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Know about Autism

 

Autism

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Autism is a difficult thing to understand. Doctors and experts still do not know everything there is to know. One person with autism may have very different symptoms and behavioral characteristics than another. Because of these vast differences, doctors now think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder, in other words as a group of disorders with a range of similar features. Because of this, autism is now often called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Children and adults with autism typically experience difficulty with:

  • communication which is both verbal and nonverbal.
  • routines or repetitive behaviors like obsessively repeating words or body movements or even arranging belongings in a very specific way.
  • self-help skills, such as toileting, feeding, dressing, and teeth brushing
  • making and maintaining consistent eye contact with other people
  • attention span
  • social skills. Autistic people lean toward exclusive activities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes the following conditions: Researchers have found that many autistic individuals have a decreased number of helper T-cells which help the immune system fight infection. i.e. "a dysfunctional immune system due to genetics, environmental stimuli, etc"

Impacts to the Gut or Intestinal Tract due to Autism

There is growing evidence that the gut or intestinal tract of autistic children is impaired. Researchers have documented yeast overgrowths (Candida albicans), low levels of phenyl sulfur transferase, and measles virus in their intestinal tract. Dr Ohhira's Original Probiotic Formula - OMX will balance pathogenic overgrowth in the digestive tract naturally with no side effects.

Tests for Detection of Bacterial Overgrowth and Digestive Function

With an easy to administer and simple home Litmus paper test you can keep track of acid/alkaline balance in the body. Hyperacidity is associated with overgrowth of pathogenic yeast and bacteria.

A comprehensive home stool test from genova aka Great Smokies Lab you can gain more insight into digestive function and gut microbial ecology. The test offers a noninvasive expanded bacteria, yeast and parasite detection and a reliable assessment of exocrine pancreatic function. If bacteria, yeast or parasites are detected, they are grown out to establish which natural products will inhibit their growth.


Candida Albicans and Autism - Treatment

Some people with autism have excessive amounts of a type of yeast called 'candida albicans' in their intestinal tract. It is thought that high levels of candida albicans may be a contributing factor to many of their behavioral problems. One scenario is that when a child develops a middle ear infection, the antibiotics that help fight the infection may destroy microbes that regulate the amount of yeast in the intestinal tract. As a result, the yeast grows rapidly and releases toxins in the blood; and these toxins may influence the functioning of the brain.

Food Intolerances and Sensitivities due to Autism

Food intolerances and food sensitivities are beginning to receive much attention as possible contributors to autistic behaviors. Many families have observed rather dramatic changes after removing certain food items from their children's diet. Researchers have recently detected the presence of abnormal peptides in the urine of autistic individuals. It is thought that these peptides may be due to the body's inability to breakdown certain proteins into amino acids; these proteins are gluten (e.g., wheat, barley, oats) and casein (found in human and cow's milk). Many parents have removed these substances from their children's diets and have, in many cases, observed dramatic, positive changes in health and behavior.

Interesting Facts

  • Autism occurs in 4.5 out of 10,000 live births. Autism has been estimated to effect as high as 1/4% to 1/2% of the population. These estimates typically include those with autism, Asperger syndrome, and PDD
  • Autism is three times more likely to affect males than females
  • The two treatments which have received the  most empirical support are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA; behavior modification) and the use of vitamin B6 with magnesium supplements
  • Autism Society of America tells us that U.S. Department of Education and other governmental agencies statistics show that autism is growing at a rate of 10% to 17% per year. At these rates, it is estimated that the prevalence of autism could reach four million Americans in the next decade.
  • The Autistic Society says that USA spends $90 billion per year to provide care for the country's 1.5 million autistic children and adults. They estimate that cost could balloon to $200 billion to $400 billion by 2013.
  • National Alliance for Autism Research reveals that autism is now considered the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States.
  • The New England Center for Children reports that autism is more common than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis or childhood cancer.
  • Autism Society of America tells us that Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, and family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence.
  • The Autism Center of University of Washington reveal that the age that most children start showing symptoms of autism is between 18 and 24 months. Since autism can be detected as early as 18 months of age, intervention can begin during the period when the brain is most malleable. Early intervention can result in a significant increase in IQ and language ability and a decrease in support services needed later in childhood.

Autism News

Autism & SCD
Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Autism is Treatable - Hope That is Real, Treatments That Heal
by Lisa Reagan, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - October 2004

US experts back MMR doctor's findings (23/06/2002)

Scientists in America have reported the first independent corroboration of the research findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield, the specialist who has questioned the safety of the childhood MMR vaccine.

Dr Arthur Krigsman, from New York University School of Medicine, has observed serious intestinal inflammation in autistic children identical to that described by the controversial British doctor and his colleagues in a research paper four years ago.

