Parents are learning a wonderful truth about chiropractic: children quickly respond to regular adjustments. The reason is simple. Nervous systems grow and develop until about the age of 16. That means adjustments can help a variety of childhood issues, from ear infections and bed wetting to spectrum disorders like autism.
Chiropractic is not a cure for autism, however, regular adjustments eliminate nervous system interference and encourage the body to heal itself.
What’s going on with my autistic child?
Our autonomic nervous system is divided into two responses: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system creates “fight or flight” responses, while the parasympathetic system tells our body to relax or digest food.
In most people, these two work together, but autistic children struggle as their nervous system produces a dominant state of stress known as “sympathetic dominance.”
Their symptoms include:
- behavioral issues
- sleep issues
- sensory processing problems
These are all due to a sympathetic state dominating the nervous system. Parents dealing with these issues agree that their child is constantly in a “fight or flight” response.
At the same time, this child may also display a lack of parasympathetic response. This causes a depressed digestive and immune system. Bowel or bladder issues, poor digestion, frequent colds or ear infections may be common.
How can chiropractic help children with autism?
The spine is the gateway that allows proper communication between the brain and the body. By correcting subluxations (often seen in the upper neck region of children with autism), a chiropractor can help restore balance to the nervous system. Balance happens when the parasympathetic response is activated in favor of sympathetic dominance.
Reducing sympathetic dominance can help reduce behavior related symptoms. Digestive and immune function improves through increased activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. In short, balance is restored.
Why does it help?
Children have tremendous neuroplasticity, so achieving nervous system balance early on helps “rewire” their interaction with the environment. When the master controller of the body, the nervous system, performs at its peak, it affects all other systems.
Because chiropractors approach medicine from a holistic standpoint, they can also be a good resource for other lifestyle modifications to support nervous system balance.
If your child is struggling with autism or other spectrum disorders, contact us today for a free consultation.