Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined by repetitive, stereotypical and often restricted behavior such as head-nodding, and by the difficulties, those with it have in reading the emotions of and interacting with other people. These symptoms are notable in children from the age of two onwards. Currently, in America, about one child in 59 is diagnosed with ASD.
Many autism experts claim that certain types of foods and diets can effectively treat or help children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some autism researchers also believe there is a strong link between the functioning of the brain and the gut. But with the very huge number of food and recommended diets available, how can you determine how effective even the best probiotics for kids with disabilities are?
What are probiotics and are they safe for kids with disabilities?
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut (mostly intestines) and play a wide variety of roles including developing the immune system, digesting food, absorbing nutrients, producing neurotransmitters, and boosting energy production. As a result, probiotics have a huge impact on almost every aspect of brain and body function and can be a factor in many issues our children face from mood and behavior problems to constipation or IBS and various diseases – taking the best probiotics for kids with autism is safe.
What do probiotics and the gut have to do with your child’s brain?
Obviously, you’ve heard of “a gut feeling”, and it’s a real thing! Our gut and brain are in constant communication through something named the “enteric nervous system”. This unique system of neurons regulates aspects of the gastrointestinal system, the immune system, the endocrine system, and more.
How can parents support the best probiotics for gut health to their children with disabilities?
Eat more whole foods and less processed foods
Processed foods are loaded with chemicals, unhealthy fats, and inadequate nutrients that negatively impact the gut. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, quality meats and seafood, nuts, and whole grains help sustain healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut.
Encourage outdoor playtime
Kids need lots of moments for an outdoor playtime to support healthy brain and physical growth. Unfortunately, children with disabilities today are experiencing more stress and are more inactive than ever before. Giving kids opportunities for physical activity lowers stress levels, which promotes a healthy gut. Letting kids play outside exposes them to healthy bacteria in the environment, which helps boost good bacteria levels in their bodies.
Give a probiotic supplement
Even when you perform other approaches to support your child’s gut health, it’s impossible to fully protect your child from the many environmental toxins, stressors, and other factors that can generate gut imbalances. Giving a probiotic supplement regularly helps boost levels of good bacteria and supports healthy brain and body function. Use a product containing Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains, as these have been proven in research studies to be the most important for supporting healthy bacteria levels in the gut.
Oftentimes, it can be challenging for families to manage the health of a child with disabilities. Autism can be very complicated and there are many interconnected symptoms. Finding the best probiotics for kids with autism can be a trial and error. Keep in mind that probiotics should not be used as medication and it should be done under the care of your child’s pediatrician.