The rise in diagnosis of Autism in all of its various forms, which is referred to as the Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD, has everyone attempting to determine the cause and a possible cure for the disorder that affects about 1 out of every 100 children. To date, there is no cure for or complete understanding of what causes ASD, but there have been advancements in the studies and treatment of the disorder.
Autism is a behavior development disorder that is usually present within the first 18 months of a child’s life. The usual symptoms that may alert parents to a problem are difficulty with social interactions, inability to communicate effectively, if at all, and difficulty thinking imaginatively. Usually children with Autism prefer not to be touched and they may or may not be verbal. The studies that have been done on ASD have a variety of answers and possibilities, but currently there is not any concrete evidence regarding definite solutions.
Various studies have attempted to determine if chiropractic treatment is beneficial for patients with ASD. Because of the neurological issues associated with Autism, there has been a hypothesis that a strain on the spine from vertebral subluxations could be a cause and therefore a possible treatment option for ASD would include chiropractic. One such study showed drastic improvement after an adjustment of the diversified technique. The patient showed improvements in learning abilities, social interaction, and language skills.
A very promising case study looked at a child who showed all the typical symptoms of ASD. The child received a full spine adjustment using Torque Release Technique to reduce vertebral subluxations and after two weeks and five adjustments, the child who was previously very apprehensive lay on the table herself, and by the sixth visit was willing to hold the chiropractor’s hand. It was also noticed that soon after a few adjustments, the child began to verbalize and even laugh during her adjustment.
The continued link between spinal adjustments to relieve vertebral subluxations and autism is incredibly promising. One study followed a child who had upper cervical chiropractic care and reported improvement in behavioral patterns and improved social interactions. This was achieved with an atlas adjustment on the second visit and the improvements were both objective and subjective between the parents and the chiropractors.
Parents of children with ASD are watching very closely to the studies being done by chiropractors and the positive results that are being reported. Previously, the only hope that parents have had was to attempt to manage the symptoms of ASD with medications and dietary modifications.
Even though there have been significant improvements with these methods, the reports of chiropractic adjustments and the dramatic differences that have occurred by relieving the stress on the spine has been incredibly encouraging. Instead of medicating their children, parents have been finding that a chiropractic procedure or technique could provide the necessary solutions to have children with reduced symptoms of ASD.
Hoffman, N., Russell, D. “Improvement in a 3½-year-old Autistic Child Following Chiropractic Intervention to Reduce Vertebral Subluxation.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2008 March: 1-4.
Marini, N.S.C., Marini, S.C. “Improvement in Autism in a Child Coupled with Reduction in Vertebral Subluxations: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, 2010 July: 107-115.
Noriega, A., Chung, J., Brown, J. “Improvement in a 6 year-old Child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Nocturnal Enuresis under Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care.” Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, 2012 Jan: 1-8.