More and More Families are Discovering the Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for their Autistic Children

Two Ohio families have discovered the therapeutic benefits of hyperbaric treatments for their autistic children. Back in 2009, Northeast Ohio coworkers drove down to North Carolina to give their autistic children hyperbaric treatments for autism.  During the treatments, cells receive more oxygen than normal and blood vessels and nerves are built.

For full details of this story, see: http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2012/03/20/Wauseon-nonprofit-delivers-hyperbaric-treatment.html

Treatment facilities are generally associated with hospitals, however there are HBOT chambers that are now available to rent or purchase.

To purchase of rent a HBOT: http://www.newautism.com/hbot-2/

 

What Is DAN!?, What Can I Expect At My DAN! Appointment? and other Frequently Asked Questions

dandoctor

As a parent, making the decision to see a DAN! doctor is a difficult task.  Surely, you will search the internet until the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out where you can find a DAN! doctor, what’s going to happen in your appointment, and the benefits of the DAN! protocol over currently mainstream Autism treatments. This week, we hope to shine a little light on the DAN! protocol, DAN! doctors, and what you can expect at your DAN! appointment.

It becomes more and more evident with research that a biochemical disruption has, at the very least, a small connection to Autism. A great deal of specialists, researchers, and parents of Autism believe that it has quite a large impact on the developmental disorder that is currently affecting 1 in every 110 children in the USA.

Where Can I Find a DAN! Doctor?

A simple internet search will bring up many lists of DAN doctors. (We like this list for US doctors and this one for international doctors) It may be somewhat difficult to get a recommendation from your family doctor depending on his or her personal views on the DAN! protocol and the DAN practice in general. Be prepared to hear reasons why you shouldn’t see a DAN! doctor. Listen to the reasons, but also take a look at the reasons why it may be a good move for your child. After all, isn’t that what it boils down to? What’s best for your child?

What is a DAN! Doctor? What makes them different than a regular pediatrician or family doctor?

If you’re a parent, then you probably just “knew” something was going on inside your child’s body. As parents its just nature to realize if something is wrong. Maybe you made an appointment at your family doctor. If that was the case, you may have walked out with a suggestion to go through a battery of tests. Or, you may have walked out with a prescription for a psychiatric medication that would help calm the symptoms.

Some Autism families decide to use psychiatric drugs prescribed by their family doctor to control Autism symptoms, but these drugs do not balance the biochemical levels. However, with the biochemical connection, some parents decide to choose an alternative medication doctor who can target the specialized biochemical imbalance. These doctors, called “Defeat Autism Now” or DAN! doctors are credentialed doctors who go through DAN! training and develop skills to treat Autism using alternative forms of medical treatments (or DAN! protocol) which explores treatments beyond psychiatric drugs.

DAN! Protocol? What is that?

The Defeat Autism Now! Protocol is a series of alternative medicine solutions for Autism. There are several avenues that a DAN! Doctor may explore, but traditionally, the following plan may be enforced.

-Dietary intervention: Omission of Gluten (Wheat) and Casein (Dairy) products from your child’s diet. Additionally omitting junk foods that have refined sugar.
-Vitamin and Mineral Supplements - To balance out the dietary changes, replacement minerals and vitamins that the body may lack will be supplemented. Some of the vitamins and minerals commonly supplemented:  Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B5.
-Chelation - the removal of heavy metals which have proven to be very destructive to the Autistic body
-Treatment of intestinal bacteria

What can I expect at my DAN! Doctor Appointment?

A large determining factor of what to expect depends on the doctor. Many parents report a friendly and helpful physician who is just as interested in the road to a cure as you are. Their focus isn’t so much on treating the symptoms of Autism so much as healing the damaged, Autistic body. With this approach, symptom improvement often comes naturally.

Your child will more than likely go through a battery of testing mostly revolving around the state of their internal body. A test for hidden food allergies will be conducted to be sure that any dietary changes that are made as part of your child’s treatment plan are beneficial and not more damaging to them.

You should leave with your questions answered and a customized treatment plan for your child’s needs. If you have questions, ask, ask, ask. Remember, these doctors chose to be DAN! doctors. They believe in this treatment method, and want to see your child healthy.

Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy – What You Need and Should Know

 

If someone would have recommended you to try HBOT 10 years ago, chances are that you would have thought it was some new-age robot that helped you with

something like housework. How helpful it would be to have a machine that would do the impossible. Today, though it’s not as universally known, more and more people realize that HBOT isn’t a robot – it’s a highly successful treatment of many brain traumas.

