What Most Doctors Don’t Tell You About Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders encompasses multiple conditions which may occur separately or a mixture of multiple conditions on a case by case basis. We have seen an increase in the number of diagnoses in children, with the most recent numbers bein 1 in 36 from 2016 stats by the NHIS (National Health Information Survey). Where as back in 1970 it was 1 in 10,000 which is a large increase for the past 48 years. Think about that, that is roughly one child per classroom now. Diagnosis has gotten better and the medical community is more accepting of Autism, but that does not give excuse for why these numbers are drastic as they are currently. There is a much bigger picture here as to why our children and future generation has been getting more sick over time.

Autism is best described as a whole-body disorder versus just being neurological or just behavioral. There are multiple body systems which play a role here (in conjunction with genetic phenotype as well) including: The nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, the detoxification system, and the immune system. The environment for the child cannot be ignored either as toxins, malnutrition (at the individual level) and neuroinflammation also play a role. This blog will not be addressing leaky gut or leaking brain, but will talk more about the nervous system and its role in proper life function and will give some insight on autism.

The Neurodevelopmental Quadrangle was introduced by Dr. Paul Hardy and it encompasses those four major body systems previously mentioned with the nervous system being at the top. Why do you suppose that is? The nervous system is what develops first in embryo and is also what controls and coordinates every function in your body. Children with autism DO have issues with their nervous system. This is why they are often prescribed stimulants and/or depressants. Standard medical management is to prescribe medication, which is designed to stimulate or inhibit a symptom, it does not cure or correct the problem and often the medications can be lifelong. The body has the ability to self-heal and self-regulate on its own and can be helped with less medication, and sometimes without.

What we do here is we work directly with the nervous system and the relationship between the nervous system and autism. We find children with autism have a major imbalance in the autonomic nervous system between the sympathetic and parasympathetic portions. Altered sensory input (dysafferentation) to the brain in the children and they are not able to integrate the information to and from their brain properly. Focusing and emphasizing on the brainstem and upper cervical spine is what we do and is what is able to get out patients better outcomes. As mentioned above the nervous system is one piece of the puzzle to help a child with autism, but it of utmost importance that we take care of it just like the dentist has us do with our teeth. We have the ability to replace teeth, but we cannot replace our nervous system and we need a healthy spine and nervous system to be able to live and thrive in life. To learn more about autism and other childhood neurodevelopmental disorder you are welcome to download my free e-book at https://www.drmattbartlett.com/ebook/. Also be on the lookout for one of our workshops where dive in the deep end and discuss even more in depth about childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. To find out when we host these please like our page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drmattbartlett/ and you will be kept up to date for our most recent upcoming workshops.

Matthew K. Bartlett D.C.