End the overwhelm.

Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.

End the overwhelm.

Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


Beyond the Diagnosis: How 5 Experts are Reshaping the Autism, ADHD, and SPD Landscape

Beyond the Diagnosis: How 5 Experts are Reshaping the Autism, ADHD, and SPD Landscape

It can be hard to find the right interventions for your child. You may feel confused by the different options and opinions out there. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to improve your child’s well-being and quality of life.

You are not alone. Many parents face the same challenges and frustrations. But there is hope. There are experts who have dedicated their lives to helping children with these disorders. They have discovered the root causes of these symptoms and how to address them with natural and safe solutions.

And they want to share their knowledge and experience with you.

This special episode of the podcast will give you a sneak peek of what you can expect from the 10-day Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit that shares Intervention Breakthroughs and How to Navigate Options for Parents of Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Five world-renowned experts are reshaping the autism, ADHD, and SPD landscape. They share their insights and breakthroughs on topics such as brain imbalances, food sensitivities, allergies, inflammation, anxiety, posture, and more.

What you can expect are 5 snippets from the summit interviews. You’ll hear from Dr. Robert Melillo, a pioneer in developmental functional neurology; Julie Matthews, a certified nutrition consultant specializing in autism; Dr. Darin Ingels, a naturopathic doctor with 30 years of experience; Trudy Scott, a food mood expert and author; and Dr. Krista Burns, a posture and brain health expert and TEDx speaker.

Plus, you’ll get access to the free 10-day Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit where you can learn more from these experts and others who have helped thousands of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dive right into the special podcast now.

Things You Will Learn
  • Why is understanding the balance between the hemispheres of the brain so important?
  • Big misconception that most experts don’t dare to reveal: It’s not genetics, it’s epigenetics! 
  • What a functional disconnection looks like from a symptom and parent’s perspective and how to spot it before it causes irreversible damage.
  • How skipping milestones like creeping and crawling can make or break your child’s development.
  • Sneaky compounds in your child’s food that trigger meltdowns, tantrums, and aggression.
  • How do you fix your children's ability to process these foods appropriately?
  • Allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance? How getting it wrong can spell disaster for your child’s health and how to get it right.
  • A chemical in the brain triggering chemicals that leads to brain inflammation. 
  • Is your child simply acting out, or are they silently grappling with anxiety? Find out the signs you need to look out for and how to help them cope and thrive with natural solutions.
  • What are the signs of low serotonin anxiety in children? 
  • GABA's role in managing insulin resistance and diabetes
  • What’s causing more children with migraines, headaches, neck pain, and tightness in their shoulders?
  • How poor posture can contribute to symptoms of autism, ADHD, or even sensory processing challenges?
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • Dr. Robert Melillo: Brain Imbalances In Children With Autism And ADHD (03:05)
    • Julie Matthews: How Foods Impact Your Child’s Behavior And How To Fix The Root Cause (8:24)
    • Dr. Darin Ingels: Allergies And Brain Inflammation: What You Need To Know (11:08)
    • Trudy Scott: Anxiety’s Role In ASD, ADHD, and SPD and How Nutrient Therapy Can Help (16:04) 
    • Dr. Krista Burns: The Posture-Brain Axis (20:36)

Resources and Links

Dr. Robert Melillo


Disconnected Kids 

Brain Balance

Julie Matthews

Nourishing Hope for Autism

Nourishing Hope for Healing Kids – Parents program

BioIndividual Nutrition Institute – Practitioner Training

Dr. Darin Ingels

The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response and Beat Lyme Disease


American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Find a Practitioner

Trudy Scott

Trudy’s Free Gifts to you!

Dr. Krista Burns

American Posture Institute

Posture Cushion

Articles Related to Beyond the Diagnosis: How 5 Experts are Reshaping the Autism, ADHD, and SPD Landscape

Trudy Scott

July 2009 – American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Sensory Over Responsivity and Anxiety in Children With ADHD

September 2012, also American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Sensory Over Responsivity and Anxiety in Typically Developing Children and Children With Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Cause or Coexistence?


More about the Speakers

More about Dr. Robert Melillo:

Dr. Robert Melillo is one of the world’s most sought after and respected experts in Developmental Functional Neurology, Brain Imbalances, hemispheric integration and the diagnosis and correction of most neurobehavioral disorders and learning disabilities. 

In 2006, he created Brain Balance Achievement Centers which has approximately 150 centers and has helped tens of thousands of families. He has published one major text book titled Neurobehavioral Disorders of Childhood an Evolutionary Perspective. 

