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Posted on: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Autism recovery teams include chiropractors
public_health email to the editor
By Darrel Crain, DC

Autism is a modern tragedy that has cruelly transformed the normal joys of family life into heartbreaking trials for the moms, dads, sisters and brothers of an estimated 560,000 children in the United States.

A new report from the CDC tells us one child in 150 has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), up from one child in 10,000 twenty years ago. The spectrum includes neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD/ADD, Asperger's Syndrome, speech delay, developmental delay and learning disabilities.

California's latest report on the rise of autism is bleak: every day, seven days a week, nine more children pop up in the column that says, "professionally diagnosed with full syndrome autism." Last year California saw the number of newly diagnosed children reach a record all-time high.

But we do have some good news for a change. I am delighted to report that autistic children today have a fighting chance of experiencing a significant level of recovery. For some children, the recovery is nothing short of miraculous.

Dr. Julie Buckley, a pediatrician in Jacksonville, Florida, was recently quoted by First Coast News, "Many parents when they get the diagnosis of autism, they are devastated. They then get the therapy, and eventually plan for a group home. That's not what I signed up for. I signed up for the wedding, the grandchildren, and that's what I want for everybody."

Dr. Buckley's daughter Dani was diagnosed as profoundly autistic at age four. "I think the thing that will always haunt me was the waking up in the morning, the crying and the moaning. As a mom, all I wanted to do was to make it better." Research led Buckley to the work of doctors who practice an approach called Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!). Her daughter responded well to the DAN! biomedical treatments.

Dani is now eight years old and considered gifted in her third grade class. Dr. Buckley said of her daughter's progress, "Her recovery was pretty dramatic, but for each child recovery happens at a different pace." Buckley is said to be treating 600 children locally in Jacksonville and from around the world. "All of my patients are either in recovery or are recovering, and all are feeling better." She is one of hundreds of doctors around the country reported to be using the DAN! approach.

A parent's organization in Southern California called TACA put it this way, "Some of our families have been told to put their child in an institution. We're hoping for Harvard." TACA stands for Talk About Curing Autism. "When doctors repeatedly tell you there is nothing you can do, it's going to take a lot of families to prove they're wrong," according to TACA's brochure. Membership in TACA has grown from the initial 10 families who founded the group in 2000, to nearly 2,200 families by the end of 2006.

At its core, DAN! is a treatment for heavy metal poisoning. Chelation enhances the body's ability to eliminate poisonous metals such as mercury and aluminum, and certain foods are restricted from the child's diet. Freed from those toxins, immune function and digestion can be normalized and enhanced using a combination of enzymes, vitamins and supplements.

Sidney Baker, MD, an active contributor to the creation of DAN! wrote of its origins, "Basically we put forth a picture of autism as something gone wrong in the triangle formed by the immune system, the central nervous system, and the gut."

Baker describes the digestive tract as the immune system's most demanding client, and the central nervous system and the immune system are partners. He says they function together seamlessly in what he calls "functional unity." This perhaps explains why the great DAN! teams around the country include chiropractors, whose specialty is to restore normal, uninterrupted communication in the nervous system.

The search for autism's cause so far suggests that multiple factors are involved, centered on depressed immune response. As Barbara Loe Fisher, director of the National Vaccine Information Center said recently, "Answering this question requires scientific investigation that goes far beyond the mercury hypothesis."

Now that Congress has voted to spend more money researching autism, we have an opportunity to study children, not just numbers, to evaluate the role played by vaccines in the autism drama.

As Fisher pointed out, "Constant atypical manipulation of the immune system with lab-altered viral and bacterial vaccines containing many different additives may well be harming an expanding number of children, who are biologically vulnerable to vaccine-induced chronic inflammation and neuroimmune dysfunction."

The cause of autism is still hotly debated, with much of the scientific discussion politically charged with high financial stakes and legal liability. While the arguments rage, we need to focus on the needs of the children and their families. The phenomenal success of DAN! to help children recover simply by restoring normal cell function is a wakeup call that must be answered. Autistic children respond to this regimen because of an apparent vulnerability to toxins in the environment.

Restoring normal, healthy life on the cellular level is something we could all use, regardless of who we are, how old we are, or what medical condition we may or may not have. For autistic kids, the removal of poison metals, the addition of key nutrients and normalization of gastrointestinal health allows integration to begin. Sensory integration, communication, and behavioral and educational integration illuminate the path out of the foggy depths of autism into the bright fields of wholeness.

The biomedical approach not only makes sense, it restores the miracle of normalcy. "Bio" means life, so bio-medicine means "life medicine." I raise my glass of organic carrot juice to toast the simple joys of life returning to thousands and thousands of children and their families. L'chaim!



Dr. Darrel Crain is a Family Chiropractor and Natural Health Writer practicing in San Diego, California. He is the President of the CCA San Diego County District and can be reached at 619-445-0100

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