Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are the fastest growing developmental disorder in the world today. In the United States a child is diagnosed every 11 minutes. For the past three decades the rates have increased at an accelerating rate and are currently 1in 68 children; 1 in 48 boys and 1 in 189 girls are affected.
Autism spectrum disorders are a complex chronic condition with a large variation in symptoms. A series of scientific studies over the last decade document that the increase is real and cannot be attributed to better diagnosis. There is a need to think deeply and objectively about this disorder. We know that multiple body systems are impacted, including: brain, nervous, immune, gastrointestinal, oxidation/reduction, inflammation, and mitochondria.
While the cause remains elusive, there are several factors that have been shown to have an association with and increased incidence of autism developing. There are definite environmental connections with specialists agreeing that the following areas must be addressed in order to support ASD:
- Diet, nutrition, supplements, neutraceuticals, pharmaceutical, helminth therapy, essential oils
- Healing the leaky gut
- How to detoxify/eliminate heavy metals and environmental pollutants in food, air and water
- Treating chronic infections
- Hear from parents how they have been able to make dramatic positive changes in their children
- Understand biochemical and physiological basis for efficacy of biomedical interventions
- How to begin a comprehensive approach
- Body oriented therapies
Immune modulation has been identified as a major area requiring attention as it has been identified in ASD as well as in the marked rise in allergies and auto-immune conditions. Dr Kenneth Brock outlines the importance of the immune system in his book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders
It could also be hypothesised that ASD has its origins at conception, or even prior. For this reason it is imperative that both the parents-to-be ensure they are in optimal health. It is also imperative that mothers avoid toxins and follow a healthy, nutritious lifestyle during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In order to support healthy immune and digestive systems, the use of antibiotics should be avoided or limited, particularly during infancy. Just a single course of antibiotics can upset the delicate balance of gut flora for up to 12 months, thereby influencing the immune system also.
For information about how important nutrition is, Julie Matthews’ book Nourishing Hope for Autism: Nutrition and Diet Guide for Healing Our Children may be a useful reference for you.
Always seek the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner to assess your, or your child’s needs, to ensure you receive the treatment that will achieve the best results.