our journey of hope and healing through autism

Like a kid in a candy store {Organic Acid Tests, supplements, and autism)


I’m excited.  More excited than if I was waiting for my latest, greatest Amazon purchase.

Two and a half weeks ago, we collected a urine sample from Hannah for an Organic Acid Test (OAT), and I can hardly wait for the results.  I don’t like to be high maintenance, but I’ve called the doctor’s office twice to see if the results have come in yet.  (I’m just a wee bit excited.)

A little background:  One of the reasons that the treatments we do for Hannah are considered “biomedical”, rather than “alternative” is because lab tests are the cornerstone of the treatments.  Specific tests are ordered, measuring specific parameters that have been found to frequently be out of kilter in kids with autism or adhd.

An OAT  measures leftovers.  By analyzing what and how much of different leftovers are present in the urine, we get a glimpse into what amino acids Hannah needs more or less of.  Amino Acids are the building blocks of our brains signalling system.  When the brain’s signalling system isn’t running it’s best, it’s functioning suffers.

Sometimes the movement to treat autism biomedically gets a bad reputation because of all the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutritional supplements that are sometimes used for autism.  Many of these supplements have a great biochemical justification for why they could help.  Because the underlying biochemical dysfunctions of autism are not the same for every person, no supplement will help every person with autism.  Some individuals with autism will have great results with a supplement, that someone else will have modest or no results with.  Sometimes a child will even experience a worsening of symptoms (this tends to be more true with amino acids, than with vitamins or minerals at the recommended therapeutic doses).  Without testing, it’s a huge guessing game.

There are drawbacks, of course.  The OAT used for autism are designed and analyzed by private labs, and are expensive (Hannah’s was $500).   A family can do a fair amount of experimenting with supplements for $500, but I’d rather know what there is to know, and spent less time with trial and error.  Also, an OAT is like a snapshot- just capturing the metabolic status from that particular window in time.

An OAT also gives a glimpse into where yeast levels are at.  I’ll be posting more about yeast soon.  (Hannah saw all sorts of improvements through treating yeast through diet and a prescription antifungal.  She’s been off the med for about a month and a half now, and I feel like I’m starting to see her yeast related behaviors come back. <Sigh>

My hope is that following up on the results of the OAT with tailored supplementation will help Hannah’s language processing (ability to quickly make sense of what other say to her) and motor planning (how her brain tells her body to move for everything from riding a trike to printing letters)  take a step forward.  They’ve improved over the past year, but not as dramatically as every other area of her functioning.

I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.  😉


2 comments on “Like a kid in a candy store {Organic Acid Tests, supplements, and autism)

  1. Donna J. Dingwall
    June 17, 2013

    I will be watching this blog closely. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Overcoming Autism | holdingtomorrow

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