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Nutritional & Behavioral Support for People With Down Syndrome… Ideas for Improving: Immune System Cognitive Ability Muscle Tone and Slow Metabolism & More. Linda Orso, Former Executive Director Down Syndrome Association

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Linda Orso, Former Executive Director Down Syndrome Association Angie Thomas, has sister with Down syndrome

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Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome

Nutritional & Behavioral Support for People With Down Syndrome…Ideas for Improving: Immune SystemCognitive AbilityMuscle Tone and Slow Metabolism & More

Linda Orso, Former Executive Director

Down Syndrome Association

Angie Thomas, has sister with Down syndrome

Barbara Lagoni , Nutritionist, Cornell University

The goal for parents of children with developmental disabilities

The Goal for Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities

To provide life skills and whatever support we can so that our children can :’

  • Fit into society

  • Be happy

  • And accepted as a valued member of the community

    The purpose of this presentation is :

  • To share ideas on guiding and teaching people with DS.

  • To understand the role diet and vitamins can play in supporting their health, their behavior and their cognitive development


Incidence of down syndrome

Incidence of Down Syndrome

  • From 1 in 800 children (2000 ) to 1 in 750 ( 2009) …. Today --1 in 691

  • 400,000 people in US with Down syndrome

  • 5000 to 6000 born each year

    Incidence is increasing DESPITE the fact that 90% of women end the pregnancy if pre-natal testing indicates Down syndrome.

  • If moms know they will be giving birth to a child with Down syndrome, they may want to do everything they can to give their child as much nutritional support as possible .. To help their bodies be as strong & as healthy as possible. linda

Lydia s story

Lydia’s Story

  • 35 years old

  • Graduated from a community college

  • Employed full time at the county government

  • Enjoys writing, cooking, reading, music, movies, playing basketball, playing the piano and swimming and dancing

  • Made several presentations about her life and about having Down syndrome to local schools and parent support groups.

  • Married in April 2013 linda

Health challenges with down syndrome

Health Challenges With Down Syndrome

  • Weakened immune system

    Respiratory and allergy issues are common

    Slower recovery

  • Cognitive impairment

    Early dementia

  • Slowed metabolism – creates issues with weight and obesity

  • Poor muscle tone (hypotonic)

  • Joint /arthritis

  • Constipation.. Digestive issues (gluten intolerance, food sensitivities )

  • Sleep (apnea, poor sleep habits, difficulty sleeping, tired)

  • Dry skin/ eczemalinda

Dietary recommendations

Dietary Recommendations

  • Just like everybody else, sugar and refined carbohydrates tend to deposit fat, especially around the waist.

  • Ideal diet includes 6 to 9 vegetables a day.

    --the primary source of essential vitamins and minerals

    (very little in bread, cookies, meat, dairy …and refined --carbs and sweets will deplete nutrients at an astonishing rate diminishing brain function and weakening the immune system) barb

Basic supplement program for children adults with down syndrome

Basic Supplement Program for Children/Adults with Down Syndrome

Start with the Basics --

  • Vita Lea Multi Vitamin/Mineral

    Cognitive Support

  • B Complex – for the brain and nervous system & for healthy skin

  • Omega Guard (fish oil)– essential for brain & natural anti-inflammatory & healthy skin

    Immune Support

  • Optiflora (probiotic) – for intestinal health & immune system

  • Vita C – sustained release

    Muscle Strength & Weight Management

  • Protein shakes with muscle building amino acid leucine

    Shaklee 180 Smoothees and Bars, barb

B complex

B Complex

  • Essential for the brain and nervous system

  • Depleted by sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol, medications, stress

  • Water soluble so must be continually replaced

  • Deficiency can cause mood swings, irritability, nervousness, fatigue, depression, mental confusion, headaches, anxiety attacks, cracks at corner of the mouth, hair loss, joint pain.

