How is your child’s brain operating with autism?
Imagine a child whose left hemisphere was totally dominant to the point where the right hemisphere’s function was almost completely inhibited. How would this child behave? How would they think, talk, feel and what would be the likely effects on their health?
This class of Autistic child would approach situations and life with gusto. He or she would have no fear of danger, would not even recognize the feeling of pain very well so bumps and bruises, cuts and abrasions would be commonplace. These children move quickly toward objects and then fixate on them – manipulating them repetitively with the fine motor muscles of their hands. At the same time they articulate with words that are repetitive and often unrelated to the situation at hand. They say things that are inappropriate. They have trouble making friends as a result. In the early years, they often acquire words miraculously, reading words off a page at 18 months of age and picking up Spanish from watching Dora cartoons! It’s only later, that everyone realizes the words they have picked up are not developed into applied language very well and the child has no means of understanding what their parent is trying to convey to them because they have no comprehension of the emotional tone within their parents’ voices. These children talk to themselves a lot and use repetitive phrases and words. They’re also incredibly good at acquiring numbers however they have trouble applying them to equations that have higher meaning. His or her postural muscles are probably weak and poorly coordinated so the child seems to sway around, walk funny, bump into things and rock back and forth a lot. Their artwork will consist of small figures (sometimes only lines or circles, letters or numbers) without the use of color or scenery or underlying message. Their immune system will be hyperactive so they will be unlikely to get many colds or flu’s, but they will seem puffy, rash, snotty and hypersensitive to food with many food allergies and sensitivities.
Does this sound like your child or a child you know? This is the most common pattern of brain hemisphericity that develops in children.
So what about a child who was right brain dominant and their left hemisphere was very under active – how would this child be?
Remember, the right hemisphere creates avoidance behavior. This child will be timid, shy, and very emotional. They get depressed easily. They feel so much but they have an inability to express logically what they feel so they internalize and move up and down like a rollercoaster all day long. In a young toddler and child, this may seem normal at first and in fact, right brain dominance is much more subtle in the early years and may go undetected until the child reaches school. These kids are slower to learn to talk. They muddle up their words and their sentences and it can be hard to understand them. Reading and spelling are also difficult for this child. He or she will likely have trouble with basic math. His or her fine motor skills will not be well developed so he or she will have trouble with neat handwriting and manipulating small objects like a spoon, fork and knife or small toys and games. This child will have a low immunity and will be prone to chronic infections like recurrent colds, flu’s and ear infections. Their heart may beat irregularly too, which is called arrhythmia. These kids like novelty and are not good at routine. They will be happier when life is varied and different. They are exceptional at knowing how others are feeling because they pick up so well on non-verbal cues so they can be very socially adept if they can overcome their shyness.
My Child has been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder or at least I suspect they have one, what can I do about it?
You may believe your child fits one of the descriptions above and you have been concerned that something is wrong. At the mild end of the spectrum is Asperger Syndrome, through Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, to Autism including Autistic Savantism. Indeed, a diagnosis may have been made also. So what can be done?
Traditional treatment for these disorders identifies the child’s strengths and exercises them. Here we have a problem. The child’s strengths come from their high functioning brain hemisphere and by working on these strengths; the low functioning hemisphere gets weaker and weaker as the high functioning hemisphere dominates more and more. While treating Autistic children in this way has been done with good intentions and altruism to give him or her the best chance with the strengths they have, unfortunately over time the approach makes the condition worse.
In order to help children and adults with Autism the best measures must be taken to induce stimulation of the correct brain hemisphere. Techniques are many and varied and a lot can be done at home. Ideally, the individual with the disorder should be assessed by a Functional Neurologist. I would also highly recommend that you read The Secret Reason’s Why Your Medicines Didn’t Work by Dr. Irshan Chaudary. This book explains Hemisphericity and its treatment and includes assessment tools that you can use for your child with descriptions, diagrams and pictures of good home care exercises and activities tailored to the particular Hemispheristic problem that you find. This book is essential reading for anyone who has children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and other Neurological Disorders. You can find it on Amazon.com or other book retailers.
While these disorders seem very complex, the Hemispheristic model provides an explanation that is eloquent and fits the picture well. There is hope with Autism, and through the help of Functional Neurology, your child stands a good chance to lead a better life right now and into the future!
The causes of Autism are extraordinarily complex:
- Toxic chemicals
- Heavy metals
- Gluten, casein and soy intolerance
- Yeast (candida)
- Leaky gut barrier
- Leaky blood brain barrier
- Immune System Imbalance (autoimmune, deficiency)
- Functional Disconnection Syndrome
All of them must be investigated if your child is ever going to be social, or live an independent, productive life.
Too many well-intentioned doctors and therapists don’t understand this BIG picture..that each child is unique. One-size-fits-all cookie cuter programs are doomed to fail for at least 50% of children