What Parents of Children With Neurodevelopmental Disorders Must Know To Help Their Child

We have been seeing more children being diagnosed worldwide, especially here in the United States, with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s, Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Pervasive Developmental Disorders, PANS, PANDAS, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc. In 1970 the autism occurrence in the United States was about 1 in 10,000 and as of 2014 it was reported to be 1 in 68 according to the CDC. Now in 2017 some sources do believe the incidence may even be higher and as reported by the NHIS (National Health Interview Survey) which states autism incidence is currently 1 in 36 (2.76%) from a 2016 survey. Boys are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed as girls, and especially if the oldest sibling is a girl with autism. The younger brother has a higher chance of being diagnosed with autism because of that. This blog topic will discuss the role of the nervous system, especially the Autonomic Nervous system or the “Automatic “ nervous system and how it is affected by having a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Autism more commonly has been said to be more genetic-based, which holds some value, but does not quite tell the entire story. More diagnosed cases are from unknown reasons, which is where it is believed that environment and lifestyle do play a large role. Now, not every child is the same into the extent of their diagnosis. Some may be higher functioning and some may be lower functioning, or even vary back and forth. Autism is more of a whole-body disorder, meaning there are multiple factors into why a child develops a condition along the spectrum. Areas to consider further evaluation would be the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system (gut), the immune system, and the detox system (liver, kidneys, etc). What is seen of most importance of all these systems is the nervous system, because it is what controls and coordinates every function in the body. Think of it as the main computer of the body.

What is seen in a child with autism is an imbalance in the automatic part of the nervous system. This is where our own body is able to tell our heart to beat, our lungs to breath, our stomach to digest our food etc, without us having to tell it too! There is one part called Sympathetic (Fight or flight)and the other is Parasympathetic (Rest and relax). What is seen and observed in our clinic day in and day out is that these kids have major imbalances in their sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Mostly they are in constant fight or flight type response and on edge all day long. Imagine how you would feel as if you were in a warzone, or being chased by an attacker, that is how these children feel. What we do is measure and analyze your child’s nervous system through our diagnostic equipment to find these imbalances in their autonomic nervous system.

Over time we expect to see more balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This is where we see true healing and children getting better. This does take time! There is no quick fix, as it took time for your child to present this way, it will take time for their body to heal and restore. To learn more about 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.