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Understanding Autism

‘Autism’ is the term often used to indicate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neuro-developmental disability. While autism itself is the most severe form of ASD, there are less symptomatic conditions along the spectrum, including Asperger Syndrome. All incarnations of ASD exhibit, in varying degrees, as impaired social interaction and communication.

For reasons that are unclear, the state of New Jersey is a ‘hot spot’ for autism. One in 95 of New Jersey’s children are affected by ASD. By comparison, one in 150 children in the U.S. is living with this disorder (according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). More boys than girls are diagnosed with ASD.


Autism: A Medical Mystery

While many experts believe that ASD is the result of genetic and/or environmental factors, there is no overall agreement on what, exactly, causes the disorder. For parents of autistic children, this lack of understanding can be extremely frustrating and discouraging.

Due to the recent flood of autism diagnoses among American children, new theories and explanations are still evolving. Some parents and doctors link autism to toxins in the environment and food allergies. For quite some time, there was serious speculation about mercury preservatives in vaccines.

Like any other condition for which there is no concrete explanation, there is also no real treatment or medication designed expressly for children with ASD. Such patients are sometimes prescribed stimulants (such as those used to treat ADD); antidepressants; anti-anxiety medications; antipsychotics; and mood stabilizers. As with all medications, any one of these can have serious side effects and many have not been specifically tested for use with children.

Children with ASD may benefit from educational approaches to reduce many of the challenges associated with communication and interpersonal skills. Such practices are designed to help patients live with the disorder—to function within the limitations of ASD.


Chiropractic for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders alter the information processed in the brain by changing how nerve cells and their synapses are meant to connect and organize. Chiropractic treatment can benefit autistic patients by restoring normal, healthy functioning to the nervous system by eradicating misalignments in the spine.

Scientific and medical studies confirm what it is already known in the Chiropractic world: that this drug-free, safe practice is effective in treating autism. Most of these studies rely heavily on correcting misalignments in the neck (the cervical spine).

One such study* involved 14 autistic children, all of which were receiving chiropractic treatment. An astounding 11 of the 14 children showed marked improvement in communication, motor skills, mood, verbal abilities, and eye contact. In the end, two of the patients involved in the study no longer met the clinical criteria for an autism diagnosis after chiropractic treatment.


Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation: Chiropractic Solution for New Jersey’s Autism Epidemic

Children with autism can benefit from chiropractic adjustments at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation. Our doctors use a gentle, hands-on approach to correct misalignments in the spine caused by trauma or irregular posture, thereby brining the entire nervous system back in line for optimal functioning. Children with or without autism can benefit from chiropractic care by starting early on a long-term path toward healthy adulthood.

Please contact our Sea Girt Chiropractic office to learn more about drug-free solutions to Autism. *Published in the March 9, 2006 Journal of Vertebral Subluxation (JVSR).