A 4 year-old girl with Autism came to the clinic with her mom. Her parents first noticed symptoms at 1 year old. She was diagnosed as being on the spectrum at 13 months old. When she came to the clinic her verbal skills were extremely limited. She had already worked with speech therapists, behavioral therapists and had done a variety of biomedical assessments and treatments including chelation therapy (removal of heavy metals from the tissue) and digestive function testing. She was on a gluten, casein and soy free diet. Her parents were interested in exploring other naturopathic treatments to continue to help their child improve. The patient had pronounced difficulties in all areas including language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and sensory skills. Improvements had been seen in regards to social interaction and verbal skills but she still had very limited vocabulary and significant difficulty with speaking clearly.
SPECT scanning of the girl’s brain, which measures blood flow, showed numerous areas of decreased blood flow. This is typical with Autism. Seventeen out of nineteen children with Autism have areas of decreased blood flow to the brain. The primary treatment recommended for the girl when she came to our clinic was 60 daily treatments with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. This was a necessary treatment to increase blood flow to deprived areas and to heal the neurological tissue. After hyperbaric oxygen therapy was completed the parents noted significant improvements in all areas of development. The child’s speech improved significantly and she was able to learn and pronounce more words. She is now able to put together complete sentences. Her teachers at school also noticed that she was more willing to answer questions, and shared more in circle time at school. Speech and behavioral therapy were continued but were noted to be more effective than they were before the addition of hyperbaric oxygen. Eye contact and sleep improved and sensitivity to clothing decreased. Significant gains were also noticed in both fine and gross motor skills.
In addition, the child’s neurotransmitters levels were measured. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers in the brain that have excitatory and inhibitory actions that affect learning, mood and behavior. The testing showed elevated levels of excitatory neurotransmitters including glutamate that is toxic to the neurological system in high levels. Specific amino acids and vitamins were given to balance these neurotransmitters and improve concentration and focus.