How can I get my child to take their supplements / pills?

Vitamin and mineral supplements are often useful back-ups if you are worried your child is not getting all the nutrients they need from their diets. And for those who have particularly restrictive diets for behavioural or medical reasons, vitamin and mineral supplements can be crucial to maintaining good health and preventing deficiencies. That said, getting a child to take their supplements can be easier said than done.

Here are some tips to try to take the stress out of supplements.  Much of this advice will help for trouble taking medicines too.  Continue reading “How can I get my child to take their supplements / pills?”

Autism Central and some great toys and sensory resources for autism

I attended Autism Central in Birmingham yesterday – an event organised by Autism West Midlands and the Queen Alexandra College.

There were some great talks on all different aspects of autism, including talks from two very eloquent and charming young men on the autistic spectrum who attend QAC as to how their lives are affected. I manned a stand offering nutrition advice and had a steady stream of parents, professionals and service users wracking my brains on how to deal with underweight, overweight, gut problems, faddy eating, and my view on the gluten and milk free diet and other approaches.  It was great to meet everyone, and to offer some help.

Other stands that really caught my eye were:

  • The Timocco child development motion game – a sort of Kinetic or Wii option for any PC, specially made for children with special needs, and the omiVista interactive floor – which I’ve only seen before at the Science Museum – walk and stamp on a floor projection to interact with it – a great hit with some of the children who attended the day, not to mention the adults.
  • A Quiet Place – providing relaxing environments and emotional intelligence training in schools.
  • Kingkraft – providing weighted vests and blankets, and a fabulous big weighted beanbag that I took refuge in a couple of times in the day.  The products are not cheap but they hire them out for trial use – as they don’t help everyone, but for those they do help it tends to be significant.
  • Living Autism – a new directory of services and particularly living services for adults with autism.
  • Tough Furniture – from shatterproof mirrors to virtually unbreakable beds, desks and TV cabinets.
  • Sensory Direct – provider of weighted blankets, weighted compression vests, weighted belts, sensory toys, chewy toys and more.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication tools from Liberator.

Looking forward to more Autism Central events!

An introduction to autism – for dietitians

Nutrition – Part of the Puzzle?

Apple jigsaw - is nutrition part of the puzzleAs chair of Dietitians in Autism (a subgroup of the paediatric group of the British Dietetic Association, and part of the mental health group of the BDA too), I’m often asked ‘I’m a dietitian new to working with children or adults with autism – where do I start?’ I thought it might be useful to share my typical response – partly so I can direct enquiries to here rather than typing it out again and again, and also in case it helps dietitians from other countries or indeed other health professionals. Continue reading “An introduction to autism – for dietitians”