Research shows that many individuals with autism spectrum disorders have underlying medical issues that frequently go undiagnosed and can cause or exacerbate symptoms of autism.
These medical conditions include Fragile X, allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel disease, gastrointestinal/digestive disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food sensitivities, persistent viral and fungal infections, PANDAS, feeding disorders, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, immune disorders, autoimmune disorders, heavy metal toxicity and neuroinflammation. Treating these underlying medical issues can greatly improve some of the behaviors and symptoms associated with autism.
Treatment options may include:
- vitamin and mineral supplementation
- immune system support
- chelation/detoxification therapy
- hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- anti-fungal and anti-viral therapies
- dietary intervention
- methyl B-12 therapy
Patients should undergo diagnostic testing and consult with a licensed physician to develop an individualized treatment plan.
NAA recommends finding a physician who will not ignore underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms and severity of autism. There are a number of physicians in the U.S. who specialize in treating children and adults with autism. Until recently, the Autism Research Institute (ARI) maintained a list of clinicians who attended DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) physician training seminars. While the list is not actively maintained at this time, you can click here to view an archive: Clinician Listing
A new effort is now underway to educate, train and board certify physicians treating individuals with autism. Please visit http://medmaps.org for information.
To read more about medical comorbidities in ASD, click here.