Are we going to continue to drug our kids with autism ??

by Dr. Alan Kadish NMD

Once again conventional medicine is based on treating symptoms, not causes. In the January Journal of Pediatrics autistic youngsters were placed on two doses of buspirone, an anti-anxiety agent, to decrease their repetitive and restrictive behaviours. No surprise that the effects were indeed to reduce these behaviours. 

The real question should be what’s the cause of the autistic behaviours ? If a biomedical approach is used to evaluate and treat the behaviours, clearly the underlying issue/s would be addressed, without resorting to drugging our children. The biomedical approach was pioneered back in the late 1970’s when little was known about the autistic spectrum disorder however excellent clinical observations were obvious and oftentimes the best method of employing a potential treatment.

One of the hallmarks of the biomedical approach is the relative safety of the types of supplements, behavioural interventions, diet changes, occupational, speech and physical therapy treatments as well as the medications used. Additionally since these forms of therapy have over 35 years of experience we typically, but not always, have a clue what to expect. In fact what most physicians fail to appreciate is that most of the therapies now have many published peer reviewed papers detailing the now known pathways and issues that autistic patients experience regularly. It’s far more than just genetics. It’s a wide range of commonly found issues from improper function of the immune system to the guts and detox pathways not working properly, to name a few issues. 

Another factor that is not considered in this study is the long term consequence of using this class of anti-anxiety medications and it’s effect/s on long term learning and cognitive function of these children and ultimately what happens to brain development. From the FDA requirements regarding side effects for this medication you can experience:  Dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, lightheadedness, excitement, drowsiness, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth. Sound appealing ?

My 30 years of experience with assessment and treatment of autistic individuals has clearly shown me that there is a trapped, generally bright person inside. The last approach we want to take is to drug them into better behaviours, unless absolutely necessary. Our first steps, will be to encourage you to explore and address the underlying causes and then take the low risk, high rewards path towards recovery.

Time to assess and treat the causes and reduce the problems with autism and the spectrum ?   We start with an extensive history, getting the whole story and then work towards eliminating the problems.

Call us at the Center of Health 541.773.3191.

Trial shows low-dose anti-anxiety med helps curb autism behaviors in young children

Wayne State University School of Medicine News, 01/14/2016

The anti–anxiety medication Buspirone is effective in low doses in improving repetitive and restrictive behaviors in young children with autism, and may be useful combined with early intensive behavioral interventions that improve social communication and adaptive behavior. The discovery is the result of a multi–year, multi–center clinical trial led by Wayne University School of Medicine autism researcher Diane Chugani, Ph.D., and published in The Journal of Pediatrics. Buspirone, also known by brand names BuSpar and Vanspar, is already an approved treatment for children with anxiety, a comorbid condition in ASD. In the study, “Efficacy of Low Dose Buspirone for Restricted and Repetitive Behavior in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Trial,” 166 children with ASD ranging from 2 to 6 years old were randomized to receive a placebo, or 2.5 mg or 5.0 mg of buspirone twice a day for two 24–week phases. Children who were given 2.5 mg of the medicine showed significant improvement in restricted and repetitive behaviors.

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.