As you may or may not know, April is Autism Awareness month. What you may also not know is that chiropractic care can help children and adults with autism in a variety of ways. The use of complimentary and alternative treatments is common among individuals with autism. In 2014 the CDC estimated that one in every 68 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This disorder, is a lifelong developmental disability. Individuals with ASD are affected in different ways, but all have trouble with social interaction, communication and imagination. These symptoms hurt the individuals ability to function socially. Also commonly affected are the immune and gastrointestinal system which are closely connected to the central nervous system.
Since every cell and organ in the body is controlled by nervous system, chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated by restoring proper balance and alignment to the spinal system by removing interference in the body. When misalignment’s are present, they can interfere with this system and cause loss of integrity. Chiropractic treatment can benefit individuals with ASD by helping improve joint mobility, range of motion Although there is no known cure, many parents report improvement In their child's movement, sensory stimulus, gastrointestinal and immune system with a consistent chiropractic treatment plan which usually includes adjustments and nutritional advice and supplementation.
A number of abnormalities such as chronic constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, GERD and diarrhea are common. Chiropractors can assist with these conditions by providing the individual and/or parents with nutrition advice, diet recommendations and supplementation. Certain foods have been shown to cause inflammation of the GI tract, and for that reason it is often recommended that individuals with ASD avoid processed foods, gluten and casein. It is believed that they are unable to fully break down gluten and casein and have increased intestinal permeability which leads to leaky gut syndrome. A digestive enzyme, fish oil and multivitamin are often recommended to assist the individual with nutrients and digestion of food. A diet free of gluten and casein can be difficult since individuals usually are picky about foods due to sensory stimulus, however parents who have followed these recommendations in addition to regular chiropractic adjustments, have seen some great results with regards to the conditions mentioned above.
The goal of chiropractic care for individuals with ASD is to help realign the spine and take stress off the nervous system. The adjustments do not cure autism. The adjustments allow the body to function at its optimal level, without nervous system interference and allow the individual to have a better quality of life.