I’m in the process of updating this page. Check back in a few weeks.
Autism isn’t just one thing.
If you are coming to this page without much previous knowledge of what autism is you need to know that autism is not a single symptom, or even a group of symptoms with a single cause. What is clear is that there are some physiological aspects to autism, specifically in the brain. Most experts agree that there is also a genetic component.
A healthy brain function influences our experience in life. A healthy body supports a healthy brain and vice versa. So in addition to treating the autism, we support Ezras recovery with bio-medical treatments. Even a smart, highly functional, social, outgoing adult will not want to socialize if he has severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, seasonal allergies, and a headache. Take even just one of those and his ability to work, relate, and process will be impacted.
Qi Gong Massage: I can highly recommend this massage. It is based on the Chinese Medicine view of autism which sees the problem as stagnant energy. This 15 min massage administered every day helps the energy flow properly. We have seen tremendous progress in his ability to tolerate touch, and have eye contact since using it. We give him the massage before bedtime, and have definitely noticed that he sleeps better, which is also a big problem with autism. Often he will be awake for 1-3 hours a night, and wake up early. (Video here)
Multi-Vitamin: we use one that comes in gummi bear form and doesn’t contain any allergy sensitive substances. His communication does seem to become clearer with consistent use. Here’s what we use.
Vitamin D drops: His Blood tests showed him to be vit D deficient. For now we’re giving him drops, but will also install a full spectrum bulb in the play room.
Natural Supplements: GABA, Omega Oils, L-Tyrosine, 5HTP, and Phosphotydil Serine (Disclaimer: this should go without saying, but please before you think of giving your child anything, see a professional. A licensed psychiatrist with 10 years experience in treating Autism prescribed those specifically for Ezra’s challenges.)
Gluten/Casein Free diet: Gluten is a protein found in various grains, and casein is the milk protein in all dairy products (and a great many ready made food products). There are various theories of why these substances are bad for certain people. We have noticed that they just don’t work for Ezra (from rashes, lose bowels eight times a day, to increased whining, screaming and acting like he’s on drugs). The GCFD is also supported by Chinese Medicine that credits autism with excess phlegm. According to TCM Gluten and Casein increase phlegm and are highly addictive. The body starts craving what is bad for it. We have definitely observed that first hand, not only in Ezra, but also in our other son Micah, and in ourselves.
Sensory Diet: A sensory diet must be specifically geared to your child. One of the main problems with autism is that the nervous system isn’t wired right. The brain scan we got for Ezra showed in fact how the Cerebellum was highly overactive, because it wasn’t processing the sensory information right. The psychiatrist prescribed sensory integration therapy for him.
Here is an excellent website with lots of links on biomedical and dietary interventions compiled.
Have used in the past
Floor Time: We took Ezra to Dr.Greenspan himself to be diagnosed, and have nothing but the highest regard and respect for his excellent and thorough research. It is similar to the son-rise in it’s basics, but the motivation is different. For a clearer comparison between the two see here. The reason we decided to go with Son-Rise is because love and acceptance are the primary motivator. I can spend hours now with Ezra and love it, because I have no other agenda than to show him that we love him regardless of how he is. That is not something that I got from Floor Time.