This is a post I've been wanting to write for quite some time now, and I finally have a minute to do so. I'm not sure how many of the parents that read this blog give their kids/babies any other form of supplementation, but I thought I would share briefly what we do with Jaden.
3 Months after Jaden was born, an article was passed on to me by my Step-Sister. The article was all about this lady, Dixie Lawrence, who had formulated a nutritional supplement for her adopted daughter, Madison who had Down Syndrome. Based on her own Body Building Background, she had become very educated on supplements, amino acids, and the body's own metabolism. She noticed from the get go, that Madison had a slew of health issues, and she was desperate to try and help her any way she could. She started researching and researching and came across some other People before her, who had taken the Nutritional Supplementation approach with kids with Down Syndrome to some surprisingly positive results. So, she met up with some of these people and worked to develop a formulation that could help kids with Down Syndrome, since their immune systems and metabolisms were different than the "average" kid.
This was back in the late 80's early 90's. Now, lets fast forward. Right after reading this article about Dixie Lawrence, and all the other people involved in researching better health treatments for kids with Down Syndrome, I became very interested in trying to do everything possible for Jaden. Even though Jaden was blessed with a healthy digestive system and perfect heart, I knew I was going to have to do everything I could to keep him healthy, and give him all the advantages I could. So, I too, started researching Health and Nutrition, a subject I've always read a lot about, and the more I read, the more I learned. We are always trying to stay healthy, eat healthy, and I have always believed in supplementation where deficiencies are concerned. I truly believe that our bodies begin to break down due to un -detected deficiencies within our bodies due to poor eating habits. Over time these deficiencies lead to imbalances, symptoms, and eventually diseases or chronic conditions. So, with Jaden It made perfect sense that his body doesn't absorb nutrients the way the "average" child does and that he doesn't Metabolise these nutrients the way the "average" child does. Why not give him the added benefits of supplementation, especially one that's formulated for kids with Down Syndrome.
After years of research, that is still ongoing, they can now see patterns in deficiencies and Oxidative Stress found in babies/kids with down Syndrome. In doing my research, I came across a Doctor out of Virginia, Lawrence Leichtman, who is a Genetic Researcher and one of the worlds most Re- knowned experts on Down Syndrome. He is an extremely brilliant man who has devoted the better part of the last 20 years to helping babies/kids/adults with Down Syndrome, and to helping "Typical" Doctors understand Down Syndrome Better. There is Nothing this man does not know, as far as Down Syndrome goes, and he travels the United States each year to do clinics to see families that can't get to him in Virginia. He is an extremely valuable resource to us who frequently ask questions on the DSTNI (Down Syndrome Targeted Nutritional Intervention) Group on Yahoo. Anyway, he has worked closely with Dixie Lawrence over the years on helping to formulate the Supplements and they have worked with the Company International Nutrition to keep this formulation updated and current.
We personally saw Dr. Leichtman in Florida 1 year ago to have him evaluate Jaden. We started giving JadenNutrivene D, the supplement by International Nutrition, when he was 3 months old. From personal experience I will say that I don't think it's a coincidence that Jaden is as Healthy as he is, or that he is developing so well. I can say that this is probably why he's on the "normal" charts for height and weight, his eyesight is perfect, developing in the "normal" range on almost everything, etc. (Dr. Leichtman has found that the earlier babies/kids start on Supplements the better they seem to do). Then about 1 year ago, I started talking with some other parents who are closely following all the Down Syndrome Research going on at Stanford University, and they started hearing about amazing results with Ginkgo Biloba. So, some parenst started giving it to their children, to astonishing results. Apparently, based on all the studies, Ginkgo Biloba not only increases blood flow in the brain, helping to improve memory in the area of the brain affected in down Syndrome, but it also helps to inhibit cellular death, also seen in Down Syndrome, Hence the Delay in response time or the lack of remembering something from one day to the next, even though a new skill was learned. They also have found that Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful antioxidant and can see very little down sides to it. After reading more and more research about GingkoBiloba, I started giving it to Jaden when he was about 17 months old. Please see here for a few of the different articles on Ginkgo Biloba & Down Syndrome: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_265-266/ai_n15688808 http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/2007/02/25/downs-syndrome-brains-aided-by-gink http://herbalmusings.com/mind_over_matter.htm
What we noticed Instantly was not only astonishing, it was phenomenal! Jaden has always been bright, alert, involved, responsive etc. However, there was always a slight delay attached to the response time. For example we would ask him a question, and he would take a few seconds to respond etc. The minute we started him on Ginkgo, that delay in response time completely went away! It was as if a Light Bulb had gone off in his head and he was now free to interact in "real time"! It's as if he knew he wanted to respond faster, but was unable to! We not only saw his response time increase to Normal we saw his memory completely improve. For example, Jaden was always fantastic at learning something new, really fast, however from day to day he maybe didn't remember what he had learned the previous day, and we would have to "re-teach" the skill. Now, when we teach him something, he not only remembers it, the next day he brings it to my attention without me going over it with him! For example if I say, "Kiss doggy on the belly", he'll do it, but the next day, he'll bring me the doggy and kiss it on the belly to show me he knows how to do it!
I have hundreds of examples of how this is working with Jaden, but I couldn't possible list them all here! I can only recommend researching more about this if you are interested, or contacting some of the Hundred's of parents currently using Nutritional Intervention and/or Ginkgo Biloba with their kids. Their stories are very encouraging. The way I look at it is this: We can only do what we feel is best for our children and their future, and I personally will do anything I can so that Jaden can interact with the world to the best of his abilities. I really hope this information helps you or at least introduces you to some new information!
Please email me or contact me at anytime for more information or with any questions! Pass this on to anyone you want!