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Biomedical Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders

 
If your child is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, the next thing to know is that autism is treatable. If your child's psychologist or pediatrician tells you that nothing much can be done to change things, it’s only because they lack information. It is our attempt to provide you with the information and resources you need to improve your child’s overall wellbeing. Do note however, the material on this webpage is for informational and educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for advice from a health care professional. Please consult with a health care professional regarding the application of this material to your own personal needs and situation. Please also consider joining our local dietary intervention group: D.I.S.H. (Dietary Intervention Support and Hope). This group is open to anyone who is inquiring, starting out or is a veteran of the gluten-free casein-free diet and biomedical interventions. Contact: Phyllis Zimmerman, 970-377-9640 or dzerman2@yahoo.com

What is Biomedical Treatment?

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines biomedical as the application of natural sciences, esp. the biological and physiological sciences, to clinical medicine. Or the science concerned with the effects of the environment on the human body. Biomedical treatment in regards to autism spectrum disorders is just that a systemic examination of the entire child’s physical internal and external environment. Most physicians and practitioners using biomedical treatments consider the symptoms of autism overt indicators of deeper underlying conditions. For some ASD children treatment of the underlying conditions can lead to diminished autistic traits. Although biomedical treatment is considered alternative by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no denying the thousands of parents who are experiencing positive results. (See our Recover Section) Biomedical treatment for autism spectrum disorder is a combination of mainstream and alternative medicines working in harmony to heal the child. The underpinning behind most biomedical treatment protocols is the close examination the following systems functions:

  • Gastrointestinal Diagnosis and Treatment: Due to lack of communication and high pain-tolerance, many children don't present obvious gastrointestinal symptoms until they're older and worst yet the GI symptoms of many autistic children are completely overlooked. A large subset of children with ASD has GI issues. Common in autistic children include constipation (one formed stool per day), diarrhea (often described as mushy or grainy, not watery), abdominal pain, abnormal posturing (pushing stomach against objects to relieve pressure), foul smelling stool, undigested food in stool, abdominal distention, and failure of the child to grow.
  • Immune system (regulation/dysregulation): This area of treatment is directed at correcting immune system abnormalities. It includes supplying nutrients key in normal immune function, supporting the detoxification pathways, and breaking the inflammatory cycle.

  • Nutrition Treatment: Correlating to the immune system dysregulation and gastrointestinal issues there is a presence of GI inflammation, leaky gut and malabsorption in a large number of children on the autism spectrum. These can all lead to the child’s body inability to absorb nutrients, protein sensitivities/reactions (proteins acting as false neurotransmitters and detrimental drug analogs, adversely affecting brain function), and a cycle of chronic GI inflammation. In this area of treatment is common to start the child on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, digestive enzymes and individualized supplementation of nutrients.

  • Metabolic and underlying genetic abnormalities: Abnormalities in genetic polymorphisms and metabolism can lead to impairments in metabolism and detoxification, and thus allowing free radicals and pro-oxidants to increase and cause oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic inflammation and impaired energy production. These may lead to worsening of autistic symptoms.

TREATMENT PROTOCOLS

There is no one-size-fits-all biomedical treatment protocol for autism.
But there is a biomedical approach to the treatment of each individual child in the spectrum, just as there is for prevention and treatment of chronic illness in general. Getting the questions right is more important than getting the label or diagnosis right. The patient—not the “protocol”—is the expert and expresses his or her expertise by responses to tests and treatments which become the guide for further understanding of the options.” – Dr. Sidney Baker

 

Listed below are some of the popular treatment modalities for biomedical treatment.  Most parents employ a combination of approaches in treating their child. Due note biomedical interventions can and should be combined with behavior therapy, educational programs, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy, and social therapy.  Biomedical treatment can improve the efficacy of other treatments by improving brain and body health.


The "DAN! Protocol"

The DAN! Protocol is a general approach to treating children using biomedical interventions
Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) is a project of the Autism Research Institute, founded in the 1960's by Dr. Bernard Rimland. DAN! Doctors are trained in the "DAN! Protocol," an approach to autism treatment which starts with the idea that autism is a biomedical disorder. Specifically, DAN! Doctors are physicians who feel that autism is a disorder caused by a combination of lowered immune response, external toxins from vaccines and other sources, and problems caused by certain foods.  Such as dietary, nutritional, gastroenterology, immune therapy, heavy metal removal and more.  Some of the major interventions

Suggestion by DAN! Physicians may include:

  • Nutritional supplements, including certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids
  • Special diets totally free of gluten (from wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats) and free of dairy (milk, ice cream, yogurt, etc.)
  • Testing for hidden food allergies, and avoidance of allergenic foods
  • Treatment of intestinal bacterial/yeast overgrowth (with pro-biotics, supplements and other non-pharmaceutical medications)
  • Detoxification of heavy metals through chelation (a potentially hazardous medical procedure)

To Learn More about the DAN! Protocol

Website: Autism Research Institute and DAN Conferences (held twice a year)
Online Discussion: ChelatingKids2 and ABMD
Books:

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth

 

How to find a DAN! Doctor

The Autism Research Institute (ARI) has a list of doctors who have currently attended a DAN! Training.
www.autism.com/dan/danusdis.htm

Parents should educate themselves on biomedical treatments and be selective of physicians.  They can increase the likelihood of good care by considering the following;

  • Follow advice offered by ARI spokespeople regarding selection of a local pediatrician
  • Consult with their own pediatrician regarding the safety of any DAN! treatment
  • Check with parent support groups to be sure that the DAN! Doctor in your area is credible and effective.

