The title above is from a study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on June 13, 2019, that documented the improvement under chiropractic care of a child who was suffering with migraine headaches in addition to also having been diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.”
The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic guide, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), states that people with ADS generally have three components. Those are: 1. Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people, 2. Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, 3. Symptoms that hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life. In the U.S., it is estimated that 1 in 68 children are identified as autistic. Internationally, the number is lower with 1 in 132 having autism worldwide.
In this case, an 11-year-old by was brought to the chiropractor by his parents. The boy’s chief health complaint was sharp, burning and fast headache attacks would only last for a second. These headaches would occur about 30 times per day and would appear through different parts of the boy’s head. His headaches began between 8 and 10 months prior and were now affecting his daily activity and quality of life.
The boy had been taken to a number of medical specialists who had run a variety of medical and imaging tests. All the tests came back normal. The boy had also medically diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
A chiropractic examination was performed which consisted of physical inspection, palpation, orthopedic testing, thermographic heat studies and spinal x-rays. Based on the findings of the examinations, it was determined that the boy had multiple areas of subluxations. With the consent of the parents, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started on the boy at the initial rate of 2 times per week.
The study reports that the boy’s headaches improved as chiropractic care continued. Additionally, specific autism tests know as the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist or ATEC were done to monitor any change in his autism issues. The results of the various parts of the ATEC showed that there was improvements in the subscales of sociability, and health/physical behavior, as well as an overall improvement in the total ATEC score.
The researchers also used a specific questionnaire that scores the parent’s quality of life. Many studies have shown that a caregiver to an autistic person suffers greatly and has a significant decrease in their quality of life. This study showed that in this case, the actual quality of life of the parent improved significantly as their child underwent chiropractic care.
In their conclusion the authors highlighted the results by saying, “This case report provides supporting evidence on the positive outcomes of chiropractic care for children with autism. We also brought to the forefront parental satisfaction with a child’s chiropractic care and the compromised QoL of a parent caring for a child with autism.