Therapeutic Use Of Fish Oil for Apraxia, Autism and Other Communication Impairments
“Every so often, scientists really do discover a substance of transformative power, one with the ability to cure the previously incurable and improve the quality of life for the rest of us. Omega-3 fatty acids — a component of simple fish oil, once so prevalent in our diet but now largely absent — could be such a substance.”~ Harvard Medical School doctor, Andrew Stoll, MD
Basic information about fish oil supplementation for children with speech delays, impairments, or multifaceted communication impairments
What is the best fish oil for my baby or child?
The confusion is more the brand names than the formulas. In actuality there really is no such thing as a “children’s fish oil” as fish oil is fish oil. However fish oils can be marketed to appear to be just for children by making cuter bottles, fun flavorings, smaller capsules. In general you will find the “Jr” marketed fish oils to be about twice as expensive because they are typically half dosage for around the same cost.
Most parents squeeze the oil out of the capsule anyway -so if anything a larger capsule would be easier for a child. The one time you may want to consider paying twice as much for fish oil with the “Jr” marketed fish oil capsules is when you want to teach your older child to swallow the fish oils capsules.
Fish oils are also known by the following names
- Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids or PUFAs
- Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids or LCPs
- Omega 3s or O3
Dr. Stordy and Malcolm Nicholl co authored The LCP Solution and my son Tanner’s story is the first one in the book under apraxia “The Lellow Breakthrough“
Malcolm was one of my co authors of the book The Late Talker as well. The LCP Solution or the Omega 3 Connection are both excellent books for general info about why EFAs (or LCPs/PUFAs/stinky fish oils, are essential to our bodies, have to be consumed, but are virtually lacking in our diets today.
The Following Links Will Provide More Information
- Dosage of Fish Oil For Children
- First Conference on Therapy of Verbal Apraxia Using NN ProEFA 369
- Press Release From First Apraxia Conference.
- How To Serve Fish Oils To A Child
- How To Teach Your Child To Swallow Fish Oil (or other) Capsules
- Fish Oil Capsules Vs Liquid For Children, Which Is Better And Why?
- Picky Eater Tips
- Night crying if fish oils are served late in the day
- Elementary Introduction To Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Evidence
- Nutrition Cognition Research Articles
- EFA resources
- Tanner Geng’s The Lellow Breakthrough
- Fish Oil Side Effects?
- Studies Find Food May Help ADHD More Than Drugs
Two options for those that just can’t get fish oils into their child
What improvements should I look for when I start my child on fish oils?
Since I receive lots of calls about this -I wanted to list the most common changes in an apraxic or other speech disordered child on EFAs from what I’ve read and heard and seen. Most of the following are for children that were essentially nonverbal previous to supplementation.
- Increase in babbling or attempts at sounds.
- Increase in imitation.
Changes also can be looked for in (what you see as positive or negative)
Next will come a breakthrough of something you were probably working on for a bit -so you will be excited but will think “Well -I don’t want to get my hopes up we were working on that for awhile now -maybe it’s just a coincidence” However after the second or third surge in a short period of time -and then another – you are pretty sure things are different and it’s at this point the professionals and the rest of the family and your friends are noticing it too – maybe about two to three weeks now.
OK -the next stage is pure elation and hope -you see the light and no longer feel as desperate and want to share this new information with everyone and anyone. As the months go by and your child continues to progress at a much more rapid rate -you may even start to doubt the original diagnosis -especially if you started EFA supplementation at two -and perhaps the SLP that diagnosed the apraxia who also was at first excited is starting to second guess if the original diagnosis was correct as well.
Unless you have to stop the NNProEFA 3.6.9. (or other Essential Fatty Acids) and literally have the chance to see the regression of acquired speech and language skills, attempts, and changes in behavior like we did with Tanner (and/or have a chance to again witness the second surge when your child is put back on the EFAs) -that doubt will probably remain somewhere in your mind and in others around your child. So the “I told you that he would start talking when he was ready” comments should be expected of course.
The child on NNProEFA 3.6.9. or some other EFA formula’s like it no longer fits the criteria of the classic definition of apraxia -and yet doesn’t fit the classic perception of what a late talker is either. The brain responds to multiple stimuli and even if children on fish oil no longer present with the original diagnosis, they will still require appropriate speech therapy. And while most of this information is focused on speech and communication impairments, fish oils are beneficial for numerous conditions from cardiovascular to psychological conditions as they contain the essential fatty acids. With a slightly different formula of fish oils containing high EPA to DHA and an even smaller amount of GLA, the fish oils are also extremely beneficial for those diagnosed with ADHD. There are numerous cases of children that due to the effectiveness of fish oils, were kept off prescribed drugs for ADHD with known serious side effects.
What Percentage Of Children Have Benefits With Fish Oils?
According to researcher Dr. Jacqueline Stordy, and author of The LCP Solution, who presented at a conference at the UNC School of Medicine Chapel Hill on fish oils and apraxia, the results are around 80 percent success rate with the right formula. Formula is key for success.
We hope to raise monies for clinical research to validate the importance of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids Until there is research, share all with your child’s ped -many neurologists today are more knowledgeable about the importance of EFAs even if your pediatrician still has little to share in this area.
While looking into fish oils which contain essential fatty acids, you may also want to explore with your child’s doctor essential amino acids and nutrients through diet as well. We have had incredible success with essential nutrients and there is extensive and growing research on the importance of these essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are needed daily but the body can’t produce them so they need to be consumed in the diet. The problem is many diets today are poor, and add to that compromised metabolic systems. The purest form of supplementation is through food.
Essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and essential nutrients may be confusing…but good news is that we don’t have to understand everything about good nutrition to see it have positive effects!
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