Welcome to the world of therapy!

From behavior interventions to nutritional supplements - we’ve broken them down for you. When possible, we’ll also share a video to show the different therapies in action.

We will not be offering names or information about any service providers here. While they are obviously an important piece to treating children with autism spectrum disorders, selecting the right provider that meets your child’s needs is very personal. We recommend that once you have a sense of the therapies you’d like to pursue that you seek out recommendations or referrals from your health insurance customer service department, from support groups, or the local Autism Society Chapter website (they often have a service provider directory available online).

Our role is to inform you of the differences so you can form your own opinions and make your own choices.

CHIROPRACTIC

Chiropractic is an approach to health care that uses adjustments to the spine and other muscles and bones to relieve pain & pressure. While it is most often used for back or neck pain, some families have reported success including improvements in digestion, behavior, overall immunity, learning and sleep.

Some chiropractors have extra training in physical rehabilitation and specific exercise therapy. Some may also use nutritional analysis, herbal therapy, and acupuncture.

Chiropractic treatments usually involve spinal manipulation, using very specific pressure on a joint of the spine. It is used to improve pain and open the pathways of neuro-communication. A chiropractor might use their hands or a special device. A careful, controlled adjustment used on a joint can range from gentle to strong, and from slow to rapid.

Some chiropractors use heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to help relax muscles. Other types of treatment may include heat or ice, braces, ultrasound, exercises, or other relaxation therapy.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Some chiropractors have expanded their services to include the offering of supplements for children and adults with ASD.

Please remember supplements change body chemistry. While chiropractors are knowledgeable about the structure of the body, their medical training doesn’t usually emphasize body chemistry. Be sure to ask them about their training and education around this topic. A Doctor of Chiropractic is a different credential and requires a different educational background & residency requirement than a Doctor of Medicine.

As with any therapy, be cautious of providers claiming to ‘cure’ autism. There is no cure, in fact some would argue that ASD is a permanent part of the person and that only the negative aspects need to be addressed. That being said, it is not uncommon for families to find that a combination of therapies bring desirable behavior, increased communication, and other positive influences - improving the overall quality of life. But there is no ‘cure’ for autism, and parents should be cautious when anyone selling something uses this term.

Also, not all therapies work well for all children. While some have found positive benefits to chiropractic care for autism symptoms, an equal number have found no benefit, with a handful actually experiencing an increase in negative side effects (Increase in migraines, etc). As with any therapy, keep in mind that if it’s not a good fit or is not giving the benefits you expect, you can always stop.

INSURANCE

Many insurance policies cover traditional chiropractic care. Contact your plan administrator or customer service staff to find out more and to inquire about copays.

Please note: This information was compiled by a parent volunteer from public sources, and is not intended to be medical or legal advice.