Study Shows Chiropractic Care Can
Benefit Autistic Children
Local Doctor Calls for Further Research
(October 6, 2008,West Hartford, CT). The past decade has seen the number of diagnosed cases of autism rapidly increase throughout the nation. These alarming numbers have West Hartford-based Dr. Moshe Laub, D.C. pointing to a study that indicates that chiropractic care may alleviate at least to some degree some of the associated symptoms of autism.
Dr. Laub references a study published this year in Clinical Chiropractic. The study showed that spinal manipulation (particularly upper cervical adjusting) may help with some symptoms of autism. It cannot cure or treat the underlying disease process, but for patients with autism, it may be the symptoms of autism that are the most distressing. "Although the results of this study are promising, further research is clearly needed,"said Laub, who follows scientific developments in the chiropractic profession quite closely.
Autism is a life-long developmental disability that affects social interaction, communication and imagination. There are no medications that can cure autism, but drugs can relieve and treat symptoms such as aggression and hyperactivity thus helping autistic individuals cope with their disease. Even though the exact causes for the disease are still unknown, current research mainly focuses on genetics; however, environmental factors and imbalances in neurochemistry may also be involved. There is no single, unique measure of abnormality found in autism, because the spectrum of autistic conditions and symptoms is wide ranging from severe disability in some patients to mild problems of communicating and understanding in others with average and above average intelligence.
Parents first become concerned about their childs behavior particularly the absence of play when their child is around 18 months old. Earlier detection, however, is possible. According to Jane Jennings and Martina Barker of the Newbury Chiropractic Center in Berkshire, Great Britain, a simple checklist can help parents evaluate early on whether their child might be autistic: Does the child pretend play? Does the child use his or her index finger to point, to indicate interest in something? Does the child take an interest in other children? Does the child enjoy playing peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek? And does the child ever bring objects over to you to show you something? If the answer to two or more questions is no, autism may be a factor because it impairs the way the child communicates, relates to other people and understands emotional expressions.
During the aforementioned study, researchers carried out a series of chiropractic adjustments on 26 autistic children over a 9-month period. The results were an improvement in certain reflexes and sensations, an increase in neck range of motion, and improvement of other health problems. Many of the children were taken off Ritalin; their bladder and bowel control improved; some children started to speak, eye contact and attention span improved while hyperactivity and aggressive behavior were reduced. Also, five children were able to attend regular classes at school for the first time.
The autistic children suffered from neurological interference that hindered their development. The researchers concluded that correcting a chiropractic partial dislocation can positively affect local neurological function and cause an overall improvement. Even though there was no control group to back up the findings, the results are encouraging: They show that chiropractic care may improve the quality of life of autistic children by relieving some of the symptoms of their disease.
To the extent that chiropractic care can have a positive effect, that is beneficial; but improving the quality of life for autistic children is just a first step toward the ultimate goal of finding a cure,concluded Laub.
Autism: A Chiropractic Perspective¡¨ by Jane Jennings and Martina Baker of the Newbury Chiropractic Centre, Newbury, Berkshire, UK, published in Clinical Chiropractic (2006), Vol. 9, pp. 6-10.
More about Autism and the Walk for Autism on June7th, 2009:
April 13, 2009
Dear Friends and Family,
Autism Speaks is getting ready for its annual signature event, Walk Now for Autism in the Greater Hartford area.
This Walk is going to take place on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain , Connecticut .
We are planning to be a part of that Walk again and we are asking you to join us in raising critically-needed funds
for autism research, advocacy, family services and community awareness by making a contribution in support of our Walk.
The reason we will be walking is for our 13 1/2 year old son, Gary, who was diagnosed with autism at 2 ½ and who we have been working very hard with since that diagnosis 11 years ago. The name of our Walk group is " Gary 's Greeters".
This past year was a very eventful one for us as a family and for Gary as a Jewish male.
On June 28, 2009, Gary had his Bar Mitzvah and according to Jewish law is now a man.
He did a wonderful job and made us all so very proud of him that day.
We worked for at least five years trying to teach him how to read the blessings over the Torah
and recite various different Hebrew prayers. He even prepared and made a speech that day.
It is so hard to believe that our son accomplished this tremendous feat in front of so many people.
