WRITTEN BY Sean Heerey, ND.

WOW – 1 in 68.  According to the CDC, the rate of Autism in the US is 1/68. This number is staggering! In New Jersey the number is 1 in 45. This disorder affects thousands of children and their families in a number of ways. Children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) display mild to severe impairments in social interaction and communication along with restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. Early Intervention (EI) in the form of speech and language therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), and occupational therapy are often the first services that a child diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) receives. These are very important therapies that address communication and core deficits.

More can be done to help these children. One of the basic tenets of Naturopathic Medicine is “Tolle Causam”, i.e., treat the cause. Consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) will commence a process of identifying and removing potential causes of ASD, such as nutritional, metabolic (how the body breaks down food to create energy), environmental/heavy metals toxins, and immune system imbalances. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach and based on what it observed and shared during a naturopathic consultation very specific and individualized recommendations can be made.

The diagnosis of ASD is important but each child is unique. Children on the autistic spectrum may present with perplexing and chronic issues that have responded poorly to drug-based approaches. NDs are trained to treat the whole person so as to optimize the health of these children using gentle and natural therapies. The strength of the naturopathic approach lies in the process of  supporting the whole child, e.g., uncovering details of the child’s behaviors, discovering how issues manifest in the body and effect the child and then using this information to create a plan to support and nurture the child.

Reference:  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w

Dr. Heerey is a 2007 graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon where he received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. He received a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1995 from Queens College, City University of New York. He is a board member of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NYANP). IN addition to helping children on the autistic spectrum he supports children and adults with chronic health issues.  He brings 20 years of experience working with children with language and learning disorders including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, to his Naturopathic practice. Dr. Heerey uses dietary interventions, homeopathic remedies/CEASE Therapy and flower essences to support the health of his patients.  Find out more by visiting  www.drseanheerey.com

2 thoughts on “Naturopathic Medicine for Autistic Spectrum Disorder”

  1. Hi, my name is Christine and I would love to get some input from you as a Naturopathic doctor. I would love to work with children in the area of health.
    Just a few years ago I became very interested in naturopathic health. When I started college in 2007 I noticed myself getting very exhausted in class and regularly going into deep sleeps just two rows from my professor teaching. I was getting enough sleep at night so I knew something was wrong. When I returned home on break I went to the doctors and my doctor just put it off as having anxiety. I was enjoying my first year of college and knew it was not anxiety. I was somewhat of a healthy eater at home and college food was a big change for me, but I wouldn’t realize that until just about one year ago.
    Last year my brother, at age 30 was diagnosed with MS just a few months before the birth of his first son. My mother and I both in shock began researching to better understand MS. As we researched we found more and more info on the effects food has on the body. We read so many success stories of people healing themselves through their diet. My brother who is now married has been eating mostly processed foods and eats out frequently so I believe it has put a great toll on his body.
    Through this process I have become very conscious of the foods I eat even more so than before. I am big fan of the Maker’s Diet and although I don’t always follow it perfectly, when I do I feel more energized.
    Now as a current substitute teacher both in the public schools and a hospital here in NY I cringe when I see the lunches children bring to school. Many of them, come in with packaged snacks and of course, we all know the lunches the schools and hospitals serve are no better.
    With all of that said, I was wondering if you would happen to know of any organizations, wellness camps or naturopath doctors here in NYC, that specifically work with children and parents teaching them about diet. If you know of anyone here in the NY area I would love to get their info.
    I currently hold my BS degree in Elementary Ed and will be continuing my studies in Special Ed. My passion is teaching children and I would love to have the opportunity to teach them the importance of healthy eating as well as working alongside children who are suffering medically and seeing them improve through their healthy choices. If you or another doctor are interested I would love to volunteer or shadow someone to learn more!

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