Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Autism - A 'Perferct Storm' That's Not So Perfect...

As published in Family Time Magazine, a summary of the work myself and my team have been doing to reach the children. Hope You Enjoy, and please pass on :)

‘I have a dream!’ The familiar words expressed by one of the greatest men in our history. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And like Dr. King, I Dr. Ashly Ochsner also have a dream. My dream though is different. It’s not to stop segregation or racism but to facilitate and contribute to the eradication of Autism in our modern world. Lofty? Impossible? Unrealistic? Maybe, yes. However, this is what many said of Dr. King’s dream. As I’ve said in many forums, conferences, and in print, “The single-next greatest day in my life will be when not one more child is diagnosed with Autism for it has been eradicated most of all through prevention, and recovery as well.” In order for this to be achieved, it’s going to take more than me. It’s going to take you and many others to begin the process, educate our community and the world, and see it through.

To achieve any goal or dream though, you have to have a plan. Your plan must start by having a clear understanding of the problem at hand. For instance, the medical model of health care is studying the genetic causes of this condition and conditions similar. But if you really look at genetics and statistics you will understand this is the complete and total wrong direction to go. How can I say this? Because it’s literally impossible for an epidemic to be caused by genetics. And to say that Autism is an epidemic is an understatement. Look at these statistics over the past 20 years for instance: Autism has a 6000+% increase from 1/10,000 to 1/91 (Fombonne et al, JAACAP, 2001/Pediatrics, October 5, 2009) compared to ADHD (400% increase), Asthma (300% increase), Allergies (400% increase), and diabetes (103% increase ) (Bingley, 2007). So if it’s not genetics where do we turn? Epigenetics is where we turn. The study of Epigenetics shows proof positive that stressors ‘turn on’ genes, they do not turn themselves on as previously believed. So it’s not that there’s a genetic cause, there’s a ‘stressor’ that causes the gene to turn on and dysfunction follows. And this is true across the entire board of genes, not only dealing with the ‘Autism’ gene. So then with this concept one must look at ‘stressors’ if getting to the true cause is the goal. After caring for, consulting with, and treating literally thousands of children with neurodevelopmental disorders and autism, one thing has become perfectly clear and that is that our children today encounter more of these ‘stressors’ than ever. From extreme emotional stress of their mother during pregnancy, along with direct physical stress and chemical stress during pregnancy, birth, and in the first months of life, we have created what has been referred to as ‘A Perfect Storm.’

A Perfect Storm is kind of a misnomer really. It occurs when a combination of circumstances all come together in exactly the right timing to create a powerful & incredible storm. Just weeks ago a ‘Perfect Storm’ stretched over a 1300+ mile path of our country, where this massive blizzard reached pinnacle intensity. This perfect storm inflicted the United States with wind, snow, lightning, thunder, and waves off of Lake Michigan with Katrina-like hurricane force. The damage has been intense and many lives were lost. Autism and nuerodevelopmental disorders are no different. Below I will outline the combination of circumstances affecting our children today contributing to this beast of a storm.

Neurological interference and damage is a major result of the stressors mentioned above. One major problem seen in nearly every child today is massive spinal damage from the birth process. Research has shown that blocked nerve impulses at the top of the neck were detected in 80% of all children studied. This means that they are not in autonomic balance, right from the beginning of life in the world. (Gutmann, G. “Blocked Atlantal Nerve Symndrome In Infants and Small Children.” - Manuelle Medizine, Springer-Verlag 1987.) This then blocks the child’s ability to function and heal at the core. A critical component to the evaluation of the health of these children is a detailed and specialized evaluation of their spinal column for proper alignment and nerve system function by a pediatric Chiropractor. Check out the research and these case studies to understand this most important fact. A normally aligned cervical spine (neck) is depicted (on the left) as well as an abnormally aligned spine and nerve system (on the right). The neuro-surgeon Dr. Alfred Brieg in this research study showed that an abnormally aligned cervical spine places damaging pressure on the spinal cord and brain stem.

