Fish Oil Information

I asked Allison, author of “Mommy Gut” and mother of a son who was diagnosed with apraxia at 2, to write an introductory article about using fish oil with children with apraxia. She has included a couple of links to other sights with more in-depth information. Another resource citing success using fish oil and other supplements for children with apraxia is the book The Late Talker. I want to encourage you to do your own research before deciding to pursue this with your own children. From my own clinical experience, I have seen children make increased progress after beginning fish oil. Others have not. As Allison recommends, please discuss this with your child’s pediatrician. Laura


Part of advocating for your child is to find out all the research and all the therapies possible for their disability, analyze them, and try to implement those that you feel would be beneficial to your child. One treatment that has been brought up on this blog is supplementing the diets of children with apraxia with fish oil.? Since I am a HUGE proponent of this type of treatment, Laura asked me to write a blog entry on its use. I’ve adapted a post I have on the Speech Disorders board on Ivillage http:/ on fish oil basics.? Here it is:

Anecdotally, giving fish oil supplements (plus vitamin E supplements) to children with apraxia has resulted in a dramatic improvement in speech ability within a very short period of time (days) to a very high percentage of children. I first learned of this treatment at the Yahoo group childrensapraxianet, and I would encourage you to join there if your child has apraxia and/or you are interested in more information about fish oil, or any other, supplements that may be beneficial for children with apraxia. After starting fish oil with my son with apraxia, I saw an amazing improvement in my son, both in his articulation and his attention span. The improvement in his attention span was a pleasant surprise, and it helped make his therapy sessions more productive.

As a result, my PROMPT trained SLP has gotten all of her clients on fish oil, and has seen improvement in all. Interestingly enough, if I ever get lazy and forget to give him his morning dosage for a few days, I see a regression in the clarity of his speech. So I know, without doubt, that it’s the fish oil that’s clearing up his articulation.Anyway, on to the basics. Most people using the supplements use Nordic Naturals brand, as the oil is taken from a safe, clean, part of the fish, and it is lemon flavored, so not so offensive to our children.

It also seems to have the combination of essential fats that are most effective in children with apraxia. They use the Complete Omega 3-6-9 (adult strength), and start with 1 capsule a day (you pierce the capsule with something sharp and squeeze the oil out), mixed into pudding or yogurt or applesauce or something the child will eat. Expect to see some improvement within 3 days, and then more gradual improvement over the next few weeks. I personally recommend you not increase the dose until 4 weeks has passed, as it oftentimes takes that period of time to see the full effects of the oil.

There is no guideline as to how much fish oil a child can/should be given. My son is on 4/day, but since we didn’t see all that much improvement when we went from 3 to 4, I’m stopping at 4. I have heard of some children being on much more than that, and as it is only oil, it’s believed to be perfectly safe.

Keep in mind that some children do have temporary side effects to the oil, which will appear at each increase. One is loose stools — if this occurs, introduce the oil as gradually as you can. You child’s body should be able to adjust within a week. The other side effect is irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness. This too should go away within a week if you just stick it out, although it’s important to note that for some children, it doesn’t.

It was also discovered that giving one 400 IU Vitamin E capsule a day increased the absorption of the Omegas. Make sure it’s natural vitamin E, and not synthetic — you can tell the difference by reading the label: d-alpha tocopherols is natural; dl-alpha tocopherols is not. So that is also recommended along with the fish oil.

The Yahoo group has much more information on the fish oil and vitamin E, including more specifics about the particular kind of Vitamin E you might want to look for. Please feel free to join there and browse their archives.

Please keep in mind that while fish oil “works” for a high percentage of children with apraxia, it doesn’t work for all. But in my opinion, as well as my pediatrician’s, it doesn’t hurt to try it. But as with most things, please talk with your pediatrician before starting any supplements.

Edited to add another great resource at this link:


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  1. Laurie on May 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Allison – Thank you, thank you, thank you! You just answered the majority of my questions about fish oil all in one article. Also, thanks to you Laura! I just asked you yesterday to think about including an article about fish oil and the next thing I know, just about everything I wanted to know was right there in front of me. I really appreciate your dedication in sharing information to help parents help their kids!!!


