Autism is a neuro developmental disorder which impairs social skills, communication and interaction.
Autism has now been diagnosed widely among children. Autism is a spectrum disorder meaning the range of symptoms/impairment of social skills/language/communication etc. and strengths of these individuals shall be varied. No two individuals shall be alike.
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. It is better that parent with concerns to seek evaluation/assessment at the earliest.
Children with Autism have sensory issues. Their sense organs do not function as they do for a normal neurotypical individual. They have sensory needs for which they seek stimulation. Flapping of hands, hypersensitivity to sound etc. are few of the mannerisms found in an autistic individual.
Research is still ongoing to ascertain the cause of Autism. Nothing has been published as a confirmed cause for Autism as yet. One theory states that many children with autism have a "leaky gut,". This theory suggests that autistic children have tears and holes in their intestinal walls, possibly due to damage from toxins, antibiotic sensitivity or infections (such as an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans). In addition, these children may lose healthy digestive bacteria and have damage to the cells that produce enzymes needed to absorb certain proteins (such as gluten) properly.
Both leaky gut and problems with absorbing specific proteins, the theory goes, can cause intestinal contents to enter the bloodstream. This not only includes toxins and bad bacteria, but also protein molecules that haven't been fully digested. The latter may actually lead to food allergies because the immune system treats the molecules as foreign matter. It can also lead to what some autism researchers call the opioid effect.
Proponents of the leaky gut theory believe that the partially digested protein molecules from gluten and casein, also known as peptides, can reach the brain via the bloodstream. Peptides have a molecular structure similar to that of your brain's natural opioids (endorphins), so they're drawn to the brain's opioid receptors. This leads to problems with behavior, speech and social skills. Just as opioid drugs such as heroin are addictive, so are foods high in gluten and casein for children with leaky gut.
There are a couple of different theories as to why children with autism can benefit from a diet free from gluten (protein contained in wheat, barley, rye, oats) and casein (dairy products) . One draws a connection between food allergies and behavioral problems. An allergy is essentially an extreme inflammatory response by the immune system to a substance that it sees as an invader. Allergies can manifest in a wide variety of physical symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, hives, wheezing and rashes.
Children with autism often have trouble communicating, so they may not be able to tell their parents that they're experiencing painful symptoms like acid reflux and stomach cramps. Instead, they scream, act aggressively and throw temper tantrums. The discomfort, pain and other physical reactions from the allergic response could trigger autistic behaviors.
So to treat Autism it is not necessary to treat the brain, it will be a good starting point to treat gut issues. Many children have shown significant improvement when gut issues have been sorted out.
Yet another theory of Autism is the mercury poisoning theory. The behaviour of a mercury poisoned individual is similar to that of an autistic.
If the children are able to get detoxified and their bodies got ridden of mercury and other heavy metals, their symptoms show improvement.
So treatments/therapies that help improve digestive and excretory functions help improve the quality of life of Autistics and their families.
The SPECT scans of autistics show poor blood flow in the lower brain (ie the area below the area covered if an individual is wears a cap). Treatments therapies that can increase blood flow to these areas will definitely help autistics to improve.
There are may be so many comorbidities like seizures, infections, poor immunity etc. Addressing them will also help improve the quality of life of both the child and the caregivers.