominantly left-handed)

Marked increase in hyperactivity

Frequent spacing out/unresponsive episodes

Our son and his twin sister were born at 36 weeks, 5 days on March 17, 2005 after four months of bed-rest. As early as their 8 week appointment, I mentioned to our pediatrician that we had concerns about our son's eye contact and social responsiveness (in comparison to his sister). I felt that I was having more difficulty bonding with him.

We were told "don't worry, but don't wait" and were referred to our state's Early On intervention program. At the end of June a physical therapist and speech pathologist from our intermediate school district came to our home to evaluate our then 3 month old son and told me that he was doing just fine and that I was worrying too much. I agreed that by the time they saw him he had begun smiling and making better eye contact.

We didn't worry again about our son until fall 2006. He had walked just before his first birthday, but by 18 months+ he still seemed clumsy and prone to falling compared to his sister. We took him back to the intermediate school district for evaluation and were told that all of his development seemed to be in the normal range and that we shouldn't worry.

We were advised that we could take him to music and gym classes to work on his coordination and told that we could pay for private physical therapy if we elected. We followed all of the recommendations.

For a year, we didn't notice any other changes until the sudden onset of symptoms listed above when he was 2.5 years. With the sudden onset of symptoms above, we took our son to see a number of specialists during the winter of 2008 including a neurologist (who diagnosed him with Asperger Syndrome), a psychologist (who diagnosed with autism), and a second psychologist who specialized in the treatment of autism (who diagnosed him with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not-Otherwise-Specified).

All three diagnoses are on the autism spectrum. He also began seeing an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a behavioral specialist, and a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor for dietary interventions. We saw a dramatic improvement by April/May of that year. Nearly all the symptoms on the list above had resolved. We assumed the improvements were due to diet but he started to go into the sun around that time. Our son slept well and spent many peaceful, happy and anxiety-free months during the spring and summer after turning three.

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