Autism, Behavioral And Learning Disorders

Health Topics

autismNote: The dramatic rise of autism has become an intense issue. Recent published reports of a vaccine-autism link confirm what a large percentage of parents of autistic children have claimed: their childʼs autism (including behavior and personality changes) occurred shortly after (a few days to weeks) their “well baby visit shots.” The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine has been increasingly targeted as the cause of autism, although a certain percentage of cases have been described after the Hepatitis B, Pertussis and other vaccines.

Peer Reviewed Journals:

1) Blocked atlantal nerve syndrome in infants and small children. Gutman G. ICA Review, 1990; July:37-42. Originally published in German Manuelle Medizin (1987) 25:5-10. From the abstract: Three case reports are reviewed to illustrate a syndrome that has so far received far too little attention, which is caused and perpetuated in babies and infants by blocked nerve impulses at the atlas. Included in the clinical picture are lowered resistance to infections, especially to ear-, nose-, and throat infections, two cases of insomnia, two cases of cranial bone asymmetry, and one case each of torticollis, retarded locomotor development, retarded linguistic development, conjunctivitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis, earache, extreme neck sensitivity, incipient scoliosis, delayed hip development, and seizures.

2) Learning difficulties of children viewed in the light of osteopathic concept. Frymann V (1988). In: Retalaff EW, Mitchell Fl Jr. (Eds). The cranium and its sutures, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, NY, pp.27-47.

3) The relationship of craniosacral examination findings in grade school children with developmental problems. Upledger JE, J Am Osteopath Assoc 1978; 77(10):760-76 / Medline ID: 78193624

4) Osteopathic management of psychosomatic problems. Dunn, FE. JAOA, Vol. 48 No. 4 Neuropsychiatric Supplement Vol. 2 No. 1 Dec. 1948. Relationship between structure and mental states and patient management.

5) Osteopathic concepts in psychiatry. Dunn FE JAOA, March 1950. A table describing the lesion (subluxation) frequency in schizophrenia is included. Patient management is discussed.

6) A pilot study of applied kinesiology in helping children with learning disabilities. Mathews MO, Thomas E, British Osteopathic Journal Vol. X11 1993. IQ scores improved and learning disabilities lessened. The British Osteopaths used applied kinesiology and Neural Organization Technique (NOT) developed by Carl Ferrari, D.C.

7) The effect of chiropractic adjustments on the behavior of autistic children; a case review. Sandeful, R, Adams E. ACA Journal of Chiropractic, Dec 21:5, 1987. The authors reported that 50% of all subjects under chiropractic care experienced reliable behavioral improvements, as recorded by independent observers. It is reported by those working with autistic children than any change in behavior in an autistic child is considered to be significant. Behavioral improvements were observed in such diverse areas as picking up toys, use of sign language, reduction of self-abuse and appropriate use of language.

Case Studies:

1) Case report: autism and chronic otitis media. Warner SP and Warner TM. Todayʼs Chiropractic. May/June 1999. This is a case report of a 3 ½ year-old girl with autism. She was non-verbal, had compulsive disorders, daily rituals, head banging and violence. After chiropractic, care began within one month her parents and teacher noticed a 30% improvement socially. After one year of care, an 80% improvement was noticed. Head banging and other rituals diminished by 50% with less violent behavior. She had chronic serous otitis media and had been on antibiotics for one year. Within a one-week period after her first adjustment, antibiotic use stopped due to a 70% improvement in her otitis media.

2) Case Study – Autism. Rubinstein, HM, Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 1, April 1994. This is the case study of a seven year old female diagnosed with autism. The child has a history of sexual and physical abuse. The little girl would slowly turn in circles in place while singing an incomprehensible song with a glazed stare and blank expression. Spinal examination revealed a right posterior and superior C1 with a frequency of about twice a week. After ten months of care she was able to carry on conversations, carry out commands, dress and groom herself. Cognitivedevelopment progressed to where she was able to learn, read, and participate in public school.

3) The effects of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction. Walton EV. Int Rev of Chiro 1975;29:4-5,24-26. In this study 24 learning impaired students, half received chiropractic care and the other half, who were either on medication or receiving no treatment at all, were used for comparison. The case histories that follow were obtained from the above paper. Case C 91: a high school student who was failing three subjects, with a history of failure, low morale, discipline problems, poor coordination, and a long history of clinical and medical treatment. After chiropractic care the student was passing all subjects, highly motivated, showing improved coordination and able to participate in athletics. All medications were dropped. Case C 92: also a high school student on 20mg. Ritalin and on Dilantin. She was nonmotivated, negative, passive, nonverbal, and failing in high school work despite placement in special classes. After chiropractic adjustments the student was taken off Ritalin, began talking and expressing herself, and showed improved reading comprehension and reading speed. Case CE 92: an elementary student who was extremely hyperkinetic, irritable, and he had severe behavior problems at home and school. Grades were marginal to failing. Although the boy was only 8 years old, Ritalin had been increased from an initial 5mg. to a total of 70mg./day with steadily diminishing results. (70mg. approaches danger level as a dosage). At the conclusion of chiropractic care, the Ritalin had been entirely discontinued and coordination was improved to the extent that the student became an able Little League ball player. His attitude was excellent, grades were up an average of one letter grade, and the student was considered free of all limiting factors. Behavior at home and school was exemplary. Case CE 101: an elementary student. This student was marginally passing his courses. There was a four year history of marginal accomplishment in school. He was nervous, underweight and suffered from insomnia. Medication was briefly tried but the studentʼs emotional control became poor and he frequently wept. The medication had to be discontinued. After chiropractic care there was a marked reduction in nervousness and great improvement in emotional stability. His mother reported that his appetite was now normal and he began enjoying school during the last month. Case C 93: a high school student. Initially on heavy dosages of medication, nonmotivated with a long history of clinical evaluation and treatment. The girl was failing most school subjects, marginal in others, and withdrawn. After chiropractic adjustments, her self-confidence improved; she was passing all subjects. All medication was discontinued after four months of treatment. A vocational goal was established. Case CJ 95: a junior high school student. He was hyperkinetic almost from birth and had a traumatic early developmental history with suspected neurological problems. Although of above average intelligence he was passing only two subjects, both marginally. He was starting to become a discipline problem, making little or no effort in school. After chiropractic care, fine and gross motor coordination improved markedly. He began taking an interest in athletics and played Little League on a team that placed third in the state. Effort and motivation improved to the extent that plans to send him back to a lower grade were dropped and he was promoted. Reports at the third week of school indicated that his academic progress was excellent after a late summer remedial program. Case CE 102: an elementary student who had been diagnosed by numerous clinics as minimally brain damaged, retarded and/or suffering from neurological dysfunction. He also suffered from severe emotional problems. After chiropractic he showed great improvement in self-confidence. He began to take part in public speaking in school. Mental ability tests indicated that the student was at normal grade level except for deficiencies in reading.

