Team GR: To recap the Autism Education Summit and give us more insight into the information that was presented, we asked Dr. Jared Skowron to give us a look into the different medical parts that help give a doctor a stronger understanding of autism.
Understanding Autism: The 7 Different Medical Aspects a Doctor Uses
By Dr. Jared Skowron
At the Autism Education Summit, I saw something similar among all of the families. A desire for more precious moments. More ‘I love you, mommy,’ more eye contact, more sleep, more hugs, more conversation. These are the small things that our family and friends take for granted, and we yearn for more of them. Getting our children back is what Generation Rescue and AES are about.
There is no one road to success with our kids. What I learned this year is that the treatments that work are different for each child. Not everyone does well on B12 shots, not everyone does well on inulin, or MTHFR treatments, or diets, or any of a million things that are now on the market.
We are in the process of discovering the answers, and it truly is a process. For those of you newly diagnosed with young kids, there are so many more answers than there were ten years ago. Hopefully, ten more years from today, there will be so many more answers as well. But, we need to stick with our tribe. We are becoming a family of critical mass that is changing the landscape of our country, our medicine, our pediatricians, and our public health policy. Imagine trying to find gluten/dairy-free product twenty years ago! Imagine a conventional doctor recommending probiotics or fish oil twenty years ago! WE are changing things, TOGETHER.
I’m a clinician and spend all the time in my office with kids on the spectrum. Constantly trying to get them to talk, sleep, behave, and become neurotypical. Sometime the answers are easy, sometimes it’s a long process. Please stay hopeful! All of our kids improve to some level, and many recover and become neurotypical. It. Is. Possible. Please believe. Get together with other families, the social media blogs are great places to find both hope (and some people who may not be so hopeful).
Autism is a medical condition, not a behavioral one. When I look at children with autism, I want to understand seven different medical parts of them:
- Brain Chemistry
For many kids, there is an autoimmune component, whether it be antibodies to the brain’s folate receptors, or to our thyroid creating a hypothyroid condition, or cross reacting to the foods we eat, or to strep bacteria or a virus causing PANDAS or PANS. Decreasing the inflammation of an autoimmune response is part of your treatment. Fish oil and curcumin is a great start to decrease inflammation.
This is the part of treatment that I see the most success with. More talking, more sleep, better behavior, can be improved in a few weeks by balancing brain chemistry. I use Spectrum Awakening’s Power & Focus and Calm & Cool to give nutritional support for brain chemistry.
Science is coming to realize that the cause of many cases of autism are environmental. Some things like mercury and aluminum get a lot of press, but pesticides, dioxins, and other environmental toxins can be a big portion of developmental delays. Removing these toxins is essential for permanent improvement your child. In our office, I use the IonCleanse ionic footbath, Coseva’s Advanced TRS, and Spectrum Awakening’s Aluminum Homeopathic Detox.
Some cases of autism are genetic. Fragile X is genetic. CHARGE syndrome is genetic. Rett’s syndrome is genetic. Other gene deletion/duplication syndromes are genetic. All of these are changes in DNA that cause an intellectual disability and developmental delay that gets diagnosed as autism. They present differently than environmental toxins induced autism, but I believe all children should be screened for Fragile X, CMA, and Whole Exam Sequence, to get a full analysis of genetic influences to their development.
Yes, it all starts with the gut. Everyone needs to be on a healthy diet. Everyone needs to be digesting their foods to get all the nutrients. Everyone needs ZERO candida, bad bacteria, and parasite. Everyone needs good probiotics. Everyone also needs to be pooping on a regular basis as a part of natural detoxification. The biomedical world treats gut issues really well. If you haven’t started a diet, start. Get your child pooping, digesting, and everything else is downhill from there.
Often ignored with spectrum kids, imbalances in the stress hormone, cortisol, are frequent, and problems with thyroid are more common than you think. The stress hormone, cortisol, influences your temper and anxiety. So many of our kids can’t handle transitions, or new situations, and have such a quick trigger that the whole family is walking on eggshells. Treating your cortisol hormone reduces these temper tantrums by 90%! I use Spectrum Awakening’s Temper Tamer for the kids, and Spectrum Awakening’s Sanity Saver for the parents, to help everyone relax and get through the day.
Last, but not least, our mitochondria. You remember from high school biology, these are the ‘powerhouse of the cell.’ Yes, they produce energy for most cells in our body, but what are the symptoms of poorly functioning mitochondria, and why would you treat them? Constipation, anxiety, nausea/reflux, headaches (headbanging), and dizziness can all be symptoms of poorly functioning mitochondria. If you went to AES, you probably heard the word ‘OAT test.’ Organic Acids Test (OAT) is the best test, along with a Mitoswab, to analyze mitochondrial function. Make sure you get that done, and treat accordingly with your biomedical doctor.
Whew! That’s a lot of medicine. You can understand why at the end of the conference, many of your heads were spinning and overwhelmed. There is a lot that goes into thorough, comprehensive biomedical analysis and treatment of autism. We’re probably lucky that there is a lot, because if there was only a little, we wouldn’t be so successful in recovery. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do this alone. Get an experienced biomedical autism doctor. Make sure all of these medical parts of autism are tested and/or treated. Because everyone’s treatment will be different. Everyone’s journey will be different, but we all want the same thing at the end of the journey. We want the ‘I love you,’ we want the full night sleep, we want kids to have friends at school, grow up, and be successful on their own. That’s what being a parent is all about.
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