Addressing and treating the underlying pathologies of ADHD and autism can lead to marked improvements – without the side-effects of medication…
Our children are often hyper, moody, anti-social, anxious, sleepless and unfocused. Traditionally, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed by psychotherapists such as myself, psychologists, and psychiatrists, who recommend traditional therapy and medications to address neurological symptoms. Parents are told that their child’s diagnosis is complex and multifactorial in nature; a result of genetic, psychological and others factors widely unknown. Most doctors are taught to treat the emotional and mental component of these disorders with medication. Yet, the physical or medical issues these children often share are rarely noted or discussed. Some of those include eczema, asthma, chronic illness, gastrointestinal distress, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, proper testing also reveals high levels of heavy metal and environmental toxins relative to neurotypical children.
Sadly, many conventional doctors today have little to no experience in the area of nutrition and do not take a systems biology approach to treat their patients. Interestingly, while researching different ways to help my own son I stumbled upon medical books written before 1922. I discovered that many of the tried and true modalities used to treat patients were lost when pharmaceutical companies came to town.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to seek out an integrative medical doctor, or naturopathic physician to begin testing for and treating the underlying conditions. As we do so, we start seeing improvements in behavior, mood and attention. After all, our emotions are largely governed by the state of our immune and intestinal system.
° Every child is unique, so treatments plans need to be tailored specifically to address underlying immunologic, digestive and metabolic conditions.
° There is no “magic bullet,” no single treatment alone that can significantly reverse the effects of ADHD, apraxia, or autism. All cases are individualized, and each child needs a well thought-out and integrated approach to move him or her along the road to improvement and recovery. Find physicians and practitioners who will conduct a thorough investigation of underlying issues and will listen to you and address your concerns rather than dismiss them.The best way to find a doctor to begin your journey is to Google Naturopath (ND), Defeat Autism Now doctor (DAN), Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs Physician (MAPS), Functional Medicine or Integrative Medical Doctor (MD) in your area.
° Do your homework and ask your doctors a lot of questions.
° Be consistent with your treatment strategies and goals. Treating intestinal permeability and other issues may take time, hard work and perseverance. E.g. If you need to eliminate certain offending foods as part of the protocol – cheating will delay the healing process!
° Dietary changes and protocols can seem overwhelming at first – so move slowly, but steady. Uncover, one piece of the puzzle at a time – so you know what is working. A good start is to eliminate artificial food coloring and preservatives from the diet. They contribute to a child’s attention, mood, focus, and sleep issues.
° Know that you may need more than one practitioner to address all of your needs.
° Request a complete metabolic work-up to include blood, urine and fecal testing. A complete metabolic workup and treatment is recommended to make a fuller recovery. Unfortunately, only addressing one piece of the puzzle will yield a less positive outcome for some children.
° TRUST YOUR GUT! You know your child best. Our intuition is our best guide!
Jennifer Giustra-Kozek is a board-certified psychotherapist, speaker and author of “Healing without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally & Effectively without Harmful Medication.” Jennifer has over 15 years of clinical experience specializing in ADHD, ASD, depression, anxiety and trauma resolution and is currently in private practice. She has a master’s degree in Counseling and a minor is English/Criminal Justice. Since the creation of her Facebook called “Healing ADHD & Asperger’s Without Hurting.” She has amassed over 100,000 weekly visitors who turn to her for guidance and support as they desperately search for help for their children.