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Advantages of Chiropractic Treatment for Autism: The Untold Tale

Upon discovering their child’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD), countless parents embark on quests for information and assistance. Despite the increasing prevalence of autism, many parents remain unaware of the potential advantages of chiropractic therapy in addressing autism. Can a holistic chiropractor offer assistance for autism? In short, yes!

As you likely know, individuals with autism exhibit a diverse array of cognitive challenges and symptoms. There isn’t a universal solution that suits everyone, nor is there a singular description that encompasses all cases.

The majority of parents who seek guidance are typically encouraged to seek therapy and cautioned against harboring unrealistic expectations for their child’s development.

However, chiropractic care ought to be integrated into early intervention plans, given its potential for substantial positive effects. Regrettably, parents often become aware of this option much later in their child’s life.

Common Symptoms of Autism

Parents typically begin noticing differences in their child’s behavior as early as six months of age. Common indicators of autism include:

  1. Speech regression or delay.
  2. Sensitivity to sounds or specific stimuli.
  3. Delay in achieving typical developmental milestones, such as walking.
  4. Lack of reciprocal gestures, such as not responding to peek-a-boo games.
  5. Absence of smiling in a baby who previously smiled, particularly if they are at least six months old.

These examples represent just a few of the initial signs of autism.

The Cause of Autism

Despite being a topic of debate, experts remain uncertain about the exact origins of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Some studies suggest a genetic predisposition, while others propose that environmental pollutants to which the mother is exposed during pregnancy could be a factor. Additionally, there is a school of thought that suggests autism arises from a combination of various factors.

Scientists acknowledge that autism affects the brain and nervous system. Given that chiropractic care addresses both, providing relief from stress and pain, it stands to reason that chiropractic treatment can enhance the quality of life for individuals with autism.

Furthermore, some medical professionals highlight that nearly every child with autism experiences digestive issues. Is it possible that a disruption or imbalance in gut bacteria contributes to this? Is it a cause or another symptom? This is an area that requires further investigation and research.

The majority of parents of children with autism have explored various dietary approaches, including eliminating sugar, food dyes, dairy products, adopting vegan or all-natural diets, and imposing strict dietary restrictions on specific food types (such as the ketogenic or gluten-free diets). Remarkably, nearly all parents, regardless of the specific dietary interventions they’ve attempted, report some degree of improvement in their child’s condition.

Chiropractors are often overlooked in the realm of autism care for the same reasons some parents hesitate to bring their children to chiropractors: many believe that children either don’t require or won’t derive benefit from chiropractic treatment.

A significant portion of the population perceives chiropractors as primarily addressing back and neck pain. There’s a lack of understanding regarding how a holistic chiropractor could aid any child, let alone one with autism. The notion of “cracking your back” seems disconnected from the needs of children, particularly those with autism. (Refer to Dr. Axe’s insights on the researched benefits of chiropractic adjustments for further understanding.)

In a chapter, the National Academy of Science recommended that upon receiving an autism diagnosis, children should commence therapy sessions lasting at least 25 hours per week. As outlined in their report, therapeutic interventions beginning as early as age 3 yield significant benefits for children.

According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Academy, 80% of individuals with autism demonstrate speech development before the age of nine. This marks a notable shift from two decades ago when fewer than 50% of children with autism exhibited the ability to speak and engage with others.

A Chiropractor’s Contribution to Natural Autism Treatment

You might wonder about the relevance of chiropractic care and how it can benefit children with autism.

To begin, let’s discuss what chiropractic care entails. Many people associate chiropractic treatment with “cracking” the back or adjusting the neck. While this perception holds some truth, it’s akin to suggesting that surgeons only perform incisions and sutures.

Chiropractic care delves into the significance of the central nervous system and the spine, which serves as the conduit for the nervous system. Analogously, the nervous system functions akin to a vast highway network, overseeing bodily organs, emotions, and mental processes.

Consider your brain as a warehouse and the rest of your body as stores requiring supplies to function optimally. Electrical impulses, akin to trucks, travel along the freeway of your nervous system, relaying vital information. When a “store” encounters damage or depletion, the warehouse, or brain, reacts accordingly to address the situation.

