Chiropractic Care & Autism
In the United States of America alone, one child in 59 is diagnosed with a form of Autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a broad term to refer to a wide range of conditions characterized by its challenges with communication, social skills, and repetitive behaviors. Diagnosis of Asperger’s and Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fall under the Autism’s umbrella[i]. Most children are diagnosed with a form of Autism by the age of 4, but it can usually be reliably identified as early age 2. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism than girls. One in 37 boys is identified as Autistic, as opposed to one in 151 girls[ii]. Given the number of individuals that were diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased exponentially over the years, the likelihood that you know or have encountered someone with this condition is high. It’s so prevalent that April is considered Autism Awareness Month. Read further to see how the staff at ASFCA cares for their Autistic patients
What is Autism?
Considering all variant disorders that fall under Autism’s umbrella, its presentation can vary significantly from person to person. However, many with Autism can have similar traits that can affect a person cognitively, physically, emotionally, and socially.
Many forms of Autism drastically affect the central nervous system. The symptoms of their disorder can range from hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity, and self-stimulating behaviors. People with Autism characteristically experience visual, auditory, and tactile sensations that often feel overwhelming. This can lead to escape and avoidant behaviors to mitigate or evade the offending stimulus. This can fluctuate a great deal between individuals. Some have trouble dealing with large crowds, while others find certain fabrics to be unbearably itchy or binding, or others are disturbed by noises in the background that typical people might not even notice.
Hypersensitivity frequently leads to self-stimulating behaviors known as stimming. Stimming generally refers to odd behaviors or mannerisms that people with Autism do as a self-calming technique. This can be hand flapping, rocking back and forth, making repetitive vocalizations (they’re not always uttering words), or even self-biting. The general populace can find these behaviors to be odd to at worse downright unacceptable[iii]. We want you to know that ALL people with and without autism spectrum disorders are welcome and cared for in our office!
Another common trait of those on the Autism Spectrum Disorder is a Social impairment. Many people with Autism have trouble picking up on social cues like voice body language. A common Autistic sign is a general lack of eye contact. Numerous children on the disorder are verbally delayed, while an estimated one-third of those on the spectrum remain nonverbal for life. These have a condition known as Apraxia, which makes learning to speak impossible or extremely difficult. It’s important to note that lack of speech does not necessarily equate the lack of intellect of those on the spectrum. About 31 percent of people with Autism indeed have an intellectual disability. Interestingly, a higher percentage, up to 44 percent of the Autistic population, have an above-average IQ. Many people on the spectrum, including those who are nonverbal, have overcome their inability to communicate utilizing modern technology[iv].
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Individuals on the Autism Spectrum?
While there isn’t a known cure for Autism, there is a multitude of treatments and therapies that can help patients live happier, fuller lives. Many forms of Autism have an altered sensory information communicated between neurons. This is why Chiropractic Care can be extremely beneficial to these patients. Correcting the alignment of the spine reduces interferences in the nervous system. After having their spine adjusted, many patients and their families have reported experiencing the patient is more relaxed and displays more eye contact and an increased willingness to be social. Some patients report chiropractic care to have a similar sensation of stress relief they experience from stimming. However, the therapeutic effect of chiropractic care lasts for a much more prolonged period than the self-calming result of stimming.
For parents who are seeking care for their child who was newly diagnosed with Autism, consider Pediatric Chiropractic Care. Chiropractic care, alongside other treatments like occupational therapy, their developmental pediatrician prescribes, assists children’s overall physical health and cognitive function. Maintaining a healthy spinal alignment also helps Autistic children with other problems like digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and bedwetting. Since our doctors can determine many of these issues during their assessment, this is exceptionally beneficial for Autistic patients, especially those whose children have speech delays.
Food sensitivity and Autism go together in more ways than one. Research indicates that there is an autoimmune component to some forms of Autism[v]. For this reason, caregivers and patients with Autism should consider a food sensitivity test. This way, they can identify any food allergies that are intensifying their symptoms.
The other problem many Autistic patients experience is extreme pickiness. Thanks to intense food aversions, parents of children on the spectrum often struggle to get a nutritious diet in children. ASFCA can help our families with these and other issues with the line dietary supplements we sell in our offices or online.
Invest in Your Health Today!
If you want to treat yourself or loved one on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, visit one of our Nationally Top-Rated Clinics located throughout the Kansas City and Missouri areas. Schedule an appointment with ASFCA today.
[i] Autism Speaks. (n.d.). What Is Autism? Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism
[ii] Autism Speaks. (n.d.). Autism Statistics and Facts. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org: https://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-statistics
[iii] Rudy, L. J. (2019, November 28). Overview of Stimming in Autism. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-stimming-in-autism-260034[iv]Rudy, L. J. (2019, November 21). Overview of Nonverbal Autism. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-nonverbal-autism-260032
[v] Elizabeth Edmiston, P. A. (2016, September 1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373490/ . Retrieved from AUTOIMMUNITY, AUTOANTIBODIES, AND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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