Now look at the images below of two patients in our clinic who are sister and brother. The sister on the left is classified as neurotypical or ‘normal’ having no damage or pressure to her nerve system. Notice that the brother on the right, who regressed into Autism at about age 3, has extreme damage and pressure to his spine and nerve system.

It’s important to mention I believe that these two children at the same food, had the same number of vaccines, breathed the same air, and came from the same mother and father. However, the brother whose spinal cord was damaged from the birth process, consequently had an extreme limitation to adapt to the stressors he encountered, unlike his sister who could adapt. There’s part of the ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances that contributed to his regression. This is only one case of hundreds in our clinics that are extremely intriguing and definitely warrant further research no doubt.

So as you can see, if the central function and healing capacity of the child, the nervous system, is compromised, we have a recipe for disaster from that point forward. Especially when you examine today’s world. The ‘food’ we feed our children, the toxins they encounter and in the numbers they encounter all of these, are frightening. For instance, the modern diet of today doesn’t consist of food. It consists of what Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD refers to as ‘food-like things.’ The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is composed of processed, packaged, preserved, sprayed, and genetically modified substances that our children (and adults) consume on a daily basis, and in gigantic portions many times. There are many dangers in what our children are consuming, ranging from sugar (and other processed sweeteners), to bad and damaged fats, as well as toxins. Today the average person consumes 183 lbs. of sugar according to the University of California Berkeley! This causes inflammation, blood sugar problems, and many other stresses to the body. Our children are given corn syrup in a bottle (infant formula) as their chief source of nutrition right from day one of life. Very damaging and dangerous as you can imagine. As well, they consume huge amounts of bad and damaged fats in all of the boxed and processed foods they consume from cereal, to crackers, to cookies. Not to mention the fried foods like chicken nuggets and French fries. The damage continues with major toxins in the hot dogs and cold cuts they eat in the form of nitrites, and the many other commercial animal products that are introduced into their fragile little bodies. Time magazine wrote about this exact problem regarding the ‘real cost of cheap food’ in August of 2009. For instance, commercial animals are raised with so many chemicals ranging from steroids, to hormones, to antibiotics. As well they are fed a diet of mainly corn and other grains that are not what they are meant to eat. And if grains make cows fat fast, shouldn’t we take note of that as humans? Our food supply is in danger in more ways than one, and consequently so is our children’s health.

And it doesn’t stop there, then comes more toxins not from food though, but in the form of an abundance of vaccinations and medications consistently given throughout their childhood. As a matter of fact, by 12 months of age, an American child will have received 25 vaccines through 5 separate vaccine appointments. In most appointments, six vaccines are given to a child in 3-4 minutes (generationrescue.org). And as life goes on, up to 49 doses of 14 vaccines are given today before age six. That's up to 12 vaccines possible at one visit. (NVIC.org) That’s a lot compared to the around 10 vaccines administered total prior to this massive increase that started in 1983. The toxic onslaught continues as they are exposed to other toxins like CHLORINE, FLOURIDE, and MEDICATIONS in our water supply, PTHALATES from the plastics they consume food and drink from, VOC’s from paint and finishes, PFOA’s from Teflon cookware, EMF’s from all of the electronics of today, LEAD from toys, old paint, and some candy, PBDE’s from mattresses and carpets, and MERCURY from factories and refineries! When you really think about it, it is no doubt a ‘perfect storm’ of stressors that exist in today’s world. But talk to any mother of a child with Autism or any other neurodevelopmental disorder and it’s far from ‘perfect’. I have no idea what it truly feels like to have a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder like ASD, I have now worked with thousands of parents with children who do. While for sure my heart is broken, I also have seen the hope that exists in what can be done in calming and reversing this not-so-perfect storm telling me that this storm shall pass. And without a doubt, ‘I have a dream.’

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