From the Inside OUT…

From the Inside OUT...

We complain about how our children are unable to stay focused…we worry that they have bad behavior at school…are a bully or are bullied! Or as an adult we have that midday lull that slows us down enough that we can’t finish our day, we take medicine to stay awake and medicine to help us sleep. But did you realize how much control we have over our body’s ability to function?

If you were buying gas for your car you wouldn’t put water in the tank, nor would you put unleaded gas in a diesel.

There are foods that we KNOW change the way we function. We eat to refuel our body’s gas tank and most REAL foods contain the nutrients our body needs to function.

So what is the definition of a nutrient- a chemical substance that provides nourishment and affects the nutritive and metabolic processes of the body. Nutrients are essential for growth, reproduction, and maintenance of health. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Nutrients

What happens to your body when you don’t get the nutrients you need to function~

* Inattentive
* Lack of Sleep
* Speed Processing problems
* Timing/Rhythm problems (this affects mental organization and your internal clock)
* Auditory Processing (being able to interpret what you hear, many people eating poorly are taking med’s that can actually cause ringing in the ear)
* Working memory and short term memory

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When we talk about feeding your BRAIN there are several foods that come to MIND ~

*Blueberries
*Nuts & Seeds
*Beans
*Avocados
*Wild Salmon
*Green veggies (kale, broccoli, cabbage)
*Beets, Carrots, Tomatoes
*Chai Seeds

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These foods boost your brain function, AND help create cognitive power and mental energy that helps you stay focused all day!

When we look at what supplies nutrients to our body we also need to look at what hurts us and decreases our abilities!

Additives in Food:
~ Monosodium Glutamate (MSG/E621)
~ High Fructose Corn Syrup or Glucose/Fructose
~ Artificial Sweeteners
~ Common Food Dyes (Red, Blue, Yellow)
~ Trans Fat
~ BHA and BHT (E320)
~ Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrate
~ Potassium Bromate
~ Sodium Sulfite (E221)
~ Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Elimination Diet: There are a few foods that CAN cause sensitivities and are known for decreasing attention and focus even if testing does not show an allergy. These foods can be detected through an elimination diet. This is accomplished by eliminating them from your diet for 3 weeks. At the end of the third week, eat a LOT of that food. If the symptoms are better when you are off that food and get seriously worse when reintroduced then it is important to steer clear of those foods. These foods include:

* Diary Products
* Gluten Products
* Eggs
* Additives and Preservatives (including food dyes)
* Yeast Products
* Nuts/Peanuts

I understand how hard it is to feed children and get them to eat foods that they do not think they like. As their parent you are helping them thrive and survive by feeding them nourishing food. When we not only allow them to eat chips, soda, donuts, candy, mac & (powdered) cheese and hotdogs, but we buy this stuff for them, then we are supporting an ‘addictive’ body. These simple carbs turn into sugar which then creates inflammation and a ‘craving’ for sugar. Alcohol is the easiest sugar to consume as an adult.

Simple Rules of Buying Food:

~ Nothing in a box
~ Nothing in a can

~ Steer clear of any aisle food, shop the perimeter of the store!

This may seem extreme, but daily I see less concern for what we feed our families and MORE medication needed to help them sleep, pay attention, stay calm, and have better behavior. It may not be ALL diet related 🙂 BUT, I am confident reducing refined sugar, chemicals in foods, and all the processed foods will help our brains think faster, stay focused and perform with cognitive flexibility.

BE AWARE: Eating food can be life altering! Try to eat meat that is grass fed, food that has not been sprayed with chemicals and as you eat salmon, please ensure it’s “WILD salmon”.

Bon Appetit~

Another Thought by Dr. Lise’

The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love…How Important is it?

The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love...How Important is it?

The ‘trauma’ of not feeling loved or not making that connection with a parent can be devastating forever. It has been coined by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk as a ‘Developmental Trauma Disorder’ and although not adapted by the DSMV, it is definitely descriptive of the impact it has on an individual.

It isn’t always intentional that families are unable to make the communication-relationship work. A child will engage as a baby and then their brain becomes over loaded and is not able to stay connected. As a parent if that intuitive feeling of your baby ‘needing a break’ becomes a fear of not connecting, the relationship or bond may not ever solidify and then both parent and child pull away from one another. This can start from a simple action of a child looking towards their parent when they are need of making a connection and a parent looking away from the child instead of meeting the child’s needs. This response happens with very young parents or parents which were subject to abuse themselves.

It is horrifying how many other cases of a more severe abuse, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse occur on a daily basis between families. This abuse may not be the actual parent but a family member and as these events occur the parents may not be supportive of the child and therefore a feeling of not having a safe environment occurs at home; not safe to tell Mom & Dad, nor safe to live in the home. It also may be that the parent knows nothing of the abuse, but the relationship of the parent and child does not allow for that ‘safe communication’. This chronic stressed situation can lead to many different outcomes.

What happens when you do not feel loved or safe as a child?

