One out of 59 children is diagnosed to having autism according to the CDC. Autism is not just one disorder but a broad range of conditions involving social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behavior. While treatment is focused on reducing symptoms and improving development, one study claims that L-carnosine may help in treating autism. So, how does L-carnosine for autism work?
What is Autism?
As mentioned, autism involves a combination of conditions that are characterized by problems with speech and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviors, and social skills. Autism is also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
With regards to the development of autism, there are numerous factors which may influence it. Moreover, it is usually accompanied by medical issues, sensory sensitivities, and mental health problems. Medical issues range from sleep disorders to gastrointestinal problems. On the other hand, mental health disorders can be attention issues, depression, or anxiety.
Indicators of ASD commonly appear when a child is 2 or 3 years of age. However, developmental delays may manifest in a child earlier, such as 18 months of age.
ASD appears different in individuals diagnosed. This developmental disability can affect how an individual interacts, behaves, or communicates. Furthermore, the symptoms are either severe or mild. While some individuals appear to have noticeable symptoms, others do not.
A child or adult with ASD finds it challenging to interact with other people. Social symptoms manifest within the age of 8 to 10 months. These include the following.
- Talking or playing with others is not interesting.
- Prefers to be by himself or herself.
- Avoid physical and eye contact.
- Does not respond to name by the time the child turns one-year-old.
- Dislikes confrontation when upset.
- Does not understand his/her as well as other people’s emotions.
- Does not stretch out arms when being picked up.
- Behavioral Patterns
Apart from their unusual social skills, a child with ASD acts unusually. Furthermore, he or she has atypical interests. Some examples of behavioral patterns associated with ASD include the following.
- Repetitive gestures such as twirling, jumping, rocking, or hand-flapping.
- “Hyper” behavior and constant pacing.
- Short attention span
- Aggressive behavior towards self and others.
- Acts without thinking.
- Clumsy and lacks coordination.
- Fussy habits when it comes to food.
- Does not imitate the behaviors of other children.
- Refuses to take part in “make-believe” play.
- Extremely sensitive towards sound, light, and touch.
- Follows specific rituals or routines.
- Fixated on a particular object or activity.
- Communication Skills
Approximately 40 percent of children diagnosed with ASD do not communicate at all. On the other hand, about 30 percent of those diagnosed do manage to develop communication skills during infancy but forget them later on. However, other kids with ASD start to talk at a later period. With regards to communication, some problems that may manifest include the following.
- Does not recognize jokes or sarcasm.
- Inability to answer questions or stay on topic when communicating.
- Rarely uses gestures or does not respond to these as well (waving or pointing).
- Difficulties using pronouns such as saying “You” when she or he should have said “I.”
- Repeats the same phrase again and again (echolalia).
- Singsong voice or robotic speaking voice.
- Delayed language skills and speech.
The earlier the treatment, the better and more effective it is than having it treated at a later time. This is why it is vital to identify indicators of ASD. Schedule an appointment with a pediatrician if your child fails to meet the following age-linked milestones:
- Six months: smiles
- Nine months: imitates sounds or facial expressions
- 12 months: babbles or coos
- 14 months: gestures, such as waving or pointing
- 16 months: speaks using single words
- 24 months: speaks using two words or more
- 18 months: takes part in “make-believe” play or plays pretend
Depending on your child’s individual needs, the type of treatment for ASD varies since it is a spectrum disorder. Treatment typically involves numerous therapies with the aim of improving behavior and speech. It may also include medications that manage medical disorders, if any, that is related to ASD.
Since the leading cause of autism has yet to be identified, doctors are still certain that genes are the most significant contributor to getting the disorder. Bearing a child with ASD cannot be prevented, but a mother can lessen the risk by following lifestyle changes to ensure a healthy baby is born. Such changes include the following.
- Eat healthy and well-balanced meals three times a day.
- Get regular check-ups.
- Get physical! Speak to your doctor about exercises appropriate for pregnant women.
- Practice proper prenatal care by taking the recommended supplements and vitamins.
What is L-Carnosine?
As mentioned above, there is no set treatment to “cure” autism. Instead, the treatments are primarily done to help improve a child’s behavior, skills, and speech. However, recent studies claim that a dipeptide of an amino acid may help treat ASD.
This is none other than L-carnosine, which is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the body. It is found in the brain, heart, and muscle tissues.
How it Helps Treat Autism
In the study done by Dr. Chez, he claims that L-carnosine improves expressive language, fine motor planning, awareness of surroundings, socialization, auditory processing, and receptive language. After treatment of 400 mg of L-carnosine was given twice a day, the improvement was noticed between the first and eight weeks.
Dr. Chez’s’ study has prompted parents who have children with ASD to try the supplement as well. Based on user feedback, L-carnosine proved to be an effective treatment in terms of improving speech, behavior, and motor skills.
L-carnosine is available in 500 mg and 50 mg capsules. Since it is tasteless, it can be given without or with food. It may also be opened and mixed into liquids or food. While the study claimed that the effective dose is 400 mg to be given twice a day, some parents claim that the amount should be lessened in cases where the child becomes too hyperactive.
Take note, however, that before starting out with this supplement, it is best to consult with your child’s pediatrician.