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In this article, I hope to share my experiences and ideas on treating autism. This is an evolving dynamic, and I'm sure my opinion on this matter will change as I explore further realms of healing and understanding this complex disorder. However, for the last few years, I have settled into a certain perspective about healing in general; particularly autism, and I'd like to present it here. I now use a combination of Acupuncture, Homeopathy and certain types of Energy medicine to tailor each patient's individual treatment.
I'm acutely connected to autism, since my son was diagnosed with it more than a decade ago. As I described in the book, Journey to Joy, I was obsessed with it and with trying to get my son to talk, which he finally started to do so at age 7. Since his diagnosis at age 3, I have traveled far and wide not only with him to get various types of treatments, but also alone to learn a number of methods to address this condition. Some of the things we've tried for him include:
- Biomedical (DAN) treatments
- Nutritional & Herbal Therapies
- ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)
- Various Developmental Therapies
- Auditory Therapies - Several types
Have they all helped? Most to some degree, some none at all, and some actually caused more problems. After we did Sensory Integration (in this therapy the patient lies down on a revolving table and is exposed to different colored lights and music), my son started banging his head against the wall, which he hadn't done before. It was not easy to get rid of this behavior, but we finally did so with the help of my combination treatments.
- Numerous Energetic Therapies
I was trained and certified in the DAN (Defeat Autism Now) protocols before they stopped the certification process. I practiced as a DAN doctor for two years. The model is simple and very close to traditional medical practice. You get blood tests (quite a few, in the case of autism), see what's missing, and supply the deficient vitamins and minerals, usually compounded specifically for the patient. At the end of two years, after treating my son and a good number of other patients, I came to the following conclusions: (1) it didn't work, (2) it's very expensive for the patients. Even though it would have made more sense financially for me to continue being a DAN doctor, my conscience wouldn't allow it, and I changed the methods in my practice. I still use some elements of DAN, and recommend supplements as necessary, but do not focus on them.
The focus, instead, is on correcting the body and mind naturally, with minimal intervention and natural stimulation of the vital force that animates the body and mind. This is accomplished using Homeopathy and Acupuncture and various types of Energy Medicine. It does not make sense to dump numerous vitamins and minerals into a body system that's already immune compromised or damaged. It is better to repair the internal wiring, in a gentle manner, first and then add whatever nutrients are necessary. Originally the DAN protocols only included B6 and Magnesium, but soon, the list of supplements needed became enormous. I have patients who come with four pages of supplements that other doctors have put them on. It borders on being ridiculous, but desperate parents will do anything, including shoving a whole lot of unnecessary and expensive substances into their children. I too have done this, so I understand.
When newly diagnosed patients come to me, I suggest the following order of treatment:
1) Homeopathy - The only gentle and profound way (in my experience) to address any impairments in the body and mind, especially when there's vaccine damage.
2) AIT (Auditory Integration Training) - Most autistic patients have processing difficulties. Their hearing may be fine, but the brain doesn't interpret signals correctly, and there may be fogginess or spacing out. In addition, many patients have sensory disorders, which are helped greatly by AIT. Some children run around, covering their ears, and respond similarly to various sounds such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, thunderstorms or fire engines. Other patients are so sensitive to noise that they need noise canceling headphones to even eat in the school cafeteria. I have a patient who says he can hear the fluorescent bulbs and that it drives him crazy. Autistic patients often have hyperacute hearing, and AIT can help to correct that.
For my own son, I first tried several types of auditory therapies, such as Tomatis, Listening Therapy, Therapeutic Listening etc. Some of these had nice music, but they did not produce any behavioral changes. Only AIT corrected the auditory processing deficit for him. After the first AIT treatment, we saw about 80% improvement (he used to cover his ears and run back and forth), so we repeated AIT a year later, and after this time, the behavior stopped completely and permanently.
3) Acupuncture - If the patient can afford it, there is no better complement to Homeopathy than acupuncture. For small children, I start with scalp acupuncture and then add the body acupuncture also. In my office, I also include NAET, which is for allergy elimination, and energy treatments including vibration therapy and tuning fork therapy. For older children and adults, the treatments vary.
4) DAN supplements and everything else. The autistic patients; actually, for that matter, all of us, do need supplements and would benefit from them. In the case of autism, however, it is important to first make sure that the gut issues are cleared before loading the patient with numerous supplements. I know it sounds odd because most of the time, these supplements are given to clear the gut issues, but, in my experience, they often do more damage than good because the already struggling immune system now has to deal with even more of an overload. It makes a lot more sense to heal the gut and the other systems with gentle Homeopathy and then add whatever supplements are needed to foster growth and development.
5) Dealing with autism is like putting a puzzle together, and Homeopathy does provide the glue to hold it together, by correcting the vital force, but each individual piece still needs to fit. For this purpose, many other interventions are necessary, such as other therapies, educational and behavioral supports, and, most of all, a spiritually based home environment that provides unconditional love.