AUTISM AND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Recently the number of children who are diagnosed with Autism has risen dramatically. Some children are born with Autism, others have developed “regressive” Autism. In the case of “regressive” Autism the child develops seemingly normal at first, but after a trigger event the speech and smiles disappear and the child regresses. Parents often tell me that their child had a history of tonsillitis or ear infections that were treated with antibiotics in the first and second year of life. Following a vaccination, often the MMR (see http://www.vaccineawakening.blogspot.com/), their child regressed into Autism.
Why do some children regress into Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Some of the factors that contribute to this are:
- Poor detoxification ability (often genetically determined)
- The presence of heavy metals within the brain. Unfortunately all Vaccines contain preservatives that have a toxic heavy metal compound. It used to be Mercury (Thimerosol), but because of the negative side effects it was replaced by an Aluminium based compound for babies (another heavy metal), whilst Mercury is still used in vaccines for older people such as the flu vaccine. A Hair Analysis test can show which metals are present and in what quantity.
- A poor functioning gut usually with poor gut flora (often caused by frequent use of antibiotics early on). This leads to poor nutrient absorption (see Nutrition booklet for more information). At the same time a dysfunctional gut produces an increased amount of toxins that once absorbed into the brain can compromise brain function and interfere with brain development.
In all cases of slow or delayed development it is always worth investigating whether any of these factors are present because they are usually treatable.
From AD(H)D to Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Behaviour disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are also the result of a dysfunction in the brain. The new perspective is that there is a continuum of disorders from mild ADHD on the left side of the scale, followed by Defiant disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome further on and severe Autism at the far right.
Regardless of the problem it is very important that treatment is started as soon as possible, so that the risk of long term effects is minimal and where possible the child's self-esteem stays in tact. One of the most successful approaches to regressive Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is the Biomedical approach, a combination of dietary intervention, gut repair, removal of toxins & heavy metals and resolving possible nutrient deficiencies. Many children have made a partial or total recovery of ASD following the Biomedical approach alone (www.MINDD.org).
Even more success can be achieved when the Biomedical approach is combined with Brain Gym®, (Educational) Kinesiology, the SureReading method and Neuro-Organisation Technique (NOT).
Together these treatments can:
- increase access to all areas in the brain
- enhance communication between all areas in the brain
- remove toxins that interfere with learning
- teach new skills to previously inaccessible areas
- supply nutrients that improve brain function
Once the areas of the brain that are involved with the learning process can be accessed, we need to teach these areas those skills that they could not learn before because these areas were inaccessible. For example ear infections can interfere with the development of speech and auditory discrimination. These are important prerequisite skills for reading and spelling.
The SureReading method is designed to identify these missing skills, re-open the developmental windows in the brain followed by teaching the missing skills (a free information ebooklet can be downloaded from the Publications section below).
The good news is: Neuro-Developmental, Learning and behaviour difficulties can be overcome! The "How to improve learning" booklet shows this in the writing examples of “Before” and “After” treatment (see below in the Publications section).
Would you like more information on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Please contact me on ph: 08 8379 4755.
The main organ that processes learning is the brain. Learning and developmental difficulties are therefore usually linked to some form of dysfunction of the brain. In the evolution of the human brain, one of the last attributes to be added was speech. The parts of the brain that are responsible for processing speech and language are highly specialised and located on the outside of the left side of the brain, which makes them extremely vulnerable to traumas to the brain. In contrast the parts of the brain that keep the heart beating are located deep inside the brain, where they are much better protected from the external world.
Learning difficulties such as Dyslexia (difficulties with reading), Dysgraphia (difficulties with writing) and Dyscalculia (difficulties with mathematics) are often associated with lack of brain access and lack of brain and sensory integration. This is symbolised by the two red parallel lines in the picture (for more information see How to improve learning? and the SureReading booklet). Many children with Dyslexia make reversals: “b” for “d”, “on” for “no”. The reason is often because they are left eye dominant. You can test this by giving them a piece of paper with a hole in the centre and ask them to hold the piece of paper with their arms stretched out. Now ask them to look at you through the hole. You will see only one eye, their dominant eye and if this is the left eye it explains the reversals as the left eye processes information from right to left (see arrow in the picture). If however the child is right eye dominant and makes reversals, then this points at lack of brain integration.
