A supplement group that is very commonly recommended for children with autism are essential fatty acids. The supplement can come in the form of cod liver oil or just general fish oil and essential fatty acids have become very important therapies for many children with autism because they serve to replenish the depleted fatty acids. And when I am examining a child, one visible sign that could mean its supplement is necessary is really hard, thick ear wax.
When a child has thick, hard ear wax, that can be some indication of a depletion in essential fatty acids. Now ideally getting a diagnostic test for fatty acid status would occur so that we could asses exactly what form of essential fatty acid needs supplementation. That would enable us to determine whether EPA was depleted or DHA or maybe the omega 6 oils are deficient. Without a thorough test, you do not know for certain. There are labs that perform essential fatty acid tests, Great Plains has a test as well as other labs. And to determine the exact deficiency, testing is necessary. We can make certain guesses as to what may be deficient in a child but that may not be right. But if you have taken your child in to see a doctor, or their pediatrician and they have noticed that your child has very hard, thick ear wax, your child probably has some form of an essential fatty acid deficiency.
A basic supplementation program includes a supplement with some type of fish oil that contains EPA and DHA in it. That can be a very nice way to replenish. And cod liver oil is usually pretty easy to give and many children find this beneficial. Children with Autism benefit from cold liver oil for a couple of reasons. They get the benefit of the essential fatty acid part of the supplement but they can also benefit from the natural vitamin A in the cod liver oil as well. An average dose of cod liver oil is 1 to 2 teaspoons per day, many children find that very helpful. Cod liver oil can also help with visual stimulation that some children with autism have. Once supplemented with cod liver oil, some children do not side glance as much as they used to and their visual stimulation decrements as well. So thick and hard ear wax can be, from a physical examination side, being an indicator of a deficiency in essential fatty acids. Therefore, supplementation would be appropriate in many cases.