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Showing posts from May, 2009

Casein Free and Gluten Free Diet: Affect on Children with Autism and ADHD

1. What is a casein free diet?
A casein free diet is where dairy (protein) is removed or any other food product containing casein.
Fortified cereals, ice cream, processed meats, salad dressings are just a few of the foods that could contain casein. In order to know for sure if a particular food contains casein be sure to read the label. It sometimes is not obvious that the particular food item contains dairy product or casein.

2. What is a gluten free diet?
A gluten free diet eliminates the wheat, barley, rye, oats, and any products made from these grains.

3. How do these products affect kids with autism?
The most studied theory is that eating or drinking milk protein leads to high levels of protein by-products, called casomorphines, in some children with autism. These by-products may then affect behavior like a drug would. Specifically, in these children, casomorphines could reduce their desire for social interaction, block pain messages, and increase confusion. If milk protein is ta…

The Brain in the Gut - Implications for ADHD and Autism

Reference: Taken from "A contemporary view of selected subjects from the pages of The New York Times, January 23, 1996. Printed in Themes of the Times: General Psychology, Fall 1996. Distributed Exclusively by Prentice-Hall Publishing Company.

The Enteric Nervous System: The Brain in the Gut

The gut has a mind of its own, the "enteric nervous system". Just like the larger brain in the head, researchers say, this system sends and receives impulses, records experiences and respond to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed and influenced by the same neurotransmitters. The gut can upset the brain just as the brain can upset the gut.

The gut's brain or the "enteric nervous system" is located in the sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Considered a single entity, it is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the brain proper and a complex circuitry…

Learning Organizations and Shared Leadership

Acknowledging the transformations that are occurring in understanding leadership and how organizations are structured is a continuing dilemma within the field of education. Schools have found themselves in an environment experiencing discontinuous change and the expectation that they re-evaluate their core business in order to achieve the most beneficial outcomes for their students. The business of education is undergoing a shift in leadership paradigms as learning organizations and multiple leadership roles evolve as prominent models to structure public education in the 21st century.

The reality of establishing a learning organization and shared leadership may be daunting for educators for some believe that the operation of a school is very different from running or managing a corporation or private business. However, the devolution of education from large district control to the individual school system has required leaders to re-evaluate their purpose within the school. The ab…

Neurotherapy for ADHD and Autism

The issues that were identified by the two educators were the increasing number of students displaying symptoms of or being diagnosed with oppositional behaviour, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the schools ability or inability to adapt to accommodate the unique needs of today’s children. This paper will define these disorders and explore innovative approaches like neurotherapy and biofeedback to improve various cognitive skills related to attention and memory and to improve the negative behaviours that may be associated with each disorder.

Stanovich and Jordan (1998) have stated that “today’s teachers must deal, as never before, with heterogeneity in their classroom”. Students in the classroom who are severely disruptive may have a variety of mental health issues including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiance and Conduct Disorder (Cook, 2005) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The American Psychiatric Association …


Expectancy-Value Theory investigates the individual’s expectation that they can succeed at a particular task and the value they place in engaging and completing the task (Urdan & Turner, 2005). Individuals must place value in a particular activity, as they may not be motivated to complete the activity even if they know they can succeed (Urdan & Turner, 2005). Students may experience this within a classroom where they do not value the particular subject even if they are capable of completing the tasks assigned. Therefore, it is the schools responsibility to investigate the areas the student values, which may increase the student’s motivation to stay in school to complete the topic of value.

Studies have found that teacher’s expectations and behaviours influenced student’s achievement expectations and course taking (Urdan & Turner, 2005). Expectations by school staff of defeated and discouraged students may affect learning outcomes of those students depending on whether …

DIR MODEL: DR. Stanley Greenspan


It sounds like he is quite a challenge. My approach is not to tell you what to do but to offer you a process that may be helpful in determining your course of intervention. Since I do not know the process you have undertaken so far I will present some information as a precursor to a comprehensive intervention.
The DIR model may be appropriate for this child. DIR stands for Developmental, Individual, Relationship model. The D stands for the developmental functional capacities of the child which I will explain to you. The “I” stands for Individual differences such as motor planning, auditory processing etc... and the “R” stands for the Learning relationships the child has access to, parents, teachers, siblings.
The first thing that needs to be investigated is his Functional …