Ask Pediatric Neurologist – Dr. Arif Khan

As we know, sugar gets broken down to simpler constituents inside the gut under the action of some enzymes, but with children having ASD,this can cause significant hyperactivity, thus contributing to their overall unsocial behaviour. So it is advisable to cut down the sugar intake.

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 your pediatrician or pediatric neurologist and have a thorough checkup to get facts clear.

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. In the case of speech impairment, it’s going to be a lifetime deficit. 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. Autistic Spectrum Disorder can also be a reason for lack of receptive and expressive speech. Epilepsy can also be a cause. Therefore, with these myriad causes, a thorough evaluation from a pediatric neurologist and a speech therapist is warranted.

Children withAutism 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 reached after consultation with a pediatrician and a dietician.

These are anti-epileptic medicines. 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. However, this is rare and manageable. In the case of Keppra, there are significant no or minimal 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 any anti epileptic medications. If you decide to switch, it has to be done under the supervision of a pediatric neurologist.

It is strictly advised not to continue with the medication. Platelets dropping down below 50 can result in a difficult situation. So it’s advisable see your neurologist urgently and to choose a AED for the treatment of epilepsy.

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

Epilepsy is related to the brain, and neuropathy is related to nerves. Neuropathy is caused either by a congenital issue, trauma,nutritional deficiency or an immune mechanism. In exact words, there exists no correlation between epilepsy and neuropathy. But they may coexist.

BERA hearing test is also known as ABR( Auditory Brainstem Response). It is a test which deals with different frequencies of hearing. It is done in children to determine sensory- 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 tests are put to sleep.

Air travel for autistic children can be quite overwhelming. Anxiety due to sudden exposure to new atmosphere, restrain due to a seatbelt, crowded new atmosphere all of these can trigger a behavioural outburst. You should try and get them used to that situation by simulation prior to boarding a flight.

Children on the autism spectrum have the same structural development of the brain as normal children. 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.

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 currently there is no such evidence and thus not recommended!

There can be sleep cycle disruptions in autistic children. The sleep routines should be made in sync with a time frame.After sunset, make sure that the child’s eyes are not subjected to blue light( coming from mobile phone screens). Maintain a consistent sleep routine and time. Get them well exercised and tired prior to bedtime.

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.

If your child sleeps by nine 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.

New-born babies afflicted with some brain injuries can have different patterns of injury on their MRI. The outcome predominantly depends on the area affected. There are white matter areas that are central to the brain and an injury there can cause physical disabilities and spasticity.

Damage made to grey cells can result in epilepsy, seizure, and cognitive disabilities. Although this is not an exact science and it is not absolutely accurate. Having an MRI scan alone will not be effective; it’s best to have a thorough consultation with a pediatric neurologist.

It is not necessary that every child with ADHD should be on medications. Most kids do not warrant a medication. With cognitive therapy, and behavioural In-N-Out along with some minor changes at classroom level they can flourish. Medication is advisable only for kids with academic disabilities and social difficulties due to their inattentiveness and impulsivity.

Every child is different and one rule does not apply to all children with Autism.

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

It’s highly recommended that you just don’t abide by a diet plan. It’s necessary to have regular speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioural training. A gluten-free and sugar-free diet can help but won’t deliver strong results! As there is no strong evidence base.

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

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

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

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.

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

To deal with meltdowns, go step by step in a systematic manner. 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 they deserve. Speak to your ABA therapists.

Children are not severely affected by the Covid-19 virus anyways. But theclockdowns and change of routines can have adverse effects on them. This can bring back their vocal and motor stimming, aggressive behavior, and anger tantrums. But don’t worry it’s temporary and is transient.

Consult a speech therapist who has expertise in dysphagia. They deal with the chewing and swallow mechanism of food in children. An occupational therapist may also help.

Not scientifically proven yet. Extreme biomedical treatments should be avoided. But trying a gluten-free and casein free diet is worth a try if it helps.

It is a common phenomenon found among autistic children. It is actually the physical manifestation of the emotional state of a child. This is commonly seen among children when they seek pleasure from doing something and this can be substituted with a more socially acceptable behaviour with therapy. It’s highly recommended to consult a behavioral therapist..

Epileptic kids without any cognitive disabilities can perform at par with any other 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.

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

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

If the child remains seizure-free for two years, then we can withdraw the medication. But there are many caveats which have to assessed from case to case basis.

Yes, it can be possible with 28 different types of epilepsies, they can come in different forms. Absence seizures are so quick that your child will just stand still, go blank or have eye lid fluttering.

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

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

The two are distinct conditions but can co-exist. 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 works and develops. Kids with ADHD often dislike and avoid things they’ll have to concentrate on. They lack focus, and are very impulsive.

Those with autism can have 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.

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

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

Dyspraxia, otherwise called “clumsy child syndrome,” is also associated with poor eye-hand coordination, posture, and balance. Are you worried that sudden clumsiness may get worse? It could be a sign of a degenerative or progressive disorder, such as muscular dystrophy or juvenile arthritis. And if your toddler recently took a tumble and suddenly seems unsteady on his feet, he might have a concussion.

An unbalanced gait could point to a weakness of one of the hip or leg muscles, or a sore foot or joint, or they may have an injury. It could also be an indication of an autoimmune disease.

Many people with autism have trouble interpreting sensory information in everyday situations. They can be hypersensitive (over-reactive) to sensory input or hypersensitive (under-reactive), and their perceptions can be fragmented or skewed.

The way a person reacts to sensory events can change from day to day. On certain days, he may actively seek out specific sensory sensations, while on other days, he may actively avoid them.

Up to 90% of autistic persons are either highly sensitive to sound, sight, taste, smell, or touch or don’t notice them at all. Some people seek out sensations by spinning in circles or touching objects with different textures.