Are Autism Treatments Working?

May 2011, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

According to latest statistical figures general conventional treatments for autism spectrum disorders are “...largely ineffective. Behavioural interventions do show some improvement in cognitive performance, language skills, and adaptive behaviour skills, especially in young people, but this is only a part-resolution.”

According to latest statistical figures general conventional treatments for autism spectrum disorders are “...largely ineffective. Behavioural interventions do show some improvement in cognitive performance, language skills, and adaptive behaviour skills, especially in young people, but this is only a part-resolution.” (Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/eds.2011-0426)

Common drugs used include the antipsychotics Risperidone and Aripiprazole. But these can have major side effects which limit or endanger their use long-term.

Part of the reason why these types of treatments are so limited, other than the side effects they produce, is because their aim isn't to treat the condition, but to just help cope with, or suppress, the symptoms.

Some theorists believe that the label of autistic disorder is more essentially a “different interest priority” rather than a disorder. This theory suggests that simply because we are all different, the extreme behavior often exerted in such 'label' conditions perhaps shouldn't be classed as disorders at all, but just a “difference of interest”.

Although there could be some quality in this type of theory, and it is known that neurological condition labels have been mistakenly attributed, especially to child-onset issues of this kind, as a disorder, the more diverse of behavioral adaptations must be more than just a difference of interest.

To look at this theory more...We all have a natural hard-wired ability to prioritize interest. So it is possible that a physical lack of this hard-wiring is possible as a cause of more extremes of interest, and hence extremes of behavior.

With this lack of neurological wiring we could potentially find everything of equal interest, so that phone books (to use a commonly known phenomena of interest in a 'savant' for example), and every tiny little detail of what is seen and done in a daily routine...behavior commonly exerted by high functioning 'autistic disorder'...could be why people in this state of behavior have special skills, such as being able to memorize books, and draw detailed pictures from brief glimpses from memory (if everything that is seen is very interesting, then everything that is seen is prioritized for being remembered).

This lack of prioritization can, as a consequence, under-develop other important social functioning skills, and less focus on other usual life aspects, which would additionally explain why autism is often related to attention-deficit disorders.

However, although this prioritization theory does have logic, others believe that the internal conflicts and stress that appear when one is in a social context is the very reason people with this type of condition avoid this situations, rather than a passive lack of interest (which they agree may also exist, but is not a cause).

The problem with the lack of development or interest aspect is that conventional treatment would be impossible if it has to precede the lack of development stage.

In any theory on autism, it is important to express that this is not a 'disease', but more of a neurological disorder or malfunction. Because it isn't a disease, with a known cause, but a malfunction without a specifically seen trigger, it can be harder both to understand and to treat.

According to the Autism Society of America, autism is the third most common developmental disability, more common now than Down Syndrome.”

There are also many levels on the spectrum of autistic level, making it equally difficult to study and maintain a pathway for potential 'cure'. Aside from the above theories, more medical theories lay down potential triggers including neurological imbalance or malfunction (as touched on above) resulting in normal stimuli causing aspects of pain to the recipient; genetics may also play a part; and environmental factors, such as viruses, and chemicals in the genetic or direct line.

There is potential medical reasoning for children born with autism (rather than adult-onset), that early stages of brain development may have been interrupted in the womb.

Important nutrients to try to help build on natural neurological and systemic health include calcium, magnesium, choline, CoQ10 production in the body, Vitamin B complexes, Vitamin C, A, D3, plus essential amino acids, MSM, RNA and DNA ingredients.

These are all essential to brain and normal health development and maintenance. To this effect our Total Balance Premium (or Standard) could be of overall help; with our Omega 3/DHA (Premium or QH Ultra); and a suitable formula from our Neuro-Natural range, depending on the age and individual status of the patient.

These can all help along with dietary, exercise, and importantly cognitive aids.

For the future, more recent neuroimaging studies have suggested more information pertaining to genetic factors that have resulted in a growth dysregulation hypothesis factor. This may show more relation to genetic code malfunctions, and the repair thereof, as a likely long-term way forward for children born with Autism.

More study is needed into adult-onset autism. In the meantime, the above steps may help to improve conditions and help to prevent deterioration.

5 Comments

  • “I have a cousin who has been diagnosed as autism. One of my friends also have a child who also got that. Both these 2 children have keen interest in looking for their parents, either mother or father. They both got intensive professional therapies but there were very little improvement. But once their parents are willing to spend time with these children and be/play with them alone (more than 1-2 hours per day and/or whole day at weekend), both seems to be more normal in terms of social skills: better eye-contact or willing to look at people that they are not so familiar. At that time, their therapists could not explain why there was sudden improvement. Now come the theory "different interest priority". I believe that this theory really explain the above phenomenon. The autistic child really have their own interests and if we really want to get his/her attention, which is very difficult, we could help them only by entering into their world first. If we could not get close to them in their mind, then no therapy would be effective.”

