In the general population, less than 1% of children develop clinical seizures, whereas more than 35% of children with autism do so by adolescence. Despite the high prevalence of seizures and epilepsy in children with autism, there is little information regarding effective and safe antiepileptic treatments. To shed light on the effectiveness of seizures treatment for children with autism I developed a relatively straight forward approach incorporating the “Autism Protocol.”
As noted in my previous article Undesired effects to B12 therapy can be a sign of treatment success. They are not uncommon . . . . , seizures can often be an indication of progress. Utilizing the Autism Protocol, including Micro-Current intervention can stop seizures and sustain progress for the autistic individual in terms of sensory intergration.
Sensory Intergration is always on my mind when treating ASD. Calming the central nervous system first can lay the ground work for patterning, re-patterning and establishing reliable behavior.
Children and adults with autism, as well as those with other developmental disabilities, may have a dysfunctional sensory system. Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation. Such sensory problems may be the underlying reason for such behaviors as rocking, spinning, and hand-flapping. Although the receptors for the senses are located in the peripheral nervous system (which includes everything but the brain and spinal cord), it is believed that the problem stems from neurological dysfunction in the central nervous system–the brain. As described by individuals with autism, sensory integration techniques, such as pressure-touch can facilitate attention and awareness, and reduce overall arousal. Temple Grandin, in her descriptive book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, relates the distress and relief of her sensory experiences.
Sensory integration is an innate neurobiological process and refers to the integration and interpretation of sensory stimulation from the environment by the brain. In contrast, sensory integrative dysfunction is a disorder in which sensory input is not integrated or organized appropriately in the brain and may produce varying degrees of problems in development, information processing, and behavior. A general theory of sensory integration and treatment has been developed by Dr. A. Jean Ayres from studies in the neurosciences and those pertaining to physical development and neuromuscular function.
Sensory integration focuses primarily on three basic senses–tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Their interconnections start forming before birth and continue to develop as the person matures and interacts with his/her environment. The three senses are not only interconnected but are also connected with other systems in the brain. Although these three sensory systems are less familiar than vision and audition, they are critical to our basic survival. The inter-relationship among these three senses is complex. Basically, they allow us to experience, interpret, and respond to different stimuli in our environment. The three sensory systems will be discussed below.
Tactile System: The tactile system includes nerves under the skin’s surface that send information to the brain. This information includes light touch, pain, temperature, and pressure. These play an important role in perceiving the environment as well as protective reactions for survival.
Dysfunction in the tactile system can be seen in withdrawing when being touched, refusing to eat certain ‘textured’ foods and/or to wear certain types of clothing, complaining about having one’s hair or face washed, avoiding getting one’s hands dirty (i.e., glue, sand, mud, finger-paint), and using one’s finger tips rather than whole hands to manipulate objects. A dysfunctional tactile system may lead to a misperception of touch and/or pain (hyper- or hyposensitive) and may lead to self-imposed isolation, general irritability, distractibility, and hyperactivity.
Tactile defensiveness is a condition in which an individual is extremely sensitive to light touch. Theoretically, when the tactile system is immature and working improperly, abnormal neural signals are sent to the cortex in the brain which can interfere with other brain processes. This, in turn, causes the brain to be overly stimulated and may lead to excessive brain activity, which can neither be turned off nor organized. This type of over-stimulation in the brain can make it difficult for an individual to organize one’s behavior and concentrate and may lead to a negative emotional response to touch sensations. ( To Be Continued)
Dr. Kniskern has successfully treated ASD, Autism, ADHD and Bi-Polar since 2006. Call Now and make an appointment to change a loved one’s life.
Dr. Kniskern, O.M.D., Ph.D.
San Carlos Medical Center, Inc.
(Specializing In Acupuncture, Autism, Micro-Current & Nutrition)