What is autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication. Generally, restricted repetitive behavior motions are experienced during communication. The symptoms of autism result from maturation-related changes in various systems of the brain. Its mechanism can be divided into two areas:
(1) the pathophysiology of the brain structures and its processes with autism
(2) the neuropsychological linkages between brain structures and behaviors.
Additionally, there is evidence that gut-brain axis abnormalities may be involved such as gastrointestinal inflammation, malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, gut flora alteration, and food allergies. Other evidence suggests that there may be a neuro synaptic dysfunction in the prefrontal brain and central cortex. Given these findings, autism may be a multifactorial disease that can be addressed through nutrition and its proper enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs in function with epigenetics. Improvements have been seen in a matter of weeks.
Common autistic traits include:
- Underdeveloped mental skills used to accomplish tasks (e.g. executive dysfunction)
- Unusual sensitivity to certain stimuli
- Non-standard ways of learning and approaching problem solving
- Special interests (e.g. deep, passionate interests in specific subjects)
- Atypical, often repetitive, and sensory-seeking movement
- Stimming–self-stimulatory repetitive behavior–may be used to self-soothe, focus, or express distress or excitement
- A need for consistency, routine, or order
- Difficulties understanding and expressing communication; some autistic people may never speak and use sign language or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), while others may become non-speaking under stress
- Communication that is extremely self-referential
- Difficulties understanding and expressing typical social interaction behavior, such as being uncomfortable with eye contact or not understanding sarcasm
- Poor interoception or the inability to sense the body’s internal state, such as identifying hunger, the need for sleep, or the need to eliminate waste
Screening for autism
Approximately 50 percent of parents of children with ASD notice their child’s unusual behaviors by the age of 18 months and about 80 percent notice by the age of 24 months. Some of the reported signs noted by parents include:
- No response to name (or eye to eye gaze by 6 months)
- No babbling by 12 months
- No gesturing (i.e. pointing, waving, etc.) by 12 months
- No single word by 16 months
- No two-word phrases by 24 months
- Loss of any language or social skills, at any age.
If any of these signs appear in your child, please seek professional help as soon as possible.
Possible causes for autism
Maternal inflammation and autoimmune diseases may damage fetal tissues during pregnancy, thus aggravating a genetic problem or damaging the nervous system. Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy, especially to heavy metals and particulates, may increase the risk of autism. Alternatively, there are theories that blame autism development on vaccine overload given that parents may become aware of the symptoms after their child’s first vaccine. This increased concern about a potential vaccination link with autism has led to lower rates of childhood immunization.
Medication may be used to treat ASD symptoms that interfere with the assimilation of a child into a home or school. More than half of the US children diagnosed with ASD are prescribed psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsant. Most common drugs are antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics often bearing unwanted side effects. There is little reliable research about the effectiveness or safety of drug treatments for adolescents and adults with ASD.
On the other hand, there have been little to no side effects reported with natural treatment such as food elimination, vitamins and herbs to support neurological development and to reduce inflammation. As nutrition creates changes within the epigenetics, positive changes in a child’s behavior may be observed in as little as a few weeks. By reducing inflammation within the gut and the central nervous system, ASD may be significantly improved in children treated naturally.
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