Pediatric Special Needs, Autism and Asperger’s Treatment
Did you know we have a practice specialty in the Autism spectrum? As part of our deep expertise in optimizing brain function — including Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) and Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) training — we care deeply about helping families and children who are on the Autism spectrum or have Asperger’s.
Our Multidisciplinary Approach to Autism
We use both a Functional and a Conventional Medicine approach to the Autism spectrum. We incorporate the best parts of traditional medicine, but also dive deeper into the biochemistry in order to truly understand the underlying mechanism of the issues at hand. We also incorporate the most proven and successful integrative strategies to give your child the best available methodologies from all disciplines. We takes a detailed history, and looks at all the key body systems, discerning what the body needs more of, and what the body needs to get rid of.
Autism and Aspergers
In 2014 one in 68 children had Autism and one in 42 males were affected. Today the numbers are even higher. Our kids with Autism and/or Asperger’s are highly misunderstood by many, but we are making great progress. The leading experts and researchers in the field have found these syndromes are primarily a function of our individual genetic vulnerability coupled with an increase in toxic burden, mitochondrial dysfunction, gut dysbiosis, and oxidative stress. It has been shown that 50% of Autistic children have mitochondrial dysfunction (reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179978/) and 80% of children have sleep disorders. (reference: https://www.autism.com/sleeplessness_main) Additionally, 70% of Autistic kids have a nutritional deficiency or have an increased nutrient requirement due to their toxic burden, oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction (references: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928468006000538) (https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/nutrition-and-autism). We looks at these key areas of mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, toxins, stress, sleep, and neurologic/gut inflammation. Then we work with you to correct any imbalance, helping the body to reach homeostasis and to heal.
Allergies and the Microbiome
Other potential areas of testing are food allergies, as almost all children with autism have increased intestinal permeability. In children with allergies, there is an increase in histamine production. Histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter and it causes neuroinflammation. We also look at the microbiome and gut health. It is known that some bacteria, like Clostridia, for instance, inhibit the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. And Candida, another prevalent organism, not only increases Arabinose (which makes the gut permeable like swiss cheese) but it also can drive sugar cravings and produces both alcohol, acetaldehyde, and canditoxin. These byproducts can cause anxiety and inability to concentrate. These metabolites can also bind to, and deplete important vitamins and nutrients that are important for health and are needed to make serotonin.
Folate and Autism
Additionally, approximately 70% of Autistic kids have folate receptor antibodies, and this results in Cerebral Folate Deficiency. Symptoms of CFD include irritability, sleep disturbance, and developmental regression or psychomotor retardation. The mechanism often includes a cross-reactivity to cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains soluble Folate Receptor Antigen which is 91% similar to human Folate Receptor Antigen. In some kids, they produce antibodies to this Folate receptor antigen and this inactivates the folate receptor, leading to Cerebral Folate Deficiency. In children that have this antibody present, we remove milk and supplement with folinic acid or leucovorin. If this is the major issue, children can respond as early as one-to-two weeks.
We follow the guidance of IFM expert Dr. Michael Stone, and look for the right mechanism, and apply the right intervention at the right time and in the right situation to allow for optimal function.
Mitochondrial Health and Autism
Proactively, if there is a history of Autism in the family, we also recommend genetic testing for particular SNPs regarding mitochondrial and detox pathways, and do organic acid testing right away to see if there is any biochemical evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. If there is, we get to work right away with supporting the system for optimal function and development. If the child’s system is weak, and if there is genetic risk, we work with parents to come up with a modified vaccination schedule, often spacing out vaccines so that we do not overwhelm the system and allow the child to recover.
Contact Us for Help
Arrange a consultation with our caring medical staff. Contact Us here.