  2. Holly on May 2, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Allison I went to the Nordic website and they have 2 different children’s products. I’m I correct in assuming you give the one with the 3 different omega’s since you mentioned them? Also the vitimin E’s are all tablet form that I found, is that what you give your son and if so, how? I know my son can’t swollow a pill yet. Thanks for the information on the oils and making it clear and understandable. I know sometimes when you read all the info on the oil there’s so much info that it gets confusing at lease it did for me anyways:)

  3. Jason on May 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

    The difference in our son since we put him on fish oil has been remarkable! Here is an article I used to help convince my wife we needed to do this.

    THURSDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) — Toddlers whose mothers took fish oil supplements during pregnancy tended to have better hand-eye coordination than children whose mothers didn’t take the supplements, a new study found.

    The results of the small study by Australian researchers appear online in the Dec. 21 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

    “Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly referred to as ‘fish oil,’ are essential nutrients for human health,” said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. He was not involved in the study.

    “Along with essential omega-6 fats, these compounds influence everything from hormonal balance to immune function,” Katz said. “Omega-3s are taken up avidly by the developing eyes and brain of a fetus, and are thought to be important contributors to healthy development in early childhood.”

    Because of concerns about mercury in certain types of fish, fish oil supplements are becoming more popular, the study authors noted.

    In the study, by researchers at the University of Western Australia’s School of Paediatrics and Child Health, 98 pregnant women were given either 4 grams of fish oil supplements or 4 grams of olive oil supplements each day starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy until their babies were born.

    When the children were two-and-a half years old, their growth and development was tested. The tests included tests for language, behavior, practical reasoning and hand-eye coordination.

    Among the 72 children tested, the researchers found no significant differences in language skills and growth between children whose mothers had taken the fish oil supplements and those whose mothers hadn’t, the researchers found.

    However, children whose mothers had taken fish oil supplements scored significantly higher in hand-eye coordination, compared with children whose mothers had not taken the supplements. This association held true even after the researchers accounted for the mothers’ age and length of time they breast-fed.

    In addition, the researchers found that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the babies’ umbilical cord blood were significantly linked with good hand-eye coordination, while low levels of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many vegetable oils, were not.

    “These preliminary data indicate that supplementation with a relatively high-dose fish oil during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy is not only safe but also seems to have potential beneficial effects that need to be explored further,” the authors wrote. “Given the scarcity of data to support the efficacy of fish oil supplementation during pregnancy, our data have a potentially important role in informing on the effects of fish oil supplementation on early postnatal infant development,” they concluded.

    Katz said: “This study confirms that supplements of fish oil taken by pregnant women can influence the hand-eye coordination of their offspring. Whether that translates into long-term benefits in vision, coordination, or cognition remains to be seen. But the findings certainly hint at the importance of omega-3s to the health of young children.”

    It will take more research to clarify the optimal dose of omega-3 fatty acids, and the long-term health effects of supplementation during pregnancy, Katz said. “But we know enough already to conclude that fish oil from supplements is generally a good idea, during pregnancy especially. I routinely advise 1 gram, twice daily, of fish oil to my pregnant patients — and my non-pregnant patients, too.”

    There can be some side effects…

    Side Effects and Warnings
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies omega-3 fatty acids from fish as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe). Caution may be warranted, however, in diabetic patients due to potential (albeit unlikely) increases in blood sugar levels, patients at risk of bleeding, or in those with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Fish meat may contain methylmercury and caution is warranted in young children and pregnant/breastfeeding women.

    Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, although there is little evidence of significant bleeding risk at lower doses. Very large intakes of fish oil/omega-3 fatty acids (“Eskimo” amounts) may increase the risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. High doses have also been associated with nosebleed and blood in the urine. Fish oils appear to decrease platelet aggregation and prolong bleeding time, increase fibrinolysis (breaking down of blood clots), and may reduce von Willebrand factor. Fish oil should be used cautiously in patients with abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular tachycardia).