  • Helps reduce sugar cravings

  • Found in dark green vegetables, organ meats and whole grainsbarb

Omega guard mighty smarts

Omega Guard/ Mighty Smarts

  • Essential for the brain , eyes and joint health

  • Helps with ADD/ADHD

  • Helps prevent memory loss and depression

  • Helps reduce inflammation

  • Helps reduce triglycerides and cholesterol

  • Helps raise HDL ( good cholesterol) )

  • Helps lower blood pressure

  • Helps reduce plaque and risk of blood clots

  • Helps improve eczema, colitis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, migraines and macular degeneration barb

Dha powered mighty smarts

DHA-Powered Mighty Smarts™

  • DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that affects early brain and eye development

  • Studies show that many kids do not get enough of this important nutrient

  • Foods high in DHA—such as sardines, tuna, and organ meats such as liver—are not kids’ favorites

  • Eating large amounts of fish can lead to unhealthy exposure to mercury and other environmental toxins, which can be especially harmful to childrenbarb


Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome



  • Supersmart:

  • High in DHA Omega-3s for BrainPOWer

  • DHA helps support concentration, memory, and vision

  • 100 mg per serving—A level clinically proven to increase blood levels of DHA in children ages 4–12

  • Supersafe:

  • Certified organic by Quality Assurance International†

  • 100% natural, ultra-pure DHA

  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives

  • Gluten free

  • †75% organicbarb

Great Tasting, Kid Tested, and Kid Approved! Yummy Orange Chew

Omega 3 research study

Omega 3 Research Study

Improvements in:

attention vocabulary

behavior concentration

less impulsive calmer

dyslexia depression

60% of the brain is fat

Univ of S Australia 145 children 2005


Omega 3 fatty acids shaklee omega guard

Omega 3 Fatty Acids… Shaklee Omega Guard

  • Ultra pure, pharmaceutical grade, full spectrum of 7 Omega 3 fatty acids

  • Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke

    But that’s not all…

    • Also improves eczema, colitis, arthritis, MS, psoriasis, migraines, reduces C-reactive protein,

    • Important for brain, eyes, joints, helps ADD & ADHD, memory loss and depression


Omega 3 fish oil always safe industrial pollutants pcb s

Omega 3 Fish OilALWAYS SAFEIndustrial Pollutants –PCB’s

“Lawsuit: Disclose PCB Levels in Fish Oil. Group Finds Amount of Contaminant Varies Greatly Among Popular Supplement Brands” - CBS May 2, 2010

Optiflora probiotic system

OptifloraProbiotic System

  • Restores beneficial micro-organisms to lower intestines

    • lost from antibiotics, diarrhea, chemotherapy, steroids, and other medications

  • Keeps undesirable bacteria and yeasts in check

  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Triple encapsulation

    • protects acidophilus, bifidus, and other probiotics from stomach acidsangie

Unique patented triple encapsulation technology protects live microflora

Unique, Patented “Triple Encapsulation” Technology Protects “Live” Microflora

“Live” microflora

Water and oxygen barrier

Stomach acid protection

Only Shaklee has it!

OPTIFLORA™ completely survives stomach acid. Microflora are then released in the intestine. barb

Who benefits from optiflora

Who Benefits from Optiflora

flatulenceabdominal cramps


constipationdigestive disorders

candida yeast issuescolitis

allergies/sinusacid reflux

antibioticssteroid medications

bottle-fed babieslow fiber/poor diets

irritable bowel syndromeear infections

Nutrition and You Vita Books

Sustained release vita c 500 mg

Sustained Release Vita C 500 mg

  • Sustains whole Vitamin C Complex in the blood stream over 5 hours ( water soluble )

  • Depleted by stress, alcohol, smoking, birth control pills, infections, illness, pollution

  • Natural anti-histamine, frequently used in prevention and treatment of colds & viruses

  • Cataracts, ligaments and connective tissue , varicose veins, wound healing, nosebleeds and bruisingbarb

Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome

Protein –Builds Healthy Cells & Stabilizes Blood Sugar

Energizing Soy or Shaklee 180 Smoothees

Or Mealshake Creamy Whey Shakes

  • Good protein sources, low in fat & cholesterol, balanced nutrition

  • 1/3 of all essential nutrients

  • Soy or whey

  • Clinically proven to stabilize blood sugar levels

  • Great tastingbarb

Peanut Butter Fudge ( 1 cup peanut butter,1 cup Energizing Soy Protein, 1/3 cup honey )

Additional supplements

Additional Supplements

  • Vita D -3– for bone, immune , heart & brain health.

  • Herb Lax– 9 herbs to improve elimination, naturally and gently

  • Joint Health Complex– glucosamine and Boswellia helps repair cartilage and reduce inflammation

  • Joint and Muscle Pain Cream-- for immediate pain relief in sore muscles or achy joints.

