Ask Pediatric Neurologist
  1. 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.

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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.

autistic children


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.

17.Can intoeing be related to neurological problems?

Yes, you should get the child checked. It can be a case of foot deformity, second-order neurological problems like spasticity, or a birth defect. It’s better to consult an orthopedic surgeon or a neurologist.

18.My 7-year-old son with mild ASD wakes up at 4 to 5 in the morning, makes certain sounds and cries hard for some time, and continues to sleep. What does this mean?

If your child sleeps by 9 at night, he has slept for 9 hours and it’s okay to wake up by these wee hours and then sleep as a part of a routine. It can also be a case of a nightmare. But if your child wakes up multiple times at night, it should be checked, and it may be a cause of epilepsy.

19.What kind of life is a child looking at when they have some white matter loss or grey matter loss in the brain due to lack of oxygen in the utero brain?

New-born babies afflicted with some brain injuries can have different patterns of side effects. It majorly depends on the area affected. There are white areas that are central to the brain and an injury up there can cause physical disabilities and spasticity.

Damage made to grey cells can result in epilepsy, seizure, and cognitive disabilities. Having an MRI scan alone will not be effective, it’s best to have a good consultation with a pediatric neurologist.


consultant pediatric neurologist childneuroconsult

20.What are the pros and cons of taking ADHD medication? What are its side effects?

Actually, children on the spectrum need not be given medication always. Therapies can be taken for behavioral problems, speech delays, and sleep disorders. Medication is advisable only for kids with academic disabilities and social disabilities.

Strattera(non stimulant) and Vyvanse (stimulant) are two medications for treating kids with ADHD.

21.Are autistic kids stubborn and disapprove of learning with minimal concentration and focus?

They are not at all stubborn. All autistic kids have certain strengths which certain parents fail to recognise at times. There are weaknesses such as reading and writing. It is because the kids are not stimulated by the task.

22.What are the generic medications for those with ADHD, Autism, and Epilepsy?

It should be understood that medication differs case by case. Medication is not necessary for ADHD. Epilepsy needs strong medication, once left untreated, it can result in strong brain damages.

Medication comes necessary for ADHD kids, if they have academic problems.

23.What is the diet plan for Autistic children?

It’s highly recommended that just don’t abide by a diet plan. It’s necessary to have regular speech therapy, occupational therapy, and skill training. Gluten-free and sugar-free diet can help, but won’t deliver strong results!

24. What are the benefits of ABA on ADHD?

It is said to deliver fantastic results. But it depends on the frequency and duration of the ABA therapy.

25. Will children having neurological problems face anxiety disorders?

Yes. Kids with neurological problems tend to face anxiety disorders. Taking suitable behavioral therapies can be fruitful.

26.What can you say about vocal stemming in autistic children?

It is a common phenomenon found among autistic children. It is the physical manifestation of the emotional state of being of a child. This is commonly sighted among children when they seek pleasure from doing something and this can be substituted with other acts. It’s highly recommended to consult a behavioural therapist.

27.What are your thoughts on using Melatonin for helping autistic kids sleep?

Absolutely, Melatonin is a great choice. But it should be used in the right context since it’s been used to initiate sleep and not sustain it. If your child has a problem falling asleep, then yes it can be used. But if your child keeps waking up during sleep hours, it’s not going to help.

28.What can we do about the lack of attention of autistic kids of 2.5 years of age while doing any activity like painting?

It’s too early for therapies to start. But it would be advisable to present the task in a slightly different manner that can grab their attention. It’s worth a try!

29.What can we do about meltdowns in autistic kids?

To deal with meltdowns, go step by step way. Don’t rush onto the reason all on a sudden. Calm them and find the reason. It may be sleep deprivation or a problem at school. Give them the time!

30.How Covid affects autistic children?

Children are not severely affected by the Covid-19 virus. But the regulation like lockdown can have adverse effects on them. Since the kids won’t be able to undertake medications like behavioural therapies or consult their doctor. This can bring back their vocal stemming, aggressive behaviour and anger tantrums. But don’t worry it’s temporary and is transient.

31.How can we teach kids to chew and take bites of their food?

Consult a speech therapist who has expertise in dysplasia which deals with the oral movement to swallow food. An occupational therapist may also help.

32.How biomedical treatment helps in autism?

Not scientifically proven yet. Extreme biomedical treatments are not advisory. But trying a gluten-free diet and vitamin rock food may help.

33.What can you say about vocal stemming in autistic children?

It is a common phenomenon found among autistic children. It is actually the physical manifestation of the emotional state of being of a child. This is commonly sighted among children when they seek pleasure from doing something and this can be substituted with other act. It’s highly recommended to consult a behavioural therapist.