When the brain is not integrated, this means that there are not enough connections between both sides of the brain, so that only one eye is looking at the word instead of both eyes. You can test this by putting a book in your childs extreme left visual field and ask him to read a bit. As the left eye will look at the word the child could see and say “b”, whereas in the right visual field he will see and say “d”.
Because of the visual confusion many dyslexic children also have problems with writing and spelling. In reading they often have excellent comprehension (a right brain skill) but have problems with decoding, the process of sounding out a word, letter by letter, ie c-a-t. They often find phonics and auditory discrimination difficult, which are both skills that are processed predominantly in the left brain. Dyslexic children tend to process the world more with the right brain than with the left brain (see picture above).
As Dyslexia affects many subjects at school it can lead to lack of confidence, obstinate behaviour and refusal to do reading, homework or even refusal to go to school.
Dyspraxia and other speech and language problems
There are many children who suffer from Dyspraxia (difficulty with speech development) and other speech and language disorders, which can be very debilitating even though the rest of the body develops normally. Children who come to see me with spelling, reading or speech problems often have a history of Birth traumas such as lack of oxygen or forceps deliveries and chemical insults, such as antibiotics and vaccinations early on in life. In my experience the following is often the case:
- Children who have had problems with speech development early on in life develop reading, writing and/or spelling problems once in Primary School
- Children who have had a forceps delivery (especially boys) or frequent ear infections in the first 2 years of their life develop spelling problems later on
- Children who are diagnosed with AD(H)D (Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder) have problems with fine motor skills, writing, spelling and decoding
There are specific developmental windows in the brain for learning the prerequisite skills required for reading, writing and spelling. If these windows are missed, the more advanced skills cannot be learned easily or not at all.
It is every parent’s dream to have a normal, happy and healthy baby. Unfortunately there are many babies that don’t develop according to the norms and when developmental milestones are not reached within limits or when an abnormal behaviour starts to appear alarm bells start ringing. Usually the mother is the first to notice something is not quite right. Mothers have often told me that they had a sense that something was not quite right from very early on, but if the signs are not very obvious it can take quite a while until the child is properly diagnosed. Meanwhile valuable time is lost in which something could be done about it. Early intervention is the key. This means that all possible causal factors such as diet, nutritional deficiencies, detoxification pathways, gut health and gut flora, heavy metals, toxins, birth traumas, brain injuries, lack of brain integration and/or sensory integration need to be identified and addressed.
1. My daughter Mathilde was diagnosed with congenital hypotonia from birth. This meant that her muscles were so weak that she could not be breastfed or even bottle fed with a normal bottle. I had to get her a "special" bottle used when children have a cleft palate, so as to squeeze every drop of milk in to successfully feed her; it took an immense amount of my time every day. This lasted 7 months until I went to see Anke in February.
After 2 sessions of working with her using various Kinesiology techniques Mathilde was able to suck and therefore drink with a normal bottle by herself. I was grateful for Anke's help and would highly recommend her.
2. Following my baby's six month vaccinations he began to head bang and wrist twirl. He also only could sleep in my arms day and night. I was extremely worried so I went and saw Anke who provided us with probiotics, vitamins and minerals and other specifically selected relevant remedies. She also undertook some NOT with him and within a few weeks the wrist twirling and head banging stopped. He also started to excel with all his skills, his vocabulary and mobility increased. At two years old now, he climbs, runs, jumps and has an extensive vocabulary and communication skills. His sleeping pattern has improved significantly and sleeps in his own cot now.
My five year old had eczema on all his arms, legs and face affected by a rash. Anke was able to help us determine the causes for this in his diet plus introduced some vitamins and minerals. Also, by introducing probiotics and making substitutes in his diet he no longer suffered from constipation which had troubled him since he was a year old.
Thank you Anke for helping us all.
You can download the following article and free information booklets by clicking on the links below:
- A fresh focus on our food
- How to Improve Learning. This free information e-booklet shows how Brain Gym® and a very successful brain integration process can dramatically improve reading writing, spelling and maths. See the writing examples of "before and "after" that show the amazing results that can be achieved in one or a few sessions. You can learn to achieve these results too by doing the Autism - Brains in Crisis, Autism - Moving out of Crisis or Autism - Moving into Literacy course (see the Workshops & Courses section). Some of the writing examples are from 1988, the year Anke started to learn these techniques herself, showing that anyone can learn to do this in a very short period of time without the need for any previous knowledge.
- How to Improve Reading. Free information e-booklet about the "SureReading" method.
If you have any difficulties downloading the information booklets, please Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.