Integrative Approach Addresses Broader Patient Issues
If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism. Each has both unique health challenges and inherent gifts. When an individualized healing approach is identified and implemented, every child can learn, blossom, and fulfill their potential.
While children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders are usually eligible for special education services through the public school system, the medical challenges associated with autism are often ignored. Even the best speech, occupational and physical therapies will yield slow (if any) progress when underlying medical causes remain unaddressed and the child suffers. Parents often feel helpless and become desperate to find a methodology that shows results.
Traditionally, autism has been diagnosed based on observed behavior, with treatment focused mainly on alleviating challenging behaviors. Slowly, that traditional outlook is changing. Many in the medical community today are becoming aware of the broader, interrelated aspects of autism and the symptoms. In turn, this is driving a growing awareness and similarly, broader treatment strategies.
Children on the autism spectrum often have communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors. Most of these children also have related conditions such as anxiety, behavioral disorders, sleep difficulties and digestive disorders. Some children also suffer seizure disorders and difficulties with eating. Many diseases and disorders appear more frequently in the autistic population than in the neurotypical (non-autistic) population.
Applied behavior analysis is a key therapy; however, physical symptoms can interfere with its therapeutic efficacy. While related medical conditions can appear at any time during a child’s development, others such as epilepsy, tend to appear in adolescence or adulthood. Addressing the underlying cause of known problems may prevent escalation of symptoms.
Michigan-based Oxford Recovery Center (ORC) is the forerunner addressing the complex presentations of autism and related health conditions. Our team of multidisciplinary professionals work together to create individualized treatment plans that address the needs of the whole patient. We are professionals who recognize the need for outside-the-box thinking to address the needs of patients affected with autism.
“Is autism recoverable? Traditional therapy models often do not target that outcome. At ORC we have found that an integrative approach, addressing the entire child from their health to family dynamics, with multiple therapies is the best approach for recovery,” says Dr. Tami Peterson, Ph.D., CEO, and founder, Oxford Recovery Center. “The term ‘recoverable’ can be a struggle for many. It is a term that means something different to everyone. If children no longer exhibit any signs of autism, some would say they are fully recovered. For some, recovery may be as simple as removing the head pain exhibited by head banging or biting themselves. For others it may be talking, for others, it may be normal bowel movements. It is important to understand the individual child and their individual needs.” Dr. Peterson and medical director, Dr. Christian Bogner, M.D., bring a wealth of professional experience and passion to ORC’s approach to autism. Dr. Bogner has a child with autism and Dr. Peterson has a Ph.D. in education with a focus on autism and worked as a special education teacher for 27 years. In addition to extensive patient experience and research, both bring first-hand knowledge of the issues parents and families face when dealing with this devastating condition, now affecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. The center’s Autism Recovery Thru Synergy (ARTS) treatment approach was developed and driven by that combination of professional and personal experience.
“Each one of us believes that autism is recoverable, and that core belief sets the tone for our synergistic therapies,” explains Dr. Peterson. “That core belief and recognizing the power of synergy distinguishes our program from others.”
ORC’s integrative model for autism includes medical consultation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), nutrition coaching, music therapy, neurofeedback, social skills classes, and family coaching. Cutting edge technology and research provide children with the best outcome possible.
The multi-disciplinary approach contributes to a better understanding of the very real components of autism and the underlying medical issues that often cause or contribute to autistic behavior. Some of the most common problems include:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) overgrowth of bacteria, yeast, and parasites;
- Inability to cleanse/detox environmental toxins, and;
- Development of food intolerances and/or allergies.
These physical and environmental factors can limit the nutrients available to the brain and body and may result in damage to cellular, metabolic, and the central nervous system. Every individual with autism exhibits unique behavioral and cognitive symptoms with varying degrees of severity.
Typical routine lab work for autism, if any, can fail to uncover subtle abnormalities that can have a profound effect on health. Unless accurately addressed, any number of these factors can inhibit biochemical pathways necessary for proper neurological and immune function, Dr. Bogner explains. On the other hand, the comprehensive laboratory testing underpinning the ARTS approach can identify physiological imbalances that contribute to–or even cause- -the symptoms of autism, and thus point to an individualized treatment approach.
“The interaction or cooperation of two or more systems or other agents can produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects; this is the definition of synergy. Simply put, 1+1=3,” he added.
One thing is certain. With Oxford Recovery Center’s ARTS program, one size does not fit all. Laboratory Testing Applied Behavior Analysis Medical Consultation/ Education Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Nutrition Music Therapy Neuro-feedback
OXFORD RECOVERY CENTER (ORC) IS THE FORERUNNER ADDRESSING THE COMPLEX PRESENTATIONS OF AUTISM