Clear as mud: another look at autism, childhood apraxia of speech and auditory processing.
ABSTRACT Autism, childhood apraxia of speech and central auditory processing disorder are associated with significant disability. These conditions can be more difficult to diagnose. With significant controversy surrounding their definitions and most effective treatment options, understanding these conditions better may optimize outcomes.
As earlier diagnosis and treatment become more commonplace, the type and intensity of intervention provided continue to be a topic of extensive interest and research. The protean nature of speech and language disorders requires careful consideration of several diagnostic causes. Problems with speech may reflect motor coordination or apraxia, problems with processing language may reflect an auditory processing disorder, whereas more profound delays may reflect cognitive disability or autism. Early consideration of different causes of delay will aid in the choice and application of appropriate therapies.
Early identification and treatment of speech and language problems are known to result in better outcomes. By expanding one's differential diagnosis for speech and language disorders and understanding the link between early communication delay and later language learning, one hopes to mitigate the long-term effects these conditions have on children.
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, which include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and apraxia, are increasing worldwide and have a profound impact on these individuals’ behaviors, cognitive skills, mood and self-esteem. While the etiology of these disorders are unclear, they often accompany genetic and biochemical abnormalities resulting in cognitive and communication difficulties. Because cognitive and neural development require essential fatty acids (particularly long chain ω-3 fatty acids often lacking in mother’s and children’s diets) during critical growth periods, the potential behavior-modifying effects of these fatty acids as “brain nutrients” has attracted considerable attention. Additionally, there is compelling evidence for increased oxidative stress, altered antioxidant defenses, and neuroinflammation in these children. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a scientific rationale based upon cellular, experimental animal model, observational and clinical intervention studies for incorporating the combination of ω-3 fatty acids and tocotrienol-rich vitamin E as complementary nutritional therapies in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Should this nutritional combination correct key clinical or biochemical outcomes and/or improve behavioral patterns, it would provide a safe, complementary option for these children.Nutrition 01/2013; 30(7-8). DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2013.11.001 · 3.05 Impact Factor