UNTIL THE LATE 1960’S THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY BELIEVED that autism was caused by “bad mothering”. Today, most people — and most of the medical community — believes that Autism is a genetic brain disorder. Dr Hyman is telling that neither one of these statements is true.
Think about it. Rates of autism have skyrocketed over the years, from an estimated 1 child in 10,000 to just 1 in 46 kids today. Sure, wider criteria for diagnosis and better detection might explain some of it — but not an increase of this magnitude.
What Causes Autism?
The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain. A toxic environment triggers certain genes in people susceptible to this condition and research supports this position. Also there are main factors that can lead to Autism.
Toxins from the environment or from the mother (mercury and other heavy metals) can pass from mother to foetus.
Medications that the mother was taking during the oregnancy or birth.
Rays that mother was exposed during pregnancy. Too many scanning and X rays.
Emotional stress experienced in the birthing process or in pregnancy.
Vaccines helps majority of the children but there are certain amount of affected children. This is like “ One Size doesn’t fit all”
Healing Autism With Homeopathy
I use a variety of different protocols to treat my patients depending on their unique circumstances. For example, if a child regressed dramatically after a MMR vaccination, then I would probably start by removing these effects using a method of homeopathy called isopathy. However in most cases I need to use a variety of methods to gradually bring someone back including:
- Isopathy (giving a person the substance that caused their illness back in homeopathic potency)
- Classical Homeopathy
- CEASE Protocol
- Homeopathic Bowel Nosodes. It is my belief that these remedies will prove to be an important part of the autism recovery process in the future. They have incredible potential to heal damaged bowels and neurological symptoms such as rage and anxiety.
- Biochemical Tissue Salts. Autistic people often have problems assimilating nutrients due to their compromised GIT (gastrointestinal tract). These remedies can help their bodies assimilate more effectively.
These methods can effectively work alongside conventional medication & other treatments such as Bio-medical intervention, GAPS diet, osteopathy, cranial-sacral therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, chelation and so on.
A New Understanding of Autism
Dramatic scientific discoveries have taken place during the last 10 to 20 years that reveal the true causes of autism — and turn conventional thinking on its head. For example, Martha Herbert, MD, a pediatric neurologist from Harvard Medical School has painted a picture of autism that shows how core abnormalities in body systems like immunity, gut function, and detoxification play a central role in causing the behavioral and mood symptoms of autism.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and even She’s also given us a new way of looking at mental disease (and disease in general) that is based on systems biology. Coming from the halls of the most conservative medical institution in the world, this is a call so loud and clear that it shatters our normal way of looking at things.
Everything is connected, Dr. Herbert says. The fact that these kids have smelly bowel movements, bloated bellies, frequent colds and ear infections, and dry skin is not just a coincidence that has nothing to do with their brain function. It is central to why they are sick in the first place! Yet conventional medicine often ignores this.
Sidney Baker, MD — a pioneer in the treatment of autism as a body disorder that affects the brain — often says, “Do you see what you believe or do you believe what you see?”
The problem in medicine is we are so stuck in seeing what we believe that we often ignore what is right in front of us because it doesn’t fit our belief system. Nowhere is this true more than in the treatment of autism.
This is in the front of my mind, because I see so many behavioral symptoms in kids from learning disabilities to autism.
And I see the rates of medication use skyrocketing for these kids — from stimulants to anti-psychotics (one of the fastest growing drug categories) to anti-seizure medicine, and more.
The Gut & Brain Connection
We are only beginning to understand the communication lines between the gut and the brain (gut-brain axis). Every condition that has an immune component has been correlated to some dysfunction of the gut. Called the “second brain” in the literature, your gut is home to around 80% of your immune system.
This sophisticated system, made up of trillions of bacteria, is collectively called the microbiome. The microbiome also has been shown to be a key player in turning on and off genetic expression. Now you can see, with its implications in immune health and genetic expression, why the gut is at the center of some autism research.
One study compared the microbiome of children with and without autism. They found the autistic kids didn’t have the same gut diversity the others had.
Another study found mice with autism like symptoms had the similar lack of gut bacteria diversity.
The prevailing theory in the medical literature is that an imbalanced microbiome and a weakened gut lining or leaky gut can cause an inflammatory immune response against the brain and a genetic predisposition to be turned on.
