Bringing Out the Talents of Autistic Spectrum Kids

Child sleeping There was once a mother who took her autistic son to many doctors, used many different diets, and found one that really worked—the air diet—a diet of unobstructed breathing.  After the doctor had cleared her son’s obstructed air passages in his nose and throat, her son was twice as responsive to his environment and learned twice as fast.  The boy suffered from two conditions that interfered with his development—autism and sleep apnea.  This is a true story.

The power of the air diet is well understood by those who study sleep apnea—sleep that is constantly interrupted in those whose airways are obstructed, as they awaken briefly, gasping for air, dozens and sometimes hundreds of times a night.

This results in daytime drowsiness, interfering with a person’s ability to concentrate, but the effect of sleep apnea on learning doesn’t end there.  The sleep cycle that alternates between REM dreaming, something called procedural dreaming, and quiet sleep, is custom made for learning during the night.

Through countless human and animal experiments, sleep researchers have arrived at the consensus that nearly all of our learning—memory consolidation, and integration of new knowledge—occurs while we are sleeping.  Sleep disruption interferes with a child’s intellectual development.

When a child’s language is delayed or he is unresponsive to his environment, the first thing that a doctor suspects is that he might be partially deaf.  Few doctors test for sleep apnea or consider the possibility that delayed learning can also be caused by interrupted sleep.

Parents of autistic children reach for medicines and remedies, including restricted diets.  The air diet holds out the promise of reducing their children’s developmental delays by half.*


*for more information, see Secrets of Sleep Science: from Dreams to Disorders, a 24 part lecture series by Professor Craig Heller of Stanford University

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