Dr. Amber Brooks
Autism is Treatable
According to Dr. Bernard Rimland, PhD and ARI, “autism is treatable”. Prior to 1980 finding autism was rare at 2-5 per 10,000 people. It is now 1 in every 45 children (CDC, 2015), which is an increase of over 30% from the 2008 CDC report. In her experience, Dr. Brooks, FNP CACCP, BCIP, DC has seen autism as a symptom of an underlying process that affects the immune system, nervous system, GI system, neurology and the toxicological system. Most parents when diagnosed are only given referrals for therapy.
All too often they are misinformed, uninformed or mislead to focus solely on one thing. In the past the first line treatments included B12 shots, high dose glutathione, high dose vitamins and removal of heavy metals via chelation, in many cases prescribed without proper testing. These have fallen out of favor as a first line of treatment due in part to the emphasis on proper testing of children to determine their functional needs prior to supplementing. In addition, there has been an abundance of research published on methylation and detoxification pathways, especially as they relate to autism. Parents should understand that detoxifying the body from heavy metals or in general can be dangerous without proper oversight, if this suggestion is made to you as a first treatment please get another opinion. Please know heavy metal detoxification (often called chelation) is not a safe or proper first treatment and can be dangerous if done too early and without proper gut and immune repair.
There is no shortage of up to date studies being published, despite rumors of “no research based medical treatments” being available. All too frequently, the diagnosing provider tells parents that “behavior therapy (ABA) is the only proven treatment for autism” and this is simply false. Organizations like Autism Speaks, Generation Rescue, Autism Research Institute (ARI) and AutismOne have helped to lead funding to continue the research on autism treatments as they relate to the medical, nutrition and dietary aspects of care. These organizations have proven the outdated notion that “behavior therapy is the only treatment option for children with autism.” Do not misunderstand this message; WCW is an advocate of therapy, we refer out and work with therapists for speech, occupational and behavior related care with most every child in our practice. However, the best results are achieved through continuity of care between providers. Parents have started using chiropractors as part of their child's medical team.
One of the most basic ideas in chiropractic is that dysfunction in the spine and its joints can lead to dysfunction within the nervous system. Since the nervous system controls and coordinates all of the systems of the body, spinal dysfunction (also called a subluxation) can have wide ranging effects on the body’s health. Spinal adjustments for infants and young children involve very light fingertip pressure to correct spinal misalignments. In addition, Dr. Brooks, FNP CACCP, BCIP, DC uses Craniosacral Therapy (CST), this especially helps those with autism. She has seen CST in conjunction with other care modalities help with sensory issues, behavior, sleeping, cognition, immune system, speech, attention, bed-wetting, anxiety and to relieve pain. Many children with autism suffer from frequent infections, bedwetting, sinus congestion and constipation, all of which may be helped with adjustments and Craniosacral Therapy (CST).
The best advice Dr. Brooks, FNP CACCP, BCIP, DC could give parents would be to focus on an integrative approach for their child with autism, bringing in both therapy and medical focused care; this is the key to true health and wellness. The terms integrative, functional, and biomedical are often used interchangeably. These approaches all work at finding the underlying cause of your child’s autism, using a patient-centered approach to set an individualized treatment plan. When a doctor addresses the whole child and not just a set of isolated symptoms they often get to the root of the problem and can facilitate healing.
Dr. Brooks, FNP CACCP, BCIP, DC is never concerned about diagnosing or labeling a symptom, but truly understanding the body as a whole and working with the patient to achieve their goals. It is important to know these methods are not exclusively for children with autism. As a matter of fact every child should be examined as a whole person, looking at all the components of dysfunction and helping to work toward wellness.The current treatments truly depend on your child’s symptoms, specific needs and goals. In any case, your provider should first take a thorough history, perform an exam and order necessary tests. At WCW our initial testing is comprised of urine, stool and blood work to evaluate a starting point. These tests help determine proper supplements, diet changes, nutritional deficiencies, GI health and any subsequent labs needed to ensure the best result is achieved. In addition, parents should try to avoid toxic household chemicals, pesticides, processed foods and any harmful environmental agents that can challenge their already unstable systems.