Is behavior biologically related to your refrigerator?

I have decided to write about the true causes of behavioral problems. The more I read into this subject the more I am convinced the causes are fairly obvious but certainly not recognized by many. Nutrition.

When you begin to examine what is really happening to children’s (and adults) health in this country you begin to take a new view of the problem.

I am looking at autism and the other childhood disease today from a health standpoint and as a modern-day health crisis. Just like the tons of other “new” disease we have like diabetes, MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue. There are so many chronic health conditions today and most doctors don’t know how to actually cure them.  We control them with drugs but we don’t prevent or cure them. Why?   Even though most American’s have become accustomed to thinking that prescription drugs are how you stay healthy, putting drugs into your body is not a method of creating health. It is nothing more than damage control. The house is on fire and you are walling yourself off in the basement hoping it doesn’t burn to the ground.

It is not normal for humans to need so much medication and have so many symptoms of ill-health.  Something is wrong.

We are victims of poor quality foods, pollutions, vaccinations, medications and more that all disrupt how the body is supposed to work. As I say “junk in, junk out” and that holds true.  If you put watered down gas in your car, it isn’t likely to run for very long. If you don’t eat any breakfast but you fill up on coffee, you will burn out long before 2pm. And yet this is how we live in America. We run on empty.

Our food supply is so processed its devoid of nutrients and it’s chemically made in a lab. I am not sure how we became brainwashed not to question the safety of eating something that can stay on a store shelf in a plastic wrapper for a year and had a list of ingredients we can’t pronounce but we did.

Much of our food supply is infiltrated with genetically modified organisms, hydrogenated fats and pesticides. Even most infant formula is made with GMO grain.  It’s all hidden under carefully worded food advertising. Our bodies cannot run on nothing but yet we expect it too.

If you look at the rates of medicated children in the U.S you can see a serious problem. Why are so many kids on medications? What could possible be going on that they all are deficient in psychotropic drugs? Certainly their behavioral issues and lack of focus are real but why?  Consequently the highest rates are reported by children on Medicaid according to the CDC. I don’t think its a coincidences that these children are the poorest in the nation and thus not eating the healthiest diets.

A child in the 1940’s had a home cooked breakfast before school. What do children eat today?  A pop tart which is nothing more than hydrogenated fat and sugar. Others may eat a bowl sugar-coated GMO grains called “cereal” with hormone/antibiotic laced milk poured on it.  And this is not because their parents don’t care, it’s because they are not aware of what is in the food.

yea.... It hasn't changed much

US School Lunch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Example of Finnish school lunch Suomi...

English: Example of Finnish school lunch Photo credit: Wikipedia)

School lunch today is a mess of meat fillers, MSG, more hydrogenated fat and sugar, chips, cookies and artificially colored frozen ice with corn syrup on it. Forcing our kids to take a milk at lunch is not a replacement for real food, fruit and vegetables. But this is the focus of the lunch program this year after Michelle Obama decided we have a national childhood obesity problem.  Milk is a protein that’s cheap for schools but disastrous for most children. Are we really supposed to drink the milk of another mammal? If you say so but first lets pasteurize the life out of it and then bolster it with sugar and chocolate flavoring.  You want academic scores to go up? Get children off sugar, dairy and hydrogenated foods. Where is the real meat and salad?

Just compare the typical public school lunch for American children to the lunch served in Finland and you can see a stark difference in nutrition.

We are fueling our children (and ourselves) on empty fuel and growing brains can’t function that way.

There is very little focus on nutrition in this country and more focus on “fast”, “easy” and “cheap”.  But growing children is a serious business. It requires thought, planning and good raw materials. aka: good quality food.

What children need is grass-fed meat, free range eggs, nut milks and butters, seeds, fresh vegetable and fruit and lots of essential fatty acids. How many children eat like this?

Few. But this could be your ticket to a Ritalin free childhood and a healthy adulthood. If we teach our children how to eat properly the next generation will not have a Ritalin epidemic or juvenile diabetes.

We need to wake up as parents and start demanding real food for our families. Don’t buy the junk and food manufacturers will be forced to sell better products.

So next time your child is squirming in his seat and acting irrational, think about what they ate earlier that day.

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Suggested reading:

“Dr. Bob’s Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 days”by Robert DeMaria

“The Biology of Behavior” by Diane Craft

* I do not receive endorsements from either of these products.

Primitive Reflex Integration Therapy

You may have never heard of primitive reflex integration or even primitive reflexes.

Moro reflex

Moro reflex (Photo credit: kungfujen)

Primitive reflexes are the reflexes we are born with that protect us as newborns.  They are what allows a newborn to root to nurse, what allows them to throw their arms out in startle. These are protective reflexes that usually become suppressed as an infant matures.

These are the primitive reflexes:

  1. moro also called the startle reflex
  2. walking reflex: infants will try to place one foot in front of the other when stood up
  3. rooting: when the infants cheek is stroked it will turn towards the touch in search of breast or bottle. It also includes the sucking reflex, where the infant will suck on anything that touches the roof of its mouth
  4. tonic neck: when the head is turned the arm on that side will straighten
  5. palmar grasp: when something touches the palm of the hand, the fingers will close
  6. plantar: causes toe curling: this explains why we can’t get those tiny shoes on newborns!
  7. galant: when you stroke one side of the infants spine, their body will twist towards that side
  8. babkin: when pressure is applied to both palms, the infant will rotate their head and open their mouth.

So what’s the big deal, right? Well these reflexes normally become suppressed by or before six months of age in infants who are developing normally.  When they do not integrate due to infant stress like toxins, illness, or anything that may disrupt development they interfere with the development of the nervous system.

I did know about infant reflexes when I had children as I had read about them in baby books, but I hadn’t given them much thought beyond that. I thought they were something that they just outgrew. What I did not know or realize was that many children with autism or other developmental conditions still have some of these reflexes. And if they do it inhibits other development like visual eye teaming, focus, attention, and can contribute to anxiety and learning problems.

I was drawn to study this and read some books about it because we did vision therapy and it was there that I learned my son had some primitive reflexes at the age of 7!

I still remember how blown away I was to see my son twist his body to the side when the therapist ran a pencil down the side of his spine. He had the gallant reflex. Upon more testing he had others like the moro reflex which they believed to be responsible for his anxiety.  But so many things that were impeding his motor development and keeping him from being able to see properly. It explained why he did so poorly with visual field grounding and could not find objects on the floor when sent him to get something.

But this all began a journey for us that led to healing and improvement. We were able to do primitive reflex integration with a therapist who was trained by Sally Goddard Blythe, a specialist in neuro-development and author of The Well Balanced Child.  Over the coming months my son’s reading level jumped significantly and his printing improved.

We were able to shed the diagnosis of Irlen’s Syndrome which for us turned out to be a convergence insufficiency corrected by this therapy along with vision therapy.

His initial evaluation results places him functioning visually at the level of a three-year old at age seven. His final evaluation done at the completion of therapy placed him at age appropriate visual motor functioning.

Primitive Reflexes are often overlooked in the development of our children but they can be important in how they affect our kids.