Monday, December 31, 2012

Concussions in children may have lingering effects

From (12/11) :

Children who suffered concussions showed changes in their cognitive functioning and brain structure two weeks after their injuries, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. Although other concussion-related symptoms waned after three months, brain scans revealed that children with concussions still had structural changes in the white matter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Prepregnancy obesity may affect children's cognitive ability

From News (12/10):

A 10-point increase in maternal body mass index before pregnancy was linked to a decline in their children's cognitive performance at ages 5 and 7, according to a U.K. study in the journal Pediatrics. Although the overall effect of prepregnancy weight on cognition was modest, the link seemed to strengthen as the children got older, researchers said.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Antipsychotic therapy may lower iron levels in autism patients

From Family Practice News (12/18):

Children with autism spectrum disorders who took antipsychotics for 18 months were likely to have lower plasma ferritin concentrations, U.S. researchers found. They reported that rapid weight gain during antipsychotic therapy was linked to iron depletion. The findings were presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don't Blame Autism for Newtown - NYT article

Another Autism article related to Newtown from the New York Times

Screen access in bedrooms may be tied to childhood obesity

From The Globe and Mail (Toronto)/The Hot Button blog (tiered subscription model) (10/22):

Children who had access to screens -- televisions, DVD players, video games, computers or cellphones -- in their bedrooms were more likely to be overweight than those without access, a Canadian study in the journal Pediatric Obesity found. Increased TV time at night also could increase the risk of childhood obesity, researchers said, because an extra hour of sleep curbed the risk of obesity by up to 30%.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers...

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtown and all those affected in the wake of such a horrible tragedy.

As details continue to emerge, we wanted to share the following article from today's Huffington Post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prenatal exposure to oxygen deprivation may raise ADHD risk

From CNN/The Chart blog (12/10):

Health records of almost 82,000 5- to 11-year-olds showed that
those who were exposed to ischemic-hypoxic conditions while in the womb had a 16%

higher risk of having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder later in childhood. Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome carried the highest risk for ADHD, followed by preeclampsia and birth asphyxia, according to the study in the journal Pediatrics.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Autism risk may be tied to exposure to traffic pollution

From WebMD (11/26):

Children who had high exposure to traffic-related pollutants while in the womb or in their first year of life had a higher risk of autism than those exposed to less traffic pollution, a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry found.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AAP urges less pesticide exposure for children

From (11/26):

Parents should use the least toxic methods in controlling pests in their homes and gardens to protect their children from too much pesticide exposure, the

AAP said in a report published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday. Eating organic foods as well as washing produce and removing peels can also help lower pesticide exposure for children, the AAP said.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Research ties prenatal antibiotic use to childhood asthma risk

From Reuters (11/19):

Children born to mothers who took antibiotics while pregnant had a 17% higher risk of being hospitalized for asthma at age 5 compared with those who weren't

exposed to the drugs, Danish researchers found. The study in the Journal of Pediatrics also showed that children exposed to antibiotics while in the womb were 18% more likely to be prescribed an asthma drug.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fall Newsletter

Our Fall Newsletter is out...

Flu during pregnancy and Autism

From The Huffington Post (11/12):

Mothers who reported having influenza or experiencing a prolonged fever during pregnancy were more likely to have children with autism spectrum disorder than those who had not had flu or long-lasting fever

s, Danish researchers found. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that common infections such as respiratory ailments, colds and urinary tract infections were not significantly linked to increased autism risk. Experts cautioned the study results are preliminary.

~ Please note: We feel the flu shot as a live virus vaccine may also be associated with autism spectrum disorder, so we are not recommending the flu shot in pregnant women to prevent the flu.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

HBOT use for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Are you concerned about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning as a result of using a generator? If so, please contact the office to speak with Dr. O'Hara or Dr. Szakacs to discuss use of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). HBOT has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive sequelae.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Research looks at student athletes' attitudes toward concussions

From News (10/23):

More than half of 134 high-school football players who experienced concussion-like symptoms said they failed to seek medical attention for fear of being removed from play, a study found. Although 53% of the respondents noted that they were more aware of concussion signs at present than they were when starting high school, only 38% expressed concerns about the lasting effects of such injuries. The findings were presented at the AAP national conference.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Study finds children with autism at risk for GI problems

From News (9/25) :

Data from the Autism Treatment Network involving 2,973 children with autism spectrum disorder showed that 24% of them were diagnosed with at least one chronic gastrointestinal disorder. The study in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology found that anxiety and sensory over-responsivity were common among those with GI problems.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

