What is Autism?
Autism is a multifaceted neurobiological condition affecting a child’s development of language, social interaction, and behavior. Children who suffer from autism have challenges with socialization, verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive and restricted interests, and repetitive motor movements termed “stimming”. Each individual who suffers from autism is affected differently and they can vary widely in their level of functioning from extremely gifted to severely challenged in thinking and learning abilities.
Sometimes you will hear the phrase “autism spectrum disorders” or “ASDs” for short. ASDs refer to a group of related developmental disorders that are usually identified in early childhood. They include: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger’s syndrome, and two less common disorders, Rett disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder.
One of the clues that a normal looking child may suffer from autism is that they avoid eye contact and do not have much interest in faces or facial expressions. Children with ASDs can have many other problems including hyperactivity, sleep problems, temper tantrums, rigid routines, finicky eating patterns due to dislike of tastes or textures, and gastrointestinal problems. Some may display sensory over-stimulation to lights, odors, noises, and textures as well as troubling violent behaviors like injuring themselves or others by biting and hitting or striking themselves in the head. Consistent treatment are often vital to both the child’s and family’s well being.
The Autism Epidemic
In the last 20 years the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders has skyrocketed. It was estimated that the incidence of autism was about 1 in 10,000 children in the early 1990’s. That number has risen dramatically to approximately 1 in 88 children today. Even more shocking is that ASDs now affect approximately 1 in 54 boys. This alarming rise in incidence has now made ASDs the most common pediatric developmental disorder in America. Even worse is that at the moment there is no known cause of autism and there are no conventional medicine cures. Scientists’ most current theories are that autism is most likely caused by a combination of environmental stressors and genetic susceptibility.
The diagnosis of ASDs are typically made with a medical/clinical evaluation based on standardized criteria for developmental problems with socialization, communication, and behavior. To obtain an
official diagnosis to receive state or school resources typically a licensed psychologist will perform an official Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) examination. ADOS consists of a 30-60 minute protocol with a series of tasks that involve social interaction between the examiner and your child.
- If your child is younger than 3 years old, contact the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) at (602) 532-9960 or here on the web. A free evaluation will be conducted by a contracted psychologist and could possibly qualify your child for important ongoing services.
- If your child is 3 or older, you can request a free evaluation from your local school district. These assessments are accepted by the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to qualify the child for state-funded, home-based services. You can contact the DDD at (602) 542-0419 (or toll-free at 1-866-229-5553) or by visiting https://www.azdes.gov/ddd/.
- If you are a parent seeking a second opinion to compare to your school district’s evaluation, call Arizona Natural Health Center at (480) 456-0402 and we would be happy to refer you to an independent licensed psychologist in your area of the Phoenix valley to best meet your family’s needs.
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often benefit from Applied Behavioral Therapy (ABA), Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. Studies have shown that ABA is helpful to teach children complex communication, social, play, and self-help skills. Speech therapy can be very helpful for problems with language development since it is one of the main challenges that children with autism face. Many children with ASDs have low muscle tone and difficulties with fine-motor skills like writing. Occupational therapists can be very helpful to improve these functional skills. The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) are excellent resources for ABA and other therapies.
Unfortunately, in addition to therapy, conventional medical (drug) treatments for autism have not been shown to be effective. According to a new systematic review of medical treatments for autism, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of psychiatric drugs for children suffering from autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that there is only evidence to support using antipsychotic drugs such as risperidone and aripiprazole for challenging and repetitive behaviors in children with ASDs, yet there is strong concern over significant adverse side effects from these medications. Due to this concern, those drugs are limited to patients with severe impairment or risk of injury. The review also found a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of other medical treatments like SSRI’s (anti-depressants) and stimulant medications (like Ritalin for ADHD) in children with ASDs.
Homeopathy provides caring, gentle, and effective all-natural treatment for children suffering from autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), without harmful side effects.
Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances and are prepared so that they are entirely non-toxic. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, regulates the manufacture and sale of homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy improves health by gently promoting the body’s innate capacity to heal and restore balance.
There are several benefits to this type of treatment for children with ASDs:
- Homeopathic remedies are easy to take and taste good, so most children like them, even very finicky eaters.
- Homeopathy tends to help the most with sensory integration problems, tantrums, violent behaviors, and language delays.
- Because homeopathy is a holistic therapy, when we treat children with ASDs, we are also treating the whole body. If the child also suffers from other problems such as chronic recurrent ear infections, allergies, digestive problems, or other health concerns, these issues too may be helped by comprehensive homeopathic treatment.
Interested in learning more about the homeopathic treatment of autism? Click here to watch Dr. Oskin’s webinar.
Amy Lanksy, Ph.D. wrote a wonderful book called Impossible Cure that you can read more about at her website. In her book she has a chapter that outlines how her son recovered from autism with homeopathic treatment. She also has an excellent essay on this web page about the homeopathic treatment of autism that offers valuable information for parents seeking a skilled homeopathic practitioner to treat their child as well as what to expect from the process of homeopathic treatment.
“Dr. Oskin has made a lasting impact on our family through his help with our son Dominic. We chose Dr Oskin for the caring and respectful way he works with Dominic and our whole family. Wecould tell from our first meeting that Dr. Oskin has Dominic’s best interest in mind. Dominic has Asperger’s Syndrome and we have tried many treatments and therapies. Homeopathy and Dr. Oskin’s thorough treatment has made a world of difference with Dominic’s tendencies and quirks. He has had an improvement in focus, body control, and overall ability to communicate his wants, needs, and feelings. We look forward to continued improvements thanks to Dr. Oskin!”
- Colin & Michelle R., Phoenix, AZ
Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet(GFCF)
Nutrition provides the foundation for healthy growth and development. A popular dietary treatment for autism is the gluten- and casein-free diet. Gluten is a protein in wheat that makes the dough hold together. Casein is a protein in milk, cheese and other dairy products. Some parents and professionals have reported that gluten-free and casein-free diets are have been very helpful to improve their child’s communication, social interaction, sleep patterns, digestive problems, and autistic behaviors. We recommend you consult your doctor when considering a gluten- and casein-free diet for your child.
GFCF Online Resources for Parents:
Another area of complimentary and alternative treatments for autism are called bio-medical treatments. Some parents and autism researchers report helping ASD problems with bio-medical interventions including nutritional supplements, vitamin therapies, and chelation (designed to rid the body of possible heavy metal toxins). Any bio-medical intervention should be discussed with andmonitored by your child’s healthcare provider.