In addition, Dr. Melillo has also written 5 best-selling books including his best known Disconnected Kids which has been translated into 8 languages.He has appeared on over 1000 radio and TV interviews and with his wife, Carolyn, developed their own TV and Radio Show.  He was honored to be part of Dr. Mark Hyman’s recent Documentary Broken Brains as well. He and his wife are also currently the creators of a new web-series Disconnected Kids Reconnected Families. They have been married for 29 years and have three kids.  He is honored to be on the Advisory Board for Zac Browns’ Camp Southern Ground for children with learning disabilities. 

More about Julie Matthews:

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in autism and related disorders for 15 years. Her work and award winning book, Nourishing Hope for Autism, have helped people around the world to make food and nutrition choices that aid the health, learning, and behavior of those with autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays. She presents at leading autism conferences in the US and abroad and is on the scientific advisory board for USAAA (U.S. Autism & Asperger Association) and the Autism Nutrition Research Center. 

She is the co-founder of Nourishing Hope and BioIndividual Nutrition Institute, and the creator of Cooking To Heal, a “how to ” nutrition course and cookbook for those following specialized diets. Julie has a private nutrition practice in San Francisco, California, and supports families and clinicians from around the world with her nutrition learning tools and professional training courses.

More about Dr. Darin Ingels:

Dr. Ingels is a licensed naturopathic doctor, with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Purdue University and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

He has been published extensively and is the author of The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response and Beat Lyme Disease (Avery, 2018), which covers an integrative, natural approach to the treatment and management of Lyme disease.

More about Trudy Scott:

Food Mood Expert Trudy Scott is a certified nutritionist on a mission to educate and empower anxious individuals worldwide about natural solutions for anxiety, stress and emotional eating. 

Trudy is past president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. She was the recipient of the 2012 Impact Award and served as a Special Advisor to the Board of Directors for many years. Trudy is a member of the Alliance for Addiction Solutions and Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She was a nominee for the 2015 Scattergood Innovation Award and is a faculty advisor at Hawthorn University, the author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings (New Harbinger 2011) and host of The Anxiety Summit.

More about Dr. Krista Burns:

Dr. Krista Burns is the founder of the American Posture Institute, author of the textbook The Posture Principles, and TEDx Speaker. Dr. Krista has two doctorate degrees and is leading the charge against postural decline.  She has been featured on Fox News Radio and Global Woman Magazine.

Tara Hunkin:
Welcome to the My Child Will Thrive podcast where we talk about the latest science backed research, gain insights from leading experts, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing health and development for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders. I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and mother.

My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on, research I can dig into, and conferences I can attend, have helped me develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. A quick disclaimer, the information provided here is for educational purposes only.

It's not intended to diagnose or treat your child, and it's not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit, a free 10-day summit where I interview world renowned neurodevelopmental experts. Register for free at mychildwillthrive.com/summit. Again, it's mychildwillthrive.com/summit.

01:14 Tara Hunkin:
Today's podcast episode is quite special. I am sharing with you five different snippets from the summit where I interviewed world-renowned and respected neurodevelopment, nutrition, and naturopathic experts.

First up is Dr. Robert Melillo, an authority in developmental functional neurology who's transformed tens of thousands of lives through his Brain Balance Achievement Centers and his best-selling book, "Disconnected Kids", who will explain the role of Brain Imbalances In Children With Autism And ADHD.

Next we have Julie Matthews, recognized by the National Association of Nutritional Professionals. She sits on two scientific advisory boards, including the Autism Research Center, who will talk about How Foods Impact Your Child’s Behavior And How To Fix The Root Cause.

Following Dr. Matthews is Dr. Darin Ingels. He's a licensed naturopathic doctor with more than 30 years experience in the healthcare field. Authored the Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response, discusses about Allergies And Brain Inflammation: What You Need To Know.

Trudy Scott, our next guest, is an acclaimed Food Mood Expert, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind host of The Anxiety Summit. She'll shed light on Anxiety’s Role In Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder and How Nutrient Therapy Can Help.

And last but not least, Dr. Krista Burns, the founder of the American Posture Institute, author of the textbook, The Posture Principles, and TEDx Speaker, will talk about The Posture-Brain Axis.

Now on with the show. Let's start with Dr. Robert Melillo talking about brain imbalances in children with autism and ADHD, sensory processing disorder, dyslexia, learning disabilities and more.

