Go to Blog
Bookmark and Share

Autism Alternative Treatment - Aspergers Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Alternative medicine offers most of the research and hope for families experiencing these disorders. An excellent resource for this condition is the Autism Research Institute. You will find their web address below at the end of this discussion. The ARI offers exhaustive information on secretin and other beneficial protocols for autistic children. The alternative medicine protocols we will discuss herein include food allergies, leaky gut, yeast or candida overgrowth, vitamins, nutrition, and more.

Autism is a man made epidemic. The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients reported in January 2002 that in California it took 25 years from 1969 to 1994 for 5,100 cases of autism to be diagnosed. Then, the next 5,100 cases were reported in five years (1994-1999) and now only 2.5 years have passed for another 5,100 to have been reported. Autism is on the rise at an exponential rate. It is in one way or another connected to immunizations, overuse of antibiotics, poor diet, environmental toxins such as heavy metals and the complicated matter of food allergies. Is it only coincidence that the drastic increase in the number of immunizations has paralleled the increase in autism ? Did you know that the average child now has about twenty-five immunizations by early school age? The drug industry has persuaded our state legislatures to make the use of their products mandatory. Beyond that, it is an industry with so much political clout that it has successfully lobbied the government to provide a fund to compensate families whose children were injured by immunizations. The Center for Disease Control maintains that the immunization risk-benefit ratio justifies the harm done to some children. Well, that sounds good until it is your child who was perfectly normal one day and the next day after an immunization was clinically autistic. We are not dogmatically opposed to immunizations. But we are in favor of informed consent starting with the drug companies completely educating the doctors and the doctors in turn informing the parents of the risks. Then, let's give the parents the right to choose.

There are other environmental factors involved in autism as well. The exposure to heavy metals such as lead are still a threat even though the EPA has done a lot to remove the threat. Then there are insecticides, pesticides and all kinds of toxic chemicals in the environment that have an adverse influence on the immune system, especially of children.

Food allergies and the "leaky gut" are major players in autism. Simple elimination of dairy and gluten containing foods from the diet of autistic children is usually very helpful and should be done with every autistic child.

For parents who are not aware of the wealth of information available but probably not offered them by their pediatrician, autism becomes a lonely venture into the unknown for which they certainly did not ask. Assertive and aggressive parents pursue the information available on the web and other sources. And, they find answers. In our practice we have seen successes ranging from partial but nonetheless significant improvement to complete elimination of autism symptoms. The purpose of this web site is to share that information with those interested parents.

Food Allergies and Autism

Even though a child can be allergic to any food in the kitchen, there are two foods that have been implicated in the development of autism. Those two foods are the proteins from certain grains and milk products. Those proteins or peptides as they are scientifically termed are the gluten from grains and casein from milk. The grains containing gluten are wheat, oat, rye, barley and to some degree, buckwheat. A study done at the University of Florida in 1996 found high allergy to gluten in 87% and to casein in 90% of autistic children. These peptides have an opiate-like effect on the brain of autistic children. It's like a drug addiction and you will often see children with these allergies actually craving the foods containing them. Sometimes they will go to any length to get their "fix" of gluten or casein. You will see them restrict their diet to exclude nearly all foods except those which make them feel better, namely, the gluten or casein. There are several sources of gluten and casein restricted diets. They are listed below. It is very important that you study and understand the Food Allergy article. It will help you understand why food allergies happen and the impact they have on your child\'s health.

Intestinal Disorders and Autism

A significant number of autistic children have related intestinal disorders which can lead to or complicate the autism picture. These intestinal disorders are very closely related to food allergies. Every autistic child should be evaluated for intestinal candidiasis, parasites, leaky gut, and functional abnormalities. Please study carefully the very important Gastrointestinal Disorders pages of this web site to understand the connection.

