Many parents who first hear the words “Your child has autism” are shocked and dismayed.
While we have all heard about autism, many of us have only vague ideas of what the diagnosis means and what can be done to help children and adults lead as normal a life as possible.
The truth is that autism, being a spectrum disorder, affects different people in different ways and no two autistic children are exactly alike. There are also many different theories about what causes autism and what can be done to treat it.
This makes things very confusing for parents who are struggling to come to terms with what is best for their child.
Diagnosis and symptoms of autism
Autism is a neurological disorder and one of five developmental disorders classified under the heading of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) is made up of 5 different disorders:
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
- Rett’s Disorder
- PDD – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD – NOS)
It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million Americans, including children and adults, may have autism. There are currently no medical tests which can diagnose autism.
Diagnosis is usually based on careful observation as well as information provided by parents and other caregivers on the child’s behavior, communication, social interaction and developmental levels.
There are also a number of screening tests or questionnaires which can be performed, including the CARS rating (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) and CHAT (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers). Diagnosis can be made by Pediatricians, Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists or by a multi-disciplinary team.
In order to make a formal diagnosis of Autism, the following symptoms must be present (DSM lV-TR)
Impairment in social interaction
1. Lack of eye contact, facial expression and social gestures
2. Failure to develop peer relationships
3. Does not seek out social interaction
4. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
Impairment in communication skills
1. language delay or absence
2. inability to initiate and sustain conversation
3. stereotyped or ’strange’ use of language
4. lack of make believe or social play
Restricted, stereotyped and repetitive behavior, interests and activities
1. abnormally intense preoccupation with certain activities or areas of interest
2. inflexible insistence on certain nonfunctional rituals or routines
3. stereotyped and repetitive movements e.g. hand flapping, preoccupation with parts of objects
To make the diagnosis at least 6 of the above must be noted, as well as developmental delays in at least ONE of the following areas:
1. Delayed or abnormal social interaction
2. Delay or abnormal use of language in social interaction
3. Delay or absence in symbolic or imaginative play
The delays or impairment described above can vary from mild to severe. Remember that many healthy children will display some of the above symptoms. This does not make them autistic!
It is important that the full cluster of symptoms described above be present. Some of these symptoms may be present from early infancy, but usually become more obvious by 2 – 4 years of age.
What causes Autism?
There is no known single cause of autism. It is known that autism is a neurological disorder and that there may be differences in the shape and the structure of the brain of autistic children as opposed to non-autistic children.
It is thought that, in certain cases, there might be a genetic predisposition to autism, which may run in families. Whether the predisposition to autism is genetic or not, there may be several ‘triggers’ which can precipitate the disorder.
These could include problems in pregnancy and birth, viral infections, exposure to certain environmental chemicals or pollutants, digestive abnormalities or even allergies to certain foods (e.g. milk and dairy products).
There are also suggestions that autism may be caused by a reaction to childhood vaccines. Obviously more research is needed in this area.
It is important for parents to note that autism is not a mental illness and is not caused by bad parenting or problems in the home. All too often parents are made to feel guilty and as if they have done something wrong, which is not the case.
Parents of autistic children need as much support and help as possible and should not be made to feel that they are the cause of their child’s problem.
What are the natural treatment options?
While there are many different theories about the best course of treatment for autism, most professionals agree that the earlier treatment begins, the better the chances are that the child will be helped.
Educational and therapeutic approaches
These include specialized education as well as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, sensory integration, behavior modification and speech therapy. Depending on the symptoms and the areas of developmental delay, these therapies can be extremely effective and can be combined into the overall treatment plan.The earlier they are begun the better the chances of improvement. It is important to realize that none of these therapies are ‘quick fixes’ and need perseverance over a long period of time.
There are indications that certain vitamins and mineral supplements may improve functioning in autistic people. While there is some disagreement regarding this amongst medical professionals, many parents have reported marked improvements after a program of nutritional supplements. There are also a number of clinical studies which strongly support the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation in the treatment of autism and have demonstrated significant improvement.
As nutrition is such a vital ingredient in brain development, it stands to reason that supplementation may have a positive benefit, although this would vary from individual to individual. Some experts have gone as far as to suggest that certain cases of autism could be as a result of nutritional deficiencies or mal absorption of nutrients from the diet. The subject is a very complex one and outside the scope of this discussion.
There are also suggestions that autistic symptoms can be caused as a result of mal absorption and intolerances to certain foodstuffs, especially dairy products and gluten contained in wheat and grain products. Some parents have reported remarkable changes after the elimination of these foodstuffs from the diets of their autistic children.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be viable alternatives to the synthetic drugs and may be just as effective, with far fewer risks and side effects.
Depending on the symptoms that need treatment, Native Remedies recommends the following remedies to assist in an overall treatment plan.
Remedies may be used independently or in combination. See bottom of page for discount combination packages.
These may all be symptoms of serotonin imbalance and may show improvement with the use of our100% herbal MindSoothe Jr. formula (available in capsules for adults and drops for children).
The ingredients of MindSoothe Jr. have been clinically proven to assist in balancing serotonin levels and act as SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) in much the same way as the synthetic SSRI’s do.
Herbal remedy for anxiety (calm and soothe)
Tranquilizing drugs may be very effective in calming autistic children and adults, who can easily become highly distressed and volatile over seemingly small changes in their environment. However, many tranquilizing drugs are also addictive and individuals may build up tolerance, resulting in the need for increasingly higher doses.
Available in easy to administer drop form, the dosage may be adjusted to suit children or adults. PureCalm may be taken on its own when needed for quick symptomatic relief, and is also safe to use with most prescription and herbal medicines.
Like the benzodiazepines and tranquilizing drugs, the psycho-stimulants come with documented side effects and potential for dependency.
