Autism and Picky Eaters Require Specific Treatment and Analysis



It is well known that children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders tend to be picky eaters.  This is probably associated with the fact that they show sensory intake processing deficiencies.  Sometimes they only eat food due to its texture as they often can not really taste it.  This can lead to a diet that is limited to only a few items, i.e. macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets.  This limited diet can lead to vitamin deficiencies.  These vitamin deficiencies may contribute to and/or exacerbate the child’s condition. Certain vitamins have been linked to ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders and therefore it is always important to check for these deficiencies which are known to be associated with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders when treating a child.  We consider this important especially using a sensory motor hemispheric approach to eliminate any negative factors so as to be able to get the best result.  Below is a study from the scientific literature documenting a child who only ate french fries (an extreme picky eater with a very limited diet) And some support for vitamin A supplementation for these children.

1: JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1993 May-Jun;17(3):284-6

Symptomatic vitamin A and D deficiencies in an eight-year-old with autism.

Clark JH, Rhoden DK, Turner DS.

Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912.

An 8-year-old boy with autism developed a limp and periorbital swelling. He was found to have hypocalcemia and radiographic evidence of rickets. Ophthalmologic examination revealed xerophthalmia and corneal erosions. Serum vitamin A was undetectable and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was decreased. Dietary history revealed a markedly altered intake consisting of only french fried potatoes and water for several years. All biochemical and physical abnormalities reversed with appropriate supplementation. The nutritional content of french fries is reviewed. Feeding dysfunction is an integral part of autism and closer attention should be paid to potential nutritional deficiencies.

1: Arch Pediatr. 2008 Jan;15(1):29-32. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

Hypercalcemia reveailing iatrogenic hypervitaminosis A in a child with autistic troubles.

Kimmoun A, Leheup B, Feillet F, Dubois F, Morali A.

Service de médecine infantile III et génétique clinique, centre hospitalier universitaire de Nancy, hôpital d’enfants, allée du Morvan, 54511 Vandoeuvre, France.

Hypervitaminosis A is an unusual cause of infant hypercalcemia. The way it occurs can be very surprising, as one can notice from the following case report. CASE REPORTS: A three-year-old boy, presenting important behavioral disorders, was hospitalized because of a deterioration of his general state of health associated with vomiting, cephalgias, fever and cutaneous abnormalities. A 168 mg/L hypercalcemia was found. The only etiology is a deviant consumption of vitamin A within the framework of an “autistic diet”: 100000 UI/d during three months, and then 150000 UI/d the three following months. Intoxication was confirmed by the increased vitamin A plasmatic level, and vitamin A/RBP molar ratio and by the presence of plasmatic retinyl palmitate. An emergency treatment by rehydration, biphosphonates and furosemide led to effective calcemia normalization. CONCLUSION: In the case of nonobvious causes of hypercalcemia, a thorough cross-examination must look for vitamin A intoxication. Our observation illustrates the danger of certain diets suggested for autistic children.

1; Med Hypotheses. 2000 Jun;54(6):979-83

Is autism a G-alpha protein defect reversible with natural vitamin A?

Megson MN.

Pediatric and Adolescent Ability Center, Richmond, VA 23226, USA.

Autism may be a disorder linked to the disruption of the G-alpha protein, affecting retinoid receptors in the brain. A study of 60 autistic children suggests that autism may be caused by inserting a G-alpha protein defect, the pertussis toxin found in the DPT vaccine, into genetically at-risk children. This toxin separates the G-alpha protein from retinoid receptors. Those most at risk report a family history of at least one parent with a pre-existing G-alpha protein defect, including night blindness, pseudohypoparathyroidism or adenoma of the thyroid or pituitary gland.Natural vitamin A may reconnect the retinoid receptors critical for vision, sensory perception, language processing and attention. Autism spectrum disorders have increased from 1 in 10 000 in 1978 to 1 in 300 in some US communities in 1999. Recent evidence indicates that autism is a disorder of the nervous system and the immune system, affecting multiple metabolic pathways.

Dr. Mane offers one on one consultation as well as Group Seminars for parents and children who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorders.  If you are interested in scheduling a consultation or to attend a seminar please call 813-935-4744. 

For more information about Dr. Nelson Mane, D.C. and his treatment approach for ASD go to