The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has made it official the CDC now reports that 1 in 100 children are autistic. A study conducted by the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) found a staggering 1 in 63 children were reported to be autistic and the rate climbed to 1 in 38 if the child was a boy! Even more frightening is that 1 in 6 infants have developmental delays. The rate of ADHD has now reached levels of 1 in 10 children; this can be easily verified by talking with most elementary school teachers. Why is this epidemic exploding within our modern society? More importantly what can be done that is safe and effective to help these children? It is vital that parents are provided an understanding of these disorders, what affects the health of their child's brain and metabolically what can be done to restore health.
One approach that is gaining ground is biomedical care for children with autism, ADHD, OCD and behavioral problems. Biomedical care for these disorders is a science-based, metabolic approach to treatment. Everyone is now agreed that psychotropic drugs do not treat the problem; they simply reduce or suppress some of the symptoms. It would seem that a better choice is to address the underlying metabolic issues and health problems in these disorders. The primary guiding principle then is simple: remove what is causing harm, and add what is missing!
Research is now demonstrating that children with these disorders often have an exaggerated response to specific foods, airborne allergens, toxic chemicals and metals in our environment. It is well documented that they often lack various nutrients, enzymes, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids, and that they require methylation support. The combination of these factors leads to or aggravates neuroimmune dysfunction causing low-grade inflammation in affected brain tissues. This state of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain causes the nerve cells to not communicate properly with one another. These disorders have aptly been called disconnection syndromes, one area the brain is not communicating well with other areas leading to symptoms in cognition, emotion and behavior.
A partial outline of possible biomedical care for a child with one of these disorders:
1st: Laboratory tests through blood, urine and stool are performed to rule out any frank pathology and provide vital clues on what road to take for real healing.
2nd: The diet is improved along with specific dietary restrictions. A primary dietary goal may be a casein and gluten-free diet, along with removal of sugar, preservatives, and food additives.
3rd: Specific laboratory IgG food allergy testing may be performed to identify other food allergies that could be leading to brain inflammation, and then remove these foods from the diet.
4th: It is vital to identify any problems with maldigestion, malabsorption, and dysbiosis through specific laboratory tests such as comprehensive stool analysis. Then improve GI function by overcoming any dysbiosis and leaky gut problems, a primary source for chronic inflammation in these disorders.
5th: At this point specific supportive nutrients for autism and ADHD are added, depending on what has been found on history, exam and clinical lab.
6th: Support methylation and sulfoxidation-sulfation inadequacies and other cellular detoxification pathways
7th: Chelation of heavy metals can have marked benefit once all other factors have been addressed.