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Autism, the SCD, and Fine Motor Skills

May 15, 2013

image 1I'm staring at a school worksheet which a mom happily shared. When her son "Joseph" (pseudonym), was diagnosed with ASD at age 2, she was told he would never talk. In addition, like most children suffering from autism, he was clumsy. Whether trying to run or catch a ball, his movements appeared uncoordinated. This lack of motor coordination is well-documented, even in high-functioning people suffering from autism. Even harder are finer motor skills, such as writing.

Joseph started a casein-free version of the SCD last fall. His moods quickly even out. Now , seven months later, he's starting to use words more AND, as shown in the image, he is now "Handwriting Without Tears." The image is from a school worksheet completed on March 26, 2013. The teacher also notes his speech.

With fine motor skills, it's not lack of effort. In a 2012 "consensus report"*--doctors agreed that with autism, there is continuous inflammation of the cerebellum--the part of the brain which coordinates motor movements.

Once Joseph's gut began to heal (and presumably became less "leaky"), the inflammation process effecting his cerebellum also lessened. As a result, he's starting to write.

* Fatemi, S. H., Aldinger, K. a, Ashwood, P., Bauman, M. L., Blaha, C. D., Blatt, G. J., Chauhan, A., et al. (2012). Consensus paper: pathological role of the cerebellum in autism. Cerebellum (London, England), 11(3), 777–807. doi:10.1007/s12311-012-0355-9