Why Chiropractic Helps Children with Autism
It’s April 9, 2019 and we just had a magical experience with Xander. He’s 6 years old and is experiencing autism. I’ll paint a picture of his adjustments at the beginning of his care. In a perfect scenario, our patients would lie on the table and follow all of our instructions. Xander would refuse. Getting him on the table was a wrestling match. His mom would try holding him down while I attempted to adjust him. It wasn’t going well. 6 year olds are strong!
So rather than forcing the issue, we modified our approach and started adjusting him in a standing position. He let me in and allowed some contact, but not much. And it still put mom in the position of keeping him a still as she could. During this process, Xander would shriek at the top of his lungs. Now this was the type of shriek, that stings your eardrums and make you shake your head to clear it from your system. And we would engage in this process 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
What was encouraging was that little by little Xander would let me in more and more. He’d let me stand a little closer. He’d let me feel his spine a little longer before wiggling away. He’d shriek a little less. These were all wins. In our office every win is a win. A big step, a small step it’s all a win.
So let’s get to the magical part. Today he walks in with his mom, and it happens to be a time when no else is in the office. He notices this and hurries over to Dr. Adana who was sitting at the front desk. Xander looks at her and says “Get up!” We assumed that he wanted to see something on the desk or computer. We were wrong. He took her by the arm and dragged her to the nearest adjusting table. He told her to lie down.
Then he rushed over to me and brought me to the head of the table and instructed me to adjust her! He then took a seat and watched as I adjusted Dr. Adana.
Here are a few more parts of the story.
About two weeks ago Xander started cruising into the adjusting room while he was waiting and just watched. He would watch person after person get adjusted. It initially started with him watching from the chairs we have in the adjusting room. And then he set up shop in between our two adjusting tables. He kept a comfortable distance and would observe every move we’d make. From doing leg length assessments to how we palpated the thoracic spine, he watched it all.
Now to Dr. Adana. She typically gets adjusted on Monday afternoon, but yesterday it just didn’t happen. Did this smart little dude sense that she missed her adjustment yesterday? We may never know. What we do know is that all the observing he’s been doing was put into action today.
After this experience we all had the biggest smiles on our faces because we’ve all watched Xander transform into a calm, attentive, happy being in front of our eyes. Now it was time for his adjustment, and he was ready. He followed my instructions through the whole thing. He didn’t shriek. He allowed the process to happen. We exchanged a high five and smile and he was on his way!
Yeah, but how does this work with autism?
Chiropractic does some amazing things for children experiencing autism. But chiropractic is not the first thing people think about when considering healthcare options for children with autism. Chiropractic deals with one main thing and that is the detection and correction of spinal subluxations. When we sit down with parents and talk about their child’s health history there tend to be a lot of similarities that really stand out when it comes to autism. Everything from a traumatic birth experience to an adverse chemical reaction to a toxin. Those stresses can create intense subluxation patterns within the nervous system of children with autism.
By correcting the subluxations with chiropractic adjustments we see these patterns start to fade away. And when those changes start to take place, we start to hear the most amazing things from parents. Usually we’re told that the child seems to be more calm, which is always a plus! Then we start to hear things like…
- “He’s giving us way more eye contact.”
- “She’s listening to us so much more.”
- “She’s doing better with her aide.”
- “He’s stimming a lot less.”
When we start to hear these things we know we’ve got some real momentum going in the healing of the children we work with.
If you have a child in your life that is experiencing autism, we’d urge you to consider chiropractic care. After our initial assessment we’ll give you our best recommendations for how we can work with your child to improve their overall function. If you’re ready to start that process, head over to our contact page to send us a message or give us a call.