    Potentially harmful contaminants such as dioxins, methylmercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are found in some species of fish. Methylmercury accumulates in fish meat more than in fish oil, and fish oil supplements appear to contain almost no mercury. Therefore, safety concerns apply to eating fish but likely not to ingesting fish oil supplements. Heavy metals are most harmful in young children and pregnant/nursing women.

    Gastrointestinal upset is common with the use of fish oil supplements. Diarrhea may also occur, with potentially severe diarrhea at very high doses. There are also reports of increased burping, acid reflux/heartburn/indigestion, abdominal bloating, and abdominal pain. Fishy aftertaste is a common effect. Gastrointestinal side effects can be minimized if fish oils are taken with meals and if doses are started low and gradually increased.

    Multiple human trials report small reductions in blood pressure with intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Reductions of 2-5 millimeters of mercury have been observed, and effects appear to be dose-responsive (higher doses have greater effects). DHA may have greater effects than EPA. Caution is warranted in patients with low blood pressure or in those taking blood-pressure lowering medications.

    Fish oil has caused swelling of the nasal passages and the upper part of the pharynx (called nasopharyngitis) in some patients. Some patients taking fish oil developed upper respiratory tract infections.

    Although slight increases in fasting blood glucose levels have been noted in patients with type 2 (“adult-onset”) diabetes, the available scientific evidence suggests that there are no significant long-term effects of fish oil in patients with diabetes, including no changes in hemoglobin A1c levels. Limited reports in the 1980s of increased insulin needs in diabetic patients taking long-term fish oils may be related to other dietary changes or weight gain.

    Fish oil taken for many months may cause a deficiency of vitamin E, and therefore vitamin E is added to many commercial fish oil products. As a result, regular use of vitamin E-enriched products may lead to elevated levels of this fat-soluble vitamin. Fish liver oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and therefore fish liver oil products (such as cod liver oil) may increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity.

    Increases (worsening) in low-density lipoprotein levels (“bad cholesterol”) by 5-10% are observed with intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Effects are dose-dependent.

    Mild elevations in liver function tests (alanine aminotransferase) and skin rashes have been reported rarely. There are also rare reports of mania in patients with bipolar disorder or major depression. Restlessness and formication (the sensation of ants crawling on the skin) have also been reported.

    Here are some possible interactions…

    Interactions with Drugs
    In theory, omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin; anticoagulants (“blood thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin; anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix®); and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

    Based on human studies, omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure and add to the effects of drugs that may also affect blood pressure.

    Fish oil supplements may lower blood sugar levels a small amount. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

    Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels, but can actually increase (worsen) low-density lipoprotein (LDL/”bad cholesterol”) levels by a small amount. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids may add to the triglyceride-lowering effects of agents like niacin/nicotinic acid, fibrates such as gemfibrozil (Lopid®), or resins such as cholestyramine (Questran®). However, omega-3 fatty acids may work against the LDL-lowering properties of “statin” drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor®) and lovastatin (Mevacor®).

    Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
    In theory, omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba , and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

    Based on human studies, omega-3 fatty acids may lower blood pressure and theoretically may add to the effects of agents that may also affect blood pressure.

    Fish oil supplements may lower blood sugar levels a small amount. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

    Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels, but can actually increase (worsen) low-density lipoprotein (LDL/”bad cholesterol”) levels by a small amount. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids may add to the triglyceride-lowering effects of agents like niacin/nicotinic acid, but may work against the potential LDL-lowering properties of agents like barley, garlic, guggul, psyllium, soy, or sweet almond.

    Fish oil taken for many months may cause a deficiency of vitamin E, and therefore vitamin E is added to many commercial fish oil products. As a result, regular use of vitamin E-enriched products may lead to elevated levels of this fat-soluble vitamin. Fish liver oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and therefore fish liver oil products (such as cod liver oil) may increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity. Since fat-soluble vitamins can build up in the body and cause toxicity, patients taking multiple vitamins regularly or in high doses should discuss this risk with their healthcare practitioners.