02:54 Tara Hunkin:
If you have a child that has autism, whatever the diagnosis is, why is understanding the balance between the hemispheres of the brain so important?

03:15 Dr. Robert Melillo:
Because if you don't know that most basic question, then you don't know. You can't really answer a lot of things. You can't answer what causes it.

You can't answer, you know what may help it, or if something is working better than another, you can't talk about really almost anything unless you understand what the problem actually is. And as a clinician and as a parent to try to help my own child and other kids, I needed to know, well, what am I trying to do? What is the actual issue that I'm trying to correct and is it something that I can even correct?

Right. And so to me, it's, it's the most primary question and that is what I've devoted, you know, almost the last 30 years of my life to really understanding. And I think that you, you know, with the research that I've published and with my lab and some of the independent research on my work that's gone on, it's proven that we really understand what's happening in the brain better than really anybody else at this point. And the understanding that there's something called a functional disconnection, and that primarily that is between the two hemispheres, and that is the primary issue that causes the symptoms. And it's also the thing that we need to address if we want to help these individuals.

04:35 Tara Hunkin:
What does a functional disconnection look like from a symptom perspective and from a parent's perspective?

04:40 Dr. Robert Melillo:
The classic thing you are gonna see is what's called an unevenness of skills and where there's this obvious imbalance in the child.

And you know, what we see is that many of these kids are exceptional. And in fact, when we look at the genetics, and, and this is one of the big misconceptions out there, that, you know, these problems are due to genetic mutations or damage or injury to genes or, you know, polymorphisms and, and that's really not true.

What happens is that certain genes might be turned off during development, which is really called epigenetics, and they're inhibited. So they're not damaged or broken in any way. But mainly when we look at the genetics of these kids, what, from an evolutionary perspective, what we see is that really they have an excessive version of a trait that actually makes them very talented or gifted.

But what happens is that if you take a trait and if you are, if it's too strong, at the same time, you have other traits that are gonna be weaker. And most people, you know, as they have talent or intellect and as they have, you know, abilities that they can overcome their weaknesses with their strengths. But if the they become too far apart, the weakness actually overtakes the, the strength and that becomes more of a disability.

06:03 Tara Hunkin:
For example, the one that I think is the biggest one that people talk about, actually, it's skipping a milestone like creeping and crawling. So can you explain to people what the difference is between creeping and crawling and why skipping any milestone, but let's say that one in particular is going to impact their development.

06:22 Dr. Robert Melillo:
So imagine it's like saying, well, you know, we're building a house, but we want to just, you know, if the, if the second floor isn't completely finished, if it's not, you know, fortified or if it's lopsided, it doesn't matter. We can just go to the next floor, right? So the idea that we can just go and skip over something and then go to the next thing and it doesn't have an impact is ridiculous.

When you think of the brain as being built from the bottom up, right? Like layers of a cake. Imagine if one layer is not fully baked, or if it's a little flat on one side and it's tipped, is that going to have an impact on the rest of the cake on top?

Of course it's right. So when you understand that these developmental stages allow the movements that we do, the feedback that we have at that stage specifically develops and grows that area of the brain. And then that area of the brain is foundational for the next area and the next level of movement. And so if we don't go through those stages, then we haven't really built a stable foundation for the brain to develop on.

And if we don't do that, then it may never really come down like it's supposed to and regulate everything like the gut, like the immune system, like the autonomic system, like the way we move and our processing of sensory information. Everything is regulated. Like we talk about sensory integration issues.

What's happening, we're not filtering that from the brain down, but that's because it, it hasn't completed its bottom up development. And so this is really, so important to understand and the concept along with that, that has really become so important to me.

08:14 Tara Hunkin:
Next, we have Julie Matthews. Listen as she expands further How Foods Impact Your Child’s Behavior And How To Fix The Root Cause.

08:24 Tara Hunkin:
Why are those particular types of compounds that are in some foods as well as in chemicals that are in foods that we eat and get exposed to, why are they so troublesome for these kids?

08:35 Julie Matthews:
That's a really great question actually. This was really first discovered, I would say in the '70s by Dr. Ben Feingold where I am here in San Francisco and and he discovered that these phenol-like compounds can create hyperactivity among a whole host of other problems like irritability, aggression, sleeping problems, all sorts of things when someone isn't able to biochemically process these substances.

And what some of the work of Rosemary Waring and others found, was that children with autism have a deficiency in a biochemical pathway called sulfation, and sulfation is one of the things that processes these salicylates and phenols and various compounds.

