Are Autism Treatments Working?

May 2011, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

According to latest statistical figures general conventional treatments for autism spectrum disorders are “...largely ineffective. Behavioural interventions do show some improvement in cognitive performance, language skills, and adaptive behaviour skills, especially in young people, but this is only a part-resolution.”

According to latest statistical figures general conventional treatments for autism spectrum disorders are “...largely ineffective. Behavioural interventions do show some improvement in cognitive performance, language skills, and adaptive behaviour skills, especially in young people, but this is only a part-resolution.” (Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/eds.2011-0426)

Common drugs used include the antipsychotics Risperidone and Aripiprazole. But these can have major side effects which limit or endanger their use long-term.

Part of the reason why these types of treatments are so limited, other than the side effects they produce, is because their aim isn't to treat the condition, but to just help cope with, or suppress, the symptoms.

Some theorists believe that the label of autistic disorder is more essentially a “different interest priority” rather than a disorder. This theory suggests that simply because we are all different, the extreme behavior often exerted in such 'label' conditions perhaps shouldn't be classed as disorders at all, but just a “difference of interest”.

Although there could be some quality in this type of theory, and it is known that neurological condition labels have been mistakenly attributed, especially to child-onset issues of this kind, as a disorder, the more diverse of behavioral adaptations must be more than just a difference of interest.

To look at this theory more...We all have a natural hard-wired ability to prioritize interest. So it is possible that a physical lack of this hard-wiring is possible as a cause of more extremes of interest, and hence extremes of behavior.

With this lack of neurological wiring we could potentially find everything of equal interest, so that phone books (to use a commonly known phenomena of interest in a 'savant' for example), and every tiny little detail of what is seen and done in a daily routine...behavior commonly exerted by high functioning 'autistic disorder'...could be why people in this state of behavior have special skills, such as being able to memorize books, and draw detailed pictures from brief glimpses from memory (if everything that is seen is very interesting, then everything that is seen is prioritized for being remembered).

This lack of prioritization can, as a consequence, under-develop other important social functioning skills, and less focus on other usual life aspects, which would additionally explain why autism is often related to attention-deficit disorders.

However, although this prioritization theory does have logic, others believe that the internal conflicts and stress that appear when one is in a social context is the very reason people with this type of condition avoid this situations, rather than a passive lack of interest (which they agree may also exist, but is not a cause).

The problem with the lack of development or interest aspect is that conventional treatment would be impossible if it has to precede the lack of development stage.

In any theory on autism, it is important to express that this is not a 'disease', but more of a neurological disorder or malfunction. Because it isn't a disease, with a known cause, but a malfunction without a specifically seen trigger, it can be harder both to understand and to treat.

According to the Autism Society of America, autism is the third most common developmental disability, more common now than Down Syndrome.”

There are also many levels on the spectrum of autistic level, making it equally difficult to study and maintain a pathway for potential 'cure'. Aside from the above theories, more medical theories lay down potential triggers including neurological imbalance or malfunction (as touched on above) resulting in normal stimuli causing aspects of pain to the recipient; genetics may also play a part; and environmental factors, such as viruses, and chemicals in the genetic or direct line.

There is potential medical reasoning for children born with autism (rather than adult-onset), that early stages of brain development may have been interrupted in the womb.

Important nutrients to try to help build on natural neurological and systemic health include calcium, magnesium, choline, CoQ10 production in the body, Vitamin B complexes, Vitamin C, A, D3, plus essential amino acids, MSM, RNA and DNA ingredients.

These are all essential to brain and normal health development and maintenance. To this effect our Total Balance Premium (or Standard) could be of overall help; with our Omega 3/DHA (Premium or QH Ultra); and a suitable formula from our Neuro-Natural range, depending on the age and individual status of the patient.

These can all help along with dietary, exercise, and importantly cognitive aids.

For the future, more recent neuroimaging studies have suggested more information pertaining to genetic factors that have resulted in a growth dysregulation hypothesis factor. This may show more relation to genetic code malfunctions, and the repair thereof, as a likely long-term way forward for children born with Autism.

More study is needed into adult-onset autism. In the meantime, the above steps may help to improve conditions and help to prevent deterioration.

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