A study published on May 26, 2016, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the case of a 4-year-old boy with Autism being helped with chiropractic. The study authors begin by explaining, “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an early developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction, with restrictive, repetitive behaviors, causing significant impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of function, that are not better explained by intellectual disability.”
The study points out that the diagnosis of ASD has dramatically increased over the past decade. They report, “In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 1 in 68 children are classified as having ASD, up from 1 in 110 in 2006. ASD affects more than 400,000 children in the United States and is the third most common developmental disorder in children.”
The current medical treatments for children with ASD involve antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-seizure medications. Other studies show that over 50% of children diagnosed with ASD have received at least one form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as chiropractic. Over seventy-five percent of those showed some improvement.
In this case, a 4-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder was brought to a chiropractic clinic by his mother and father. Their son was language delayed and was unable to formulate words or communicate but was able to cry out and make guttural sounds. The boy could hear commands but would only respond with temper tantrums. He was also frequently hurting himself on purpose but would exhibit no pain. Since birth, the boy also regularly suffered from the flu, frequent colds, ear infections and allergies. He was frequently on antibiotic medications.
A chiropractic examination was performed on the boy and a determination was made to correct the subluxations that were found. Initially, the child was seen 15 times over the course of 8 weeks.
After the first adjustment, the child made his first eye contact with the chiropractor. By the third visit, his parents reported that their son seemed to be understanding direction better, but overall had been acting more aggressively. By the fourth visit, the boy was trying to verbalize but was unsuccessful at that time. By the sixth visit, the child started using some single words such as eat, car, or Auntie. On the eighth visit, the boy asked his father for a hug.
On the 15th visit, the boy’s mother was given a standardized test to evaluate her son’s autism improvement. The results showed that the boy had a 34.8% improvement in his speech/language/communication score; his sociability score improved by 50%; he showed a 50% improvement in his sensory/ cognitive awareness score; and a 31.4% improvement in his health/physical/behavior score.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “With a growing body of case studies on chiropractic and ASD, this study serves to strengthen the relationship between reduction of vertebral subluxation and improvements in function in patients with ASD.”