20 minutes of exercise can boost cognitive function in ADHD

From News (10/24) :

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who participated in 20 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise showed marked improvements in neurocognitive function and inhibitory control, according to a study in The Journal of Pediatrics. Researchers said that both the ADHD and control groups performed better in reading and arithmetic following the bout of exercise.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Early intervention alters brain activity in children with autism

From Medical News Today (10/26):

The Early Start Denver Model early-intervention program for children with autism can help normalize brain activity, improve language and soc

ial skills, and enhance cognitive thinking, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found. The program combines developmental, play-based and relationship-based methods and training techniques.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Many babies at risk of development delays don't get early intervention

From Reuters (5/22):

Thirty-six percent of 118 children in California who failed the standardized developmental test and had no previous early intervention did not receive a referral during an initial follow-up visit at ages 4 months to 8 months, a study in Pediatrics found. Researchers said the numbers were similar at the second follow-up visit. Budget cuts to the state's early intervention services and stricter eligibility criteria might explain the low referral rate for such services, they said.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Disney clothing set recalled over high lead content

From (10/16):

An estimated 6,200 of Children's Apparel Network's Disney fleece hoodie and t-shirt sets sold at Target were recalled due to excessive lead levels found on the ...
coating of the zippers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on Tuesday. No incidents have been reported.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Please note: We still do not recommend this vaccine and this study only shows the side effects in the acute situation, not long term.

From Reuters (10/1):
HPV vaccine Gardasil safe for teens, young women

A study involving almost 190,000

girls and women ages 9 to 26 found no new safety concerns with Merck & Co.'s human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil. Fainting and rare cases of skin infections, the only observed side effects, were expected and benign, according to researchers. The findings appear in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Adenotonsillectomy resolves bed-wetting in some children

From Family Practice News (10/4):

A study of 35 children diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and bed-wetting showed 51% had reductions in bed-wetting following adenoidectomy, ton

sillectomy or adenotonsillectomy, according to a study presented at the American Academy for Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation meeting. Researchers also found that girls had a fivefold greater chance of having their bed-wetting resolved than boys following the procedure.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Prenatal fish intake, mercury exposure tied to ADHD risk

From Reuters (10/8):

Maternal consumption of at least two fish servings a week was linked to a 60% lower risk of their children developing some attention-deficit/hyperactivity diso

rder symptoms, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. However, higher mercury hair levels from mothers taken after delivery was associated with about a 60% greater likelihood of hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity in their children at about age 8.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tips on reducing your exposure to arsenic

As a follow up to an earlier post about high levels of Arsenic found in rice, the Environmental Working Group senior scientist Sonya Lunder and nutritionist Dawn Undurraga did what EWG does best: developed helpful tips so you can minimize h
ow much arsenic is in your - and your family's - diet.

Check out EWG's tips on reducing your exposure to arsenic.

From tips on choosing rice alternatives to reading labels, these easy-to-use tips will help you limit your arsenic exposures.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gestational diabetes may raise ADHD risk in children

From News (9/11):

Maternal gestational diabetes and/or low socioeconomic status may increase a child's risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. However, breast-feeding appeared to offer protective benefits against developing ADHD, researchers said.

Dr. O'Hara will be at ARI next week

Dr. O'Hara will be speaking at the Autism Research Institute (ARI) Conference in Orange County, CA next week

October 11th-12th Moderator, Clinician Level 2 Sessions
October 12th Clinician Seminar: PANDAS/PANS and Autism
October 12th Clinician Seminar: Complex Case Management

October 13th Parent Lecture: Getting the Most Out of Your Practitioner: Be Prepared.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Antibiotic use linked to increased risk for IBD

From WebMD (9/24):

Children exposed to antibiotics before age 1 were at five times greater risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease compared with children not given antibiotics, according to a U.K. study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers said that the more exposed that patients were to these drugs during childhood and adolescence, the higher the odds of having IBD.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Smoke exposure during pregnancy may affect brain development

From HealthDay News (9/19):

Prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke was linked to a greater likelihood of learning problems, obesity and attention-deficit/hyper

activity disorder, a Spanish study found. Researchers said that babies exposed to smoke while in the womb may be less able to block stimuli that can change their central nervous system. The findings appear in the journal Early Human Development.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Research ties high BPA concentrations to childhood obesity

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Group urges limits for arsenic in rice

From Reuters (9/19):

