Autism is so common it’s shocking: the CDC estimates 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with the condition, and it’s five times more common in males than females (1 in 54 boys, 1 in 252 girls).This adds up to more children being affected by autism than by AIDS, cancer, diabetes, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and Down’s syndrome combined.
That means 1 in 88 children are exhibiting trouble empathizing, having a difficult time speaking, or engaging in self destructive behaviour. And where once there was the idea that people with autism are condemned to a life long sentence, there is now hope – and solid experience – that significant improvement can occur.
Treatment is complex because it involves several systems in the body – neurological, immune, digestive, endocrine, and so on – and because there is no single driving factor, no main culprit, that can be pinpointed. Instead there’s a puzzle of allergies, nutrition, infection, neurotransmitters, and numerous other underlying issues that must be pieced together and addressed appropriately. It is, quite literally, a matter of getting at the roots of the problem. Naturopathic medicine is an excellent tool to help do exactly this.
Dr. Meghan Haggarty, a naturopathic doctor at the Nardella Clinic, has received training from the Autism Research Institute (formerly DAN! – Defeat Autism Now), a research, training, and support organization started in 1967 by Bernard Rimland, PhD, the man who first professionally and publicly brought the theory that autism is caused by unloving mothers into question and has been an autism advocate ever since.
The Autism Research Institute is an advocate of the biomedical approach. That is, the treatment method of correcting biochemical imbalances in the body’s systems in order to improve or eliminate symptoms. The key is getting the proper diagnostic testing to determine which biochemicals are deficient or imbalanced so that treatment can start from the roots.
Comprehensive testing of the various affected systems allow for the best individualized treatment plan to be developed for a person with Autism. Testing may include urine, stool or blood tests that evaluate allergies, infections, immune markers, food sensitivies, digestive health, and neurotransmitter levels amongst other things. This information is valuable not only in determing what to treat but what will best improve the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Diagnostic testing is the key to determining which treatments will provide the most benefit for each individual child.
As their biochemistry normalizes, autistic children have shown improvement in language, social interaction, overall mood, self-injurious behaviour, concentration, and more. It depends, of course, on the individual child and the biochemicals involved. And, as is the case with many injuries and treatments, early intervention is best, and support is life long. No matter how or when you look at it, however, autism is treatable.
If you would like to know more, check out the book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth, or contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled doctors to start on the first steps to improving your child’s – and your family’s – life through a specialized “from the roots” diagnostic and treatment plan.