Chiropractic Treatment and Autism

Most people know someone who is autistic or who is affected by autism. This mysterious neurodevelopmental disorder is seemingly affecting more and more people every day. In fact, one in 50 children are now being diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The medical community is still only beginning to learn how to effectively treat the disorder, but a Nebraskan family is saying that chiropractic therapy is helping their young son regain his life. 

The Schaefer family knew something was wrong with their son Hagen when he was 18-months-old. However, it was not until a year and a half later that they were able to get an official Autism diagnosis. Countless hours of research led them to seek the advice of a Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, doctor. Their investigation lead them to Dr. Jason Wiese, a chiropractor who is an expert in DAN. He describes DAN as a biomedical approach that allows him to help “remove interference, restore function and replenishes the body.”

Wiese uses chiropractic work as part of his treatment plan. He claims the process allows the nervous system to being working accurately. Wiese also implements a very strict diet plan for his patients to follow in conjunction with the chiropractic visits. It includes a complete eradication of all processed foods, very low to zero sugar, low gluten and low casein, a phosphoprotein found in cows’ milk. His goal is to reduce, if not eliminate, the inflammatory response the body has to these types of foods. Hagen was recommended by Wiese to receive chiropractic treatment three times a week.

According to the Schaefers, by the second week of treatment Hagen spoke his first words. Within the year he was able to communicate with friends and family, ask questions and even read books. His mother Ashley believes all Hagen’s progress is due to DAN.

However, the DAN approach is a controversial method. Dr. Keith Allen, a professor of Psychology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute, says the evidence is just not there to support that DAN is a legitimate effort. Allen also states that the foods DAN argues as being harmful to those diagnosed with autism have not been proven to be so. 

Despite the conflicting views, the most important thing when looking for a treatment for autism is to find one that best suits you and your child. Exploring options and being open to integrating multiple kinds of therapies together is the best way to discover what will benefit your child in the long run. With autism, it seems it is not about finding a cure, but more about finding ways to allow your child to flourish within autism’s boundaries. 

The DAN process uses chiropractic treatments as one of the ways your child can thrive with their autism. If you decide to start a chiropractic regiment with your child it is important to get in contact with a doctor who practices the DAN method or who is familiar with working with those with autism. 

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