Note from the Autism Research Institute on DAN! Doctors:
“We make every attempt to provide a comprehensive seminar for practitioners teaching them techniques for assessing, testing and treating children on the spectrum using the biomedical approach. We are now insisting anyone on the ARI Clinician's Registry attend at least one training or conference every two years. However, due to the overwhelming legal ramifications, we do not "certify" any practitioner.
We encourage parents to thoroughly investigate the credentials and expertise of any practitioner, but DAN! nor ARI will not police practitioners.
DAN! medical director, Elizabeth Mumper, M.D.,


Dr. Amy Yasko

Dr. Yasko is a healthcare practitioner specializing in chronic inflammation, immunological and neurological disorders. She initially applied her knowledge pathways involved in inflammatory cascades using natural herbs and medicines successfully treating adults with strategies that halted and in most cases reversed the effects of adult inflammatory diseases including ALS; MS, Parkinsons disease; Alzheimer disease, SLE, Myasthenia gravis, heart disease, sarcoidosis and polymyalgia rheumaticia among others.
In 2003, Dr Yasko entered the autism biomedical arena and has created a protocol that focuses on specific genes, the removal of viruses and bacteria from the child’s body.

To Learn More about the Yasko Protocol:
Website:  www.dramyyasko.com
Online Discussion: www.ch3nutrigenomics.com
Book:  The Puzzle of Autism: Putting it all Together.


Methyl B12 and Valtrex

This treatment option was developed by Stan Kurtz an autism parent who has become a respected colleague of the Autism Research Institute. According to numerous parental reports and summaries from many clinicians - in the context of diet, special training, and child-specific supplement regimens - the therapeutic use of Valtrex and methylcobalamin (mB12, methyl B12) helps some autistic children in ways other therapies do not.  Valtrex is related to acyclovir and has shown efficacy against many but not all strains of some herpes viruses, including HSV1, HSV2, and VZV (chickenpox), with lesser degrees of effectiveness against EBV, HHV6, and possibly CMV.
To Learn More about the use of Methyl B12 and Valtrx:
Online Discussion: mb12valtrex.


The "Cutler Protocol"

The Cutler protocol was developed by scientist Andy Cutler for the removal of heavy metals from the body. Note many parents who use the Cutler Protocol to remove heavy metal toxins do so in conjunction with the DAN! Treatments and a DAN! Doctor.
To Learn More about the Cutler Protocol:
Website:
Online Discussion: Yahoo discussion group Autism-Mercury
Book: Amalgam Illness,


Michael Lang's Natural Detoxification Program

Founder of Brainchild Nutritionals, Michael Lang recently published a helpful guide with his own recommendations for how to safely and effectively detoxify a child.
To Learn More about Michael Lang's Natural Detoxification Program:
Website:www.brainchildnutritionals.com/PDF/Protocol.pdf

For more noteworthy biomedical treatments that help some autistic children
www.autism.com/medical/research/advances/autism-newtreats.html


Links

Autism Research Institute
autismone.org/radio/?radio=biomedical
Autism Physician List
Autism Network Resources for Physicians- Autism Research for Doctors
Autism Research Unit, UK - Sunderland Protocol (Dr. Shattock’s)
Amen Clinic (Brain scans & testing)
Developmental Disabilities Resources for Healthcare Providers
4-A Healing
Handle Institute
Hardy Healthcare Associates- Dr. Paul Hardy
How to start biomedical intervention for Autism Spectrum disorders – a presentation.
ICDRC
Landau-Kleffner Syndrome-variant
Medigenesis- Dr. Sidney Baker
Natural Solutions - Alternative Medicine Site
Neuro Immune Dysfunction Syndromes- Dr. Michael Goldberg - CA
Pfeiffer Institute
TAAP - The Autism Autoimmunity Project
Talk About Curing Autism
Thoughtful House
Thyroid Testing InformationSafe & Effective Homeopathy for ASD Children
Vaccine Injured Children - Autism Autoimmunity
Dr. Amy Holmes - Focus on Mercury
Dr. Mary Megson - Must read for Vit A therapies
Dr. Woody McGinnis - Nutritional Perspectives on Behavioral Child


Supplement Providers

Kirkman Labs
Millenium Nutritionals
Mike Schott mail order supplements
Houston Neutrceuticals
Brainchild Nutritionals
Please link to our "Autism - what next" for more information on implementing the GF/CF diet, and more!

Please see our "Parent Recommendations" for DAN! practitioners!

Please see this link for a copy of a safer vaccination guidelines from Dr. Stephanie Cave: safe vaccination guidelines. She also has a book available at Amazon.com :
What your doctor may not tell you about Vaccines

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