A Consumer Reports investigation of 60 rice products found "significant" levels of arsenic, a known human carcinogen, in some samples. The group called on the FDA to set limits for arsenic in rice and recommended that children and adults moderate their rice intake.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Breast-fed babies show slight advantage in cognitive development

From The Huffington Post (5/28):

Researchers monitored the progress of almost 400 babies for one year and found that those who were breast-fed had a slight advantage over bab
ies who were given soy-protein formula or milk-based formula in terms of mental development. The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New York becomes first city to prohibit large sugary drinks

From Reuters (9/13):

New York City's health board voted 8-0 with one abstention on Thursday in favor of restricting the sale of sugary drinks in sizes larger than 16 ounces. Des
pite claims that such a ban restricts personal freedom, the Health Department said that it has received a favorable response from the public. The approval of the bill is a major step to curb obesity and save lives, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Calif. bill would make it harder to opt out of vaccine requirements

From CNN (6/5):

A bill in California would require parents to receive counseling from a physician before they could opt out of vaccinating their children. Dr. Richard Pan, the legislator who introduced the bill, said the measure could make it more difficult to bypass vaccine requirements. Many physicians attribute increases in diseases like measles and Pertussis to the recent trend away from immunizing children due to unfounded parental fears.

Obstructive sleep apnea negatively affects youth behavior

From News (6/12):

A study of 263 youths with persistent and/or current sleep disordered breathing showed higher risks and greater impairment in behavior and adaptive functioning scales. The findings were presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ADHD drug prescriptions have risen in U.S., FDA reports

From The Washington Post/On Parenting blog (6/18):

The pediatric use of prescription attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs increased by 46% between 2002 and 2010, FDA researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics. Meanwhile, they noted that overall prescriptions for antibiotics and cough medications declined during the study period.

Monday, July 9, 2012

EEG Case Study

A stable pattern of EEG spectral coherence distinguishes children with autism from neuro-typical controls - a large case control study

by Frank H Duffy and Heidelise Als

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Low prenatal intake of folic acid may increase autism risk

From The Hartford Courant (Conn.)/Reuters (6/6):

Mothers of children with autism reported getting less folic acid through fortified foods and supplements during early pregnancy than mothers of children without autism, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers noted that taking at least 600 micrograms of folic acid daily in the initial month of pregnancy reduced the risk of autism or Asperger's syndrome by 38%.

Monday, July 2, 2012

CDC vaccines for children might have been improperly stored

From: MedPage Today (free registration) (6/6)

Some of the CDC's free vaccines for children might have been stored at inappropriate temperatures in provider offices, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General. However, the AAP said the vaccines "were not found to be unsafe, and revaccination of children is not needed."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CT scans raise children's risk for brain cancer, leukemia

From (6/6):

Children who received two to three CT scans of the head had a threefold increased risk of developing brain cancer later in life, while five to 10 scans raised the risk of leukemia threefold, U.K. researchers reported in The Lancet. However, they said that the absolute risk of developing cancer is small and that the immediate benefits of CT scans outweigh the long-term cancer risks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Educate before you vaccinate

Check out the shocking numbers of vaccines that our children are receiving...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zinc helps babies fight serious bacterial infection, study says

From: News (5/31)

Adjunct zinc therapy for babies aged 7 days to 120 days with probable serious bacterial infection yielded better outcomes than standard antibiotic treatment, according to an Indian study published in The Lancet. Researchers reported that 10 babies in the zinc group died compared with 17 in the placebo group.

Prenatal antidepressant use linked to preterm birth, newborn seizures

From Reuters (5/30):

Babies born to mothers who took antidepressants during the second trimester were more likely to be born earlier than other babies, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The risk of seizure was also higher in newborns whose mothers took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during the third trimester.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Event REminder: Meet and Greet with Amy M. Greenberg and MedClaims

Event Reminder:
What: Meet and Greet with Amy M. Greenberg and MedClaims
When: Drop in anytime Wednesday, June 20th 6-8pm
Where: Our office 3 Hollyhock Lane Wilton, CT 06897
Questions: contact Betsy @ or 203-834-2813x11

*Do you need help recovering medical reimbursements?

*Does your child need help with relating, communicating and thinking?

*Do you want a comprehensive intervention that builds on your child’s strengths while addressing his or her challenges?

Join us on June 20th!

Come by our office any time between 6:00 and 8:00pm to meet the MedClaims Liaison (MCL) team and Developmental Educator Amy M. Greenberg.

For help recovering medical reimbursements, MCL is a health insurance advocate with extensive experience with reimbursements for ASD therapies, among others. MCL's team of experts manages your claims from start to finish and ensures you recover all the money you deserve. Stop in to learn more on June 20th.