  • Nutriferon– helps body produce interferon naturally , a key component of the immune system … natural herbal formulation … popular with people with allergies and weak immune systems.


Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome

Age-Appropriate Behavior is the Goal.

  • What is cute at 6 is not cute at 16

  • People with DS often don’t pick up on social cues, so they must be told directly, kindly and respectfully what behavior is expected and appropriate

  • Explain the behavior you DO want … and not just tell them “ NO or don’t do that” ( this is true of all children ) … regarding eating with good table manners, using acceptable language, teach modesty, manners, inappropriate hugging, picking their nose, etc

  • People with DS have feelings and self esteem just like everybody else … ( Lydia’s presentation to school age kids)

  • ( People with developmental disabilities are more likely to lose their job due to inappropriate social behavior on the job and not lack of skill .)angie

Parenting tips

Parenting Tips

  • Partner with the teachers, therapists, family so messages and corrections are consistent and the same language is used.

    -- a child who interrupts excessively ex --“ Johnny, give me just one minute so I can finish talking to Mary . Please wait patiently.”

    -- “ escape artists” – very common with DS . Ex child who runs out of classroom .. After school when no friends to be embarrassed in front of .. No distractions …. And role play what you want .. With teacher, parent, therapist present .

  • Be the model….in everything you do. They are imitators so be sure they are imitating behavior you want . ( if you want them to wipe their mouth when eating or walk around the table while eating or remove their shoes in the house … then you better also )

  • Behavior may reflect a medical condition. ( celiac, stomach aches, ear aches, etc.. And they may not be able to communicate it to you )


Seek first to understand undesirable behavior

Seek First To Understand Undesirable Behavior …

If they throw things, or hit you or others or refuse to put their shoes on …. Won’t hold your hand when crossing the street …Or act out in any way .. Refusing to comply…

Parents first reaction often is to say …” Just do what I say, behave yourself or time out or punishment, etc “

But --- if we want the behavior to change, we need to understand what is causing it.

Behavior happens because they have limited options for communicating and they are expressing an emotion ..




sadness ( have difficulty understanding the passing of time )


Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome

Behavior is a form of communication about….

  • Health issues

  • Sensory issues

  • Fears (“stubborn”)

  • “The Groove”

  • Transitioning

  • Lack of problem solving skills

  • Low muscle tone (oral-motor issues)

  • linda

  • Lack of self-care skills

  • Environmental changes

  • Lack of appropriate social skills

  • Difficulty with auditory processing

  • Lack of ability to communicate the problem / wants / needs

Why i trust my family to shaklee

Why I Trust My Family To Shaklee

  • Loved concept of “ Living in Harmony With Nature “

  • Felt products were safer because of the commitment to science

  • Later learned how different Shaklee is because of the quality testing they do for potency, purity and safety .. Way beyond what typically occurs in the marketplace.


People with ds often called stubborn

People with DS Often Called Stubborn

  • Alert Them Ahead of Time --Because it sometimes takes a little longer to process information, people with DS function better when they are notified long before a transition to the next activity occurs… or before any major change.

  • Processing information takes longer …so decisions come slowly especially if it is a new thought … Be patient and give them time … 10 second rule …

    If no response, repeat the question or ask

    “ Do you need some help”?

    This creates trust and helps eliminates anxiety

    and frustration for them.

  • Resistance occurs from fear of the unknown


Linda orso former executive director down syndrome association angie thomas has sister with down syndrome














Vitamins + Minerals

7 Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Full Spectrum Anti-Oxidants Anti-Aging Nutrients

Super Active Probiotics barb

Lydia s current supplement program

Vita-Lea with Iron


Metabolic Boost

Joint Health Complex




Mental Acuity

GLA Complex

Vitamin D




Lydia’s Current Supplement Program

Build healthy bodies for happy productive lives

Build Healthy Bodies forHappy & Productive Lives

  • Clean, healthy diet - Food choices that are

    habit-forming, energy building & immunity building

  • Adequate, quality sleep – sleep apnea, restless

  • Exercise daily – limit TV & sedentary activities

  • Avoid toxins – natural cleaners

  • Empower with knowledge - to make healthy choices independently

  • Supplement – with quality to provide the additional nutritional support needed.


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