    I hope this isn’t too long<:)

  4. Allison on May 2, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Laurie, you’re very welcome. 😉 It was basically already written from the Ivillage site, and I just made a few minor modifications to post here.

    Holly, no, we don’t give the children’s oil. It’s the adult product, called Complete Omega 3-6-9. As for the vitamin Es, you can get them in the gel-cap form that you pierce and squeeze in the same way you do the fish oil. I get mine at a natural food store. The brand I happen to get is Bluebonnet, but there’s no real reason why I get that one over another, except that on the Yahoo apraxia group, there was some thought that a higher concentration of d-gamma tocos worked better.


  5. Laura on May 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Jason – Thanks for the medical info! We appreciate your input! Laura

  6. Holly on May 4, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Allison-I wonder what the difference is in the Junior vs Adult the mg’s perhaps? I already ordered the Junior Omega 3-6-9 🙁 I’ll have to check the amount vs the adult ones maybe I can make the difference up I hope. Thanks for the Vitamin E info as well.

  7. Allison on May 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm


    2 junior capsules = 1 adult capsule. That’s the only difference. I think, overall, it’s more cost effective to get the adult. HTH!

  8. Holly on May 5, 2008 at 8:30 am


  9. rae on May 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    My son’s speech therapist told me that fish oil with EPA and DHA was the way to go. She suggested ProOmega by Nordic Naturals. Is this similar to the Complete Omega 3-6-9 or should I go and buy that product? Rae

  10. Laura on May 6, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Rae – My best advice is to do your own research. Use the links Allison provided in the article to help you gather information, and ask her why she made the specific recommendation. Thanks so much for your question. Laura

  11. Allison on May 6, 2008 at 9:48 am


    Looking at the product ingredients on the NN site, they look identical. You might want to email the NN people to ask what the difference is. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Allison

  12. Holly on May 20, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Well we received our fish oil pills yesterday afternoon and I started my son on his first dosage last night. It won’t be easy though because he has already picked out that his juice tastes funny. This morning I tried it in OJ with the same results but he did drink it all. I think I’ll just try giving it straight to him next time since it’s lemon flavored maybe he’ll take it. I just wanted to double check how many times a day to give it, was it 2x’s to start? Thanks and let’s keep our fingers crossed I hope I get some good results for my son too 🙂

  13. Laura on May 20, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Holly – I e-mailed Allison and asked her to respond to your question about dosage for fish oil. You can always check her previously listed sources too for info! Laura

  14. Allison on May 20, 2008 at 8:23 am


    Try it in yogurt. My kids don’t even taste it.

    Start with 1 pill. I wouldn’t increase to 2 for at least a month. So obviously with 1 pill, it’s only 1 time a day.

    My son is on 4, and we split them into 2x/day only because his digestive system has a hard time with digesting the oil. So when you do increase past 1, do what you feel is best for your child.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you!! We’ve had several new people try it out on Ivillage, and they both saw results within 3 days. Keep us posted!

  15. Holly on May 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks to both of you. Allison I forgot to mention I got the jr ones so it’s actually 2 to equal 1 adult pill. I actually had him just swallow the gel cap tonight so he wouldn’t taste it. I was so happy he could do it so now it won’t be such a battle. Today is actually day 2 so maybe tomorrow we’ll see some results hope hope hope. Thanks so much for your help again and I will definately keep you guys updated.

  16. Holly on May 30, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Well we’re a little over a week now on the omega’s and somedays seem to be better and some seem the same still. I just uped him to 4 pills a day yesterday so we’ll see if that does something for him. I also haven’t bought the vit E yet and was wondering if that could be why he’s not responding. Did you see any difference with/without the vit E? I plan on getting the vit E today also so hopefully we’ll start to see some results soon. Just thought I would update you on my son so far.

  17. Laura on June 1, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the update Holly! I hope that another mom who’s used vitamin E will chime in to let you know her experience. Keep us posted!

