Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication, as well as unique strengths and differences. Researchers have found that there is no one form of autism but many types. Autism is caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. Nearly a quarter-century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and ensure that each person with ASD has the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. We outline just a few educational challenges, health challenges, and how chiropractic can help below.
Each year an estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults and lose school-based services. These schools are equipped to deal with the social and mental development associated with autistic students. Unfortunately, this special training commonly ends upon high school graduation. This is one of the things Autism Societies would like to change. The goal is to further the education of these students which could decrease the one-third of young adults with ASD that never get a job or continue their education after high school.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is legislation that supports career and technical education (CTE) programs and helps autistic students gain skills necessary for employment by reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The legislation was signed into law on July 31, 2018.
Autism is frequently accompanied by certain medical and mental health issues. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, phobias, and decreased immune responses. We know that the nervous system is so intimately linked with the digestive and immune systems. Because of that, by adjusting the spine and realigning the misalignments in those areas, proper neurological “signaling” into and out of the central nervous system can be achieved. This can help with sensory processing, social interaction, and behavioral and learning processes as well. Relieving the nervous system’s state of stress or applying the ”brakes” to the overactive nervous system, allows it to function at its optimum level.
CHIROPRACTIC AND AUTISM
One way to assess the nervous system is to get it evaluated by a trained Pediatric Chiropractor. Pediatric Chiropractors are the only professionals that have a nervous system focus as well as the training and technology to analyze and detect any interference in the function of the nervous system. This type of chiropractic offers diagnostic testing similar to the technology you would see by going to a specialist. The results help us decide the best way to treat the patient to improve the function of the nervous system.
Autism Awareness Month is the whole month of April. It is so important to foster awareness and educate ourselves so that we can better serve autistic individuals.
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