4) Developmental Communication Disorder. Subluxation location and correction by Stephen R. Goldman, D.C. Todayʼs Chiropractic July/August 1995 p.70-74.

5) Case Study No. 1 “A 2-year old child had a medical diagnosis of ʻdevelopmental communication disorder.ʼ He was non-responsive to any external stimuli, even to receiving an injection…did not respond to sound or touch…Chiropractic analysis revealed an axis subluxation. “On the third visit, when I walked into the room, he began to cry. That was the first time that he responded to anything happening around him. By the sixth adjustment, he started to follow certain commands and stopped making repeated hand motions. He started to talk after the 12th office visit. At present, he has an extensive vocabulary and is slightly hyperactive; he is probably making up for lost time.”

6) Autism, Asthma, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), strabismus and illness susceptibility: a case study in chiropractic management. Amalu WC. Todays Chiropractic. September/ October 1998. Pp. 32-47. A 5-year-old female with autism, asthma, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and leftsided strabismus who was experiencing 25 violent temper episode per day, with each episode lasting up to 20 minutes was referred for care. She also exhibited three episodes each day of self-inflicted violent behavior, which included biting her arm, slapping her head and repeatedly banging her head against a full-length mirror. She also had at least one episode of violent behavior each day – hitting people, especially her mother. Speech was limited to a few words such as “mama, dada, milk and walk.” Chiropractic Management consisted of correction of the atlanto-occipital subluxation with the patient adjusted in the knee-chest posture with contact to the posterior arch of atlas. First week of care: After the first adjustment, patient had her first good nightʼs sleep since her mother could remember. Violent temper episodes had reduced to 15 per day with de-crease in intensity. Self-inflicted violent behavior was decreased in frequency. Her speech, vocabulary and sleep patterns had improved. Second week: one adjustment. Violent temper episodes at five per day. Right eye showed no more signs of strabismus. Patient began speaking in sentences for the first time. Mother reported a marked decrease in hyperactivity along with a desire to be touched and hugged. Third week: One adjustment. Violent temper episodes 2 per day with decreased intensity. Mother stated there was little hyperactivity. Self-directed or outward violent behavior have ceased. Irritable bowel syndrome was much improved. Fourth week: no adjustments. All temper episodes, hyperactivity, violent behavior have stopped. Sleeping through the night. Patient was evaluated by two therapists who declared the diagnosis of autism was “incorrect.” Week 5- 8: a mild return of symptoms, an adjustment was given, and symptoms abated. Weeks 9-12: no adjustments. The IBS had almost completely resolved. Patient continued to improve over next 8 months; no more asthma attacks.

7) Subluxation location and correction by Stephen R. Goldman, D.C. Todayʼs Chiropractic July/August 1995 p.70-74. Case Study No. 4: 31-year-old with Crohnʼs disease (since age 15). A portion of his intestine had been removed and he was on antibiotics and prednisone. Had not had a normal bowel movement since age 15 and constantly suffered from abdominal cramps. Chiropractic analysis: Subluxation of axis. By the 13 th visit, he started having normal bowel movements and all medication was stopped.

Additional Articles:

1) Posture and mental health. Quigley WH. ACA Journal March 1964. Discusses the relationship between mental health and posture.

2) An analysis of 350 emotionally maladjusted individuals under chiropractic care. Hartmann GW, Schwartz HS. NCA Journal of Chiropractic, Nov. 1949. Classic review of 350 individuals helped under chiropractic care.

3) Relations of disturbances of cranio-sacral mechanisms to symptomatology of the newborn. Fryman V. JAOA. 1966;65:1059. In a group of 1250 unselected babies examined five days post partum, a group of 211 ʻnervousʼ children were found suffering from vomiting, hyperactivity, tremors and sleeplessness. Release of ʻstrainʼ in the skull resulted in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness.

4) Post-traumatic evaluation and treatment of the pediatric patient with head injury: a case report. Araghi HJ. Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics, 1992:1-8. From the abstract: a two-year-old boy suffering from vomiting and loss of energy following impact trauma to the head and found by neurological exam ant CT scan to have suffered a concussion with no evidence of brain or spinal cord pathology. Chiropractic adjustment of occiput resolved the patientʼs symptoms.