Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Series

A case series published on December 5, 2011 in the scientific periodical, The Journal of Maternal and Pediatric Health, documented two cases of chiropractic helping two young adults with Autism related problems. One of the cases involved a 20 year old autistic man who displays aggressive behavior towards others. The second case was a 17-year-old autistic woman who abuses herself.

This research was carried out in Auckland, New Zealand in conjunction with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Life Chiropractic College West in California. According to the study authors, “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by abnormal social interaction and communication concurrent with repetitive behaviors and mannerisms which affect approximately one in every hundred people in New Zealand.”

In the first case a 20 year old man went to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of aggressive behavior toward others. His behavior included trying to grab others and bite them on the head and neck. These episodes occurred multiple times a week. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months and was living in a facility with other autistic individuals. He could not speak but could understand some basic commands.

A chiropractic examination was performed and care was initiated based on the findings of the examination. After the first chiropractic visit, the young man’s caregivers reported that he became more alert causing him to actually have more mood swings initially. However, after the second visit they noted that he was even more alert and started to eat more regularly. By the fifth visit, his attention span improved and he started watching TV, as well as being able to follow instructions and carry out tasks. By the conclusion of the study the young man’s behavior had improved to the point where he would no longer attack any of the staff members or students at school, he was calmer, and more able to follow instructions.

The second case in this study involved a 17 year old girl diagnosed with autism, who was also living in a facility. The study noted that according to her caregivers she exhibited behaviors that included episodes of screaming, crying, jumping up and down, biting the webbing between her thumb and index finger, and punching herself in the face to the extent she would have multiple bruises over her face. She also suffered from epileptic seizures.

Chiropractic care was initiated following an examination. The results reported that after the fourth visit she was sleeping through the night, and was described as becoming increasingly calm and was able to sit down to eat meals. As care continued the bruises on her face were gone, and she became more interactive with others often seeking hugs. Eventually, she was able to go on a boat cruise and could sit for an hour without becoming agitated.

In the conclusion of their study, the authors wrote, “Two cases of individuals who suffered from autism are presented. Each had favorable results after undergoing chiropractic care. This case series provides supporting evidence that individuals with autism may benefit from chiropractic care.”

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