On my second day of attending the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs conference, an organization dedicated to the research and treatment of Pediatric Disorders such as Autism and ADHD, I picked up the daily USA Today newspaper. There, front page headline I read “Autism rates jump again: 1 in 68 children affected. This was according to a report released by the CDC.
These are alarming numbers, more than doubled since the turn of the century. We still do not know what causes Autism or why we have seen such an increase. This was definitely a big topic of discussion at the MAPS conference.
Here I am learning about complementary and alternative treatments for Autism. The biomedical approach to treating Autism. I am joined by medical professionals from all over the world. Brilliant minds joined together to discuss these alarming numbers (1 in 42 boys is diagnosed with Autism in the United States), and to learn what we can do to treat children with Autism on a biological level.
Its been 8 years since I started my journey, looking for alternative treatments to a condition that I found so difficult to understand. As a naturopathic doctor, I know we must look at the whole body and the effects of environment on the body. There must be more than only behavioral or drug therapy. The biomedical approach I have been learning about and putting into practice with my Autistic patients is key to understanding the impact of nutrition, toxicity, environment and genetics on the whole person. It all makes sense!
My interest in this remarkable field continues because of the children and families I am blessed to work with and the amazing results I have seen. Through changes in diet, detoxification, and nutritional supplements, I have seen wonderful improvements in behavior, speech, social interactions, even bowel movements that are finally regular and normal (90% of Autistic children have poor bowel function and lots of digestive problems). Treating the body naturally is working! This is why I became a naturopathic doctor.
I continue to learn the role processed foods, environmental toxins, bacterial/viral/fungal infections, heavy metals (lead, mercury, aluminum) and nutritional deficiencies play in the development of Autism and ADHD.
There is so much more to learn. ASD is a complex disorder with many “layers of healing”. But I am excited to return back to my practice and implement some of these great treatments I have learned about here at the MAPS conference.
Thank you to all the brilliant medical professionals who have dedicated their research and practice to the treatment of Autism.
Watch for my next blog: What Every Parent Needs to Know About the Role Environment Plays in Autism.