Symptoms by body part:
Frontal Sinus/Cranium (Head)
- Disconnected Feeling
- Social Awkwardness
- Spatial Orientation defecit
What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that results from a delay in maturation of the right hemisphere of the brain in addition to immaturity of certain areas of the brainstem. This condition is typically diagnosed by the time a child is 3 years of age, as the early warning signs are hallmark for diagnosis. At the present time there are 5 disorders which are characterized on the Autism Spectrum of disorders:
- Classic Autism
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Pervasive Developmental Disorders-NOS (considered a more “subtle” form of classic autism)
- Rett’s Syndrome (genetic disorder only occurring in females)
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
What causes Autism?
There is no single or definitive cause of autism, however it is very closely related to maternal stress during pregnancy, familial epigenetic defects (defects resulting from environmental hazards in parents which have created genetic changes), toxicity during pregnancy and development, birth trauma, among many others.
Classic signs of Autism include:
- Social withdrawal: avoids direct eye contact, shuns physical contact, failure to recognize facial/visual cues, complete lack of awareness of others seeming self-absorbed
- Difficulty with emotional expression: no obvious outward joy/sadness, no smiling, little eye contact
- Dependence on routine activities
- Preoccupied with objects/toys: always clutching one toy, routine with toys (setting them up into categories, by color etc.)
- Fear of the unusualPerseverative play
- Hyperkinetic body movements: twiddling, pacing, hand flapping, tics, rocking
- Echolalia: repetition of what others say, over and over againHigh, sing-song pitched speech
- Does not point to objects they are referring to, or talking about
- Epilepsy is common
- GI dysfunction: periods of constipation followed by periods of normal or excessive bowel movements
How do we treat it?
Through careful examination by Maine’s only Chiropractic Neurology team (which includes both physical examination and extensive health history including parental history, mother’s pregnancy history, environmental conditions, and so on) we are able to determine the areas of deficiency in the cortex and brainstem. After determining the diagnosis, we then design a treatment plan which specifically targets the right hemisphere of the brain in order to increase activation in the region, and, if warranted work from the bottom-up, by addressing the regions of the brainstem which are affected first and foremost, likely causing the delay in maturation of the cortical regions. Treatment may consist of chiropractic adjustments which are specific to increase rates of firing to the right hemisphere, as well as functional neurological rehabilitation including eye movement/optokinetic exercises, light and music therapy, physical exercise to increase rates of firing in the brain, balance and coordination work, among various other forms of rehab that targets the affected regions. In addition, it is also important that the patient and their family be actively involved in their own care, by adhering to home exercises which will be prescribed by the doctor. These exercises are extremely important in making the appropriate changes and doing so in a more efficient time frame.