First, I want to apologize to those of you whom have been patiently waiting for an update on how the over-the-counter supplement GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid, has been working for Nathan. Secondly, I am only a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, I am not an expert or physician. Every child is different and you need to check with your child's doctor, before starting them on anything new, to check on dosage, possible side-effects and the interaction with any other prescribed or un-prescribed medications your child may be taking. Whether it is an allergy medicine or any other "otc" products, there might be some ingredients that if mixed, your doctor might warn against because of negative reactions for your child. It is always best to make absolutely sure that you both are in agreement for what you are giving your child and what results you expect from it.
If you have not had a chance to read my previous post titled "A Change In Over-The-Counter Supplements", let me summarize the situation to help you catch up. My youngest son, Nathan, who is eight years old is on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed almost three and a half years ago with autism. He had been taking an "otc" supplement for his attention deficit called Attend mini's by VAXA for about one and a half years when we added another "otc" supplement, for his "mood swings", called Behavior Balance by Food Science of Vermont. My husband and I had been researching several other supplements in hopes of helping our son cope with the daily struggles of this neurological disorder and came across one that looked promising and would cut down on the number of pills Nathan would take each day. This "otc" supplement is called gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short. It was said that this supplement would help calm an individual so that they could get a better night's sleep, awake refreshed and handle the next day better. Last month, I timidly presented our research to our family physician about GABA and asked him what he thought about the benefits it could bring to our son. He said that what he knew of that particular "otc" supplement and that it was worth trying if it would help Nathan feel more calm and in control.
Nathan has been taking the "otc" supplement GABA for just a little over a month now. He is sleeping much better and is taking only one peppermint flavored GABA at bedtime versus the six Attend mini's and four Behavior Balance he was taking daily. It was quite a difference getting Nathan to accept that he only needed to let this one little pepermint flavored GABA dissolve under his tongue before he went to bed every night. The first few days, he kept asking his father and I if we were sure that he didn't need his other supplements. Once he got used to the fact that those were gone, he seemed relieved that he only had that one supplement to remember to take.
I know that there isn't a known cure, or even an exact known cause, for autism but, from our just over 30 days of Nathan having taken the "otc" supplement GABA, he has fallen asleep faster, slept through the night and awoken happy. This helps him to cope, with any changes or disruptions that might try to "shake" his daily routine, better than he had before. Now, all that I ask is that you remember that I am sharing this information, not as an expert but, as a parent of an eight year old boy on the autism spectrum. What works for one person may not work the same for another and you still need to check with your child's physician before starting them on something new. I say this because our children are precious. Your child's physician needs to be involved with and be aware of what is being given to your child because of dosage, possible side-effects or allergic reactions. When it comes to protecting our children, this is just a precaution that we have to consider.
Our son, Nathan, is doing especially well with the "otc" supplement GABA. My husband and I are always watching for any signs that Nathan might be reacting negatively to the supplement. We want to have faith that this will continue to help him, even as he gets older and we have to adjust his dosage accordingly. If there are any changes in Nathan that may be related to the use of the "otc" supplement GABA I will openly share those with you, whether they are negative or positive. I thank the Lord every day that he gave our family Nathan and his extremely patient older brother, Vincent. We are also blessed with a wonderful extended family, a very understanding church and the most generous friends anyone could ever wish for! Many thanks to each and every one of you that pray for our family's strength, patience and wisdom in our daily journey through the very important land of autism.