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to learn more about MCL, visit their website at

Also joining us on June 20th between 6:00 and 8:00pm is Amy M. Greenberg, MS. Ed., MA. Eng. Amy is a Developmental Educator and DIR®/Floortime™ certified.

DIR/Floortime intervention builds healthy foundations for social, emotional and cognitive growth in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays and disabilities. Play-based and family-focused, DIR/Floortime addresses the whole child as an actively participating member of his or her family, school and community. DIR/Floortime uses your child’s interests, sensory and motor functioning, and family and peer relationships to expand his or her capacities for self-regulation, engagement, gestural and verbal communication, symbolic play, and logical thinking.

Amy provides in-home developmental interventions serving children, ages birth to five, with ASD and other developmental delays and disabilities. Under her guidance, young children with special needs learn to play, initiate ideas and actions, engage in joyful relationships, and experience and manage a wide range of emotions.

If you cannot attend but would like more information, please contact Amy at or 917-597-9434.

Refreshments will be served.

Many babies at risk of development delays don't get early intervention

From Reuters (5/22):

Thirty-six percent of 118 children in California who failed the standardized developmental test and had no previous early intervention did not receive a referral during an initial follow-up visit at ages 4 months to 8 months, a study in Pediatrics found. Researchers said the numbers were similar at the second follow-up visit. Budget cuts to the state's early intervention services and stricter eligibility criteria might explain the low referral rate for such services, they said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Parents don't turn to pediatricians for autism treatment

From Yahoo!/HealthDay News (5/16) :

A study found that many parents of children diagnosed with autism didn't believe they can rely on pediatricians for advice on treatments. Researchers also noted that many pediatricians said they lack information as well as time for children with autism. The findings will be presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research.

Maternal food sensitivity raises children's schizophrenia risk

From Medical News Today (5/16):

Children born to mothers with high levels of wheat protein gluten antibodies had an almost 50% higher risk of developing schizophrenia later in life than those born to mothers with normal levels of antibodies, a Swedish study found. However, researchers said that abnormally high levels of milk protein antibodies among mothers did not increase the risk for psychiatric conditions in children. The study was published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FDA warns about fake ADHD drug Adderall sold online

From: The Wall Street Journal (5/29)

The FDA issued a warning on Tuesday about a counterfeit version of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Adderall, a drug for treating children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and chronic sleepiness, being sold online. The fake drug, which contains acetaminophen and tramadol, is ineffective and may be harmful to patients, an FDA spokeswoman said.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Asthma cases in U.S. hit new high, CDC says

From HealthDay News (5/15):

Nearly 19 million adults and about 7 million children had asthma in 2010. The proportion of people in the U.S. with the condition has risen nearly 15% since 2001, according to a CDC report released Tuesday. Asthma was responsible for 1.9 million emergency department visits, 8.9 million visits to doctors' offices, nearly 3,400 deaths and about 480,000 hospitalizations.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Health officials toughen lead poisoning standard for children

From The Wall Street Journal (5/16):

The CDC announced a new lead poisoning standard that lowered the threshold for children younger than 6 from 10 micrograms to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Although the impact of the revision remains unclear, the standard could increase the number of children with high levels of lead to as many as 450,000.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fever during pregnancy increases risks of autism, developmental delays

From Los Angeles Times (5/23):

Babies born to mothers who had a fever during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed later with autism or developmental delays than those whose mothers didn't have a fever, a study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found. Researchers said taking medication to treat the fever slightly reduced the risk of developmental delays and significantly reduced the risk of autism.,0,6934232.story

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Autism is often undiagnosed until age 5 or older, study shows

From WebMD (5/24):

U.S. researchers looked at school-aged children with special health care needs and autism spectrum disorder and found that more than half of them were diagnosed with autism at age 5 or older. They also reported that more than 50% of the children received at least one psychiatric drug. The study was published in the NCHS Data Brief.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Maternal Obesity May Increase Risk for Autism

From Journal Watch, May 16, 2012 | Louis M. Bell, MD

More evidence that maternal metabolic conditions during pregnancy are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How Working the Muscles May Boost Brainpower

From the NY Times, May 9, 2012:

How Working the Muscles May Boost Brainpower

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breast-feeding may boost diversity of healthy gut bacteria in babies

From (4/30):