Damage to the “road” disrupts the transmission or comprehension of information, thereby impeding the warehouse (the brain) from responding appropriately, or it leads to the brain ignoring the signal altogether.

Chiropractic care involves realigning the spine and joints, facilitating healthy communication within the nervous system. Chiropractors undergo extensive education spanning a minimum of eight years and must pass numerous examinations, making them medical professionals. For more information, refer to “What Is a Chiropractor?” Their expertise equips them to diagnose and address spinal issues effectively.

What Advantages Can a Child with Autism Receive from a Chiropractor?

In order to correct the way that every organ and part of the body functions, chiropractic therapy works by enhancing the communication or function between the spine and the central nervous system.

Chiropractic care can be advantageous for autistic children by improving neural function. The body’s autonomic nervous system, responsible for instinctive reflexes like the “fight or flight” response, safeguards individuals in perceived danger. However, a misaligned spine can sometimes lead to the mind being “trapped” in this state, rendering the person incapable of responding—essentially frozen. Chiropractic adjustments aim to rectify such misalignments, potentially alleviating this state and restoring responsiveness.

The spinal column serves as a hub for sensory activity, and chiropractic therapy aims to promote unimpeded communication within this system, akin to the freeway analogy previously mentioned.

Through structural adjustments to the body, chiropractic care can often yield significant and enduring changes without the need for medications or surgery. Consequently, chiropractic adjustments may be integrated into a natural treatment plan for autism.

The inner ear and spine house sensory systems crucial for balance and coordination. Through facilitating improved communication between the body and mind, chiropractic adjustments can enhance motor skills.

Researchers have noted that children with autism often encounter neurological disturbances that hinder their communication pathways. For many of these children, chiropractic therapy serves to enhance their overall quality of life rather than solely focusing on recovery. Chiropractic treatments offer autistic children an additional avenue for releasing pent-up frustrations and tension resulting from their challenges with social interaction.

Chiropractic care has demonstrated benefits for children facing various conditions, including asthma, headaches, recurring ear infections, immune system enhancement, nursing difficulties, and migraines. Autism is among the mental health conditions that chiropractors can diagnose and address.

While Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Anchorage does not specialize in the exclusive treatment of autism, it’s important to note that chiropractic care does not “cure” autism. However, as part of a holistic health program, chiropractors can provide care for autistic children, contributing to their overall well-being.

Indeed, gluten-free diets, all-natural diets abundant in fruits and vegetables, probiotics, Ayurvedic massage, and acupressure are among the natural therapies that have shown promise in supporting children with autism.

Furthermore, discussions about nutrition and detoxification with a chiropractor can be beneficial for parents seeking holistic approaches to support their child’s health. Chiropractors can offer insights into nutritional facts and detoxification strategies tailored to the individual needs of children with autism, complementing other natural therapies.

Success Stories for Chiropractic Autism

A 2013 report by Dr. Matthew McCoy regarding a three-year-old girl with autism who experienced a range of symptoms, such as headaches, vomiting, insomnia, and delayed motor abilities, was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. (2) After receiving chiropractic care for a month, the youngster showed significant progress in the majority of categories, including those associated with autism, such enhanced development and eye contact.

A thorough evaluation of the literature pertaining to eleven case studies involving children with autism was conducted by the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. (3) They mentioned in their remarks that all subjects benefited from chiropractic care. Dec. 2016 saw the publication of this review.

A study presented at the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress in May 2001 focused on a 5-year-old boy with autism who received chiropractic care. Within a mere two weeks, the child’s parents reported significant improvements in his condition.

While many success stories are anecdotal in nature, they can often be found in news articles such as those published in the Chicago Tribune or shared on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. These stories provide firsthand accounts of individuals who have experienced positive outcomes from chiropractic interventions in managing autism spectrum disorder.

The timeframe for observing results from chiropractic care can vary significantly from one individual to another, as everyone, including those with autism, is unique. Some children may show improvement after just a single adjustment, while others, like the three-year-old mentioned earlier, may require approximately thirty days to notice significant changes. In other cases, as seen with the five-year-old in success stories, notable improvements may manifest within just two weeks. The response to chiropractic care is highly individualized and depends on various factors, including the severity of the condition and the child’s overall health status.

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