Yet many parents find it very difficult to deal with Autism children who also have symptoms of ADHD,hyperactivity and concentration problems.
For the treatment of hyperactivity, restlessness and lack of concentration, Native Remedies has developed two highly effective remedies:
Focus ADHD Formula is a 100% herbal remedy which has been especially formulated to treat the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults alike. Focus comes in a tincture an is easily administered as drops in some juice or water.
Many Autism children have violent tantrums, sometimes seemingly without cause. Tantrums may often be a result of the child’s frustration at being unable to communicate or understand, and may also be a response to changes in routine or environment.
Tantrum Tamer dissolves easily in the mouth and is pleasant tasting and readily accepted by children.
The above remedies may be used independently or in combination. See bottom of page for discount combination packages
How have these products helped others?
“My son was diagnosed with Autism when he was three years old and we have struggled with him a lot because he rocks himself and is very restless all the time and also gets frustrated and he hurts himself. I was recommended that he go on an antidepressant to help the stimming which really worried me as he is so young and also he is very sensitive to medicines. After I found Mindsoothe Jr and all the information on your website, I thought I would rather try a natural product and I am very glad I did. My son is much calmer and the stimming has improved a lot – to only when he is upset or stressed. Then we let him suck on the K-OK KiddieCalmer and he is much better. He is also happier and can play with us now which he never did before. This is after only 6 weeks and I know that we will see more improvement from now on because he is much easier to reach. Thank you very much – I can really recommend your products and I have put my name down for repeat orders” Sharon, CA
I have an 18 year old, mid-range functioning, autistic son that was in such anxiety over the transition to the bus and school that we were considering putting him in a group home. I was desperate in trying Mindsoothe, but thought anything is worth a try. We have been giving him a child’s dose as soon as he gets up, in his juice and our mornings have never been so smooth. Thank you so much for keeping our family together and giving him the peace of mind to make these transitions easier. His school notes have NEVER had words like fun, cooperative, and finishes his work before. THANK YOU – Karen, GA
My daughter was diagnosed w/PDD.NOS and the doctors put her on prescription medicine which helps ADHD children. She had some side effects so we took her off of it. I found your website and ordered FOCUS. She is only 5 and I give only in the morning before school w/some juice. After a few weeks on FOCUS she has been getting much better reports sent home from school and has even been able to discontinue her OT. I feel that FOCUS along with a small adjustment in her diet has helped more than the prescription meds. the doctor originally had her on – Lisa S., NY
“I am writing about the big improvement in my daughter, Janey who is autistic. She can’t be taught in a mainstream school because she can’t keep up in a big class but she is in a special needs school. The teacher said that unless she had Ritalin she would never be able to learn anything, which I was very upset about due to all the negative stuff you read. My daughter is such a sweet child but she cannot concentrate on one thing and jumps around not even able to sit still on her seat. If she does sit still, she is flapping her hands or tapping her pencil and nothing goes in. After one week of Focus we could see that she was calmer and after 6 weeks she could sit still and do some drawing. Now she is more calm and responsive in class and I can notice that she is happier to go to school. I can tell you that the teacher can’t believe it as she said that the natural stuff is not strong enough for my child, but she was wrong!!” Stacy, CT
“This remedy (BrightSpark) has brought about the most amazing change in my daughter who is autistic! We want to recommend it to other parents who have been told that their children will never change as we have been told by the doctors. She is so much more calmer and will even sit on my lap for the first time in her life which makes my heart so happy!!! I know that you cannot cure autism but my daughter is a different child and we can see the changes every day. I think that it is because this is the first time that she is beginning to notice what is going on around her. I just wanted to say that if anyone has any doubts, rather try it for yourself and you will see the difference. Thanks for everything!” One Happy Mother.
“My 11 year old becomes very upset and stresses over small things, for example if we have to move the furniture to clean underneath it then we have to do it when she is asleep! This is because of her autism which she can’t control so we understand but it is very difficult to keep everything the same all the time, which obviously we can’t – so sometimes she screams and cries and then you can’t get her to stop. My friend was taking PureCalm Drops for herself and said why not try it, so we did. It helps very much when my poor child needs to calm down and we just drop it in her juice and she drinks it because she loves her juice! She doesn’t get drowsy just calmer.” Cathy L.
“Thank you for all your advice and for lending an ear in my hour of need. I have received the Tantrum Tamer and am giving you the results as you requested. I am very happy with the way that it calms my son when he becomes so angry and starts to scream and kick. I am using it every day as you directed and he is definitely calmer and has less tantrums. When he does get upset I give him an extra dose and the tantrum seems to disappear. He likes to take the medication and seems to know that it will help him.” Diana
“Dear Sirs, I am very happy to say that my youngster is finally falling asleep after using your Serenite Jr for children. She has autism and instead of hours of rocking and walking up and down, my wife and I can sit down and eat our dinner together for the first time since our child was born, which was almost four years ago. I have no hesitation in recommending this product to anyone who is facing the same problem.” Henry.
Autism Natural Treatment Packs
To assist you with your choice of remedies, Native Remedies has put together a number of treatment ComboPacks, based on the problems most commonly associated with Autism.
All remedies are developed with care by our practicing Clinical Psychologist, are 100% natural, safe, and manufactured according to the highest pharmaceutical standards. Individual ingredients are well-researched and have been put to the test over the years as a complement to the treatment of real people with real problems.
Our remedies are backed by our 60-day money-back guarantee so you can experience relief risk-free.
Mountain Rose Herbs is where we recommend you purchase all of your organic, wild crafted bulk herbs, spices, teas and pure,organic essential oils!
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Originally posted 2006-06-11 10:33:38.
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