Researchers examined stool samples from 12 babies and found that those who were breast-fed had a wider range of gut bacteria than those who were formula-fed. Furthermore, the immunity genes responsible for protecting gut tissue from foreign invaders were more active among breast-fed babies, researchers reported in the journal Genome Biology.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Study: Bullying of students with disabilities may lead to depression

From Disability Scoop (4/30):

Bullying and exclusion by peers are more likely than any other factor to lead to depression for students with developmental disabilities, a new study shows. "Professionals need to be particularly alert in screening for the presence of being bullied or ostracized in this already vulnerable group of students," researcher Margaret Ellis McKenna said at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prenatal stress may lead to iron deficiency in newborns

From: News (4/30)

Mothers who were under stress during the first trimester of pregnancy had lower cord ferritin levels and cumulative distribution of cord ferritin than a control group, an Israeli study showed. The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

Monday, April 30, 2012

8-item autism classifier shows high sensitivity, specificity

From News (4/11):

Eight of the 29 items in Module 1 of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic are adequate to identify children with autism, a study in the journal Translational Psychiatry found. Researchers reported that the classifier yielded almost 100% sensitivity and 94% specificity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hand in Hand Program @ Stamford JCC this summer

Are you in our local area?

Are you looking for a summer camp/ activity for your rising 4th-6th grader with communication spectrum disorders including: Asperger's, ADD, ADHD, high-functioning Autism or sensory motor integration challenges?
Check out the Hand in Hand Program, a new division of O-la-mi! at the Stamford, CT JCC.

Mission: To improve each child's ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with peers, and to build a solid foundation for making and keeping friends within a fun, relaxed and creative environment.

The Hand in Hand Program includes a daily combination of therapeutic social skills provided by local clinicians from the Child Guidance Center of Southern CT, and an inclusion program to reinforce what was learned and encourage social connections with their O-la-mi peers.

The program has 2 sessions: July 16-27 and July 30-August 10.

For more information please contact Shana Beran, Inclusion Specialist at 203-487-0946 or

App is designed to help children with autism learn life skills

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (4/9):

A new iPad application is aimed at helping children with autism develop life skills. Popchilla's World was created by Interbots, a company that originated with the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center, and provides guidance for users as they complete daily tasks such as brushing their teeth. It also records data, which can be used by parents, caregivers and therapists to assess progress.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Computer program shows promise as therapy for teen depression

Trends & Technology

From News (4/20):

A cognitive behavior therapy program called SPARX, which stands for Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts, was effective for treating teens with depression, New Zealand researchers reported in the journal BMJ. They also said that the program was not inferior to in-person counseling and yielded higher remission rates.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't forget...ARI Conference in Newark, NJ later this week.

Dr. O'Hara will be speaking at the Conference. Her lecture schedule as follows:

April 26th 2:00-3:30pm
Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Targeted Immune Assessment and Treatment in ASD / PANDAS

April 26th 3:45-5:30pm
Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Comprehensive Case Management I

April 27th 4:15-5:00pm
Parent Lecture: How to Get The Most Out of Your Practitioner

For more information, please visit:

Publication bias overstates effectiveness of SRIs for autism

From The Huffington Post (4/23):

A review of 10 randomized, double-blind, controlled trials on the effectiveness of serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treating repetitive behaviors in autism showed a publication bias overstating the drug's benefits. Published trials found that the drug yielded small improvements in patients with autism, but after taking into account unpublished trials the improvement lost its significance, researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Multiple anesthetic exposures before age 3 linked to ADHD

From (2/2):

A study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that children exposed to two or more anesthetics before age 3 had more than double the incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than those who were not exposed. The findings were based on educational records of children born between 1976 and 1982 in Rochester, Minn.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parental age is linked to increased risk of autism, study says

From Reuters (2/2):

Children born to fathers older than 40 had a 37% to 55% higher risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder than those born to fathers younger than 35, a Danish study found. Researchers noted that children born to mothers older than 40 had a 28% to 65% higher risk of autism compared with those born to mothers younger than 35. The findings appear in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ARI Conference - April 26-29th

Autism Research Institute Spring 2012 NY/NJ Conference
April 26-29 @ Newark Airport Marriott

~Hotel Discount is still available

~Buddy Passes, free attendance for volunteers and Angel Fund discounts available for those in financial need.

