For children there may be developmental issues causing neuromusculoskeletal problems a chiropractor can help. This post is about Chiropractic Care for Children with Autism. Read on to find out how Chiropractic Can Benefit Children with Autism.
What is Autism?
Autism is a syndrome (group of symptoms) characterized by abnormal social interaction with varying degrees of accompanying neurologic abnormalities.
It is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some kids with Autism have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. However, all causes of autism are not yet known. Autism usually appears within the first year. It can be misinterpreted as deafness or mental disability. Symptoms may improve over time and can last throughout a person’s life. Moreover, some autistic children gain new skills and meet developmental milestones until 24 months of age or later. After that, they may stop gaining new skills or loose the skills they have.
As children with autism become adolescents and young adults, they may have difficulties developing and maintaining friendships. Similarly, communicating or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job are difficult. They may come to the attention of healthcare providers because they also have conditions such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Diagnosing Autism can be difficult since there is no available definitive medical test (e.g. blood test).
Symptoms of Autism
Firstly, behavior, communication, interaction and learning skills are different for children with autism. Physically they look the same as a normal child. In fact, there is often nothing about how they look that sets them apart from other children. Furthermore, the abilities of children with autism can vary significantly. For example, some children with autism may have conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal.
Secondly, abnormal behaviors include an aloofness (detached, not making eye contact, not answering questions, avoiding physical contact), attachment to sameness (resists changes in environment or routine, develops rituals, repetitive behaviors), and speech/language problems (ranges from muteness to other idiosyncratic behavior such as echolalia (repeating words spoken by others), and pronoun reversal (“you”instead of “I”). Other manifestations are with play, spinning objects or repetitive activity when hyperactive.
Thirdly, autistic children may demonstrate bursts of violent behavior. Some autistic children have remarkable skills in music or mathematics (savant). Again, the cause is unknown.
Lastly, additional symptoms of children with austim include:
- Delayed language, movement, cognitive, learning skills
- Hyperactive, impulsive, and/or inattentive behavior
- Epilepsy or seizure disorder
- Unusual eating and sleeping habits
- Gastrointestinal issues (for example, constipation)
- Unusual mood or emotional reactions
- Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry
- Lack of fear or more fear than expected
Treatment for Children with Autism
Treatment approaches are usually multidisciplinary. They include behavioral, speech therapy, psychological, pharmacological and complementary and alternative medicine.
One research study found Chiropractic is a popular alternative therapy for autistic children. The study found Chiropractic could play a role in helping bring the neurology back to normal.
The study stated: At the heart of the core symptoms of autism (ie, impaired social interactions, deficits in communication and repetitive or restricted behavioral patterns) is abnormal sensory processing. Preliminary studies indicate that the chiropractic adjustment may attenuate sensorimotor integration based on somatosensory evoked potentials studies”. They concluded by encouraging further research for definitive studies on chiropractic’s effectiveness for autism. “However, given the ineffectiveness of pharmaceutical agents, a trial of chiropractic care for sufferers of autism is prudent and warranted”.
Another factor thought to exacerbate autism symptoms is Leaky Gut Syndrome. This occurs when the gut lining becomes inflamed and increasingly permeable. Digestive issues such as constipation are prevalent in autistic children. In addition, this can lead to sleep disorders. Chiropractic adjustments improve the relationship between the spine and nervous system. This affects the function of all the organs and systems in your child’s body including their gastrointestinal system.
Chiropractic Care for Children with Autism at Meiri Chiropractic in West Palm Beach
Many of the issues associated with the diagnosis of Autism may be positively impacted by the chiropractic adjustment. Of course, Chiropractic care is modified for children.
The fact is Chiropractors receive training to adjust all people, from babies to the elderly. Many children have benefited from chiropractic care, including babies.
Did you know along with adequate nutrition, sleep and physical activity, adjustments can be life changing for children? For parents who are looking for answers besides putting their kids on more drugs, Chiropractic is a great solution.
Call Meiri Chiropratic at 561-253-8984 to make an appointment or to find out more about Chiropractic Care for Children with Autism.