Autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) includes Autism, Aspergers and PDD (pervasive developmental disorder). ASD is often diagnosed from a psychological perspective and parents are often told that their child’s disease is psychological and has a genetic component.

There is an overwhelming body of clinical evidence to support the belief ASDs is a neuro-biological disorder with brain function impairment as one of its symptoms. It is no longer considered a psychiatric disease, as it is now accepted that it is a multi-system breakdown originating from and characterised by metabolic, neurological, and/or digestive dysfunction and neurodevelopmental delay. Ask any parent with a child suffering with ASD and they will all agree – one of the most illuminating considerations in the treatment of these conditions is the physical and medical presentations. Typical physical manifestations may include gastrointestinal issues and malabsprption, toxicity, infection, impaired cognitive function, allergies, yeast overgrowth, immune system dysregulation and sleep disturbances. Inflammatory processes such as asthma, eczema, digestive dysfunction and brain impairment are also common.

When an ASD child is appropriately assessed through a biomedical lens, we can see significant presence of toxicity. This assessment correlates with the increased incidence of these diagnoses coupled with the increased exposure to a number of environmental toxins that are increasingly present in day to day life. These toxins serve to slow or shut down normal biochemical pathways in the body and lead to the physical and mental manifestations of ASDs. The ultimate goal of biomedical treatment is to remove environmental toxins from a child’s body and repair the damage that has been caused.

ASDs treatment is not as simple as prescribing a essential fatty acid supplement or a medication. Appropriate treatment considers true naturopathic care and acknowledges the impact of dietary, environmental, infective and emotional stressors that affect the health of these individuals.