~Dr. O'Hara will be speaking at the Conference. Her lecture schedule is as follows:

April 26th 2:00-3:30pm
Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Targeted Immune Assessment and Treatment in ASD / PANDAS

April 26th 3:45-5:30pm
Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Comprehensive Case Management I

April 27th 4:15-5:00pm
Parent Lecture: How to Get The Most Out of Your Practitioner

For more information and to register, please visit:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Prevalence of food allergies rises among U.S. children

From Family Practice News (4/4):

The prevalence of food allergies for every 100,000 children increased 33% from 3,566 cases in 2003-2004 to 4,848 cases in 2007-2008, according to a study presented at an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting. The prevalence of food allergies rose by an absolute rate of more than 2% in eight states, with New Hampshire having the highest overall prevalence rate at 6.7% of families reporting a child with a food allergy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Frightening new Autism statistics recently released by the CDC

Frightening new Autism statistics recently released by the CDC:

New Jersey:
1 in 49
Boys: 1 in 29
Girls: 1 in 172
Average age of autism diagnosis is 3 years, 2 months old (earlier than in previous studies)

1 in 88
Boys: 1 in 54
Girls: 1 in 252
Average age of autism diagnosis is 4 years old (earlier than in previous studies)
78% increase in prevalence comparing the 2012 study that looked at the data from children who were 8 years old in 2008 to the 2007 study that looked at the data from children who were 8 years old in 2002 data

Link for the full CDC Community Report:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012, clean and healthy

If you are looking to reduce chemicals, save time and money, check out these green, clean and healthy personal and home products from our friend Jane at Norwex.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pediatric experts recommend label change for ADHD drug Focalin

From Reuters (1/30):

An FDA advisory panel said Novartis' Focalin should carry a warning about a risk of suicidal thoughts in children receiving the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment. The agency identified eight cases of the adverse effect in the past six years. FDA staff and advisers also recommended that Focalin's label warn about angioedema and anaphylaxis risk.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

High vitamin D intake may reduce girls' risk of stress fractures

From  Los Angeles Times (3/5):

Girls with the highest vitamin D intake had a 50% reduced risk of having a stress fracture compared with girls with the lowest intake, a study of 6,721 girls ages 9 to 15 found. The findings were published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.,0,3021595.story

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Study shows concussions may cause lingering symptoms in children

From Reuters (3/5):

Children who suffered a concussion were more likely to have somatic and cognitive symptoms, compared with children with other types of injuries, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. An estimated 10% to 15% of children who experienced loss of consciousness still had cognitive problems for months after the injury, the lead researcher said.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events – Lectures by Dr. Nancy H. O’Hara
  • March 28th 7-9pm – Norwalk City Hall Comm. Room – Part of the Norwalk SPED Partners FREE Workshop Series
    • Our Canaries: Why all the Asthma, Allergies, ADHD and Autism?
  • April 26-29th - Autism Research Institute Conference – Newark, NJ
    • April 26th 2-3:30pm - Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Targeted Immune Assessment and Treatment in ASD / PANDAS
    • April 26th 3:45-5:30pm - Level 2 Practitioner Seminar: Comprehensive Case Management I
    • April 27th 4:15-5:00pm - Parent Lecture: How to Get The Most Out of Your Practitioner


  • “ADHD Without Drugs” – Article by Dr. Szakacs and Dr. O’Hara in the April Issue of Natural Nutmeg Magazine

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Survey reveals key challenges facing families seeking Autism care

MedClaims Liaison, Autism Speaks Survey reveals key insurance reimbursement challenges facing families seeking Autism care.
If you are struggling with your insurance company for reimbursement, check out our friends at MedClaims Liaison (

Monday, March 19, 2012

Research ties learning disabilities, cadmium exposure in children

From WebMD (1/27):

Children ages 6 to 15 who had the highest cadmium levels in their urine were more likely to develop learning disabilities or require special education than those with the lowest levels, a study found. In the journal Environmental Health Perspective, researchers reported that cadmium levels were not associated with the risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Exercise Might Boost Kids' Academic Ability

From: Yahoo!/HealthDay News (3/12)

Children's processing speed increased by 9% following a form of academic activity and 10% after engaging in physical activity, but only 4% with both, Italian researchers reported in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The study also found mental activity boosted concentration skills by 13%, physical activity by 10% and both by 2%.;_ylt=AkG_rJfJvSEDXzvlIiq4FOGPscB_;_ylu=X3oDMTNoOXA0bGRmBG1pdAMEcGtnA2QyZjQ1YmQ1LWQ4MDAtMzVhYi05NTYwLWE1OTliMDdhMzA1NARwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fUGFyZW50aW5nX2dhbAR2ZXIDNDYzYjBmNTAtNmM5OC0xMWUxLThiZmQtMjQ1YmYyNzA3YjA4;_ylv=3

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New study finds arsenic in infant formula, cereal bars - organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener

From Consumer Reports (2/16):

Arsenic has been found in some foods that use organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener, including infant formula and cereal bars, according to a new study by researchers at Dartmouth College. The majority of the detected arsenic, a contaminant often found in rice, was the type that is known to be a human carcinogen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012



From the Autism Action Coalition:

First Bill to Stop the DSM-V. Get One in Your State

Take Action!

