Managing Vs Treating Autism

Here I take off on a note from my last blog – The denial, the realisation and the setback. I received some feedback saying “Its sounds like you were marketing for Dr Woeller’s website”. So with this post I would like to clarify that.

Imagine this: Day 1- You get a headache, you just deal with it or sleep it off. Day 2- You wake up and you still have a headache, you head to office and people around you seem all insensitive and loud. The work that comes in seems like a burden and you did rather get to end-of-day as quickly as possible.If you are unlucky, you may even have an argument with a boss or colleague. You pop a pill and hope the headache subsides. Day 3 – Voila! No head ache, just a bit groggy, but feeling so much better after all the sleep. Days go by and Day 6- The headache is back. Damn! Now you start thinking- Is it lack of rest, am I not hydrated enough, is it a vision issue , is it the cold weather, is it a case of indigestion? From all the probable causes lets say it turns out to be vision-related. Voila! You now know where to go and what to do.

May I rephrase the above – You tried managing the symptoms by popping a pill and when you went after the root cause you were actually thinking of treating it. Treatment, need not necessarily be in the medical context. It can be anything which is healing, or anything that is therapeutic.

Now consider: A young child, 2-3 years old, with underdeveloped language skills, looks pretty much like the kids his age, has some weird requirements that seems to hassle the parents a lot and has tantrums that cannot be explained. This is not the terrible twos or tantrum threes that is seen usually in typical kids that age. This is basically some physiological problem presenting itself in the form of a tantrum or rigid behavior or trying to escape situations.

Now compare for yourself– The adult with the headache got away with his behavior at office, but the 3 year old child got the autism diagnosis and did not get a treatment for his behavior!!!

When I didn’t get answers from the medical community closest to me, I was told by the director of the academy providing the ABA therapy, to consider biomedical intervention. She herself, is a mom to a non-verbal child and believed that while ABA therapy can help in behavior management, skills and language development it would be more fruitful if as parents we also try to find out the root cause(s) and eliminate them. So the way I see it – play therapy,speech therapy,applied behavioral analysis therapy, occupational therapy and the likes will help you manage the symptoms of autism but you need to start on treatment to see the effectiveness of the therapies.

So how do I find the root cause and if I want to get my child the right treatment where do I go? As I said in my earlier blog, most pediatricians dont offer much autism-wise and that is why I owe it to websites like that of Dr Woeller where I understood the need for testing for food allergies, I understood the importance of heavy metal testing, the need for the GFCF(gluten free, casein free) diet and the need for supplementation. You may choose not to go to this website and try to find another resource elsewhere, but its important to find the resource that can guide you! Please be rest assured no marketing gains whatsoever!

Now that I have started, I will also mention that the Facebook lives of Dr. Jared Skowron is super-informative. He is also associated with Spectrum Awakening that has supplements made for kids on the spectrum. I will forever be indebted to the annual Autism Hope Alliance summit and the Autism Recovery summit for allowing me to sit in the comfort of my home and listen to the various interviewees who talk about managing and treating autism with evidence-based interventions that may be considered controversial; supplements suggested may not be child-specific but parents are trying these and seeing results. There were nights, I haven’t slept as I needed to catch up on the interviews while they were still free! They kick-started this Atypical journey in 2017 for me and every year since, during the April-June period I am rejuvenated by all the information they have to share.

Look out for our experiences on interventions that we used for our son in the future blogs.Until then, dont just manage; treat as well!!

2 thoughts on “Managing Vs Treating Autism

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