Background: The causes and cures for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), apraxia, and other conditions involving motor and speech delays remain speculative. To offset symptoms, many individuals will try integrative approaches, including making dietary changes and adding vitamins, minerals, and fish oil supplements.
Primary study objective: The purpose of this study was to glean opinions about the effectiveness of specific food blends and nutrients on speech and motor impairments within a sample population of adults and children (N = 77) who self-report having communication delays and/or motor dysfunction symptoms, and who are among a population currently taking IQed (N = 632) nutritional composition.
Methods/design: A 28-point survey instrument was designed across key areas relating to symptoms of speech and motor abilities. Additional subquestions were included for descriptive summary and description statistical interpretation of the data. The Web-based survey was conducted on a sample population of adults and children (N = 77) who self-reported having communication delays and motor function symptoms, and who are among a population currently taking IQed (N = 632) nutritional composition, a whole food complete vitamin and meal replacement product.
Setting: The survey was conducted via the Internet using SurveyMonkey (San Mateo, CA, USA).
Participants: Consumers (or their caregiver) completed an online survey and answered questions about nutritional supplementation use and their opinion about product effectiveness on symptoms. A total of 88 individuals responded to the survey and 11 were excluded for incompletion of the survey. Included participants comprise 55 males and 22 females (N = 77) with a median age of 10.5 y and an age range from 2 to 70 y. Participants' geographic location represent as 85.7% from the United States and 9 other countries (14.3%).
Primary outcome measures: Effectiveness was measured based on participant ratings using a numeric rating scale to report on changes in symptoms for a defined period of use of the supplement.
Results: Ninety-two percent of the survey respondents reported positive behavioral or physical changes when IQed formula was added to the diet, with most (64%) reporting positive changes within the first 2 wk. Difficulty with speech and communication was the highest reported area of difficulty for this population, afflicting 83.8% of respondents. After supplementation, expressive speech improved for 85.7% of the participants with the increased vocalizations (sounds, words) factor showing the highest observed improvement (88.1%) among all speech/communication factors combined. In all other categories, more than 67% of the survey takers reported improvements in all factors: speech (77.6%), oral motor skills (63.2%), receptive ability (69.6%), focus (65.1%), motor planning (77.6%), mood (62.3%), social skills (59.3%), and physical/behavioral health (47.3%), with any adverse effects reported in less than 1%.
Conclusion: Consumers reported improvements in symptoms by use of a blended vitamin and mineral product (IQed Smart Nutrition composition). The implication for this study is to further research on alternative modalities of treatments for ASD and ASD-type conditions using natural food products, vitamin and mineral supplements, and Ayurvedic and botanical ingredients.