Let's talk about VACCINES!
Just kidding. There's plenty of that out there already
As a human being, I may have an opinion about vaccines, their efficacy, and as a person’s right to choose.
As a Doctor of Chiropractic, it would be outside of my scope to discuss my personal opinions on this topic with existing or potential members of my practice or the public as a whole.
This is not a discussion of the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but an exploration of how chiropractic may be able to help those with ASD.
The Mayo clinic gives the following description of Autism:
"Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term "spectrum" in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.
Autism spectrum disorder includes conditions that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger's syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder. Some people still use the term "Asperger's syndrome," which is generally thought to be at the mild end of autism spectrum disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — socially, in school and at work, for example. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms.
While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.”
Recent research documents children with ASD making significant improvements while under chiropractic care. One paper states "The boy was adjusted by the chiropractor over a period of a month and the parents reported improvements to his behavior, communication, sociability, stomach aches, and anxiety. He reported having the "best day at school". (4)
A second study describes resolution of autistic symptoms in a child undergoing chiropractic care. (2)
A case describing a 4 year old’s progress under chiropractic care reported improvements on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) by up to 50% in categories related to sociability and cognitive awareness. (1)
A review of the current literature concludes that “research has shown that there appears to be a relationship between chiropractic neurological intervention and positive outcomes with improved behavior in individuals with autism.” (3) The authors acknowledge the need for further research and evaluation of the improvements displayed by children with ASD and chiropractic care, but the research does suggest those with ASD do in fact benefit.
Lets explore mechanism as to how chiropractic would be able to help this group of people who are in such dire need of hope.
Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy of things natural. We do not practice medicine, we do not prescribe drugs, we do not perform surgery. Chiropractors are specialists in the nervous system. The nervous system is the master system of the body, regulating and controlling every function in the body, from movement of the skeleton to movement of the bowels, from gearing up the body in an alarm phase to shifting into a state of rest, digest and most importantly, HEALING.
Chiropractors are highly trained to detect regions of impaired neurologic function and remove that obstruction in order to allow the nervous system and body to function as it was designed to do. Chiropractors focus on the spine, the lifeline from the brain to the body, with careful analysis to identify misalignments affecting proper neurologic signaling (subluxation) and correct them with safe, gentle and effective chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic is about restoration of normal function, not about treating symptoms or disease.
Recent research has shown us that the chiropractic adjustment affects not only the body, but the brain as well, specifically the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the “executive” center of the brain. It has do with much of our problem solving and decision making. It contributes to personality, social behavior, measuring good, bad, better or best, suppressing urges, goal setting and predicting outcomes.
The prefrontal cortex is severely affected and under functioning is those with ASD. It stands to reason that stimulating or restoring function to the prefrontal cortex in this population could account for some of the improvements shown under chiropractic care.
With rates on the rise, chances are you know or know of someone on the autism spectrum. Who wouldn’t love to hear that there may be hope for improvement? If you know someone struggling with a loved one on the spectrum, why not ask them if they have tried chiropractic? Then you can let them know we are about so much more than neck and back pain and gently suggest they reach out to a local neurologically-based chiropractor.
1. Pellegrino, Anthony. “Improvements in a 4-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder Following Chiropractic Care to Reduce Vertebral Subluxation.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health.
2. Scelfo D.C., Tai A. & Chelenyak D.C., Patricia L. , “Resolution of Autistic Symptoms in a Child Undergoing Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxations: A Case Study”
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic, Volume 2011, Issue 4 ~ Pages 106-110
3. Shreeve DC, L.C.P, D.Ph.C.S., Michael W. & Troxel DC, M.Ed., Ariel R. “Autism & Chiropractic: A Selective Review of Literature,” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic, Volume 2018, December 3, 2018 ~ Pages 150-15
4. Stone, MS, DC, Laura & Alcantara, DC, Joel "Improvement in Behavior, Anxiety & Pain Following Chiropractic Care in a 9-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s Syndrome and Anxiety Disorder: Case Report & Review of the Literature” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, Chiropractic ~ April 8, 2019 ~ Pages 28-35