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Dear Dr Cannell: Autism update

Posted on: July 3, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


Dear Dr. Cannell,

I spoke with you awhile back regarding my autistic son’s progress (age 5). I would just like to update you though that the school district recently closed his IEP and he no longer qualifies for any special education or related services, which is truly a miracle.

He does still have deficits in fine motor skills and we have therapists still working with him in this area, and occasionally struggles with anxiety and sensory issues. We had his 25(OH)D level checked last week and it was at 131 ng/ml, which is a bit high. I give him 5,000 IU/day, his blood calcium is normal. I would like to get it down a bit and be able to sustain that.

He weighs about 45 pounds and is 43 inches tall, so he is quite skinny, and the levels increase rapidly when we give him more IU’s, and drop dramatically when we cut back. I have found it very difficult to sustain the 25 (OH) D at any given level. I would greatly appreciate your guidance.

I would like to thank you again and G-d bless you and all the work that you do to help these children. I never thought I would live to see the day when his IEP was closed.



Dear Mary:

I’m so glad they closed his IEP but 131 is too high. Stop all vitamin D for three weeks. After three weeks, recheck his level and when it is below 70 ng/ml, start him on 2 capsules of D-Plus a day for the extra magnesium and zinc it contains, or give him 3,000 IU/day of Ddrops and purchase a magnesium/Zn supplement and give his at least 200 mg of extra magnesium per day. Trader Joe’s makes a good CA/Mg/Zn preparation; give him two per day. Then check his 25(OH)D in two months. I suspect the additional magnesium will help his anxiety and, due to its complicated relationship with vitamin D, may help stabilize his 25(OH)D levels.

Also, remember that some of the fluctuation you see in his 25(OH)D levels is probably due to the laboratory method used to determine them. What method is used? It will say on the lab slip.

Again, that’s great news; no more need for special education.

John Cannell, MD

1 Response to Dear Dr Cannell: Autism update

  1. [email protected]

    Trader Joe’s has too much Calcium for people with lots of Vitamin D
    Per 2 tablets: Calcium 1000mg/100%, Magnesium 500mg/125%, Zinc 15mg/100%
    Should have Ca 500.
    Hopefully it is 500 mg of Magnesium ELEMENT and hopefully it is a form which is bio-available. See details on Magnesium amount and bioavailablity at http://is.gd/VDMag

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