Read Article

Congressional Autism Hearings Continue:

No Evidence MMR Vaccine Causes Disorder (30/05/2001)

Washington - Congressman Dan Burton (R, Ind) refuses to take "no" for an answer. At his latest congressional hearing looking into possible links between autism and childhood vaccines, Burton railed against panels of assembled scientists. At one point, he slammed down a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report which concluded there was no evidence that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) leads to autism and shouted, red-faced, "You don't know there's no link, do you? Do you?"

Read Jama ccArticle

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes the following conditions:

  • Autistic disorder which is called "classic autism." Most signs of autism occur in children in the first 18 to 24 months.
  • Asperger's syndrome which is a form of autism where the child has fewer developmental delays. Often, people with Asperger's syndrome can communicate with great skill. Their repetitious behaviors may be more subtle. People with Asperger's syndrome are often only diagnosed when they are between 4 and 8 years old.
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) is when a child develops normally until early childhood (the first 2-4 years) and then begins to show tic features. CDD is very rare.
  • Rett syndrome is a neurological developmental disorder that affects only females. Here the noticeable symptoms occur between ages 1 and 4, which include loss of muscle tone and the ability to use their hands or speak.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDDNOS) or atypical autism which is a condition where a child shares many of the characteristics of autism, but not all. It's a "catch-all" diagnosis, where a child is on the autistic spectrum but does not meet the written criteria for a more specific diagnosis.


US backs MMR Doctors findings
Is Autism on the Rise?
Autism is Treatable
FDA Fraud: Autism link to Vaccines

You may find out more about autism at NIH

Early Signs

  • Infants arching their back away from their caregiver to avoid physical contact and failing to anticipate being picked up (i.e., becoming limp).
  • During childhood, autistic children may fall behind their same-aged peers in the areas of communication, social skills, and cognition.
  • Dysfunctional behaviors may start to appear
  • Self-stimulatory behaviors (i.e., repetitive, non-goal directed behavior, such as rocking, hand-flapping), self-injury (e.g., hand-biting, head banging), sleeping and eating problems, poor eye contact, insensitivity to pain, hyper-/hypo-activity, and attention deficits.
  • Approximately 50% of autistic children develop normally until somewhere between 1 1/2 to 3 years of age; then autistic symptoms begin to emerge. These individuals are often referred to as having 'regressive' autism.
  • Many children become overly insistent on routines; if one is changed, even slightly, the child may become upset and tantrum. Some examples are:
    • drinking and/or eating the same food items at every meal
    • wearing certain clothing or insisting that others wear the same clothes
    • going to school using the same route

Some Causes of Autism?

  • Genetic influence
  • Virus can contribute to autism
  • Exposure to rubella during the first trimester of the pregnancy
  • Cytomegalo virus
  • Vaccinations, such as the measles component of the MMR vaccine and the pertussis component of the DPT shot may contribute to autism
  • There is growing concern that toxins and pollution in the environment can also leas to autism

More Research?

Researchers have located several brain abnormalities in individuals with autism; however, the reasons for these abnormalities is not know nor is the influence they have on behavior. These abnormalities can be classified into two types:
  • Dysfunctions in the neural structure of the brain
  • Abnormal biochemistry of the brain

They have located two areas in the limbic system which may be underdeveloped, the amygdala and hippocampus. These two areas are responsible for emotions, aggression, sensory input, and learning. These researchers also found a deficiency of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Using MRI, Dr. Courchesne has found two areas in the cerebellum, vermal lobules VI and VII, which are significantly smaller than normal in autistic individuals.

Interestingly, there are a some autistic individuals whose vermal lobules VI and VII are larger than normal. One or both of these areas of the cerebellum are believed to be responsible for attention.

Many autistic individuals have elevated levels of serotonin in their blood and cerebral spinal fluid, whereas others have relatively low levels of serotonin. Overall, there is an imbalance in seratonin observed.

There is also evidence that some autistic individuals have elevated levels of beta-endorphins, an endogenous opiate-like substance in the body. It is felt that those individuals who have this may relate to an increased pain tolerance.

More about Autism and suggested products


Autism - FAQ's

  1. Is autistic tendencies genetic?
    There is a genetic component in autism That is why parents sometimes have more than one autistic child, and why autism is found in more males than females
  2. How would I know if my son or daughter has autism?
    The only way to be sure is to have a diagnosis from a qualified professional. Get a diagnosis from a specialist who is qualified to make a diagnosis.
  3. When does a child start showing autistic signs?
    Children typically show clear signs of autistic disorder between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Some members of the scientific community think that there may be very subtle signs before 18 months, but this is not yet accepted as fact. Children with Asperger's syndrome are often diagnosed later than 24 months. this is because they have fewer developmental delays and so it is therefore more difficult for parents or doctors to see that the disorder is austistic in nature.
  4. Do kids with autism get better?
    Most children with autism improve once they are treated. The level of improvement can range from minor differences to a complete emergence from the disorder, although that is rare. Most children improve in areas like language, eye contact, attention span, hyperactivity, self-help skills like going to the bathroom.