I would look at taking out the offending foods and taking some of the burden off the biochemistry and giving their body a chance to kind of calm down a bit and maybe build up some of these reserves. We'll, we can talk a little bit later about how we can help improve that ability to process these, but to me the first step would be removing the foods that are causing the problem and then going from there.

Now that's a simple thing and not such a simple thing depending on to the extent for which you wanna remove these.

09:52 Tara Hunkin:
So, that sort of leads us into the question of how do we fix our children's ability to process these foods appropriately so they can add them back in?

10:01 Julie Matthews:
I think that, that's a really key point, because I find that with a lot of diets, and I'm not picking on anyone per se.

I think just generally we have a diet that has these subscribed rules, then we do these rules and people get better, and we think great, you know this is their diet, this is the diet that they need but we never kind of think about well why aren't they tolerating these foods. Is there something about the gut?

Is there a pathogen that is depleting the nutrients in that pathway, which is what can happen with phenols? Is there some deficiency upstream, somewhere in the pathways? What is going on and how can we adjust it? And so for me it's looking at how can I improve these pathways?

How can I provide nutrients to build up those pathways and the pools of nutrients available, and how can I get rid of anything that is going to be depleting those, the nutrients and those pathways.

11:02 Tara Hunkin:
Listen in as Dr. Darin Ingels discusses Allergies And Brain Inflammation: What You Need To Know.

11:09 Tara Hunkin:
I'd love for you to describe for people, the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity and an intolerance.

11:17 Dr. Darin Ingels:
Allergy has a very strict definition. So allergy is really referring to those reactions that happen within minutes to, you know, maybe less than, you know, 30 minutes after you have exposure to a different, you know, substance. So if you eat a peanut and your face swells and you can't breathe, I mean you're clearly allergic to peanuts. Or if you eat a strawberry and you break out in hives,

you're allergic to strawberries. So those kind of reactions are true allergies, again, they happen very quickly, the reactions are usually pretty severe and in some cases can even be life threatening. And so, you know, that is not what we're typically referring to. Fortunately with most of the kids that, you know, we're dealing with, you know, those kind of reactions fortunately or unfortunately get identified usually pretty early.

It's usually obvious to parents that, you know, their child ate something or got exposed to something and had that severe reaction because you know, it, it just happens so quickly it's pretty clear. But if it's anything that happens hours to days after the fact as a parent, it's almost impossible to identify what that substance might be. So when we look at other types of immune reactions, you know, there's what are called immune intolerances.

So immune intolerance is really our enzyme problems. So if you're lactose intolerant, you don't have the right enzyme to break down the sugar in milk, or if you're gluten intolerant, you don't have the right enzymes to break down the protein in wheat. You know, these type of issues can cause a lot of symptoms, both physical and mental, but that's not really primarily an immune problem.

There is an immune thing that happens, but that's sort of secondary. It's just you don't make enough of the right enzymes to break it down that partially digested protein or sugar, that's what causes those symptoms. So that's a true intolerance. And this other term we use,

you know, food sensitivities or other types of environmental sensitivities. You know, it is again, sort of a generic term that just describes some sort of delayed reaction. And when you go into the literature and you read, I mean there really isn't great information about what that mechanism is. You know, having studied immunology, my best guess is it's probably what's called a delayed hypersensitivity or delayed reaction.

And if anyone's ever had a TB test before, at least the old TB test where they would poke you on the arm, they'd take him back two days later and let's see if your arm blows up, that's a delayed reaction. So we think these kind of food reactions are probably something very similar to that where, you know, a child eats a food and then hours to days later you start to see, you know, behavior problems, physical problems, bowel problems, and so forth.

13:37 Tara Hunkin:
Let's talk a little bit about how allergies and sensitivities actually affect children's brain. How does that happen?

13:43 Dr. Darin Ingels:
Right. Well, I think at this point, most people are pretty aware that there's this gut brain connection, right? That's really significant. So your whole gut microbiome, your gut ecology, plays a huge role in how it impacts the brain.

But you can imagine if a child's eating a food that they're sensitive to, that inflammatory reaction that probably starts in the gut ultimately translates and creates, you know, inflammation in the brain. If you guys follow Dr. Theo Theoharides, he's an MD PhD researcher at Tufts University, he's actually done a lot of research on children with autism. And he finds that they have a significantly higher amount amount of mass cells in their brain.