    Richard - May 08 2011

  • “Hi Marcus Sorry for the delay in replying, there was a glitch in my notification system. You are right in that there is another form. This is very different and although it is still labelled as Autism, it is actually a very different type of condition, and highly unusual, which is why I didn’t want to confuse the issue with the type of common autism we see and deal with everyday, above. The pattern of symptoms in Acquired Autistic Syndrome, which is its official title (which gives it a specific differentiation to save confusion between AAS and autism) leads many to suspect that postnatal environmental factors are a potential trigger, or the possibility of a vaccine ‘injury’ or reaction to be to blame. This gives it a huge distinction from autism, as it first of all has a very specific cause. The topic of vaccine effects is very controversial and is debated. But obvious symptoms often start just after children receive multiple vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine or the MMRV vaccine (MMR plus varicella (chickenpox) vaccine), leading some people to perceive a causal link between vaccination and AAS, especially if accompanied by a fever, rash, and rapid skill loss.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - July 08 2011

  • “There are two types of autism, that need to be differentiated here. Classic autism, about which you seem to be talking Joanna. That is the type of autism people are born with, which in extremely rare cases creates egregious specialized intelligence. The other type is Regressive Autism, where perfectly normal healthy babies suddenly get very ill. Regressive Autism is not a ‘differences of interest’ anomaly. It is an illness, pure and simple. Because there is an autism spectrum, there are differences in the symptoms, but it is often accompanied by a range of symptoms including: Unshakeable colds and viruses skin rashes hardened stomach Impaired immune system Serious allergies vitiated gastrointestinal system Basically ‘very sick’.    ”

    Marcus - June 08 2011

  • “Hi Lila, Thanks for your very indepth views and comments. Many of which are in line with the contents of my article. There are always going to be many theories, and studies will progress down all these lines. There are always environmental aspects, and medication-related aspects to any ‘umbrella’ condition and there is alot of weight in your comments. However, we do need to break it down into what we can manage and how we can help. So, the article aims to concentrate on that aspect, of what we, the everyday people, can do to try to help these types of conditons or resulting effects, no matter what the cause. Arguments will continue as to the causes of behavioural, neurological, and nervine changes in the body, genetically or otherwise. And these types of discussion are not only interesting but enlightening, and I welcome your comments in that respect. However, my aim is to advise people how to help people with these types of symptoms and I hope the article achieves this. I wouldn’t want to get too deeply into contraversial or political discussion on a public forum, but would like to reiterate that I agree with much of what you have said. Bearing this in mind, if people do their best to concentrate on a healthy lifestyle, in as clean and safe environmental as the average person is able to accommodate, and help to protect and heal the body as much as possible, with correct supplementation, diet, fluids, and lifestyle routines, then this is all positive whilst the fight and arguments for and against certain theories continue. Another point I make is that there are instances where this type of umbrella condition is labelled to people that actually suffer no condition, but simply have a different level of intelligence. Just as it is important to take on board theories such as you mention, it is equally important to remember that sometimes, just when someone is ‘different’, we often label them as having a condition, when this is actually not the case. This is not to say that their behaviour cannot be channelled into the right functions and uses, as we have seen above. I hope this makes sense and thanks again for your views. Let us hope that the fight and research goes on to conclusion in the future.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - May 20 2011

  • “Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders. Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism (1 in 60 for boys), making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. A new case of autism is diagnosed every twenty minutes. The rise in autism rates due to better diagnoses?.. No  http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/sep/2009/autism.cfm.  Are we really expected to believe that Autism is the first genetic epidemic? There is NO such thing as a genetic epidemic. It’s not possible. Besides, if autism were genetic, children would need to have specific genes in order to have the disorder, and none, and I mean NONE, have been found.  Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones. "environmental factors, such as viruses, and chemicals in the genetic or direct line" and of course, therefore, it goes without saying, that in many cases it be caused by combining these together and injecting them into the body.. ie Vaccines.  You may be interested in the latest development to hit the US. PACE LAW ARTICLE : http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1681&context=pelr  and mainstream breaking news earlier this week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTWBFLe5VE8&sns=fb The Internet is bringing together increasing numbers of parents whose children regressed due to vaccine injury. Dozens at first, then hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands. More every day. These parents of vaccine-injured children include neurologists, physicians, nurses, researchers, epidemiologists, environmentalists, Presidential advisors, legislators, educators, psychologists, journalists, and other highly educated truth seekers  No vaccine but MMR has been studied in relation to autism causation, except for one single study on the Hep B vaccine. It showed that boys that began the Heb B vaccine series in the first month had triple the autism rate.  Here are 49 research papers, from places like Harvard and Hopkins and NIH, which support the vaccine/autism causation theory.  http://adventuresinautism.com/images/MaineLegislature/7Evidencethatvaccinescancauseautism.doc The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, established by that 1986 law lists encephalopathy (brain damage) as an adverse outcome of both MMR and DTaP. http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/table.htm The symptoms of that encephalopathy are listed as merely: 1. Loss of eye contact  2. Doesnt respond to much except for loud shouts 3. Does not seem to recognize familiar people, seems detached. Do they diagnose vaccine encephalopathy or do they slap an autism label on it, declare no known cause or cure, and allow the childs brain inflammation and accompanying medical issues to remain uninvestigated, untreated and continuing to do damage to the child? Sadly the latter is what has been happening, because physicians have been so inadequately trained to even recognize adverse reactions, or believe they could possibly be anything but coincidence. PS here is the CDC ingredients list for vaccines.. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf  amongst those toxic chemicals you’ll see aborted baby fetus, cow, pig, mouse cells/dna, yet another "environmental" factor in causing "autism".  http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=998666 Therapy only goes so far… you have to get the toxic poisons out, get the heavy metals out or you will get nowhere with other "bandaid" type therapys. Ill leave you with a quote from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the entire National Institutes of Health: Genes alone do not tell the whole story. Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons." <p class= x_MsoNormal > <p class= x_MsoNormal > ”

    Lila Smith - May 13 2011

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