The Basics – What is HBOT?

HBOT is an acronym for Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy. “Hyper” means ‘increased’, and “Baric” relates to pressure. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the intermittent treatment of the body with 100 precent oxygen at pressures greater than the atmosphere.

When 100% oxygen is delivered to the body at an increased pressure, much of the oxygen is absorbed by the blood stream and carried to necessary organs and tissues. This delivery of pure oxygen helps antibiotics and other medications work better, and activates white blood cells in order to ward off infection.

How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy help Autism?

Oxygen Free Radicals are a developing brain’s worst enemy as they attack and destroy developing brain cells.  There are naturally ocurring antioxidants in the body whose job in the body is to attach these Oxygen Free Radicals and balance them out. Studies have found that the levels of this antioxidant are very low in a large amount of autistic children.

Delivering 100-precent oxygen to the Autistic body as is done in HBOT,  stimulates an increase of SOD (superoxide dismutase), one of the body’s most important antioxidant. SOD seeks out Free Radicals in the body and works to balance them out.

What Can I Expect With HBOT?

There are many pictures of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers available on the internet. They can be a bit overwhelming and downright scary for a parent considering the treatment for their child.  The process itself is simple, and the patient is made to be as comfortable as possible. Many children enjoy the time in the space-ship like chamber.

An HBOT treatment is usually an hour long. The patient is placed on a cot-like bed and rolled into the chamber. For the hour, 100% Oxygen is released into the chamber, and the patient breathes it in. The pressure is increased slowly throughout the treatment and at the end, the patient is slowly decompressed and then exits the chamber.

During the treatment, the patient is free to watch TV, listen to music, talk with friends/family in the room, nap, read, or generally anything. The chamber has 360 degree vision as to avoid any claustrophobia or crypt-like feelings.

Does HBOT Really Work?

As with every treatment for every disease and disorder, there are those for the treatment and against the treatment. Worldwide, many conditions are being treated using Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and there are many success stories.  Some of the other conditions that are being treated using HBOT include: sickle cell anemia, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, and Multiple Sclerosis. Though, there are over 100 conditions in which the HBOT chamber is being used to treat.

The question was: “Does HBOT Really Work?” – and we don’t have an answer for each person individually. We’d love nothing more than to declare, “YES! It works for us and it will work for your child!” But, we can’t. The effectiveness of any treatment is going to solely depend on your child’s specific condition and body chemistry. There have been success stories; children who show less destructiveness and aggression; but it’s not for everyone.  Scientifically, however, the treatment just makes sense. A primary cause of brain cell destruction is the abundance of Free Radicals. Delivering 100 percent oxygen to the blood stream enables the production of an antioxidant proven to seek out these Free Radicals. It just makes sense!

So, I want to try HBOT for my child. Now What?

Contact Us! We have an Autism Consultant – Yvette - who is here to help you with any questions or concerns that you might have. We have leads on HBOT Chambers and treatment centers available.

To HBOT or To Not HBOT?

 

The Hyperbaric Chamber is something that we often hear about athletes and high-profile celebrities using. The chamber has proven benefits by delivering 100% natural oxygen to the body while inside a pressurized chamber.

When 100% natural oxygen is delivered to the body under pressure, a great amount is absorbed by the blood stream and hereby delivering more oxygen to the body organs and tissues. This improves the effect and benefits of many antibiotics, activates white blood cells to fight off infection, and promotes chronic wounds to begin the healing process.

In cases of psychological and behavioral conditions, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), some research and studies have indicated a change in symptoms such as irritability, hyperactivity, speech and repetitive behaviors; all of which are commonly found in Autism cases. Other studies, such as the one discussed in a recent issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, show little benefit of HBOT therapy in Autistic patients.

This recent study, conducted by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and led by Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D; Jonathan Tarbox, Dennis R. Dixon, Arthur E. Wilke, Michael S. Allen, and James Jeffrey Bradstreet, found that HBOT therapy had no significant effect on the symptoms of Autism.

There were only 2 factors considered in the randomization of study patients; age and ABA hours of treatment. When children are participating in ABA treatment, it’s to be assumed that a decent amount of them will be exhausted mentally and physically. This exhaustion level can prevent the HBOT therapy from working at full capacity and enabling children to benefit completely from the treatment.


