By Dr. Katie Greeley BS, DC.
Autism is the new epidemic in the United States.
The CDC admits, “One American child in 166 has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.” In 1970, autism affected four in 10,000 children. By 1991, 5,000 autistic children were in the public school system and by 2001 that number had grown to 94,000.
Autism is characterized by three distinctive behaviors:
The first is impaired social interaction. Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child before the child is three. Some symptoms that the parents notice is that their child may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with autism may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social interactions.
The second distinctive behavior is problems with verbal and nonverbal communication. Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They lack empathy and have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions. They will refer to themselves in the third person. They do not know how to play or interact with other children.
Lastly Autistic children have unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Many children will rock or twirl. They may even bang their head or bite themselves. They tend to begin speaking later than most children and then they speak about a few of their favorite topics without regard for the person whom they are speaking to.
Some characteristic behaviors that doctors use to diagnose Autism are:
* Impaired ability to make friends with peers
* Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
* Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
* Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
* Restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
* Preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
* Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
Research has suggested that males are four times more likely to have autism than females. These children may be hypersensitive to sounds and touch but not so sensitive to pain. They tend to have a higher predisposition to epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, brain tumors, fragile X syndrome, and Tourette syndrome.
Children with autistic behaviors but well-developed language skills are often diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Children who develop normally and then suddenly deteriorate between the ages of 3 to 10 years and show marked autistic behaviors may be diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder.
Girls with autistic symptoms may be suffering from Rett syndrome, a sex-linked genetic disorder characterized by social withdrawal, regressed language skills, and hand wringing.
There seems to be several different causes of autism.
Genetics and environmental factors appear to play a major role. Prenatal exposure to toxins can cause symptoms. Autistic children frequently have food intolerances most frequently from casein and gluten, immune system abnormalities, and other impairments consistent with chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.
Frequent vaccinations with a live virus and toxic levels of mercury or thimerosal have also been consistent with Autism disorders. There are thimerosal-free vaccines available but parents must request them. Aluminum is another additive in vaccines that is a known neuro-toxin (Alfrey, 1976). Some autistic children have been found to have high levels of mercury in their hair as well as heavy metals, such as aluminum and lead, in their blood and copper-zinc imbalances.
In a 2000 study by the CDC they found that there were statistically significant relationships between increasing exposures to thimerosal and the following outcomes that are so common now that we even have a diagnostic billing codes for them.
They include at two months of age unspecified developmental delay, 3 months of age tics, 6 months of age language and speech delays (always check hearing as that too can lead to speech delays), and at any of these three age groups an entire category of neurodevelopmental delays which also includes autism.
According to a report by the California Department of Developmental Services, in California alone, the autism population has almost doubled since 1999. Parent’s in 1980 reported that their once healthy, bright children regressed mentally, emotionally and physically after reacting to DPT vaccine with fever, high pitched screaming, collapse/shock, and seizures.
Still, to this day, according to NVIC, mothers describe how, within days of vaccination, their babies run fevers, scream for hours, fall into a deep sleep, and wake up screaming again. They start twitching, jerking, or staring into space as if they can’t hear or see. Their bodies are covered with body rashes, can become restless and irritable, or have a dramatic change in eating or sleeping habits.
Some mothers also describe a gradual deterioration in overall health. Such as constant ear and respiratory infections and onset of allergies, including asthma. They can have unexplained rashes, new sensitivity to foods such as milk, persistent diarrhea, and sleep disturbances that turn night into day and day into night.
They may lose developmental milestones such as the ability to roll over or sit up, loss of speech, eye contact, and communication skills. They develop strange or violent behaviors that include hyperactivity, biting, hitting, social withdrawal, and repetitive movements such as flapping, rocking, and head banging.
Older children and adults complain of muscle weakness, joint pain, crippling headaches, disabling fatigue, loss of memory, or being unable to concentrate and think clearly.
The refusal two decades ago by vaccine manufacturers, government health agencies and medical organizations to seriously investigate reports of vaccine-associated brain injury and immune system dysfunction, including autistic behaviors, is reaping tragic consequences today.
A disability survey of U.S. children under 17 years old in 1991–1992 published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (August 25, 1995) stated that the “6 to 14 year old age group had the greatest number of disabled people.” Learning disability led the way, occurring in nearly 30 percent of all disabled children.
A total of 1,435,000 children were listed as learning disabled with another 1,446,000 children reported as suffering from speech disorders, mental retardation, mental or emotional disorders, epilepsy and autism.
Although autism is mostly genetic with the immune system being compromised some autistic behaviors can be eliminated or modified through changes in diet and immune modulation therapies.
Parents have reported improvement in health and behavior with chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathic and naturopathic care. Behavioral modification therapies, such as those pioneered by Ivar Lovaas, and auditory, speech, vision and sensory integration therapy, and detoxification therapy to cleanse the system of metals which has led to significant improvements in behavior in some children.
According to the Journal of Chiropractic in 1987 a study showed that after chiropractic adjustments behavior improvements occurred in autistic children. Dietary restrictions, including removal of milk and other casein dairy products, wheat and other gluten sources, sugar, chocolate, preservatives, and food coloring are beneficial. Probiotics and supplements to help with the intestinal tract are also beneficial.
Many other nutrient supplements are also beneficial and well tolerated, including dimethylglycine (DMG) and a combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium, both of which benefit roughly half of ASD cases. Vitamins A, B3, C, and folic acid, the minerals calcium and zinc, cod liver oil or essential fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, all offer benefit.
The following are a list of some organizations with more information on Autism.
Autism & Mercury Information
Organizations and Contacts:
National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher – Co-founder and President
Kathi Williams – Co-founder and Vice President
204 Mill St., Suite B1reet Vienna, VA 22180
703-938-0342 (phone) 703-938-5768 (fax)
Autism Research Institute (ARI)
Defeat Autism Now!
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego, Ca 92116
UC Davis Medical Center
4860 Y Street, Room 3020
Sacramento, CA 95817
Autism Society of America
About the Author:
Dr. Katie Greeley is a chiropractor and a mother of two living in Simi Valley, California. She has taken extra courses on pediatrics above and beyond the regular doctorate degree. Dr. Greeley is the owner of the practice United Family Chiropractic is located in Wood Ranch at 1070 Country Club Dr. West #D Simi Valley, Ca. Her office can be reached at 805-522-2324 for further questions.