The search is great, and it can be brutal for the parent who struggles for answers and help for their child on the autism spectrum.
D.A.N. protocol, and functional medicine combined with Hemispheric Integration Therapy resulted in success, and this progress started happening very rapidly. This family from (Oregon) flew back and forth for treatment at the Mane’ Center, and were amazed at the swift progress their son started making right from the start!
This parent testimonial from the mom, speaks to the importance of getting to the “core” or source of her son’s problems. His speech has improved dramatically, along with his motor planning, gross and fine motor skills.
This is the link to her testimonial about finding answers that meant thriving results for her 16 year old son, Christopher.
There is a new social networking web site for gluten free dieters that functions like face book. Share recipes, stories and frustration. The web site seems to be geared toward celiac disease but gluten free is gluten free. It has blogs and forums. It has events listed in different cities around the country. The emphasis doesn’t appear to be on the Autism Spectrum but I am sure you can find ideas here to make your life easier.It really looks like a good place to get some gluten free info. Here it is http://www.glutenfreefaces.com/
I have a 9 year old autistic boy who on his first visit complained of chronic painful constipation as well as other symptoms commonly associated with autism. His abdomen was clearly bloated. He came to me after having previously been to various D.A.N. doctors including one with a very positive reputation. I asked the mom who wanted to pursue Hemispheric Integration Therapy if he had been worked up biomedically and if his issues had been addressed. She told me “Oh yes, I can bring in all his old lab work, he has no biomedical issues”. She said she provided me a list of the supplements he was taking. Finally, about 4 weeks later, after repeatedly asking for his lab work ( which she continuously said she forget to bring) I asked ” Are you sure he doesn’t have yeast?” That day the 9 year old , still in diapers, was constipated, bloated and screaming from the pain. She responded ” Oh yeah, he has yeast.” I asked ” Are you giving him anything for it?”. She said ” I was but I got tired of giving it to him”. Incidentally, she always came in handing the child a cookie. For those of you that don’t know, yeast love sugar. I then asked her what supplements he was taking at present. She responded that he wasn’t taking anything now. ” Then what was that list of supplements you wrote down on your intake sheet on his first day” I asked. “Oh, those are things he has taken in the past but he isn’t taking anything now” she said. FRUSTRATION!! We gave him some saccharomyces boulardii and he started feeling better by Monday. We also ordered some appropriate test to assess the child and be able to monitor his progress. I often say that Hemispheric Integration Therapy is like an exercise program for the brain. Before you begin an exercise program, you would want to make sure you did not have any serious health issues and make sure you eat enough protein to rebuild the muscles. Yeast and dysbiosis are what I call negative factors that should be addressed if you want to get the most out of the H.I.T. I think we will be stricter about bringing records prior to starting treatment. Every child I treat is an ambassador for H.I.T and this office. I want to make sure that they all make the most progress that they can. This treatment approach is a great one but it is not a miracle.
Many parents who have children on the autism spectrum turn to the biomedical approach for answers. The Autism Spectrum includes A.D.D., A.D.H.D., Sensory Integration Disorder, Processing Disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s Syndrome, O.C.D. and Autism. Whether I am approaching the child with the intent to use a functional neurology approach, Hemispheric Integration Therapy or as a functional medicine practitioner, the point is to treat findings. The decision as to what test to order simply comes down to three issues:
- One – What are we looking for? This should be narrowed down as to reasonable suspicions after a thorough history and functional neurological examination.
- Two - What can the child tolerate? Many times although a blood test may be the most accurate way to test for a particular problem , many children have had horrible experiences with phlebotomists, including being strapped down, and can not emotionally deal with a blood draw.
- Three - What can the parents afford?
The intestinal permeability test is a simple, relatively inexpensive urine test that can be done with little aggravation to the child and in my opinion should be near the top of the list when considering a functional medicine analysis of a child on the Autism Spectrum. Many of the lab findings with children on the Autism Spectrum such as dysbiosis, yeast, gluten/casein sensitivity, allergies, autoimmune disorders are found associated with intestinal hyperpermeability or as it is commonly known a leaky gut. The gut barrier allows assimilation and absorption of vital nutrients as well as excluding toxic substance and antigens. Increased gut permeability, leaky gut, can cause toxins to exceed the livers capacity to detoxify the body. It can also cause an overly sensitive immune system which translates to allergies. Leaky gut can also lead to autoimmune issues, the body’s immune system attacking itself including nervous tissue in responses due to cross reactivity.
How does this test work? First a urine sample is taken. Then the patient drinks a solution containing two sugars. For simplicity, one sugar, a smaller molecule should be absorbed and pass through to the urine and another larger molecule should be only slightly absorbed. The urine is then collected over the next six hours. The amount of the two sugars in the urine sample is then measured. Too much of the large sugar and you have a leaky gut. Too little of the small sugar and you may have some malabsorption. Obviously, other factors have to be considered but you now have an intro 101 to intestinal permeability testing.
Here is the important part regarding leaky gut and supplements. If the gut is inflamed due to a leaky gut, you probably have absorption issues. Which means that even if you are giving your child five million milligrams of vitamin D, it may not be getting through. You may be just as well pouring the supplements down the toilet. That is where they are ending up anyway. I am in Florida and we have patients that come from other states and other doctors and a substantial amount have never had an intestinal permeability test done. This does not mean that your doctor should not be looking at many other possible problems such as yeast. Yes, if yeast is found, it would be a top priority. It does mean that treating your child is a little more complicated than finding out that he tested low for vitamin “x” and giving it to him. Or that if a new study comes out showing an association between a mineral “z” deficiency and Autism you should automatically run out to the health food store to purchase it. Let us use our energy and resources, including money efficiently. Why is he or she deficient in vitamin “x”? Perhaps, it is due to a leaky gut or gut inflammation or perhaps something else. Always investigate so you do not end up feeling frustrated or worse yet quit an approach that may have helped your child if applied properly.
Many times I am asked about things that one can do to help a child from a functional medicine stand point that does not involve testing. Let’s face it, if we test every thing it can start to get expensive. Some parents have a lot of money and want to know exactly what is wrong with their child in order to have the most accurate and efficient treatment possible. Others are limited in funds but not in passion or the amount of effort they are willing to put out for their child. The elimination rotation diet deals with food sensitivities and we all know that kids on the spectrum have issues with food sensitivities and allergic responses. Frankly, this diet is something that we all could do and would benefit from. Here is a nice post on a web site that gives a nice explanation regarding what this diet is all about. http://www.nourishmd.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=260:elimination-rotation-diet-plan-&catid=206:food-allergies&Itemid=557
I just got home from our summer conference here in Tampa. Everyone I talked to said they got a lot of information. I spoke regarding Hemispheric Integration Therapy as well as Functional Medicine with regard to Biomedical Interventions for the Autism Spectrum. Dr Knaus gave us some backround on himself as well as gave us some information regarding HBOT. Nancy Bentley informed us with regards to fermented foods and a diet which promotes digestive and general health. Suzanne Azizi ( I am a mother first) provided a passionate and inspiring story about her daughter and dealing with the educational system, IEPs and the law. The faciliies at the Children’s Board were excellent. Everyone seemed to have a good time a well as came away with some good information and it was free to all. So, I am happy with our first conference. Look for our next one!!