* Chronic anxiety
* Chronic depression
* Physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate, and cortisol levels go up, decreasing access to important areas of the brain
* The person develops a ‘self-loathing’ characteristic or a feeling of being unworthy of love
* They have a difficulty regulating their emotions…they become angry, sad, Jealous, fearful and unable to turn these emotions off or down, sometimes looking like a bipolar effect
* Unable to ‘attach’ to another human being, a lack of empathy (knowing what someone else is feeling)
* They create a ‘wall’ or must ‘disassociate’ from others

To feel worthy of love, to learn from new experiences, to learn from your own past experiences an area of the brain within the Prefrontal Cortex will be engaged. If this area is not accessible due to childhood experiences that lead to trauma then people misinterpret, they do not perceive others or themselves accurately.

How this plays out in life:

* Increased autoimmune disorders
* Obesity
* More sexual active at younger ages (encouraging sexual relationships but discouraging gender-peer social interactions
* Lack the ability to concentrate or pay attention (more ADHD in this group)
* Severe Anger management (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
* Self-Inflicted pain, cutting, biting or puncturing/ burning themselves
* Eating disorders, bulimic, anorexic, or soul comforting foods making themselves malnourished
* Addictions, alcohol, drugs, sex etc…
* Disorganized and confused
* Cognitive concerns, problem solving, reasoning, deduction skills, critical thinking, speed processing

Do you wonder if you have a developmental trauma disorder…try taking this simple checklist

Finding Your ACE Score

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?
or
Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?
or
Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever…
Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?
or
Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

4. Did you often or very often feel that …
No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?
or
Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

5. Did you often or very often feel that …
You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you?
or
Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed
it?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

7. Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
or
Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
or
Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

10. Did a household member go to prison?
Yes No If yes enter 1 _______

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score.

If you are interested in knowing what these results mean, please contact me back channel or contact your mental health provider for results. (drldelong@cognitive-connections.com)

What worries me…is we have a huge population of children growing into adults that are doing horrific acts, ending up in jail, being put on drugs and perpetuating the cycle of neglect and abuse and research now shows it may be due to the way these children were treated before the age of 10. Bessel van der Kolk, http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Networker.pdf

Please love your babies…hold your children…be attentive to them, truly listen to them and respect and regard their opinions. They will not only be caring for you as you grow older but they will be making decisions based on their past experiences. Give them GREAT, caring, loving experiences.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

If you are a Woman Please take this Poll

Did You Know Drinking ANYTIME During Pregnancy Can Cause Serious Brain Problems?

Did You Know Drinking ANYTIME During Pregnancy Can Cause Serious Brain Problems?

“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders- FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.” http://depts.washington.edu/fasdpn/htmls/fasd-fas.htm

There are a number of subtypes based on a ‘spectrum’ within this disorder, of FASD, including Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD), and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE).

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): FAS represents the severe end of the FASD spectrum. Fetal death is the most extreme outcome from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. People with FAS might have abnormal facial features, growth problems, and central nervous system (CNS) problems. People with FAS can have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, or hearing. They might have a mix of these problems. People with FAS often have a hard time in school and difficulty in social situations.

Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND): People with ARND might have intellectual disabilities and problems with behavior and learning. They might do poorly in school and have difficulties with math, memory, attention, judgment, and poor impulse control.

Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD): People with ARBD might have problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones, or with hearing. They might have a mix of these.
http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/aboutUs/aboutFASD.aspx

“In general, diagnoses under the FASD umbrella involve a range of clinical manifestations, including physical, behavioral, and/or learning problems. Children with any of the FASDs need to be identified, diagnosed, monitored, and referred for appropriate care and services or further evaluations as indicated. Effects related to each of the FASD diagnoses are lifelong and affect not only the child, but also his or her family and the wider community.”

http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders-toolkit/Pages/Common-Definitions.aspx#sthash.KJhL2lRR.dpuf

Many families don’t know their child is within this spectrum of FASD, they can not figure out why they are have the learning or behavior difficulties they seem to display in school or at home. Nor do not know how to recognize the signs and many Doctors do not know how to diagnosis this Disorder; therefore, it goes undiagnosed which causes confusion in school as to the child’s abilities. It also inhibits services, and insurance or supplemental coverage for FASD. Because so many other disorders have co-morbid characteristics, children may be first diagnosed with Auditory Processing problems, attention problems, language disorders or Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

STATS:

Drinking Among Women Age 15 to 44 In the United States:

• 1 in 2 reports any alcohol use in the past month.
• Approximately 1 in 4 reports binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion).
• About 1 in 20 reports heavy alcohol use (defined as binge drinking on at least 5 days in the last month).

Drinking Among Pregnant Women In the United States:

• 1 in 30 pregnant women reports high-risk drinking (defined as 7 or more drinks per week, or 5 or more drinks on any one occasion).
• 1 in 9 pregnant women binge drink in the first trimester.
• 1 in 30 pregnant women drink at levels shown to increase the risk of FASD.
• More than 1 in 5 pregnant women report alcohol use in the first trimester, 1 in 14 in the second trimester, and 1 in 20 in the third trimester.
• Those who are unmarried and over 30 tend to have the highest rates of alcohol use in pregnancy. However, in 2004, the rate of past month binge drinking among pregnant women age 15 to 17 (8.8%) was more than twice that of pregnant women age 26 to 44 (3.8%).
http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/documents/WYNK_Numbers.pdf

Prevalence: How Many Cases of FASD Are There?

