By: Dr. Lee-Ann Lobo

Autism is the first disorder where I witnessed first hand the improvements to quality of life that can be made with naturopathic treatment. This developmental disorder generally appears in children in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s development of normal social and communication skills.

There are several different types of autism classified as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) based on severity and characteristics. Statistically 1 in every 110 children have a form of autism, with 70 new cases diagnosed a day. Boys are 4 times as likely to be diagnosed with a form of autism.

Autistic children are very different from one another and each requires a treatment program tailored to their individual needs. The standard medical approach to treatment is with behavioral therapy; mainly applied behavioral therapy or intensive behavioral intervention. Naturopathic treatment plans are a combination of dietary counseling, nutritional supplementation, detoxification techniques, homeopathy and herbal medicine. Parents should be prepared to commit to long-term lifestyle changes in order to achieve and maintain long-term results. However, to ease this transition and evaluate their effects supplements and dietary changes should be made gradually over a few days to weeks.

The book “Healing the New Childhood Epidemics” by Dr Kenneth Bock MD is an excellent resource for parents of children with ASD. Another useful book is “Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder” by Karen Seroussi.