Probiotics are wonderful, and a key element when it comes to helping children on the spectrum. After all, it seems that most children on the spectrum have GI issues of some sort. One of the popular theories out there (that I 100% agree with) is that a lot of our children’s issues, begin in the gut.
Our first experience with probiotics started at a very young age with Anthony. He had been in the NICU for 3 months (born at 26 weeks gestation), and as we prepared for Anthony to come home, his doctor recommended that we put Anthony on a probiotic called Florastor. They told us, that with Anthony being born so premature that this would help with his reflux ( a common issue with babies who are born premature).
We continued Anthony on his probiotic for that first year of his life. His development was going swimmingly. He was hitting all his milestones at an appropriate time, and as we moved him to solid foods, we saw that he enjoyed eating. To this day, Anthony has always been a wonderful eater.
Shortly after his 1st birthday, I decided to take Anthony off his probiotic. His pediatrician (no longer with him!) told us he didn’t think Anthony needed it anymore since his reflux was no longer an issue. I agreed. But now that I look back at things, I now know, this is when things started to go down hill.
Anthony slowly started to regress, and development seemed to stop in certain areas. The big red flag was his speech.
Here is a video of Anthony at 13 months old. He was babbling. He was age appropriate for his speech and everything else. But by the time he was 15 months, his babble was completely non-existent, and things only continued to get worse from there.
This is Anthony a year later, at 2 years old. He was now completely non-verbal. His sensory issues got worse, his babble, a thing of the past. Now replaced with grunting and humming.
How does this all relate to probiotics? Well flash forward a year and a half later, when Anthony was 3 1/2, and still completely non-verbal.
After a long phone call with my friend Tara, I took her advice seriously when she suggested putting Anthony back on his probiotic (Florastor).
The miracle occurred that first week. He got 10 words and kept them!!!! Which was a huge deal, considering he had been in speech therapy since he was 18 months old and made no progress in all that time. Every week more and more words stayed. Two months after starting his probiotic he had 80 words! I now knew I HAD to find a DAN doctor! There really was something to this whole gut theory.
2 months after starting probiotics
Over the years we have used multiple probiotics and I have to say they have all been great for Anthony’s gut.
These are the ones we have used….
Florastor – Is a probiotic that contains the S. Boulardii strain and lactose. Unlike bacterial probiotics, Florastor probiotic supplements are not compromised by antibiotic use. It is available in a capsule and a kids powder that can be mixed in drinks (I use to put it in Anthony’s bottle). However the kids powder does contain fructose. It does contain traces of soy, but is free of corn, meat, egg protein, milk protein, fish, nuts, gluten, shellfish, latex.
Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Defense – This was Anthony first probiotic that Dr. Sletten put him on. It’s strong and does a great job at healing the gut. What is also great about it, is it contains S. boulardii. Which is a yeast killer. It is also Free of sugar, soy, wheat, casein, gluten, milk, corn, egg, preservatives, gelatin, artificial colors or flavorings, peanuts, tree nuts or fish. Anthony was on this probiotic for most of his bio-medical journey. It does contain the strep strain, so if your child is sensitive to strep, you might want to look to another probiotic as we had to. We realized the strep strain made Anthony’s PANDAS diagnosis worse.
Klaire Ther-Biotic Complete – We used this probiotic on and off when Anthony was taking Diflucan regularly. It does not get destroyed by the diflucan. It’s also great at detoxifying enzymes and removing ammonias and phenols.
New Beginnings Probiotic Support Formula – We switched to this probiotic when we realized Anthony had PANDAS and was sensitive to the strep strain that is in a lot of them. This probiotic also contains S. boulardii (yeast killer). It contains no gluten, eggs, peanuts, corn, artificial coloring, preservatives or flavoring. Which leads me to believe it does contain milk. Since Anthony has no sensitivity to milk, it has never been an issue. Click on the picture below to find out more, or if you are interested in ordering.
3 out of 4 of these supplements can be found at SpectrumSupplements.com and you can use coupon code: BIOMED for a discount. I’m all about trying to save all us Warrior Parents some money. =-)
Probiotics are wonderful and a big part of healing our children’s stomachs. I am 100% certain with my child, that is where his autism spectrum disorder started, with his gut.
ALWAYS talk to your doctor first before starting a new supplement. They are the ones that can tell you the exact dosage your child should be receiving for the best outcome, and if a new supplement is beneficial for your child’s unique situation.
What probiotics have you had success with? Feel free to share! =-)