(from Healing Young Brains)
Parents should be aware of the early signs of autism. Often when autism occurs in infancy, there is an unfolding of behaviors over time. The child:
-May not appear to enjoy being cooed to or sung to
-May not babble
-May not enjoy being lifted or swung
-May not make eye contact or play peek-a-boo
-May not climb and explore
-May not ask or show interest by pointing
-May not use words
-May not show interest in others
-May not pretend or imitate
-May not play with toys as toys, for example, rolling a car or stacking blocks and not just holding or mouthing it
-May begin highly repetitive behaviors, such as repeating a word or phrase continuously, or repeating a body movement
-May exhibit exaggerated reactions to sound, light, odors, or textures
-May engage in rituals in behavior and react with great distress or tantrums if interrupted
-May harm him- or herself by biting, scratching, head banging, or squeezing
The presence of some of these at times does not mean a child is autistic. Children are different. But patterns of these behaviors may mean a child’s brain is being overwhelmed and is preventing him or her from being able to function and to respond.
When autism strikes a perfectly normal, healthy, loving toddler, it is painfully evident. When that bright little boy who played dress-up, proudly wielded swords, and pretended to be different movie characters regresses into a nonverbal, easily frightened child who becomes sedentary and reclusive, there is no question that disruptive events are taking place in that child’s brain. These deteriorations often follow an illness, and, of course, many parents report dramatic problems arising in their children after routine vaccinations.
We ask parents to fill out the Diagnostic Checklist Form E-2 from the Autism Research Institute, which can be accessed atwww.autism.com/first/e2.pdf. Using this checklist as a point of discussion with parents helps us understand what our young patients are experiencing. The checklist is not so much for diagnosis as to help develop a treatment strategy and identify which neurofeedback protocols are likely to be most effective.
CAUSES AND TRIGGERS-A MAN MADE ILLNESS
Autism has multiple causes. The level of exposure to a toxic condition, combinations of toxic conditions, the ability of the immune system and the liver to respond, the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, and individual genetic variability may all play a role. The usual suspects for causing or triggering autism either damage tissues, suppress immune function interfere with detoxification, or cause allergic reactions. Some toxins like mercury do all four.
We shall discuss this more fully in the toxicity chapter. Following is a summary of the toxicities that are linked with autism:
METALS: Include mercury, lead, arsenic, nickel, aluminum, and cadmium. Are neurotoxic and immunotoxic.
VACCINATIONS: Introduce neurotoxins (mercury or aluminum and formaldehyde.) Suppress immune function for more than a month.
MICROBES THAT PRODUCE NEUROTOXINS: Yeast-related illness from repeated courses of antibiotics or from immune suppression, allowing an overgrowth of yeast and other fungi in the bowel. The more virulent form of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, can be transmitted by insects other than deer ticks and by human-to-human contact.
DIET AND FOODS: Nutritional deficiencies. Genetically modified foods (produce toxins and allergens.) Aspartame, monosodium glutamate, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sugars, artificial preservatives (can be neurotoxic.) Casein and gluten in susceptible individuals.
ENVIRONMENT: Synthetic chemicals. Electromagnetic fields.
The two most recent offenders added to the list are the Lyme disease bacteria and electromagnetic fields (EMGs). The more virulent, easily transmissible form of Lyme is not yet recognized by conventional medicine, so diagnosing it and treating it is very controversial.
While evidence is accumulating linking certain EMF exposures with autism and other brain disorders including brain tumors, it is advisable to take immediate precautions. Due to the thinness of the children’s skulls, the most important precautions are to not allow a child to use a cell phone (unless with speaker phone or the use of an air tube headset, discussed in the chapter on toxicity) and to unplug the wireless phone system in the home. We understand that, for many people, the use of landline phones is very inconvenient, but we believe it is worth the trouble until safer devices are designed. Brain tumors are now the leading cause of cancer deaths among children. Let’s not let them be guinea pigs while science investigates the issue.
GENETICS AND AUTISM is next week’s focus.
The next step to improve your child’s brain functioning is a BRAIN MAP. A QEEG is painless and the information shows where disregulations are and helps us map a path for natural healing.