Look Who’s Talking Now: Fish oil capsules h elp children with speech disorders find their voices
- Look Who’s Talking Now: Fish oil capsules help children with speech disorders find their voices
A simple fish oil
supplement may be the key to dramatically unlock the voices of children
with speech and language disorders.
That’s the conclusion of a group of scientists
who reviewed a study of nineteen youngsters suffering from various
speech problems. The children, ranging in age from two years to eight
years, were given a fish oil supplement containing a mixture of omega-3
and omega-6 essential fatty acids ( EFAs ).
Speech-language pathologists who monitored the children reported
significant improvements within just a few weeks. The improvements were
noted not only in the children’s ability to talk, but also in their
behavior, ability to focus, and in maintaining eye contact.
Now the scientists, brought together by the Cherab
Foundation, a major nonprofit group for children with speech disorders,
are calling for a large-scale clinical trial to validate these initial
“The results were dramatic,” says developmental
pediatrician Marilyn C. Agin, M.D., medical director of the New
Jersey-based foundation, who also reported similar results in ten
anecdotal cases. “They strongly suggest that EFA supplementation
combined with speech and occupational therapy could become the
treatment of choice in multifaceted communication disorders.”
Until now children with severe speech disorders such as apraxia,
a neurologically-based condition, have required years of intensive
one-on-one therapy-often with painfully slow progress. “But now, with
EFA supplementation, the future for these children may be much
brighter-and sooner rather than later,” says Lori L. Roth, M.S.,
CCC/SLP, a speech pathologist with the Cherab foundation.
The amazing potential of EFA supplementation came to
light when the nonprofit group’s president, Lisa Geng, used it with her
three-year-old son, Tanner.
After just three weeks his vocabulary exploded. “It was the
breakthrough we had been praying for. It was incredible,” says Lisa.
Why does this supplementation work? The experts
believe that the speech disorders are the result of a breakdown in
communication between the brain and the muscles in the mouth, tongue
and jaw that have to work together to produce speech. Essential fatty
acids, especially the omega-3 DHA and the omega-6 fatty ARA, are highly
necessary for brain development. Most children obtain them-during the
most critical times of brain development-directly from their mothers
while they are still in the womb and subsequently while being
breast-fed. Any deficiency can result in permanent neurodevelopmental
deficits in the growing infant.
“Therefore, essential fatty acid supplementation in
neurodevelopmental speech disorders could correct a specific deficit in
the speech center of the central nervous system,” says Robert Katz,
Ph.D., Cherab’s director of EFA research.
The panel of experts who reviewed the study included
scientists from the NIH, Johns Hopkins University, Kennedy Krieger
Institute, University of Kansas, and Oxford University, England. They
join a growing group of researchers who are heralding the benefits of
essential fatty acid supplementation for a wide range of brain-related
problems including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia,
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and even
Alzheimer’s disease and autism.
The Cherab Foundation is a world-wide nonprofit
organization working to improve the communication skills and education
of all children with speech and language delays and disorders. Our area
of emphasis is verbal and oral apraxia, severe neurologically-based
speech and language disorders that hinder children’s ability to speak.
The Cherab Foundation is committed to assisting with
the development of new therapeutic approaches, preventions and cures to
neurologically-based speech disorders. We bring together parents and
medical, research, and educational professionals. Please join us and
help to give our children a smile and a voice.
The Cherab Foundation
P.O. Box 8524
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952-8524
Thanks for reading!
Early Intervention Specialist
"A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives." - Jackie Robinson
The information contained in this transmittal maybe confidential. It is intended for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee of the agent responsible to deliver the transmittal to the intended recipient you are hereby notified that the use, dissemination, distribution or copying of the communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmittal in error, please notify the sender immediately.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]