Although it may seem that the validity of the high numbers of autism diagnoses in children has come under a great deal of negative scrutiny, the reality is that one in 68 children falls somewhere along the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, boys are approximately five times more likely than girls to have some sort of autistic spectrum disorder (one in 42 boys versus one in 189 girls). Given these numbers, it should come as no surprise many anxious parents are seeking alternative treatments to the traditional drug regimen that is offered.
Symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children
According to the CDC, there are a number of behaviors that may indicate anything from a mild to a severe autistic disorder. Such behaviors include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Repeating the same actions over and over again
- Over-focusing on a particular topic of interest
- Not wanting to be held or cuddled
- Not understanding other people’s emotions, or how to properly express their own emotions
- Unusual or inappropriate reactions to how certain things may smell, taste, sound, or feel
- Not pointing at an object to indicate interest or a desire to have it
- Losing certain developmental skills, such as talking
How Might Chiropractic Adjustments Help Symptoms of Autism in Children?
Some researchers theorize that autism is a result of neurological interference with proper development of both the brain and the central nervous system. This interference with the central nervous system can also affect the immune and digestive systems, both of which are areas in which autistic children will show symptoms such as a complete aversion to certain foods. Chiropractic adjustments may help reduce or eliminate the interference by correcting misalignments in the spine that may be causing the neurological interference. These adjustments will then relieve pressure on both the central nervous system and the immune and digestive systems, bringing relief from symptoms of autism.
What Does the Research Say?
Most of the research on the subject of chiropractic treatments for autism in children is in the form of individual case reports that present results from only one or two children. However, one literature review mentioned a study that followed the outcome of chiropractic treatment for 26 children (Reference 25). The researchers treated the children over a nine-month period. Outcomes included improvement in attention span, better bladder and bowel control, improvement in eye contact and speaking, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and decreased skin sensitivity. Many of the children were able to be taken off various medications for treating symptoms of autism. Five children were able to be in mainstream school classes, and both teachers and parents reported improved behavior.
It can be far too easy for parents to give up hope of finding a way to help their autistic children. Chiropractic care may provide a safe alternative to countless medications that may have serious side effects and be very expensive.
To schedule a chiropractic appointment for your child, contact Horst Chiropractic today.