Intestinal Dysbiosis and Autism

Intestinal dysbiosis is common to nearly all autistic children. For success, it is imperative that we understand and correct this problem. Living in our intestinal tract are trillions of cells of microbial organisms such as bacteria, yeast and viruses (collectively called "flora"). There are friendly flora that are an asset to gut function and there are unfriendly flora that are harmful to the gut. Under normal conditions all these organisms live in competitive balance and synergy. Problems occur when something happens to upset the normal balance between friendly and unfriendly flora. Like antibiotics, for example. Antibiotics kill friendly bacteria in the gut but do not kill unfriendlies such as yeast. With the friendlies compromised, the yeast flourish. Thus we have dysbiosis. Dysbiosis leads to leaky gut wherein undigested food, toxins, microbes and all kinds of things we really don't care to know about are leaked into the blood stream. Leaky gut is involved in numerous health conditions. We are most interested in food allergies, common to children on the autism spectrum.

Testing for Dysbiosis

History and symptoms questionnaires give good clues into the possible presence of dysbiosis. Following is a child's yeast questionnaire. You can complete the questionnaire and the scoring is at the end.

Child's Yeast Questionnaire

Circle the the score number of each question to which your answer is "yes".

1. During the two years before your child was born, were you bothered by recurrent vaginitis, menstrual irregularities, premenstrual tension, fatigue, headache, depression, digestive disorders or "feeling bad all over"? 30

2. Was your child bothered by thrush? If "yes" circle mild 10 or severe. 20

3. Was your child bothered by frequent diaper rashes in infancy? If "yes", circle Mild 10 or severe 20.

4. During infancy, was your child bothered by colic and irritability lasting over three months? If "yes" circle mild 10 or severe 20.

5. Are your child's symptoms worse on damp days or in damp or moldy places?20

6. Has your child been bothered by recurrent or persistent athletes foot or chronic fungus infections of the skin or nails? 30

7. Has your child been bothered by recurrent hives, eczema or other skin problems? 10

8. Has used child received:

a. 4 or more courses of antibiotic drugs during the past year? Or has he/she received continuous prophylactic courses of antibiotic drugs?80

b. 8 or more courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as amoxocillin, Keflex, Septra, Bactrim, or Ceclor during the past three years?50

9. Has your child had tubes inserted in his/her ears?10

10. Has your child experienced recurring ear problems?10

11. Has your child been labeled hyperactive? If "yes" circle mild 10, moderate 20 or severe 30.

12. Is your child bothered by learning problems even though his/her early development history was normal? 10

13. Does your child have a short attention span? 10

14. Is your child persistently irritable, unhappy and hard to please? 10

15. Has your child been bothered by persistent or recurring digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, bloating or excessive gas? mild 10, moderate 20 or severe 30

16. Has he/she been bothered by persistent nasal congestion, cough and/or wheezing? 10

17. Is your child unusually tired or unhappy or depressed? mild 10 severe 20

18. Has your child been bothered by recurrent headaches, abdominal pain, or muscle aches? mild 10 severe 20

19. Does your child crave sweets? 10

20. Does exposure to perfume, insecticides, gas or other chemicals provoke moderate to severe symptoms? 30

21. Does tobacco smoke really bother your child? 20

22. Do you feel that your child isn't well, yet diagnostic tests and studies haven't revealed the cause? 10

End of questionnaire.

Scoring Your Questionnaire

60 to 99 low

100 to 139 moderate

140 and above high

Yeast and Autism

Almost without exception, my autistic patients have all exhibited an overgrowth of yeast in the intestine. This is usually referred as intestinal candidialsis which is an overgrowth of the yeast called "Candida albicans". My observation from years of seeing candidiasis patients has been that there is a tendency for the problem to run in families. Some have suggested that the yeast or at least the predisposition to yeast overgrowth is passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy or delivery. I have found this to be the case with nearly every child presenting with candidiasis. There is a strong correlation with autism here, and you need to educate yourself in the matter of yeast. Study carefully the Yeast and Candidiasis article.

