On the Horizon – 06/29/2010

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 112: The Gut and Nutrition

the Horizon
is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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In This Issue

Great Information

A Note from Nicole: Nutrition, Health and Development

Idea of the Week:  Four Square

Feature Article: The Gut and Nutrition

The Horizons Team Recommends: The Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Workshop and Flex Your Brain DVD

NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Crispy Fish Sticks

NEW! Allergen-Free Product of the Month: Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix

Upcoming Events:Summer CAMPS; Workshops/Conferences

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

I am feeling energized this week after attending a great conference this past weekend on reflex integration and movement.  It’s great to get some new insights and ideas for clients, as well as furthering my understanding of the brain-body connection.  Erin, Courtney, and Michelle came with me and we enjoyed time together when we weren’t in class.  I am so blessed to have colleagues who I enjoy working with as colleagues and spending time with as friends!

This week Erin’s article is the first in a new series on nutrition, health, and development.  She provides information that is critical for parents to understand about their children as well as themselves.  Make sure you read the entire thing, and look for the other articles in this series coming up in future newsletters.

Summer camp has started here this week and it is great to have old friends as well as new joining our campus for a few weeks!  I hope you all are enjoying the summer with your kids as well.  If you are interested in attending our upcoming 3-day workshop event for education professionals and parents, we still have a few spaces remaining.  You can get the details at www.ExtremeMakeoverAutism.com.

Make it a fabulous week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

Four Square

Materials: Chalk and Basketball


Four Square

  1. Draw one large square about 10ft in diameter.
  2. Divide the square into 4 equal smaller squares.
  3. Number the squares in order from 1 to 4.
  4. One family member stands in each square (one person per a square).
  5. The game begins with square 1 serving the ball trying to bounce the
    ball in the square of one of the other players in another box in such a
    manner that it cannot be returned. The game continues until the ball is
    hit out of bounds or a player can not retrieve the ball. The
    ‘non-returning’ player is out, being replaced by another player, who
    starts in the ‘4’ box, with the others moving up to the next box. The
    goal of the game is to become the ‘1’ player, and continue as the
    server in box ‘1’.

Variations or Special Rules to Follows:

Here are some fun variations and rules to the game. It is always fun to add your own rules and variations to classic games like four square.

  1. Play the alphabet game: When the ball is in your square you have to
    name a word with the next letter of the alphabet in the category chosen
    before the game started.
  2. No ball slamming
  3. Cannot return the ball to the person you just received it from
  4. Return the ball with one hand
  5. When players bounce the ball, they must also call out the name of a
    country, a state, an animal, a number, or whatever the category may be.
    A player is out if they repeat something that’s already been said. book together.
Feature Article
Child and Nutrition

The Gut and Nutrition

By: Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

We see many children and young adults in our practice, and we are finding that most of them (70-80%) benefit from a special diet, elimination of certain foods, or use of supplements.  There are many conflicting studies out there that make it difficult to know for sure if there is a connection between nutrition/gut issues and autism; but I can say that in our experience it seems to be true for many.  Like the population as a whole, one rule doesn’t apply to all.  I see some children who do not seem to be affected at all by the things they eat – no gut problems, bowel issues, or behavior that would indicate feeling ill, or high levels of yeast – while others seem to be very affected by all of these things.   It can take a lot of time and effort to sort this all out, but the differences can be remarkable when a child is feeling well and getting proper nutrition.

Special diets are not necessary for every child with an autism spectrum disorder, because every person has their own unique make up and nutritional needs.  There are books, articles, and people out there who promote the gluten/casein free diet for all kids on the autism spectrum.  While this isn’t a bad diet, and it certainly won’t hurt anyone to be on the diet, it isn’t a “cure” for autism; and it doesn’t have the same effect for every person.  Some people see dramatic differences on the diet, while others see no difference.  While the gluten/casein free diet may not be effective for your child, there may be other diets, nutritional changes or supplements that might be. 

So, how do you know if your child is suffering from gut issues, or is getting proper nutrition?  This question is a daunting one that can sometimes take days, weeks, months, or even years to answer.  For some children, the answer is quick and easy; for others one answer can lead to more questions.  What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another, and often times it is by trial and error that you find just the right fit for your child. 

Here at Horizons, it is our goal to help you find the answer in as quick and efficient a manner as possible.  So, what are some of the ways we gather necessary information?  Below is a list of some of the typical steps we take in determining if your child is experiencing gut issues, has nutritional challenges, or may be suffering from yeast overgrowth.

See typical steps …

The Horizons Team Recommends

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop


August 4-6 • 2010 Grand Rapids, MI

Put together the soaring increase in children diagnosed with autism and related impairments, a group of dedicated educators seeking solutions to the
challenges they face daily, a team of been-in-the-trenches experts,
three days of amazing content and hands-on experience, and what do you

An amazing 3-day workshop that will transform how you understand and educate students with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

here for workshop details!

Flex Your Brain 

Flex Your Brain
DVD Program

It’s Here–A Simple Way to Build Flexibility and Thinking Skills in Your Students!

Help your preschool and elementary students learn to: think creatively; flexibly adapt to change; notice similarities and differences; and compare and contrast perspectives

This fun and effective learning tool has two components:

The “It is a _____” component uses colorful inkblot paintings to promote creative and flexible thinking. Spend a few minutes looking at a different inkblot each day, and think about what it could be. This can be done as a great morning warm-up activity, in an individual therapy session, or as a discussion with the whole class.

The “Daily Differences” component provides teachers with simple ideas to incorporate variations into the day. Ideas include:

  • Change the location of items in the classroom
  • Sit in different shape configurations at “circle” time
  • Serve “chilly cookies” from the fridge instead of the cupboard for snack time
  • Take different routes as you travel throughout the building

Note to Parents: These make great gifts for the teachers and therapists in your child’s life!

For more information, click here

NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week

Crispy Fish Sticks

(From Eating for Autism)

Crispy Fish Sticks

Whether you have just started a special diet with your child or you have been following one for years, it can be difficult to come up with what to serve. We decided to try to make that just a bit easier by providing you with a new allergen free recipe each week. While it is impossible to meet every person’s unique food sensitivity needs, we hope you will find these recipes helpful and delicious. Please feel free to adapt the recipes to meet your needs and taste buds; we do it all the time. In addition to the weekly recipes, we will be highlighting a specific allergen free product of the month. Enjoy!


This recipe serves 4-6 people.

These fish sticks will beat any traditional, frozen fish sticks. Leave fillets whole if you need faster preparation time.


4 Tilapia fish fillets or other firm, white fish

3 cups glutten-free crispy rice-style cereal
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper (optional)

Get the recipe ...

NEW! Allergy-Free Product of the Month
Allergen Free Products

Free Dreams Pancake Mix (plain or chocolate chip)

this pancake mix and other allergen-free products at CherrybrookKitchen.com.

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • Summer CAMPS– All About Pets
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    July 26 – 29
  • Summer CAMPS – Fun in the Sun
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    August 9 – 12
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create: Session 1
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12pm, Tues & Thurs
    June 29, July 1-15
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create: Session 2
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12am, Mon-Weds, 9am-1pm Thurs
    July 26 – 29
  • Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition
    August 4-6, 2010

the Horizon

is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental
disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress,
support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life
for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:
Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
3120 68th Street SE
Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:
(616) 698-0306

Our email address:

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