    It may be more helpful to look for gains on a week to week basis rather than day to day. Children with apraxia, just like the rest of us, can have good days and bad days, all within one week. I try to look for overall patterns of progress, rather than keep kids under the microscope day to day. This is easy for me to say since I see kids from week to week, not all day everyday like a mom, but this may help you to gain a little perspective.

    I so appreciate your consistent comments and feedback. I want to ask you if you’d like to serve on our panel of parent reviewers for our DVD Teach Me To Talk when it comes out HOPEFULLY in the next month. Let me know by sending an e-mail to if you’d be interested.

  18. Holly on June 2, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Well we’re up to 4 pills a day and I finally got the vitamin E yesterday and started that as well so we’ll see if that makes a difference or not.
    I know I shouldn’t try to track him on a day to day basis but it’s so hard. When you hear how it’s helped so many other apraxic kids you just want to have the same ‘miracle’ results I guess and it makes you a little impatient to say the lease. I sometimes think to because I have set a deadline if you will for his speech that I keep watching and waiting for things to move forward and expect it to happen too fast 🙁 I never have had many patience, it’s a downfall of mine.
    Well I will keep you posted now that we’re on the vitamin E if I see any progress. Thanks as always.

  19. Allison on June 2, 2008 at 6:25 am


    Thanks for the update! I’ve been wondering how it’s been going…..Sorry I can’t give you a good answer about the vitamin E, since I’ve only ever used them both together. But like I’ve said before, I wouldn’t increase the fish oil amount for a month. It’s better to give it some time to be fully effective. But I would go ahead and add the vit E.

  20. Holly on June 17, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Hello just another update. Well unfortunatly we ran out of our pills and it took forever to get more in. We are now on week 4 with the oils and vit E this time. I’m not sure I’ve seen much progress however I did see a decrease when he stopped. Don’t know if it was just timing or actually because of the pills but either way, fingers are crossed again. He now has a cold though so I’m not looking or pushing for much while he’s sick. His birthday is this up coming Saturday and it would be sooooo nice for him to tell his friends he’s 4 yrs old now, not ‘poor’ 🙂

  21. Allison on June 18, 2008 at 7:54 am


    I see a decrease each time I forget to give Alex his full dosage for a few days. That’s how I know it’s working. So it sounds like it IS doing something for yours…….now that you’re a month in, are you going to increase the amount once you get him back on it?

    And I just realized — my twins turn 4 on Saturday also!! How funny is that????

  22. Holly on June 19, 2008 at 6:30 am

    It’s weird because like I said I actually didn’t see much ‘improvement’ but I definately saw a slide back those few weeks without them. I have him up to 4 a day now so I’m not sure if I should try a higher dose or not???? What do you think?
    OMG that is too funny summer babies 🙂

  23. Holly on June 24, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Hi Allison, just one other quick question, did you notice any behavioral changes in your son? I only ask because mine has been a handfull lately and I was wondering if it could be from the pills or just another growing phase? Thanks so much as always 🙂

  24. Allison on June 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm


    Could be either. You can try cutting out the fish oil for a week and seeing if his behavior improves. If it does, it’s probably the oil. If so, many kids’ behaviors end up regulating after a week or two on the oil, but some don’t. You’ve got to weigh the benefits and the detriments……

  25. Holly on June 25, 2008 at 6:22 am

    He’s been on for almost a month now though, wouldn’t you usually see the behavioral changes earlier? I hope it’s just a stage he’s going through because he does seem to be doing better with the pills.

  26. Allison on June 28, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Yes, you’d see them pretty immediately. Unless you just increased a dose……you’d see issues within a couple of days of increasing the dose. If the behavior change came after that, I’d chalk it up to something else.

  27. Holly on June 30, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Well he seems to be ‘chilling’ out a little so I guess it was just the timing, thank goodness 🙂 Thanks for the help again Allison 🙂

  28. Holly on July 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Just an update…..I had him up to 6 pills a day and didn’t really see any more progression from 4 so I guess 4 is the best it’s going to get. I must admit I was hoping for a little more boost then what we got but I guess any little help is better than nothing. Thanks a lot for listening and helping guys.
    On a seperate note, my son’s going to see an allergist on the 1st to see if he might have a casein sensitivity/allergy. I’ve read a lot about that as well as far as it affecting speech in some kids so I figured might as well cover all my bases right? Have you had any experience with this, anyone?