Autism Treatment with Alternative Medicine

It is a monumental task to sort through the mountain of material presented herein and the other resources listed below. I have found that the most effective way to approach the problem is to go back to the beginning of the child's life, meaning before birth and question any thing that may have happened to trigger the autism onset. Using a detective's mentality, you will want to ask yourself about anything at all that may have adversely influenced the development of the child; illnesses of the child or mother, accidents, drugs, both prescribed and illegal, immunizations and antibiotics and their timing related to the autism onset, allergies, etc. Did your child have ear infections treated repeated by antibiotics? A big clue. If you can associate any such life events of the child to the onset of autism, you have a uncovered some possible direction as to the treatment protocols. Question everything you can think of, even the unlikely. I am reminded of one patient, not autistic, but the most hyperactive child I have ever had in my office. He nearly destroyed the office and himself in a :30 time period, and his mom said he was medicated! During the course of the history and exam, it was learned that he had fallen a few years earlier and hit the bridge of his nose across the edge of a step. His nose looked like a boxer's. A simple chiropractic cranial manipulation completely resolved his hyperactivity. The point is, pursue all possibilities as you sort out the causes of your child's autism. Then, share them with your physician.

I strongly recommend you find a nutrition certified chiropractor or clinical nutritionist to assist you. There are lab tests and other helps such a practitioner can offer which will be of tremendous benefit. You will find them discussed other pages of this site listed below.

Vitamin B6 and Magnesium

Studies have shown a strong benefit from use of vitamin B6 in autism. B6 should be used in conjunction with magnesium and also a good vitamin B complex. The B6 dosage can be from 300 to 500 mg. per day with 200-400 mg. of magnesium based upon the size of the child. You may need to go to higher doses but, again, your nutritionist is an important resource in setting dosage levels. Vitamin B6 has been researched for decades in many different health settings. Unless taken in radical doses of thousands of milligrams per day which no person ordinarily would do, it is not toxic and has no side effects. As much as possible, your child should have three good meals a day emphasizing fruits and vegetables as a source of these vitamins.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil which is high in vitamin A has been shown beneficial in autism. I suggest it be given twice a day at a dosage level which will equal about 2500 i.u. of vitamin A.

Recommended Supplements

Listed below are supplements we recommend for our autism patients. Metagenics sells pharmaceutical-grade nutrition products not available in stores. They are available only through healthcare providers. Products we commonly recommend for this condition include::

Cortico B5B6
Candibactin AR
UltraFlora Plus DF

In Summary

You might proceed in approximately the following sequence of actions:

1. Eliminate gluten and casein,. even if they don\'t test positive on a food allergy test.

2. Begin Vitamin B6, magnesium, and cod liver oil.

3. Test for food allergies.

4. Identify presence of candidiasis.

5. Identify gut and digestion problems.

6. Identify life events which may have contributed to the problem.

7. Fix all the problems you have identified under the guidance of a clinical nutritionist.

A very good starting point for any parent with an autistic child is to test him/her with an online Online Comprehensive Health Assessment . I consider this assessment to not be optional but required information on all my autistic patients. The assessment will evaluate your child for food allergies and other risk factors for autism which we have discussed here. It is done completely online at a very reasonable fee.

Invaluable Autism Resources

Autism Research Institute Very good!!
4182 Adams Ave.
San Diego , CA 92116

International Health Foundation (Foundation started by Dr. William Crook)
Box 3494
Jackson , TN 38303-3494

Professional Books (Source of books by Dr. William Crook)
Box 3246
Jackson , TN 38303

Autism Educational Services (Offers literature on gluten and casein free diets)
1218 Steeplechase Ct.
Toms River, NJ 08755
732-473-9482 email

Generation Rescue Jenny McCarthy's web site. Provides excellent information on vaccines and more.

Online Comprehensive Health Assessment offers a very good comprehensive self-assessment online which addresses the conditions we have discussed which may be related or contributory to autism.

Books on Autism

Seroussi, Karyn, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Shaw, William, Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD Available from Great

Plains Laboratory (above).

Autism Related Pages of this Web Site

ADHD ADD Treatment
Food Allergy
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hypoglycemia Treatment
Metal Toxicity
Yeast and Candidiasis