Each year in the United States, an estimated 40,000 babies are born with an FASD, making these disorders more common than new diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010), and a leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities (Abel & Sokol, 1987). Recent in-school studies suggest that cases of FASD among live births in the U.S., previously reported as approximately 9 per 1,000 (Sampson et al., 1997) could, in reality, be closer to 50 per 1,000 (May, 2009). In addition, recent retrospective analyses of hospital admissions data indicate that under-reporting of alcohol misuse or harm by women may further disguise true prevalence rates (Morleo et al., 2011).
http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/aboutUs/aboutFASD.aspx

Financial Impact: What Does FASD Cost?

The cost factor of raising a child with an FASD is significant. Amendah and colleagues (2011) found that, for a child with identified FAS, incurred health costs were nine times higher than for children without an FASD. Lupton and colleagues (2004) have estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a person with FAS to be at least $2 million, and the overall annual cost of FASD to the U.S. healthcare system to be more than $6 billion.

COMMON CHARACTERISTICS:

The following neurodevelopmental characteristics are commonly associated with FASD. No one or two is necessarily diagnostically significant; many overlap characteristics of other diagnoses, e.g. ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and others.
Typical primary characteristics in children, adolescents, and adults include:

* Memory problems
* Difficulty storing and retrieving information
* Inconsistent performance (“on” and “off”) days
* Impulsivity, distractibility, disorganization
* Ability to repeat instructions, but inability to put them into action (“talk the talk but don’t walk the walk”)
* Difficulty with abstractions, such as math, money management, time concepts
* Cognitive processing deficits (may think more slowly)
* Slow auditory pace (may only understand every third word of normally paced conversation)
* Developmental lags (may act younger than chronological age)
* Inability to predict outcomes or understand consequences

Common Strengths:
Many people with FASD have strengths which mask their cognitive challenges.

* Highly verbal
* Bright in some areas
* Artistic, musical, mechanical
* Athletic
* Friendly, outgoing, affectionate
* Determined, persistent
* Willing
* Helpful
* Generous
* Good with younger children

Preventable Secondary Characteristics:

In the absence of identification, people with FASD often experience chronic frustration. Over time, patterns of defensive behaviors commonly develop. These characteristics are believed to be preventable with appropriate supports.

* Fatigue, tantrums
* Irritability, frustration, anger, aggression
* Fear, anxiety, avoidance, withdrawal
* Shut down, lying, running away
* Trouble at home, school, and community
* Legal trouble
* Drug / Alcohol abuse
* Mental health problems (depression, self injury, suicidal tendencies)

WHAT POTENTIAL PROBLEMS DO PEOPLE WITH AN FASD FACE?

People with an FASD are vulnerable to a range of difficulties, such as failure in school, substance abuse, mental illness, and involvement in the criminal justice system. A study conducted by the University of Washington shows the percentage of persons age 6 to 51 with an FASD who had difficulties in the following areas:

• 94% had mental health problems.
• 83% of adults experienced dependent living.
• 79% of adults had employment problems.
• 60% of those age 12 and older had trouble with the law.
• 50% experienced inpatient treatment for mental health or substance abuse problems or spent time in prison.
• 45% engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.
• 43% had disrupted school experiences (e.g., dropped out).
• 24% of adolescents, 46% of adults, and 35% overall had alcohol and drug problems.

THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN…WAYS TO REMEDIATE/REHABILITATE:

* Spend time encouraging independence
* Create ways to help them feel successful
* Engage them in Music at young age (encouraging an out let for expression)
* Social programs that encourage talking about their concerns
* Brain remediation games that assist with:
– Speed Processing
– Language Processing (Expressive and Receptive)
– Auditory Processing (Reception, Association, Sequential Memory, Discrimination)
– Divided and Diverted Attention
– Working Memory
– Executive Function Skills ( Problem solving, Critical Thinking, Reasoning, Deduction)
– Cognitive Switching
– Left/Right Orientation
– Internal Organization
* A method of relaxation/ stress management

It is important we learn more about this disorder and share this knowledge. We do NOT need to place blame! The large majority of women would not ever do anything to hurt their child knowingly. They may not have known they were pregnant at the time they drank or they may have been very young, and did not know better, they may be Moms that have been taught to think it won’t matter to just have a couple of drinks.

We need to support our youth and help them understand the potential impression they have on their fetus and it’s success.

It does take a whole village to raise our children, please tolerate differences…and yet teach yourself so you can help the younger generation learn what MIGHT happen if they are not careful.

FASD is 100% preventable! Help us to educate the youth…BE AWARE if you are within child bearing age, PLEASE think before drinking!

If you believe your child may have the symptoms of FASD call your local Neurologist for a Diagnosis. If you need remediation activities to help your child, stay tuned in for future Blog entries on activities or contact me at http://www.cognitive-connections.com

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’