Summary of Biomedical Treatments for Autism
By James B. Adams, Ph.D.
April 2007 Version – see http://autism.asu.edu for future updates.
This document is intended to provide a simple summary of the major biomedical treatments available to help children and adults with autism/Asperger’s. Biomedical treatments will not help every child, but they havehelped thousands of children improve, sometimes dramatically. This summary is primarily based on the excellent book “Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments” by Jon Pangborn, Ph.D., and Sidney Baker, MD,. published by the Autism Research Institute. That book provides much more depth on the testing and treatments which are briefly summarized in this document. Another good source of information is“Children with Starving Brains,” by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD. After reading this document, it is highly recommended that you go to those sources for more information. This summary generally follows the DAN! philosophy, which involves trying to treat the underlying causes of the symptoms of autism, based on medical testing, scientific research, and clinical experience, with an emphasis on nutritionalinterventions. Many of the DAN! treatments have been found by listening to parents and physicians. ARI Survey of Parent Ratings of Treatment Efficacy Most of the treatments listed on the following pages were evaluated as part of the Autism Research Institute (ARI) survey of over 23,000 parents on their opinion of the effectiveness of various treatments for children with autism. For a full copy ofthe latest ARI Survey, see the last page. Other Interventions: Behavioral interventions, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), can also be very helpful to children with autism, and are recommended to be used in conjunction with biomedical treatments. Similarly, speech therapy, sensory integration, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and a good educational program can be very important.Finally, social interventions (such as Relationship Development Intervention) and social groups can be very helpful in building social relationships and skills. Biomedical therapy may help improve the efficacy of these other interventions, by improving brain and body health and making it easier for the child to learn. Note about Author: James Adams is a professor at ASU researching the biologicalcauses of autism and how to treat it. His research has included studies of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, neurotransmitters, heavy metal toxicity, detoxification, gastrointestinal bacteria, immune system regulation, and sleep disorders in children and adults with autism. He is the lead author of the 2005 DAN! Consensus Report on Treating Mercury Toxicity in Children withAutism, and serves on the Executive Committee of Defeat Autism Now!. He has a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering, but now focuses his research on autism. He is an adjunct professor at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. He is also the President of the Autism Society of America – Greater Phoenix Chapter, and father of a teen-age girl with autism.
ARI Publication 40 / April 2007 Treatment Order:We have listed the various treatments in approximate order of what is typically recommended, but every child is different, and initial assessment by a physician may suggest a different order. Also, some physicians have their own preferences as to order of treatment. The key point to remember is to observe the effect of each treatment on your child, both behaviorally and through testing wherepossible. This Summary includes the following sections: • • • • • • • Improve Diet Food Allergies GFCF Diet Vitamin/Mineral Supplements High-Dose Vitamin B6 and Magnesium Essential Fatty Acids Gut Treatments o Antifungals o Probiotics o Digestive Enzymes Amino Acids Melatonin Thyroid Supplements Sulfation Glutathione Chelation Immune System Regulation
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Note: This summary is not...