34.What are your thoughts on using Melatonin for helping autistic kids sleep?

Absolutely, Melatonin is a great choice. But it should be used in the right context since it’s been used to initiate sleep and not sustain it. If your child has a problem falling asleep, then yes it can be used. But if your child keeps waking up during sleep hours, it’s not going to help.

35.What can we do about lack of attention of autistic kids of 2.5 years of age while doing any activity like painting?

It’s too early for therapies to start. But it would be advisable to present the task in a slightly different manner that can grab their attention. It’s worth a try!

36.What can we do about meltdowns in autistic kids?

To deal with meltdowns, go step by step way. Don’t rush onto the reason all of a sudden. Calm them and find the reason. It may be sleep deprivation or a problem at school. Give them the time!

37.How Covid affect autistic children?

Children are not severely affected by the Covid-19 virus. But the regulation like lockdown can have adverse effects on them. Since the kids won’t be able to undertake medications like behavioural therapies or consult their doctor. This can bring back their vocal stemming, aggressive behavior and anger tantrums. But don’t worry it’s temporary and is transient.

38.How can we teach kids to chew and take bites of their food?

Consult a speech therapist who have expertise in dysplasia which deals with the oral movement to swallow food. An occupational therapist may also help.

39. How biomedical treatment helps in autism?

Not scientifically proven yet. Extreme biomedical treatments are not advisory. But trying gluten-free diet and vitamin rock food may help.

40. Are epileptic kids and normal kids equal performers at school?

Epileptic kids without any cognitive disabilities can perform at par with any normal kid. But there can be certain delays in understanding due to side effects of medication which can be solved by giving them sufficient time to complete the task and giving ample attention. But kids with symptomatic epilepsy which has arisen from hypoxia or brain injury can face lower IQ, poor cognition. These children won’t have the same abilities as neurotypical children.

41.Are children with different types of seizure medication still getting seizures or convulsions normal?

No, it’s not. The medication should be reviewed. There are several antiepileptic medications that can be practiced. With 30% of children not responding to any medication, it can be a serious problem, and the respective medication to which the child may respond can be sorted out by an experienced pediatric neurologist.

42. My 17-month-old baby is not babbling or uttering any words. Should I get him checked?

A 17-month-old baby can have a 3 to 4-word vocabulary. If he is not spelling out any word, maybe he may take some time and what can be done for now is to check if he can understand the receptive language. If not, it’s advisable to get him checked.

43.What is the guarantee of benefit from the brain RX program when a child with a developmental delay has scored very low on all the assessments?

There is no complete guarantee. But if your tutor has suggested this, then you should definitely go through it.

44. How many years should a child be administered with depakine?

If the child remains seizure-free for 2 years, then we can withdraw the medication.

45.Can there be absent seizures?

Yes, it can be possible. With 28 different types of seizures. Absent seizures are so quick that your child will just stand still and look up in the air.

46. How effective is Trs detox in children? Is it safe?

It’s not safe and not recommended.

47. Can diet determine the number of seizures in a child?

No, it can’t. Stressed-out kids having sleep deprivation can lead to seizures.

48. If my son is still having seizures after antiepileptic drugs being administered to him based on his body weight, what can be done?

You should go for a revised medication as soon as possible.

49. What is your view on heavy metal toxic levels in autistic children?

No scientific explanations. We don’t personally recommend detoxification for lead toxicity or mercury poisoning, since there exists no medical evidence.

50. Differences between ADHD and autism?

Although they share many of the same symptoms, the two are distinct conditions. Autism spectrum disorders are a series of related developmental disorders that can affect language skills, behavior, social interactions, and the ability to learn. ADHD impacts the way the brain grows and develops. Kids with ADHD often dislike and avoid things they’ll have to concentrate on.

Those with autism can have a less social awareness of others around them. They often have a hard time putting words to their thoughts and feelings, and they may not be able to point to an object to give meaning to their speech. They find it hard to make eye contact.

51. What are the other factors affecting an autistic child other than the core symptoms? 

  • Seizures
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

52. What is epilepsy and what are the causes of epilepsy in children?

Epilepsy can be caused by infections, genetic mutations, brain injury or a tumor, abnormal blood vessels, or bleeding in the brain. Kids with Down syndrome, autism, and some metabolic disorders also may have epilepsy. Some types of epilepsy run in families.

Some of the main causes of epilepsy include:

  • Low oxygen during birth.
  • Head injuries that occur during birth or from accidents during youth or adulthood.
  • Brain tumors.
  • Genetic conditions that result in brain injury, such as tuberous sclerosis.
  • Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis

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