There are some other controversial concerns about this most recent study as well. More than likely there will be another research and study done in which some of the constants are modified. Until the idea of HBOT and its effects on Autism symptoms is further examined, it may be too soon to write this off as an unbeneficial treatment option.

Facilitated Communication – A Controversy

A few weeks ago, we took a look at Carly, a young girl who has Autism. She is FCnon-verbal however she independently communicates via keyboard to her family, friends, Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends. She often fields questions from followers and she answers them herself. Once in a while her father has been known to send out a message just making a general request. Recently, for example, Carly’s father sent a message out kindly asking that people use Twitter to communicate with Carly as opposed ro Facebook. This was simply because Carly prefers Twitter over Facebook. Other than these once-in-a-while instances, Carly communicates everything herself with near no assistance.

As common as  individual communication methods have become, there are still some non-verbal people who are unable to successfully use a keyboard.  Hand-eye coordination is required to be able to utilize the keyboard method and many people lack this skill, especially if they have Autism. There are alternative methods of communication that have opened the doors of possibility for those who are non-verbal and lack the hand-eye coordination to successfully use a keyboard. One method in particular is known as Facilitated Communication or FC. In this method, specifically targeted to those who cannot type, there are two people involved; the communicator, (whom is often autistic, deaf, mute, etc) and the Facilitator. The facilitator is responsible for conveying the message of the communicator by assisting them in finding the right key, easing their hand to the desired letter, or pressing they key down that the communicator indicates.

Despite the numerous success stories that have come from this method, it is still under much controversy and has been for years.  In 1977, Rosemary Crossley claimed to have successfully used facilitated communication with a group of non verbal children. In 1989, the Facilitated Communication Institute was founded by Douglas Bilkin at Syracuse University in New York. The school was designed to educate families who were exploring such a method.

Facilitated Communication has had its advances over the years, but both medical and psychology experts claim that there is not enough hard evidence to prove the success of FC. In the 1990’s the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association issued statements that opposed the use and validity of FC. Their main criticism being that the facilitator had influence over what the communicator was attempting to say.

In 1997, Diane Twatchman-Cullen, the editor-in-chief of the Autism Spectrum Quarterly journal published “A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon. ” In the book, Twatchman-Cullen takes a look at the conditions that led parents, teachers and others to depend on FC.

Also featured in the book is an examination of the study that Twatchman-Cullen conducted in 1990 of three adults with non-verbal, non functioning Autism.  All three people spent their educational and informative years in institutions so they had no real external exposure. With a facilitator, however, all three were able to communicate ideas about the outside world.

“I don’t think that the vast majority of people were deliberately typing their own messages,” she said. “I really don’t believe that, but I do believe there was unconscious facilitation.”

Though rare, there have also been a few cases in which individuals have graduated from using FC to independent communication.

It is estimated that there are about 700 – 1,000 people worldwide who communicate using FC.

Autism, Vitamin A and Vaccinations

Toy CarsA few weeks ago, I blogged about Vitamin D and how the rise in Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the rise in autism, but vitamin D is not the only deficiency that has been linked to autism and some people are suggesting that a deficiency in vitamin A may be responsible.

As I have said before, the Standard American Diet is not healthy and, although we may be eating a lot and filling ourselves up, many of us are actually malnourished because our diet does not contain enough of the essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly and for our children to develop and grow correctly. Instead our diets are high in sugar, fats, salt and empty calories. However, low fat diets can also be bad for us because by not eating an adequate amount of fat we may actually be causing our bodies to be deficient in vitamin A, which is found in foods like full fat dairy foods, liver and cod liver oil.

Autism and Vaccines

In a study entitled “Is Autism a G-Alpha Protein Defect Reversible with Natural Vitamin A?”, Mary Megson, MD, a developmental pediatrician, argues that “Autism may be a disorder linked to the disruption of the G-alpha protein, affecting retinoid receptors in the brain” and that some cases of autism may be caused by “inserting a G-alpha protein defect, the pertussis toxin found in the D.P.T. vaccine, into genetically at-risk children”. This study also argues that the live viral measles vaccine (MMR) depletes a child’s existing supply of vitamin A and so has a negative impact on the retinoid receptors in the brain.

