The Struggling Homeschooler
Fish Oil as
The incidence of children diagnosed with food allergies, . . . asthma, autism,
Asperger’s, Sensory Processing Dysfunction, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and
dysgraphia, has increased greatly in the past five years.
Sometimes a subject comes up that is so wide reaching in its impact hat it can’t be ignored. As a spe- cial educator for over thirty years,
and a nutritionist, I am always on the
lookout for ways to relieve suffering in
kids who are struggling with learning or
behavior. It has come to the point that
evidence of the impact of fish oil on the
brain and nervous system of these struggling children is so large that I think it
deserves its own article.
The incidence of children diagnosed
with food allergies (notice all the glu-ten-free and dairy-free items in grocery
stores as of late?), asthma, autism, Asperger’s, Sensory Processing Dysfunction, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia has increased greatly in the past
five years. There is a disproportionate
amount of boys in this increase. UCLA
School of Medicine has found that boys
have a three times higher need for DHA
1 Why is this occurring? Let’s
explore this more.
The incidence of depression has skyrocketed in children and adults since World
War II. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported that 11 percent
of Americans over the age of 12 take
anti-depressants. What is going on? Researchers report that blood levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive
protein are frequently elevated in those
diagnosed with depression. Could inflammatory changes in the brain be one
of the main drivers behind our epidemic
of depression? This may also explain why
anti-depressant medications often don’t
work for people with depression. Emory
University in Atlanta confirmed the de-pression/inflammatory connection. Fortunately, there are natural ways to reduce
inflammation. The most effective way includes a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids,
specifically DHA in fish oil.
Dr. Michael Norden, a practicing psy-
chiatrist in New York, uses essential fatty
acids, particularly fish oils, for his pa-
tients who are suffering from depression.
Using fish oil in addition to medication,
and sometimes without medication, Dr.
Norden reports impressive relief from
depression among his patients.
wise, Dr. Andrew Stall, a physician from
Harvard, has found that the DHA in fish
oil has proven to be extremely helpful in
patients suffering with post-partum de-
pression, bipolar, ADD, and ADHD.
Many studies implicate inflammation of
the white matter of the brain as a common thread in children diagnosed on
the autism spectrum. However, one very
unique aspect of fish oil is its effect on the
gaze aversion that afflicts so many children who have autism. The rods in the
retina of the eye are very responsive to
the supplementation of DHA.
Dr. Mary Megson, a developmental
pediatrician in Richmond, Virginia, has
found that the reason children with gaze
aversion will seem to look away from a
parent’s face is because when looking directly at the face, all they see is a white
block. Thus, they use their peripheral vision to at least get a glimpse of what they