Protect your Child's Education, Healthcare, Services

Last week we said we’re not gonna take the self-appointed “experts” at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) putting our kids hard fought access to a free and appropriate education, health care, Medicaid and vitally needed services on the line because they think they have cooked up a better definition of autism. This week we are proud to announce that the Autism Action Network has been successful in our effort to introduce the first legislation in the US that puts the brakes on the APA’s self-serving drive to throw our kids lives into chaos. Assemblymember Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) of New York has introduced Assembly Bill A 9180, which will define “autism” under New York state law as the currently used criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IVr (DSM-IVr), the definition that has been in use since 1994.

If we can do it in New York you can do it in your state. Please click on the Take Action link to send your state legislators a copy of A 9180 and ask them to introduce similar legislation in your state.

Autism Action Network has been warning for two years about the potential for huge disruption that would come from the DSM-V, and our fears were confirmed a couple of weeks ago when the Child Study Center at Yale announced that their analysis of the DSM-V autism criteria would result in 55% of people with autism losing their current diagnosis. Imagine what insurance companies could do with that. Imagine what a school district that wants to put your child into a completely inappropriate setting could do. Never mind the fact that the redefinition will completely invalidate the comparability of any epidemiology and provide the foundation for another twenty years of claims that “we just aren’t sure if the autism rate is really going up.” And to date the APA has been unable to come up with a single reason of how this would benefit anybody with autism in anyway.

Your child’s education, healthcare and services are on the line. This is the most serious threat facing the autism community and the only way we can stop it is if you get active.

Monday, March 5, 2012


From Reuters (2/27):  AAP policy statement recommends HPV shots for boys

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frequent intake of sweets may lead to tolerance similar to addiction

From ABC News (2/24):

Researchers at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene found that adolescents who consumed more ice cream over the preceding two weeks enjoyed milkshakes less, according to brain scans. "We believe that means the more an individual is consuming a high-fat, high-sugar and high-energy food, they develop a tolerance of it in a similar fashion that you see happening with drug addiction or alcohol addition," researcher Kyle Burger said.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Omega-3 supplements in early childhood may lower future heart risk

From The Sydney Morning Herald / Australian Associated Press (2/20):

An Australian study in the journal Pediatrics found that children who were given sunflower oil supplements and omega-6 fatty acid-rich margarines and cooking oil during their first five years of life had thicker arterial walls at age 8, while those who were given omega-3 fatty acid supplements and canola-based margarine and cooking oil did not. The researchers said that small babies are more at risk for cardiovascular disease in adulthood and omega-3 fatty acid supplements could protect them against heart attack and stroke.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gestational exposure to low dose bisphenol A alters social behavior in juvenile mice

Wolstenholme JT, Taylor JA, Shetty SR, Edwards M, Connelly JJ, Rissman EF.
PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25448.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a man-made compound used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins; public health concerns have been fueled by findings that BPA exposure can reduce sex differences in brain and some behaviors. We asked if a low BPA dose, within the range measured in humans, ingested during pregnancy, would affect social behaviors in prepubertal mice. We noted sex differences in social interactions whereby females spent more time sitting side-by-side, while males engaged in more exploring and sitting alone. In addition BPA increased display of nose-to-nose contacts, play solicitations and approaches in both sexes. Interactions between sex and diet were found for self grooming, social interactions while sitting side-by-side and following the other mouse. In all these cases interactions were produced by differences between control and BPA females. We examined brains from embryos during late gestation to determine if gene expression differences might be correlated with some of the sexually dimorphic or BPA affected behaviors we observed. Because BPA treatments ended at birth we took the brains during embryogenesis to increase the probability of discovering BPA mediated effects. We also selected this embryonic age (E18.5) because it coincides with the onset of sexual differentiation of the brain [probably sic]. Interestingly, mRNA for the glutamate transporter, Slc1a1, was enhanced by exposure to BPA in female brains. Also we noted that BPA changed the expression of two of the three DNA methyltransferase genes, Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a. We propose that BPA affects DNA methylation of Sc1a1 during neural development. Sex differences in juvenile social interactions are affected by BPA and in particular this compound modifies behavior in females.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diet and ADHD

According to J Gordon Millichap, MD and Michelle M. Yee, CPNP, authors of the article "The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" found in the February 2012 Volume 129, Number 2 issue of Pediatrics magazine...