Megson, in an article entitled “Autism and Vaccinations”, reports that this G-Alpha protein defect causes:-

  • Night blindness
  • Problems seeing light-to-dark shading
  • Problems perceiving what they are seeing – Children try to make sense of things by lining up toys, sorting objects by color etc.
  • Avoidance of eye contact – Megson believes that this is because the child is trying to get light to “land off center in the retina”.
  • Hypersensitivity – A gentle touch can feel rough, common sounds can sound harsh.

Is Vitamin A the Answer?

Megson writes of how she has been treating autistic children effectively with cod liver oil, a source of vitamin A retinol, to “bypass blocked G protein pathways and turn on these central retinoid receptors”. She reports that there were marked improvements in the children in just a few days, including improved eye contact and better vision and perception. After two months of this vitamin A treatment, the children were given a single dose of a drug called bethanechol, to stimulate pathways. These children were then able to talk, laugh, focus and concentrate – a huge improvement!

Research like this really does emphasize the need to give our children a nutrient rich diet and to make sure that we make up for any potential deficiencies with supplements. Cod liver oil is great for children because it is a great source of vitamins D and A (deficiencies have been linked to autism), omega 3 essential fatty acids, and it also offers us the following benefits:-

  • Improved blood flow
  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
  • Stronger bones and teeth
  • Better vision
  • Healthier skin
  • Healthy joints
  • Healthy brain development

There are many different types of cod liver oil supplements available for children – syrups, capsules, chewy tablets etc., so you’re bound to find one that your child likes and will take without any problem.

You can read Dr Megson’s article and study at:-

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/autism.html

http://www.whale.to/vaccines/autism35.html

New Research Shows HBOT Success

Although we know, from anecdotal evidence and previous uncontrolled testing, that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can successfully treat autism, there has been no controlled test to back up these claims…until now!

Finally, a controlled clinical trial has proved that HBOT leads to improvements in autism spectrum disorders – hurray!

Oxygen bubblesThe Trial

“Hyperbaric treatment for children with autism: a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial” a clinical trial carried out by Daniel A. Rossignol, Lanier W. Rossignol, Scott Smith, Cindy Schneider, Sally Logerquist, Anju Usman, Jim Neubrander, Eric M. Madren, Gregg Hintz, Barry Grushkin and Elizabeth A. Mumper, is the controlled trial that has got the autism world talking.

Rossignol, and his team from 6 different centers in the US, looked at a total of 62 children aged between 2 and 7 years, who were randomly split into two groups.

One group (the “treatment group”) underwent a program of 40 hours of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (1.3 atmosphere and 24% oxygen) and the second group (the “control group”) a program of 40 hours in a slightly pressurized room (1.03 atmosphere and 21% oxygen).

All of the children were assessed using various measures, including the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC).

The Results

At the end of the program of treatment, children in the treatment group, who had received HBOT, showed significantly improved CGI, ABC and ATEC scores, when compared to the control group.

[Read more…]

The Wonder of HBOT

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been adapted from use by deep sea divers and the navy, to being used all around the world to treat and heal a multitude of diseases and conditions with remarkable results. HBOT is being hailed as a revolutionary and ground-breaking treatment for conditions and injuries like:-

One of my HBOT chambers

One of my HBOT chambers

  • Strokes and brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Wounds
  • Poisoning
  • Circulatory problems
  • AIDS
  • Autism

HBOT has even been approved by the FDA for 13 different conditions! It is not a fad, it is a recognized treatment with proven results.

The conditions which HBOT treats so successfully all have something in common – they are all conditions which can benefit from an increased amount of oxygen in the blood.

[Read more…]

The DAN! Project

What is “DAN!”?

DAN! stands for “Defeat Autism Now!” and is a project which was initiated by The Autism Research Institute to educate parents, caregivers and therapists about the biomedical approach to healing autism and biomedical testing and research.

happychild

The Autism Research Institute (ARI) believe, as do I, that autism is a treatable condition and that psychotropic drugs, with all of their side effects, are not the best way to treat autism spectrum disorders. The ARI, and many physicians and researchers, believe that there are more effective ways to alleviate, and sometimes cure, these disorders.

Mission Statement

The Defeat Autism Now! project’s mission statement is:-
“Defeat Autism Now! is dedicated to the exploration, evaluation and dissemination of scientifically documented biomedical interventions for individuals within the autism spectrum, through the collaborative efforts of clinicians, researchers and parents.”

[Read more…]