April is Autism Awareness Month
April 2 is World Autism Day
by Scott Clack, B.Sc., N.D.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that presents with deficiencies or disabilities in communication, behaviours and social skills. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a diagnostic classification with three subclassifications: Autism; Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD); and Asperger’s Syndrome. The occurrence rate of ASD’s has increased significantly since the early 1990’s, from a rate of 4 per 10,000 cases to the current level of 1 in 65. Autism/ASD afflicts 3-4 times more boys than girls.
A Spectrum Disorder
The fact that Autism is called a “Spectrum Disorder” is quite telling: A modern phrase used in the Autism community is “If you meet one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism”. Others might say there are hundreds or thousands of “autisms”. Genetic research has found over 120 genetic variations that are consistent with autism but no single genetic fault is consistently explaining why autism has become an epidemic.
I began, quite naively, treating ASD patients in 2001. Several families joined my practice for treatment with NAET, an energetic re-balancing program that restores tolerance to foods and other health triggers. I began to learn about “The Biomedical Approach” which ultimately seemed like my training in naturopathic medicine: namely to treat the whole person, and treating the cause(s). Over the next 3-4 years I helped treat 15 to 20 children with ASD’s, using NAET and other naturopathic treatments. Some families were also receiving treatment from DAN! doctors from the U.S. In 2003 I attended a two-day Autism Canada seminar for parents conducted by Dr. Jeff Bradstreet and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel (Jenny McCarthy’s son’s doctor). I continued to learn about the Biomedical Approach by osmosis in supporting these families, and watching a few children improving dramatically. In 2005 I took a crammed one-day physician training course provided by Defeat Autism Now! that started my own experience of treating ASD’s on an exponential curve. My life will never be the same.
Environmental and Lifestyle Factors
Children with ASD’s, as well as those with ADHD, Tics, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder or behaviours), Anxiety Disorder, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and other developmental disorders are all affected by environmental and lifestyle factors. Many suffer with gastrointestinal problems like reflux and gastroenteritis, yet their problems often are ignored by physicians and specialists because they are ASD’s. Their metabolisms are not functioning properly, but again they are not being checked out properly because the early science is not being accepted in the mainstream. Many children are left to struggle unless their parents (like millions of parents before them) believe that there are answers to helping their children improve, and go out seeking help from a biomedical practitioner.
Autism Awareness Month
In the coming month, in honour of April is Autism Awareness Month, I will be posting more blogs and information as well as offering lectures and events to help educate the public about these considerations behind the array of developmental disorders that affect our future generations. Many of us have heard the term “Canaries in the coal mine” to indicate a situation or condition that should raise the alarm bells to society that something is wrong. A 25-fold increase in the prevalence of ASD’s in 20 to 25 years is not a natural event: something is wrong. Like our concerns about the environment, where we learn every year about how humans are harming the world we live in, it’s equally important that we learn and understand that there are serious environmental factors that are harming children and adults alike. Children are our future. We need to protect them. I think we can only do that if we open our minds to discover what is happening and act by demanding change – from governments, companies and ourselves. What you learn may help your child, another child – maybe yourself.Scott Clack, B.Sc., N.D.