Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Omega-3 Fish Oil for Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Information and Resources



What are Omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are molecules that are necessary for human health but cannot be produced by our bodies. They have to be obtained through our food. They are most commonly found in fish and some nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to brain function and play an important role in growth and development. There are several types of Omega-3 fatty acids, but most research indicates that EPA and DHA have better established health benefits and these types are found in fish oil rather than in nut oils.

Here are a couple of web pages that discuss the general health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: This article defines Omega-3 fatty acids, discusses their health benefits, gives some dosing guidelines, and discusses precautions and interactions.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet: This WebMD article discusses the basics, benefits, types, food sources, and supplements.

What does Omega-3 Fish Oil supplementation have to do with Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Many parents of children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech first encounter the idea of supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids in The Late Talker book. That book devotes an entire chapter to the topic. Most of the evidence is anecdotal. Some families have seen dramatic improvement after a plateau when adding Omega-3 fish oil supplementation was the only change. Given that there is evidence of general health benefits, few drawbacks, and the possibility of helping a child communicate better, many parents choose to try it.

There is some preliminary scientific evidence that Omega-3 supplementation does help with related disorders like dyspraxia (neurological motor planning disorder of the limbs) and autism.

Here are a few resources that discuss Omega-3 supplementation and Childhood Apraxia (or related conditions).

Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplementation for Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Review of Product Purchase and Impressions


After carefully reading the chapter in the The Late Talker book and all of the articles referenced above we decided to purchase the Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid. The Nordic Naturals brand has a great reputation for quality and we wanted the product in the most concentrated form possible given that we weren’t sure how well our two year old daughter would take it. This product also has a blend of the different types of Omega-3 fatty acids and we wanted that as well in order to get the closest possible approximation to the therapeutic doses described in the book and articles.

The product is lemon flavored and does not smell or taste fishy at all. I have been very pleased with the quality of the product. I suppose you could try to give it to your child straight off a spoon or medicine dosing cup, but we’ve never tried that. If the product starts to smell or taste fishy, it has spoiled. After doing some research, we decided to store our bottle in the freezer to extend its shelf life.

We mix the Omega-3 supplement in with about two ounces of yogurt. At first we bought lemon yogurt, but when we ran out we tried random flavors and they all seem to work. We’ve also mixed it in with yogurt drinks and that has worked as well. I simply use a medicine dispenser I borrowed from an infant ibuprofen bottle to measure the right dosage and then squirt it into the yogurt. Stir and serve.

Is Omega-3 Supplementation working to help our daughter’s Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

To be honest, I cannot tell if the Omega-3 supplementation is helping for us. We started the supplementation and intensive therapy in the same week so it is impossible to tell if the improvement we have seen is due to the Omega-3 supplement, the therapy, or a combination of both. I can say that I have not really noticed any kind of regression when we miss her nightly dose several nights in a row for some reason. However, given the general health benefits and the possibility that it is helping in a subtle way I am certainly not going to stop using the product.

Are there other supplements that might help with Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Many parents are anecdotally reporting improvement in their child's speech when using a meal replacement supplement called NutriiVeda. You can read my Information and Resources page on NutriiVeda for Childhood Apraxia of Speech here.

3 comments:

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  2. Hi, you wrote a very important topic That we should concern a lot.Omega-3 is really an essential fatty acid that helps eye and brain development. Most of the children have EPA and DHA deficiency, as because we don't have that much awareness. We don't add omega-3 fatty acid rich fish and seafood in our daily meal

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