Most kids’ multivitamins on the supermarket and drugstore shelves - such as gummy vitamins and ordinary children’s chewables - do not use the preferred form of nutrients that special needs children often need.

If your child’s diet is poor, plus having malabsorption issues or issues metabolizing nutrients, an ordinary multivitamin just won’t do.  

Also, if your child has numerous food allergies, certain nutrients need to be given in higher amounts than an ordinary multivitamin can provide.

For example, children on gluten free diets need to take good quality B vitamins in larger doses since most wheat foods are fortified with B vitamins in the US.

The following are some important nutrients that kids with special needs may need supplemented with:

Vitamin A:

Activates the immune system, supports immune memory, protects against viruses, and is critical for vision, sensory perception, paying attention, and language processing.

Vitamin B1:

Plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, antioxidation, and biosynthesis of nucleic acids and neurotransmitters.

Vitamin B2:

Necessary for the building of healthy DNA.

Vitamin B3:

May have positive effects on cerebral blood flow.

Vitamin B6:

Vitamin B-6 may help lessen involuntary movements and help with seizure activity. B-6 deficiency also leads to sensory problems, which can only compound existing issues.

Vitamin B12:

Deficiencies can cause problems with mental functioning including confusion, slow thinking, forgetfulness, and even psychotic episodes.

Vitamin C:

Numerous physical problems develop with a deficiency, including weakness, pain, swelling, rash, fatigue, bruising, and gum disease.

Vitamin D:

Helps transport calcium to the cells, among other benefits.

Vitamin E:

An important antioxidant that scavenges free radicals.

Folic Acid:

Deficiency has been associated with numerous neurological problems.

Vitamin K:

Helps regulate blood coagulation.


Important for brain development and supports the immune system.


Deficiency can decrease blood flow to the brain and cause symptoms like sound sensitivity.


Helps build teeth and bones.


Important for immune function and critical for pancreatic function.


Supplementing can help decrease urinary wasting of important proteins.

In most cases a multivitamin is safe and easily tolerated.4

If you feel your child may benefit from higher amounts of individual vitamins and/or minerals, please consult your healthcare provider before doing so.

My basic recommendation is a higher-potency multivitamin to at least get started.

I really like Prothera VitaTab Chewables and Klaire Labs VitaSpectrum Powder for a multivitamin with higher potency nutrients. 

Higher potency means that the vitamins and minerals in the multivitamin are in their “bioactive form” which allows the nutrients to be better absorbed.

This is crucial for special needs children.

For example, make sure when looking for a multivitamin the form of folate provided is 5-MTHF, the most bioactive form of folate. 

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