There are so, so many options out there to get help for your child on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Let’s go over some of the basics first, then go into other topics involving treatment.
First and foremost, see our other blog posts about DOCTORS FOR ADHD, and HOW TO HELP A CHILD WITH AUTISM. As well as see our podcast, The Dr. Alex Show where we have several shows discussing Autism and related matters. For Autism, this is a condition where “it takes a village” saying holds true. It is one of the more complex conditions plaguing our society today old estimates from the CDC were 1 and 54, currently are 1 and 44, and some experts think within 20 years it will be 1 and 2 children born will have the diagnosis of Autism.
After seeing our other posts, you’ll see that you may need a pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, OT, PT, SLP, Licensed Therapist, Behavioral Therapist, Psychiatrist, gastroenterologist, and more… Autism involves developmental delays and metabolic (primarily GI tract) imbalances. In the medical system you will be referred to a mix or all of the above providers. Your days or evenings may be filled with seeing specialists all week whom play their own role in your child’s ability to increase their functionality.
Seeing multiple people for various specialties is great because you have experts in their fields hyper focused on the goals at hand. The problem(s) with this is that what all of these specialists (or “ists” as we say at HML) is that they are trying to catch up development, and development is one of the greatest orchestras on the planet. There are things that must mature before other functions. An example of this is speech. Speech is a fine motor function. The foundation to fine motor function is gross motor and core strength function. The issue here is that most children diagnosed with Autism are 18-36 months of age. This is primetime for when a child should be speaking and everyone, rightfully so wants to hear it! So, one of the first services a child will receive is speech therapy. They should be going to the PT for core and gross motor skills first, and as a matter of fact, should also have their primitive reflexes worked on before that!
Development from a bird’s eye view:
Primitive reflex activation and integration
Core strength and gross motor skills
Vestibular and proprioceptive development
Sensory processing development
Fine motor skills
Cognition, social and emotional skills
*This is put in generalities and note that there are many other steps involved.
Depending on the parent’s situation at home such as financial, do both parents work, how many other children do they have, and how functional the child is… Parents will also seek out holistic providers for help. If you go to a Functional Medicine Doctor you may receive a thorough work up looking at stool, saliva, urine and blood samples to balance out any inflammation, hormonal, gastrointestinal, adrenal and other imbalances.
If you go to a Functional Neurologist (FN) you will receive a thorough neurological work up for your child. FNs that are certified in Childhood Developmental Disorders (CND) are the most trained in children with needs. FN-CNDs are the most well equipped to evaluate your child’s neurological function to the fullest extend leaving no stone unturned and getting the best understanding of where your child’s strengths, weaknesses and neurotypical functions are at.
At HML we like to combine FN and FM to derive a treatment plan that is molded to the patient’s needs and wants. This will get the patient 70%-100% where they and the parents want them to be. And as arrogant as it may sound this could entail “full recovery” and have no signs or symptoms of ASD. We like to work with the child’s other specialists as well. We want to let them do what they do best – go into the nitty-gritty details of their care such as fine motor skills for handwriting. We would rather lay down the foundation to get fine motor skills and have that individual see their appropriate provider to clean things up and finish it out. And yes, this last paragraph is insinuating that your child has the potential to become “unlocked” from Autism and you could have the potential to have a relationship with them that you only imagined. Does this mean that happens with every child? No. Does it happen with most? Yes. Do the results stick? Thank God for neuroplasticity, yes it does.
Are there more options? Yes. There are residency boarding schools and housing facilities. There are detoxification systems and supplement and lifestyle programs. There are online systems and approaches, the sky is the limit. They all exist because they have all helped people. And at HML we like to play the guide and facilitator to help guide the family in their journey with their child with Autism.