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Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Alpha and The Omegas...

Well, it's been a week since Hallie's been on Nordic Naturals Omega Complete 3-6-9. I read about the importance of these omega fatty acids for brain and speech development in Marilyn Agin's The Late Talker book and on the Apraxia children's boards that I've joined and was convinced that it was worth trying the supplement. There's been very little formal testing of these supplements in speech-delayed and speech-disordered children, and what testing has been done has been done on very small sample sizes (which of course garners less usable data than large-scale randomized testing with controls). Still, there's been some research, and even more research with children on the Autism spectrum and the data all suggests that these supplements can have a profound impact on speech, mood, attention span and the like. It's also clear that there is very little downside to these supplements other than getting your kid to take them.

So, what's the verdict?

Well, Hallie has yet to recite War and Peace or Crime and Punishment (yes, Russian writers in the 19th century were often fond of ampersands. Fathers and Sons--more correctly Children and Sons--is another great example of this). But she has done A LOT more talking and much more mimicking and babbling. She would NEVER willingly mimic us before this past week. It could take an hour to drag a one-word verbal mimic out of her (though it takes no time at all to get her to mimic a gesture or sign on command). We have heard a lot more word approximations than ever before and she has repeated these over and over. So, while we are not experiencing a miracle, we are seeing very, very perceptible progress. And she has yet to have an 'off' speaking day on these things.

Alas, there is a downside to the Omegas. I guess that most kids don't have violent and unrelenting reflux. Hallie, however, does. And these are, after all, ACIDS. And acid is not good for acid reflux (naturally). The lemon flavor of the oil, while very, very tasty for Hallie, who opens her mouth wide for the stuff, probably isn't helping, either. This--on top of the dairy that Ami mistakenly gave her this week--has had her system out of whack until today. It's hard to filter out things in terms of causality, but we're not ruling out that the Omegas are responsible for some of the chronic vomiting.

So now I find myself trying to Alkalinize Hallie's system. This isn't too hard to do--I figure that we can mimic the enteric coating that Omega pills designed for GERD-ish adults have by giving Hallie some Mylanta (which is calcium/magnesium) prior to giving her the acids and making sure that Hallie takes these on a pretty full stomach (before, we were giving them to her on an empty stomach morning and night). So far, so good. We're getting in a teaspoon of the oil (5ml) in the evening, after 5ml of mylanta and dinner. I'm hoping that this dose remains high enough to see good speech effects and that, now that the dairy is finally out of her system--as evidenced by an improving poop quality (yes, I know, TMI), we'll be back in business. Indeed, today would have been an urp- and vomit-free day had there not been a french fry 'event.' But this was mechanical, so it does not worry me. And Hallie's mood has been FABULOUS all day. In fact, she's been happy all week, vomiting and all. So, I am hoping that, as with the Goat milk and the Simply Thick, a bit of research helps move us along to a better place.

In the meantime, I am left wondering when I became a nutritionist (wasn't neonatology student and a rotation in GI with a subspecialty in reflux enough?)


23wktwinsmommy said...

Very EI worker just mentioned this to me on Friday, saying many moms in the group were giving it to their kids. I kinda shrugged it off as something parents did, but doesn't really work. I might have to look more into it now that Hallie appears to be benefiting.

Trisha said...

Wow! That's amazing. I might just have to try giving it to Caleb. I am so impressed by all the research you do to help Hallie. You are helping a lot of others too, I am sure. I hope that her talking trend continues! I bet it's so much fun to hear her sweet little voice!

BusyLizzyMom said...

Glad to see all your research and hard work is paying off and that Hallie has a bit more to say these days. It is also nice to see that Hallie is having less urps, I can't believe the difference in Elizabeth since we changed to soy she has not vomitted for over 3 weeks (I will not count this am's barf either d/t a nasty cough). It makes me feel like a horrible mother that I was giving her things that were causing her stomach upset for so long. You might want to look into an egg allergy for Hallie, we discovered through trial and barf that when something containing egg touched her mouth she would vomit(custard has egg in it). We give Elizabeth Flax oil and a mom told me to only give it early in the day as it is too difficult to digest at night. I don't know if Hallies supplements are similar.

Jodi said...

I always enjoy reading about Hallie and I appreciate all of your comments on my blog. They have been so helpful. I love it when people leave comments on my blog and I've realized that I don't leave many on all of the blogs that I frequent. .shame on me. Anyway, thanks for all the wonderful insights and beautiful pictures.

Lori said...

I am considering starting the Nordic Berries multivitamin with Aidan and am intrigued about the 3-6-9 just because I have heard so many great things from other parents. Did you find any good info on dosing the 3-6-9 anywhere since the manufacturer says age 5 and up? I would love some data on giving it to a 2 1/2 year old.