Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care – A Case Series

Do Chiropractors See Neurodevelopmental Cases? Does Chiropractic Care Help Autistic Children?

In the August 11, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a published case series showing chiropractic helping four children suffering from autistic behavioral symptoms.

improvement-in-autistic-behaviors-following-chiropractic-care-austin-tx-chiropractor-pediatric-child-kid-newborn-helpThe authors of this study explain that the vagus nerve is a major controlling pathway for the parasympathetic nerve system. It is the parasympathetic system that has been shown to have a broad effect over autism-like behaviors and problems. This study looks at four children to see if correcting subluxations affecting the vagus nerve can have a positive effect on children suffering with autism behaviors.

The first child was a 7-year-old boy with a variety of autism related symptoms who was diagnosed with high functioning autism. After eight chiropractic visits, it was reported by his mother that her son seemed to have a decrease in looks of confusion and an increase in talking. Additionally, his mother also reported a decrease in bed-wetting and a decrease in response to food allergies, as well as being less picky in food choices. His mother also noted that her son won the most improved student award, to which she commented, “I cried, because I just never expected him to win an award like this.”

The second patient was a 5-year-old girl also diagnosed with high functioning autism. In this case, her mother reported a decrease in constipation as well as improvement in auditory and processing skills. The girl was given an “Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist” test after four months of chiropractic care. This test showed that the girl had improved in all four areas tested, which include speech/language communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical/behavior.

The third patient was a 4-year-old boy also with high functioning autism, who, according to his father, was better able to throw a baseball after chiropractic. It was also reported that the boy showed improvement in initiating conversations with adults and children at his school, and had improved eye contact. These improvements allowed him to begin to participate in after-school activities.

The fourth child patient was a 4-year-old boy suffering with oculomotor apraxia. The authors described this condition by stating, “Oculomotor apraxia is a condition in which the child must turn their heads in order to follow their eyes, which cause a clumsy gait and difficulty in learning motor skills.” The boy also suffered with seizures and motor skill delays. After chiropractic care, the child was better able to run. He also showed improvement in his endurance, being able to walk at an aquarium for 5 hours. Additionally, it was reported that the boy was able to nap better, had less moody outbursts, and less apprehension.

In their conclusion, the authors explained chiropractic’s role in helping these children by stating, “The social engagement system controlled by the vagus nerve has significant potential ramifications for a child on the autistic spectrum or with other neurodevelopmental issues. As seen in the four above cases, each child showed significant behavioral improvements, which may be in part due to activation of the vagus nerve, thereby activating the social engagement portion of that nerve.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Improvements in Autism Spectrum Disorder Following Chiropractic Care

What Happens With Autism? Can Chiropractic Care Help Autistic Children?

A study published on May 26, 2016, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the case of a 4-year-old boy with Autism being helped with chiropractic. The study authors begin by explaining, “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an early developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction, with restrictive, repetitive behaviors, causing significant impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of function, that are not better explained by intellectual disability.”

Improvements in Autism Spectrum Disorder Following Chiropractic Care - Austin TX Chiropractor for Pediatric Kid Care BestThe study points out that the diagnosis of ASD has dramatically increased over the past decade. They report, “In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 1 in 68 children are classified as having ASD, up from 1 in 110 in 2006. ASD affects more than 400,000 children in the United States and is the third most common developmental disorder in children.”

The current medical treatments for children with ASD involve antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-seizure medications. Other studies show that over 50% of children diagnosed with ASD have received at least one form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as chiropractic. Over seventy-five percent of those showed some improvement.

In this case, a 4-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder was brought to a chiropractic clinic by his mother and father. Their son was language delayed and was unable to formulate words or communicate but was able to cry out and make guttural sounds. The boy could hear commands but would only respond with temper tantrums. He was also frequently hurting himself on purpose but would exhibit no pain. Since birth, the boy also regularly suffered from the flu, frequent colds, ear infections and allergies. He was frequently on antibiotic medications.

A chiropractic examination was performed on the boy and a determination was made to correct the subluxations that were found. Initially, the child was seen 15 times over the course of 8 weeks.

After the first adjustment, the child made his first eye contact with the chiropractor. By the third visit, his parents reported that their son seemed to be understanding direction better, but overall had been acting more aggressively. By the fourth visit, the boy was trying to verbalize but was unsuccessful at that time. By the sixth visit, the child started using some single words such as eat, car, or Auntie. On the eighth visit, the boy asked his father for a hug.

On the 15th visit, the boy’s mother was given a standardized test to evaluate her son’s autism improvement. The results showed that the boy had a 34.8% improvement in his speech/language/communication score; his sociability score improved by 50%; he showed a 50% improvement in his sensory/ cognitive awareness score; and a 31.4% improvement in his health/physical/behavior score.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “With a growing body of case studies on chiropractic and ASD, this study serves to strengthen the relationship between reduction of vertebral subluxation and improvements in function in patients with ASD.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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