New Perspective on Autism
The traditional view of autism is that it’s a “mysterious” genetic or psychiatric disorder that results in certain observed behaviours, and little can be done in the way of treatment.
Through the breakthrough work of the Autism Research Institute (founded in 1967), a more appropriate “whole body disorder” perspective of autism has emerged. It is now becoming recognised that the brain is affected by the [altered] biochemistry generated in the body.
Practitioners and parents have been sharing data for years, observing and documenting an array of common physical symptoms of autism. Harvard professor Martha Herbert M.D., Ph.D., was among the first to describe the brain as “downstream” from the body’s functioning; explaining that what happens in the brain of the child with autism is literally impacted by what occurs in their body’s organs and biochemistry, beginning with the digestive system.
When seen as a whole body disorder, parents and practitioners are more likely to identify the physical symptoms of autism that often get overlooked, including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and GI pain, inflammation, and recurring infections.
By way of analogy, no one will argue that PMS is a hormonally mediated change in brain chemistry leading to a common set of symptoms; physical, mental and emotional. These symptoms go away when the hormonal ‘driver’ of brain chemistry rebalances. What happens to ASD kids when the ‘drivers’ of their altered brain chemistry are addressed in clinic? Their symptoms are also addressed.
With this broader understanding it becomes apparent that there is a much that can be done to address these challenges.