  29. Laura on July 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Holly – Most kids that I’ve seen with casein/gluten allergies have eczema and/or also exhibit characteristics of autism. I have not had any clients when their only developmental issue was apraxia plus the food sensitivities, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Keep us updated! Laura

  30. Holly on July 24, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I know autism is the biggest testing area right now with the casein allergy but there’s a lot of other information out there now with other areas like apraxia. I’m curious because I do know my son does have the ‘shiner’ look under his eyes when he has too much dairy products the day before. I always thought it was just because he was fair skinned and tired, now I find out it’s a sign of allergies. Boy I could kick myself in the butt for not questioning it before, makes me mad too why his doctor never said anything before this. I will keep you updated and thanks again as always Laura. 🙂

  31. Laura on July 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Keep us posted Holly!!! Laura

  32. Pia on July 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Two questions about the fish oil suppliments. I have started my son on the Nordic Naturals Childrens DHA with vitamin E (liquid). I give him 1/2 tsp a day. I notice many of you are recommending the adult formulation, but is there actual guidelines established? My son in only 18 months old on August 2nd, and I do worry about toxicity because he is much younger than most of the posters I see here. Especially vitamin A and E.

    My second question is related to casein allergies. My son has had eczema since around 8 months, and I took him off most dairy around 14 months to see if that would help. He still gets a little bit of dairy, but very little. Are there any specific TESTS for casein and gluten allergies? The dairy free diet is do-able, but gluten free is very difficult and expensive, so I would not want to jump in without some ability to really measure its effects. Thougths?

    Thanks for your help!

  33. Laura on July 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Pia – This is a really obvious question, but I am going to ask you anyway. What do your pediatrician and/or SLP say about this to you? You may have a doctor that could care less, but he/she may have some experience with this and want to weigh in with this issue. You should also ask your doc about allergy testing. You could call allergists in your area and specifically ask about the gluten testing. I do believe it would show up as a wheat allergy in testing, but I am not an expert, or even very much help, in this area. I hope that another mom who has more experience will respond to this post!

    You may also want to search for blogs with the key words supplement dosing and/or biomedical treatments for apraxia and autism, and gluten-free casein-free diets and testing. Hopefully you’ll find more resourceful moms! You may have already done that too, but I thought I would suggest it anyway. Thanks so much for your question. I wish I could be of more help! Laura

  34. Holly on July 29, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Hi Pia, I know you’ve read the posts already from me regarding the fish oils but I thought I would just add a few things. I did speak with my ped and I’m awaiting an answer from her, she was going to check with a specialist at the childrens’ hopsital regarding dosing of the oils and vitamin E because I too was a little worried about over dosing even though my on is 4 now. When I hear from her I will let you know what I find out.
    Regarding casein allergy testing my son is going to see an allergist on the 1st so I can also let you know what I find out from him if you would like. You are right finding dairy free is east and gluten free isn’t too bad either however, those could still contain casein. It’s very hard to find casein free foods and yes you do pay more for them. I usually just do the best I can to limit his dairy intake and I swapped his milk to soy which is the number one dairy product he had the most. The ice cream substitutes aren’t bad either. I will let you know what I find out and please do the same for me 🙂 Good luck and hang in there Pia

  35. TLB on August 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Ok. My son has been the fish oil for 3 weeks. Has had insomnia for almost 2 weeks. So if he is one of those kids that wont get through the insomnia.. what am I suppose to do? He has improved drastically with this oil.. I dont want to stop it. What do I do? Is there something similiar w/ the same benefits? Or is there something to counter the insomnia? Please dont tell me to stop the oil. I think I would cry.

