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.
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