Medical Treatment and Autism – My thoughts

October 7, 2012

Today I want to focus on the medical conditions that are common in our kiddos with Autism.  As stated before, ZAK’SDAD and I strongly believe there is medical link to Autism.  Identifying potential medical conditions that contribute to your child’s Autism or to co-morbid conditions associated with Autism is imperative to help determine the best plan of action for your child.  Some abnormal behaviors of children with autism are actually caused by medical issues. Once these medical issues are addressed the behaviors can drastically be reduced or stopped altogether.  It is impossible to learn and behave effectively if you do not feel well.

The medical research community has started to identify some common medical conditions in kiddos on the autism spectrum. What are the most common co-occurring medical conditions for children with Autism?  The three most common are gastrointestinal, seizure and immune disorders.

Gastrointestinal problems:  It has been found in many studies that “GI problems were significantly more frequent in Autism patients than in controls demonstrating a significant association between GI symptoms and autism.”  Some common symptoms are chronic constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and reflux.

Seizures:  Seizures do NOT always present the same way in every individual. They can be different from a major convulsion on the floor to minor seizures which look like rapid eye movement or a period of “zoning out.”

Immune Deficiency:  Approximately 25% of children on the spectrum have immune deficiency and dysfunction.  Children who have gastrointestinal disorders are very likely to have immune deficiency.  Lab work can be done to determine how your child’s immune system is functioning.

I will discuss additional co-morbid conditions in my next post as they deserve further attention.  In case you are unclear or have never heard the term co-morbid before, co-morbid conditions refer to one or more diseases or conditions that occur together with the primary condition.

I strongly recommend discussing any medical symptoms your child is experiencing with your child’s pediatrician and get the necessary testing done to help determine treatment options.   Consider keeping a medical and behavior chart for 1-2 weeks tracking your child’s health & behaviors your child is exhibiting.  Providing accurate data to your child’s doctor will help ensure they order the necessary testing.

So, next up is further discussion of medical conditions in kiddos with Autism and soon we will be doing a post on enhancing your child’s medical team beyond their pediatrician.

Stay strong and keep fighting for your child.

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