  36. Laura on August 23, 2008 at 9:40 am

    TLB – I can feel your frustration in your writing! Check your e-mail because I sent you some other resources to try for help solving your problem. If any parents who are using fish oil have ideas, please leave your comments! I have no personal experience with fish oil as a parent, so I can’t offer anything constructive. Talk to your pediatrician too. Laura

  37. Annette on August 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    TLB, I have read about people having issues with behavior spikes and insomnia when starting the fish oil supplements. I did a little research before I started my son on them, and what I noticed, is that the liquid oil is higher in concentration than the chewable gel caps and more likely to cause these issues because of it. (I don’t know if you use liquid or gel caps, but I am going to guess you started on the liquid). The reason for the insomnia and behavior changes, is that there is an increase in brain activity pretty quickly when you start fish oil/DHA. Those nerves are firing.

    I started my son with a gradually increasing dose so that I could watch for reactions. I started at 1/2 the dose (2 caplets) for several weeks, then increased it by one caplet for a few more weeks, now he is at 1+ the recommended dose of 4 caplets. (he is at 5) This amount is still lower than the actual mg count that the liquid contains.

    I’m not a doctor, and I am by no means a professional on this matter, but from my experience and from what I have read from others, if you cut back to 1/2 the dose for a while, so he can readjust to the changes, he will probably do find in a few more weeks or months on the higher dose.

    I don’t know if I can give product information here, but I recommend using a product made for children, and not just any fish oil supplement. Children under 5 need more DHA than EPA and GLA because of brain development. Once the brain slows in growth, (as in older children) the requirements change to more EPA and GLA than DHA.

    I hope I helped, sorry this got so long… my fingers are kind of chatty. :o)
    Best of luck!

  38. Holly on August 27, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Hello sorry it’s been awhile just figured I would update everyone. My son did get tested for allergies and fortunately/unfortunately depending on how you look at it I guess, he has no allergies. Now I’m not sure but I thought I had read you couldn’t test for a casein allergy by simple skin test? The doctor of course told me you could and that he definately had no allergy or sensitivity at all. I was kinda depressed as terrible as this sounds because I was really hoping I guess for an easy way to help my son’s speech. He hasn’t really had any more improvement from the oils , that’s kinda plateaud now another bummer and therapy just doesn’t seem to be helping any more. I was kinda wondering if maybe I should try to find a DAN doctor for my son. I read on one of the other listing there could be other issues affecting my son and that’s way he’s not progressing??? I would love more info from that mom or you Laura if you have some other suggestion. Sorry to babble on but I guess it’s just one of those down days. Thanks for everything and anything you guys can give me.

  39. Laura on August 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Holly – I’m so sorry that you’re having such a bad day. It’s so frustrating to keep looking for answers and not come up with any. In my experience, DAN docs are beneficial when other issues/intolerances are suspected to be a contributing factor for a child’s delay and when a child is exhibiting characteristics of autism. I didn’t realize that your son has been diagnosed with autism in addition to apraxia. The truth is that sometimes no professional can come up with a “quick fix.” Goodness knows I’ve wanted that for many of my little clients (and their worn-out moms!). Sometimes children with apraxia make great progress and then plateau for a while. It’s tough, but unfortunately it happens.

    What explanation does your SLP have? Is she concerned too, or is this a burden you’re bearing alone? I wish I could give you other helpful advice, but all I have is keep on trying! YOU are your son’s best hope! I know you know that already, but I wanted you to hear it from someone else. Hang in there Holly! Laura

  40. Holly on August 28, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Thanks Laura. My son actually isn’t diagnosed with autism I was just curious as to the other comment someone made regarding a DAN doctor who tests for other biomedical issues that could be hindering a child’s progression, I didn’t know it was only for autistic children.
    Well hopefully he doesn’t plateau for too long, just seems he was doing so well and now, it’s like nothing is happening 🙁
    The SLP we’re seeing now hasn’t really said anything, she’s only been seeing him for a few weeks now since we lost our other SLP.
    Thanks for the reassuring words Laura and encouragement sometimes I do need to hear it from someone else to keep me going 🙂

  41. Laura on August 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Holly – Okay – so I’m not as forgetful as I was beginning to wonder since I didn’t think you’d mentioned autism before.

