Ask Pediatric Neurologist

1.Does sugar affect children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

As we know, sugar gets broken down to simpler constituents inside the gut under the action of some enzymes, but with children having ASD, sugar does not break down to simpler constituents and remain as fatty acids. So it is advisable to cut down the sugar intake and one should not feed their children affected with ASD with excessive sugar.

2.Can we give coffee to a 30-month-old affected by level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder?

It’s detrimental to give coffee to a child affected with ASD. Firstly, we should understand that coffee is a psychoactive stimulant and it makes us alert and helps us to concentrate better. Anxiety and irrational fear are also resultant from the intake of coffee. This can degrade the situation of your child since ASD-affected children are prone to hyper anxiety and coffee is going to make it worse!

3. Head tilt to one side. 2-year-old boy since 2 weeks. Having food well and remaining healthy. What can be the causes?

There are many reasons that seem to be a possibility in this case- Neck muscle spasms, sensory input(behavioral- the child may be accepting inputs from the surroundings with a tilt, which is quite behavioral), ear-related problems. Ear impairments can also be a problem regarding this, maybe he is trying to hear better this way! It’s advisable to consult a neurologist and have a thorough checkup to get facts clear.

4. What are the potential reasons for speech delay?

The first step should be to identify if it’s a speech delay or speech impairment. If it’s a speech delay, the child will catch up in due course of time, maybe when he/she is 6 or 7 years old. In the case of speech impairment, it’s going to be a lifetime. The potential reasons could be a genetic tendency, something that’s part of family history. Hearing problems can also lead to speech delay. The child may not be able to respond because he is not hearing it well. Spectrum Disorder can also be a reason for expression recessive behavior. Deformities in the motor area can be spotted with detailed mouth anatomy. Epilepsy can also be a cause.

5. What is the remedy for children facing constipation under the clutches of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Children facing Autism Spectrum Disorder can be affected with chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation. This can be resolved with changes in the diet plan. Try breaking the foodstuff into a less solid form that can be easily digested and later feed your child. Your child may also face intense bloating. A potential solution can be deduced with a consultation with a dietician.

6.What do you think about sodium valproate affecting your blood vessels? Is Keppra a better alternative?

These are anti-epileptic medicines. In the UK it’s called deplane.It’s an old medication with a history of 40 to 50 years. But yes, it may bring down the platelet content in some cases. But it’s solvable with making corresponding changes in the dosage. In the case of Keppra, there are significant side effects to the body system like liver, bones, or blood levels. But with the intake of Keppra, children can show aggression and behavioral problems. It’s advisable not to suddenly stop the intake of sodium valproate, try bringing down the dosage, if the condition remains, then you may shift.

Ask Pediatric Neurologist

7. If platelets go below 30, should we continue taking sodium valproate?

It is strictly advised not to continue with the medication. Platelets dropping down below 50 can result in a severe situation. So it’s advisable to choose a different mechanism for the treatment of epilepsy.

8. My 2-year-old boy has seizures and bilateral contracts and is seen laughing continuously. Please guide me through this.

The child should be subjected to an MRI scan and it is recommended to check for cases of hypothalamic adrotoma which is a small tumor alongside the hypothalamus of the brain. The common symptom is continuous laughing for no reason.

9. Are epilepsy and neuropathy related?

Epilepsy is related to the brain and neuropathy is related to nerves. Neuropathy is caused either as a congenital issue or due to malnutrition. Inexact words, there exists no correlation between epilepsy and neuropathy. But they may coexist.

10.Can epileptics take Covid 19 vaccine?

Fisa and Sinofic are 2 different Covid 19 vaccines with two different takes on epileptic people taking the Covid-19 vaccine. Fisa has no objections to epileptic people administering Covid 19 vaccine.

11.What is the difference between bera hearing and a simple hearing test?

Bera hearing test is also known as ABR( Auditory Brainstem Response) is a test which deals with different frequencies of hearing. It is done in children to determine sensitive neural hearing loss. Auto Emission acoustic testing is done in newborn babies. Bera Testing is more result-driven and established. Those children subjected to bera hearing test are put to sleep.

12. How to make a 2-3-year-old autistic child grow close to his/her grandparents?

It is advisory to meet the behavioral therapist and build up the rapport with sufficient time and enhance their proximity.

13. How to reduce travel anxiety in autistic children?

Air travel for autistic children can be quite overbearing. Anxiety due to sudden exposure of new atmosphere, restrain due to a seatbelt, crowded new atmosphere.

14.How is the development of the brain of an autistic child characterized?

Children on the autism spectrum have the same structural development of the brain as a normal child. It’s actually not the structure of the brain that is responsible for the condition. It’s how they perceive the environment that differs from their peers. The structural development of the brain of an autistic child will remain intact but the neural network structure may differ.

15.Is sprouted broccoli or sulforaphane good for communication problems? Does it decrease different behavioral patterns of autistic children?

Sulforaphane is a chemical mostly found in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflowers and broccoli. It is a food nutrient with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. No definite deductions on this have yet been made. So it’s not recommended!

16.How to resolve sleep disorders in autistic children?

There can be sleep cycle disruptions in autistic children. The sleep routines should be made in sync with a time frame. From the evening, make sure that the child’s eyes are not subjected to blue light( coming from mobile phone screens) . Take sleep medication if necessary.

Ask Pediatric Neurologist

Educational Instagram Live ‘30minutes with Dr. Arif.’ – a platform designed to answer pressing questions about Pediatric Neurological Conditions