And mass cells are the cells in your body that release histamine and all these chemicals that we typically associate with allergy. So when these kids get, you know, allergy, they don't necessarily get hay fever, they don't get the runny nose, the itchy eyes, and sneezing and so forth. They get, you know, behavioral problems, they get sleep disturbances, they get cognitive issues, language issues.

So, you know, depending on what part of the brain gets affected, you know, that sort of dictates what you're gonna see symptom-wise. So really, you know, as we're controlling the environment and environment is a function of load. So, you know, we like to look at allergies as really being kind of individual allergens that trigger those reactions.

But in reality, you know, we, we use this concept of a barrel that we're all born with a barrel. I think kids on the spectrum are born with a shot glass, you know, it just doesn't take very much to overflow before they become symptomatic. So it can be food and mold and pollen and chemical and you know, whatever else that they're exposed to.

And as that barrel overflows, then they become symptomatic. So the more that we can control what goes into the barrel, the more we're going to down-regulate that immune response, down-regulate that inflammatory response and ultimately that's kind of what turns that brain on fire off.

15:29 Tara Hunkin:
And I think that, like you said, when you talk about one chemical that comes out of that that reaction and there's the whole, a whole slew of ones we're, we're not even looking at in, in with that level of intensity quite yet, so.

15:40 Dr. Darin Ingels:
Yes, and, and Dr. Theo found in his research, there's a chemical in the brain called neurotensin. And neurotensin seems to be one of these sort of triggering chemicals that starts that whole cascade of events in the brain that leads to brain inflammation.

15:53 Tara Hunkin:
Trudy Scott, our next guest will shed light on Anxiety's Role in Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder and How Nutrient Therapy Can Help.

16:04 Trudy Scott:
I wanted to just share this one paper that was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. The title is 'Sensory Over Responsivity and Anxiety in Children with ADHD'. And what they've said is that 25% of kids with ADHD have comorbid anxiety disorder.

And they wanted to see whether sensory processing disorder was related to elevated levels of anxiety in children with ADHD. It was a small study. It was only 24 children, ages six to 10, but they did find that there was this correlation. So, you know, there is this science backing up, this correlation between ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety.

And they just, you know, this was an occupational therapy journal and they said, you know, this is something that occupational therapists need to be aware of, aware of. Is it the anxiety that is caused by or symptom of the sensory processing? Is it the sensory processing that is caused by the anxiety or is it the presence of both the anxiety and the sensory processing disorder?

And, and, and it's linked by some other factor. And I think it's all of the above. You know, we've got the stress of, of the overwhelm. We've got the underlying similarities, low GABA, and gluten sensitivity. So, there definitely is this overlap, but an important thing that I just wanted to mention here is what I have seen and the feedback that I've had from my community is a lot of kids will not resonate with the term anxiety.

They, they don't have that in their vocabulary. So kids acting out, kids feeling, you know, looking irritable, having temper tantrums, that might be their way of expressing the anxiety. So, you know, we, we need to keep that in mind. And so it's just observing behaviors and we're going to talk about the amino acids and doing a trial to determine if it's going to help. Then, seeing how they respond is often the easiest way to determine is it actually going to benefit the symptoms.

18:14 Tara Hunkin:
Why don't we dive into the low serotonin anxiety and what this may look like.

18:20 Trudy Scott:
So with low serotonin anxiety, it's the anxiety in the head. So it's the worry, the ruminating thoughts. This, I can't switch this off. You know, I had this discussion with, with my daughter and she's, you know, she's got kids with, with autism, and I'm worried about the, the fact that she's not looking after herself and I can't switch this off, you know, whatever it is, it might be a work situation, but you've got this constant worry, these ruminating thoughts that you lay in bed at night and you can't switch the mind off. A lot of people call it monkey mind.

They just, you know, they can't switch the mind off. You can. We often associate low serotonin with depression, so of course, we will have that depression. We may have increased winter blues. Afternoon and evening cravings are a sign of low serotonin. PMS. Any kind of pain symptom, fibromyalgia, joint pain, TMJ, anger issues, aversion to heat, these are all signs of, of low serotonin.

19:29 Tara Hunkin:
What about the situations where there's low GABA type of anxiety? How do you go about addressing that?

19:36 Trudy Scott:
So it's low GABA anxiety versus the low serotonin anxiety. It's the physical tension. So you'll feel it in your shoulders. You may feel it in your gut, you may stress eat.