Autism is a Neuro-developmental disorder characterized by:
- Social impairments
- Cognitive impairments
- Communication difficulties
- Repetitive behaviors
Because Autism is a spectrum disorder, it can range from very mild to very severe and occur in all ethnic, socioeconomic and age groups. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females. Some children with autism appear normal before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly “regress” and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. This is called the regressive type of autism.
- Not respond to their name (the child may appear deaf)
- Not point at objects or things of interest, or demonstrate interest
- Not play “pretend” games
- Avoid eye contact
- Want to be alone
- Have difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, or other people’s feelings or their own
- Have no speech or delayed speech
- Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
- Give unrelated answers to questions
- Get upset by minor changes
- Have obsessive interests
- Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
- Have unusual reactions (over or under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
- Have low to no social skills
- Avoid or resist physical contact
- Demonstrate little safety or danger awareness
- Reverse pronouns (e.g., says “you” instead of “I”)
People with autism may also:
- Have unusual interests and behaviors
- Have extreme anxiety and phobias, as well as unusual phobias
- Line up toys or other objects
- Play with toys the same way every time
- Like parts of objects (e.g., wheels)
- Become upset by minor changes
- Have obsessive interests
- Hyperactivity (very active)
- Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
- Short attention span
- Causing self injury
- Unusual eating ( texture )and sleeping habits
- Unusual mood or emotional reactions without a reason
- Lack of fear or more fear than expected
- Have unusual sleeping habits
- Constipation or irregular bowl moments
- Tip toe walking
Developmental screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. During developmental screening the doctor might ask the parent some questions or talk and play with the child during an exam to see how she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a problem.
All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits at:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 24 or 30 months
Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for developmental delays due to preterm birth, low birth weight, having a sibling with ASD or if behaviors associated with ASDs are present.
If your child’s doctor does not routinely check your child with this type of developmental screening test, ask that it be done. If the doctor sees any signs of a problem, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is needed.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation
The second step of diagnosis is a comprehensive evaluation. This thorough review may include looking at the child’s behavior and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include a hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing.
In some cases, the primary care doctor might choose to refer the child and family to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis. Specialists who can do this type of evaluation include:
- Developmental Pediatricians (doctors who have special training in child development and children with special needs)
- Child Neurologists (doctors who work on the brain, spine, and nerves)
- Child Psychologists or Psychiatrists (doctors who know about the human mind)
The Early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a complex, developmental disorder which is neurobiological in origin. An estimated 1 in 65 people have Autism.
The signs of Autism may be evident by age of 18 months or may only become apparent when the child starts school. One of the first signs, which can alert a parent to the fact that their child is not developing in a typical way, is the manner in which the young child responds to them. They may not learn to speak or have very limited speech. The child may also have great difficulty in understanding the speech of others.
Some children with Autism can develop good spoken language. However, their language is very concrete and literal; it lacks a social quality and is not used in a conversational manner. Parents may notice that their young toddler does not seem interested in playing with other children.
They may also notice that the child is not playing with toys in an imaginative way. Instead, they may spend time placing their toys in neat lines; or engaging in the same sequence of play activity over and over again. While these are some common signs, Autism presents differently for each child
Social Communication and Interaction
The child may
- Use few or no words, repeat patterns of words or may have well developed speech, but only talk about a limited range of interests
- Not respond to their name or simple instructions
- Not copy other’s actions
- Have very limited attention span, except for activities that include their interests e.g. trains
- Not engage with peers
- Not engage in pretend play
- Make limited eye contact
Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors and Sensory Processing Differences
The child may:
- Use repetitive speech
- Insist on routines staying the same
- Have a narrow range of interests
- Repeat an action over and over
- Get ‘stuck’ on an activity so that it is difficult to move them on
- Line up or stack objects and may become upset if the order changes
- Be over sensitive or under sensitive to touch, sounds, sights, tastes, textures, movement, smells.
This list does not constitute a diagnosis of Autism. Many young children may show some of these signs at different ages. However, if the child’s development is affected in ways that concern you, it may indicate the need to consult a pediatrician
Strengths of Autism
Children with Autism enjoy routines and predictability. They pay great attention to detail. Although social situations are difficult, children with Autism form strong bonds with people who they have formed a positive relationship with. Children with Autism have—like all other children—many strengths; but also areas where help for further development is needed.
Diet and supplements plays a huge role in ASD & ADHD kids.