He didn't even seem nervous and so many people were so impressed that he had almost everything memorized.
He also was really proud of himself as well. It was so nice to see him happy with his accomplishment.
Gary is now taller than both his grandmothers and as tall as his Mom. He also started talking more this
past year and he has been easier to understand. It is hard to believe that our tiny little son has become a man.
However, some days he doesn't always act like a man. He actually has the mentality of a four or five year old boy,
but has the body of a 13 year old teenager. Sometimes he wants to be as independent as a teenager, but he doesn't
really think like a child his age. He still needs a lot of guidance and help controlling his obsessive behaviors.
Some days are not easy, as one can imagine. However, we cherish the really great days, like June 28, 2009, when Gary
was really in control of himself and his actions. We hope to have more of these great days. Walk days are also one
of these very special days in our life and days that Gary really looks forward to.
For all of you who either walked with us last year or past years and/or made a donation to our team, we need to say
thank you so very much. Gary 's Greeters raised a total of over $5,000.00 last year for Autism Speaks. The Walk raised
a total of over $450,000 and there were over 4,000 people in attendance. It was a glorious day even though
it was terribly hot - over 90 degrees at 9:00 in the morning and 100% humidity. It was the hottest weekend of the whole summer!
Everyone who participated had a great time, adults and children alike, despite the heat and sweat.
The Walk took about an hour and then there were a lot of fun activities for the children to participate in.
Here is just a little bit of information about autism. Autism is a complex brain disorder that often
inhibits a person's ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, or form relationships with others.
First identified more than 50 years ago, autism is typically diagnosed by the age of two or three.
Autism affects people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Right now the statistics show that 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism and 1 in 94 boys are on the autism spectrum.
In Connecticut , the rate of autism is said to be 1 in 123. (Three years ago, the numbers were 1 in 166 children and 1 in 104 boys.
This is why we need to do something about this now to try to stop the numbers from increasing and to help all of those affected today with autism.)
Few disorders are as devastating to a child and his or her family. While some people with autism are mildly affected,
most people with the condition will require lifelong supervision and care and have significant language impairments.
Many children with autism will never be able to tell their parents they love them. (We are very fortunate though because with a lot of intense intervention, Gary is able to say I love you to those that care about him.)
Currently, the causes of autism are unknown and there are no specific medical treatments or cure.
Physicians have no blood test or scan that can definitively diagnose the disorder.
As such, the diagnosis of autism is based solely upon observations of behavior.
Despite increasing national interest and high prevalence, autism research is still one of the lowest funded a
reas of medical research by both public and private sources, although Autism Speaks is trying very hard to change this and has gotten very close to achieving this goal.
Whatever you can give will help! We greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on our progress.
If you would like to join us in the Walk, please contact us at (860) 236-8374
or [email protected] or you can go to www.walknowforautism.org/hartford and click the tab at the top of the screen - "Register".
Hit "I Agree" to the Waiver Agreement. Then click on "Join a Team". Type in " Gary 's Greeters" and put in your personal information.
After that, you will receive a packet of information in the mail on how to get sponsors and collect monies for the Walk.
If you cannot Walk, but would like to make a donation to "Gary's Greeters", you can send a check made payable to Autism Speaks to
Beth & Stuart Katten, 20 Hammick Road, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107
or you can make a donation online by credit card by going to www.walknowforautism.org/hartford.
On the right hand side of the screen, scroll down a little bit to "Team Rank".
Hit "More" and then you will be prompted to type in a Team Name.
Type in " Gary 's Greeters" and hit "Search". Highlight " Gary 's Greeters" and click on the mouse.
This will take you to the Gary 's Greeters Team Page. Then you can decide who you want to make a donation to.
If you have any questions, you can contact me as stated in the above paragraph.
If you do go to the website and click on Gary 's Greeters, on the team page there are pictures of our family at Gary 's Bar Mitzvah
and you can see more pictures if you click on Beth Katten or Sam Katten's page.
You can also make a donation to Sam Katten, who for his Bar Mitzvah project is collecting money on his own for Gary 's Greeters.
Thank you for all of your help and support this year and past years. We hope to see you on June 7th.
Beth & Stuart Katten