By Drs. Drew and Kanema Clark –
A conversation being had in all too many households these days surrounds Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). According to reports from the CDC an alarming 1 in 88 US children are now affected by ASD. Furthermore, it’s estimated that Autism Spectrum Disorders alone cost the nation about 137 million per year. Still this does not come close to having the impact that it is having on an increasing number of families in our communities. Many theories have been presented as to why we are experiencing such an aggressive rise in the number of children struggling to overcome autism. These theories range from birth trauma and vaccinations to genetics and/or environmental issues like pollution. Fundamentally, it’s hard to say which of these serves as the real culprit or whether they all play a role in the devolvement of this condition. What we do know is that there is a light shining in the midst of autism’s darkness, that many are unaware of; Upper Cervical Chiropractic.
A missing puzzle piece Although the exact cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders are unknown, we do know that Autism affects the ability of the brain to process information by altering how nerve cells connect and organize. This in turn affects all areas of life, from communication & mood to health & physical behavior. One diamond that is shinning in the rough, is the benefit that is beginning to be seen through specific Upper Cervical Care. One study published in 2006 including 14 children reported a 32% improvement in the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) scores while under Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care. Two of the children saw such drastic improvement that they no longer met the criteria for an autism diagnosis. According to research performed by Pshyco-Educational and Guidance services, chiropractic care is 20-40% more effective than medicine in reducing symptoms commonly seen in a wide range of learning and behavioral problems.
While true Upper Cervical Chiropractic is not designed to treat any symptom or disease, more and more evidence is pointing to the fact that it may be one of the missing pieces to the puzzle known as Autism.
While we don’t believe there is one absolute cause of Autism, we also do not believe that there is one magic bullet to send it packing. The answer in our opinion is multifaceted. However, considering that Autism Spectrum Disorder’s relate to instances where the Nerve System is having a problem accepting and processing information efficiently, it is imperative that we take a look at the functionality of that system.
Fundamentally when we consider how a misalignment at the top of the neck disrupts nerve communication from brain to body, we begin to understand how this interferes with the body’s capacity to control or regulate normal body functions. (ie Autistic Spectrum Disorders)
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Research published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research said that altered biomechanics from this misalignment leads to an imbalance in sensory input into both the cerebrum and the cerebellum. When nerve transmission to major integrating or interpreting centers of the brain become imbalanced it leads to altered nerve response to environmental changes. Couple this information with the concept that the sole purpose of Upper Cervical Care is to restore proper nerve communication; one could begin understanding how Upper Cervical Chiropractic can help in many cases. This is accomplished by evaluating the delicate relationship between the first bone (Atlas) and the brainstem, which is a vital component of the neural communicating pathway. If a problem with this atlas bone is detected, we gently and specifically reposition the bone, freeing nerve communication thus maximizing your body’s natural recuperative power. Our job is not to treat or cure Autism, we simply, yet effectively ensure proper Brain to Body communication allowing the body to function as intended.