    As you probably know, but other moms and dads may not, DAN stands for Defeat Autism Now, so the approaches a DAN doc would use are very geared to treating biomedical issues for children who are demonstrating characteristics of autism. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t see a DAN doctor, especially if you’re feeling like you want to leave no stone unturned in your quest for your son.

    But before making the appointment, I would really spend some time equipping yourself with information about the treatment possibilities that might be suggested for him should you go. I will also tell you that biomedical treatments are NOT my area of expertise, and although I have done some reading and attended some courses, I won’t even pretend to make recommendations about this to parents since I feel I don’t know enough to even weigh in on this subject. I just know what kind of mom I am, and I know I’d at least investigate these options if I had a kid who might potentially need this kind of approach.

    One site that talks a lot about a mom’s personal quest with biomedical treatments for her daughter with autism is The author of this site is so nice and approachable, and I’m sure she could point you in the right direction for your own research. Tell her I sent you.

    Again – thanks for your great input on this site! Laura

  42. Holly on August 29, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Nope you’re not losing your mind Laura don’t worry about that 🙂 I will definately check out that site and see what I can come up with. I guess I’ve just never been one to quit and I feel like if I don’t keep trying and doing for my son then I’m quitting on him. Thanks so much for all your help again as always Laura and I will tell her you sent me.

  43. Erika on August 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hello…just wanted to share my experience. I am using Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 for children and I started out with two caspsules. I did notice a difference in my son’s (3 years old next week) speech literally the next day. He attempted in imitate words with more syllables and actually got a few of them and started combining more two word phrases such as “bye bye Dad” and “thank you.” I did however experience a change in his behavior…a little more naughty than usual! LOL! Specifically, he was getting into things he knows not to and hitting siblings. However, I stuck with the two capsules and he seems to be just his normal level naughty now! I will probably hold out here for a couple weeks and then try one more capsule as he has sort of stopped here. I do know from experience though to welcome a little plateau…usually once I start to worry that he isn’t doing anything new, he surprises me with a huge explosion of words. Hopefully, he is working on more syllables and phrases in there! 🙂

  44. Holly on August 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing Erika. I’m actually using the adult Nordic Naturals omega 369 just because of the cost issue of the pills. My son is up to 6 of those a day and didn’t seem to do any better with more so I stopped where he’s at. I did notice a little chang ein his attitude as well for awhile but it went away in a week or two so I think it was more just the stage he was at verses the pills themself or maybe a combo of the two who knows right? So much is a guessing game with them 🙂 I’m glad it’s working for your son and hopefully improvements continue 🙂

    • Holly Flynn on August 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      I know this is an old thread. But I am curious how is your son doing? Did he progress more than before and did you discover anything in particular that has helped? I have a 6 year old daughter with apraxia who is not progressing like I had hoped and was going to try the fish oil regimen so I found this thread. Since time has passed I am wondering what has helped..

      Thank you Holly F

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What an inspiration!

Thank you for helping me be a better Developmental Therapist. I often listen to your podcasts which help me help families.

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the sheer volume of information is so great.

You are part of my team.

I just wanted you to know I appreciate you."


"Dear Laura,

Thank you for your generosity in sharing so much knowledge in such a clear and enthusiastic way.

As a retired audiologist with a fabulous and language delayed grandson, I used your podcasts and outstanding publication, The Autism Workbook, to inspire and guide me over the past year.

It works!! He went from barely verbal, no gestures, didn't respond to his name etc etc to a verbal, social, curious, ready to imitate anything, fill in the blanks on familiar "set" speech, generate his own totally appropriate and mostly understandable sentences...not just short phrases anymore... full little paragraphs...about imaginary things, what he did during the day, what he wants. True communication!

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"Laura Mize, you are a Godsend. I don’t know how one human can have so many helpful things to say in a beautifully organized way, so often. Always amazes me when another super helpful email comes from you, and for free. With free YouTube videos and cheap CEUs. THANK YOU!!!"

Sheila, Canada

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."


"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"


"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

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Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."


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