You'll often hear people say, GABA doesn't work. It doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier. Can't possibly have an effect. But we do know now that there is some research saying maybe it does. We know that there's this vagus nerve connection and maybe it's talking to the brain via the gut, the two way communication that we have between the brain and the gut.

We know we've got receptors in different parts of the body. We've got GABA receptors in the muscles, we've got GABA receptors in the endocrine tissue, we've got GABA receptors in the pancreas. We've now got research showing that GABA is beneficial for insulin resistance and diabetes.

20:29 Tara Hunkin:
And last but not least, Dr. Krista Burns on amazing insights in The Posture-Brain Axis.

20:35 Tara Hunkin:
Why don't you just start by telling you people why posture is so important to you.

20:39 Dr. Krista Burns
So why posture? I mean, you have so many things to think about. Why, why is posture important as well? Well, we've all been told to sit up straight our entire lives, haven't we? You know, our moms told us to sit up straight.

Our teachers told us to sit up straight. Our grandmas told us to sit up straight. And yet everywhere we look, we see that children are having more and more of a C-shaped spinal curvature. We're looking down very much so more now in the digital age than in previous generations. So why is posture important? Posture is the structural framework of your body.

It's how we resist gravity. What makes human beings different than animals in the animal kingdom is that instead of being in a quadruped position, we have this incredibly natural humanistic ability of balancing our entire massive bodies over a small base of support, which is our two feet. Now, every time that we stand up tall and stand upright, we are engaging our brain in a humanistic way.

Whereas every time that we're slumped forward into a more primitive posture, back more towards quadruped, than we're actually utilizing our brain in a different way than we are when we're standing upright. So posture is declining at the speed of technology. If you kind of think about those images, maybe that you've seen of evolution where you go from an ape into a standing upright, and then now by looking down and being seated in our,

you know, in chairs, staring at a device. So every time that we lean forward and grab our smartphone, and we look down in this position and the varying angles, we're now only adding more stress to the cervical spine. So if I move my neck forward about 60 degrees, then that's actually creating up to 60 pounds of additional pressure on the cervical spine, 60 pounds.

So from a tech neck perspective, we're having more and more children who are presenting with migraines, with headaches, with neck pain, with tightness in their shoulders. And because of the proximity of our devices to our visual system, now it's actually overstimulating the amount of incoming visual stimuli coming from those devices. What's alarming about this from a, from a mental processing perspective is that the overstimulation from devices is stimulating the back part of our brain,

our occipital lobe, whereas the front part of our brain for upright stability, for, you know, thought processes for cognition is being understimulated. And so we're in a compromised primitive position of our body, and now we're outsourcing our brain to our device and we're overstimulating the visual system and having less stimulation here from our frontal lobe.

23:08 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah, I think that's one of the biggest struggles right now, because both parents, parents are using technology for good, but there is this over use of it. So it is finding that balance somewhere along the line. What, why do you think that or what do you know? Because it's not that that you think, but what is grounded in the science that posture actually then contributes to things like symptoms of autism or ADHD or even sensory processing challenges?

23:40 Dr. Krista Burns
And we're showing that children with ADHD, children with autism spectrum have different postural patterns. There was a research study, I believe it is directly from 2020, and it's showing the postural trajectories of children with autism spectrum. And what they're showing is that children with autism spectrum, which of course is neurologic and development, then they stabilize their body posturally in different ways.

One of the earliest indications is head lag, for example. So with an autism spectrum patient, when you're checking their ability as an infant, as a child to stabilize their body upright, we have a head lag, meaning that we have lack of control of the cervical spine from a very, very early onset. This continues to create postural distortion patterns that we then see with lack of core stabilization, with lack of development of the cervical curve or the lumbar curve. And then you add devices on top of that as they become toddlers, as they become adolescents and teenagers, and not only did we not develop properly the cervical spine, but now we're flexed forward in this tech neck posture. So it continues to propagate what we call postural distortion patterns. So we've seen this with autism spectrum.

24:49 Tara Hunkin:
And that concludes our special episode. Today, you've had a taste of the incredible insights that will be shared during the 10-day Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit that shares Intervention Breakthroughs and How to Navigate Options for Parents of Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

This is more than just a summit; it is a resource and a toolbox packed with strategies, knowledge, and inspiration to better understand and support your child. The more we understand, the better we can navigate for our children and make the best decisions for our unique children so they can thrive too.

Join us for free at mychildwillthrive.com/summit. And again, the link is mychildwillthrive.com/summit.

Thank you for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you there.


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