Improvement in Autism Spectrum Disorder – A Case Study

From the September 1, 2011 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study documenting the improvement of a young boy suffering with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder.

The authors explain that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental brain disorders characterized by impaired social interaction, lack of communication skills, and limited range of activities and interests. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and Sensory Processing Disorder fall under the category of ASD problems. They further note that “Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) refers to a group or range of disorders characterized by a variety of delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Symptoms may be seen as early as infancy and will typically show up before 3 years of age.”

In this case a young boy, just 3 months short of his third birthday, was brought to the chiropractor with the medical diagnoses of Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. The history noted that the boy was born with a forceps delivery and was kept in the neonatal intensive care unit for 4 days with a fever. At the time the boy was brought to the chiropractor he was already behind in many developmental processes including communication skills, cognitive skills, fine motor skills, as well as social and emotional skills. He preferred to crawl rather than walk and was having difficulty crawling in a coordinated manner.

After an examination, chiropractic care was initiated for correction of vertebral subluxations that were detected. Specific chiropractic adjustments were given at the rate of 2 visits per week. The spine and nervous system were monitored regularly for subluxation.

The study reports that after 2.5 months of chiropractic care the first reevaluation was performed which showed improvements in the boy’s skills. The authors commented that, “The patient’s mother reported that her son’s communication skills had improved dramatically, he was walking and even starting to run.”

Additionally, the occupational and physical therapists that were working with the boy both noticed significant improvement and stated that they had never had a case improve this dramatically in such a short period of time. After ten months of care the boy had improved dramatically in many areas. He improved greatly in the areas of verbal skills, and his sensory processing problems had diminished. Probably one of the most dramatic improvements was reported by the boy’s mother who observed that her son had begun to read at a level above his age.

The authors of the study explained the chiropractic approach by stating in their conclusion, “There is a growing body of evidence in the literature relating chiropractic adjustments to the resolution of a variety of health problems. Chiropractic care when used to correct disturbances in the nervous system (subluxations) is not a treatment for any disease, illness or injury. However by reducing subluxations, a person’s body will be better able to repair, heal, function and develop.

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