"A greater attention to the education of parents and children in a healthy dietary pattern, omitting items shown to predispose to ADHD, is perhaps the most promising and practical complimentary or alternative treatment of ADHD."

PFCs and childhood immunizations

Perflourinated compounds (PFCs) have been identified as food contaminants. In addition to known immune suppression in a rodent model, a recent article in JAMA (“Serum Vaccine Antibody Concentrations in Children Exposed to Perflourinated Compounds”, Jan. 25, 2012) found that “elevated exposures to PFCs were associated with reduced humoral immune response to routine childhood immunizations in children aged 5 to 7 years”. As noted in JAMA, “these findings suggest a decreased effect of childhood vaccines and may reflect a more general immune system deficit.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Minnesota babies born with high mercury levels, report shows

From Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press (2/3/12):

One in 10 babies born along Minnesota's border with Lake Superior had high mercury levels in their blood, a state Health Department report found. Researchers noted that babies in Minnesota were more likely to have unhealthy levels of mercury compared with those born in Wisconsin and Michigan. The findings may be explained by mothers' high fish consumption, health officials said.,0,5447745.story

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prenatal use of fish oil supplements may lower babies' eczema risk

From The Daily Mirror (U.K.) (1/31):

Babies born to women who took omega-3 supplements during pregnancy were 36% less likely to have eczema, according to a U.K. study of almost 2,400 women. These babies were also 50% less likely to have egg allergies, researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Camel's milk

From our friend Julie Mathews who has done research on camel’s milk. 

She says: “As a nutritionist, I'd always been of the mindset, ‘no animal milk of any kind’ for children with autism. But after several parents approached me, adamant that camel's milk is different, that it had helped their children, and asking me to look into it, I did my own research.
Briefly, camel's milk has a different type of casein - it is not recognized by circulating IgE antibodies (studies have shown it to be safe with serious food allergies) and does not cause a problem for those with IgG sensitivities to other types of milk. Most interesting to me are the
immune protective proteins and immune support it provides, including having antibodies one-tenth the size of human, so they can penetrate into tissue such as the gut where infections lie, and is considered by camel milk researchers to be a "natural IVIG" therapy and ‘rehabilitate the immune system’."

For more information visit:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Research ties learning disabilities, cadmium exposure in children

From WebMD (1/27):

Children ages 6 to 15 who had the highest cadmium levels in their urine were more likely to develop learning disabilities or require special education than those with the lowest levels, a study found. In the journal Environmental Health Perspective, researchers reported that cadmium levels were not associated with the risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lunch boxes recalled due to poison hazard

From Reuters (1/24):

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced last Monday that California Innovations voluntarily recalled an estimated 248,000 insulated lunch boxes due to damaged freezer gel packs that pose a poisoning hazard. In the two reports of a dog chewing the packs received by the company, one dog died, while the other one recovered.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests

From New York Times (1/19):
Only 45% of 372 children and adults among the highest functioning would qualify for the proposed autism spectrum criteria being considered by the American Psychiatric Association, an analysis found. Researchers said that an estimated 75% of patients with Asperger syndrome would not qualify for the diagnosis, while 85% of those with pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified would not qualify. The findings were presented at an Icelandic Medical Association meeting.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Study ties low vitamin D levels to depression risk in children

From The Daily Mail (London) (1/20):

Data from the Children of the 90s research project involving more than 2,700 children showed that those with low vitamin D levels were more prone to depression. Children who had the highest vitamin D levels had a 10% lower risk of developing depression, University of Bristol researchers found.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

IPad app aims to help children with autism communicate

From The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (12/27)
Virginia father Joe Hill, whose son has autism, created an iPad application aimed at improving communication for children with the disorder. The Aeir Talk app, which launched Nov. 30, allows children to assemble sentences using virtual flashcards that can be customized with personal text, audio and photos uploaded by the child's parents. "The familiarity of things around them really helps in the learning," Hill said.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Children with autism have different gut bacteria

From HealthDay News (1/10):
More than half of the tissue samples collected from the stomachs of children with autism showed a relatively large amount of Sutterella bacteria, according to a study in the journal mBio. Researchers noted that this bacteria was not detected in the tissue samples taken from children without autism, but said more study is needed on the link between gut bacteria and gastrointestinal problems in children with autism.