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Running head: TREATMENT OF AUTISM

Treatment of Autism
Rocky Torres
Etiology Diagnosis of Mental Disorder
Dr. Werries
University of the Cumberlands

Treatment of Autism

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Introduction

Is it possible to treat autism? If it is possible, how good could treatment be to help anyone
rid of the malady? Some treatments do nothing in this respect. These empirically based
treatments claim to do something special for the autistic, but they do nothing to cure autism.
Autism seems like an incurable disease. Research has shown treatments help, but is there
anything out there that can cure it?
Treatment for the sufferers is available. There are many treatments from pharmacological
to psychotherapeutic methods, but can any of them help the autistic clients regain what they have
lost - themselves? Treatment regarding the flora of the gut has proven, through empirical
evidence, to help autistics recover.
Autism, while attributed to disorder, is not a supernatural burden. Many factors come
together during the early years of a childs life that are reciprocal to how their development will
shape and contribute to their behavior(s) later in life. The question is, once diagnosed with
autism, can the clients be treated or cured, and if so, with what?
Research has shown average children who never exhibited autistic symptoms have a
different flora of bacteria in their gut than autistics. If leaky gut syndrome or bad flora in the gut
is dependent on what we eat, is it possible that the clich we are what we eat is true?

Treatment of Autism

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Treatment of Autism

About Autism
Autism connotes Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Its range varies from mild to severe
neurodevelopmental disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), its
neurodevelopmental disorder diagnostic spectrum classification is 299.00(F84.0). This
classification is part of the 2013 mental disorder codification in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5.
Buser (2014), explains that the Autism Spectrum Disorder reflects the extremes of
autistic disorders (severe) at one end of the spectrum and codependent behaviors (severe) at the
other end of the spectrum. He also points out that the DSM-5 now includes Aspergers syndrome
near the severe or problematic autistic disorder side of the spectrum (Buser, 2014).
Nevertheless, ASD, as it is a developmental disorder, affects people during the onset of
their initial development stage (APA, 2013). This usually occurs during the preadolescent years.
The principal specifier for ASD is social in context. The two specifiers within the social
settings are an inability to conform to communication protocols standards (verbal or otherwise)
and an inability to withstand a typical environment with other multiple people (APA, 2013). In
short, autistic people can be antisocial and reclusive.
Incidentally, many ASD patients tend to find comfort in doing routine things for a
prolonged period. They usually indulge in repetitive psychomotor acts regardless of emotional
state (APA, 2013). This is generally due to autistic clients lack of proper verbal communication
ability, especially when they are experiencing emotions, e.g., feeling frustration or happiness.
Because of these specifiers or criteria, many ASD patients cannot be helped properly
through routine behavior modification exercise, or even pharmaceutical interventions. According

Treatment of Autism

to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 68 children will be within
the ASD spectrum. That is 1 in every 42 boys or 1 in every 168 girls. There must be more we can
do to help to stop the yearly increase of autistic children.
Treatment number 1
Many medical doctors have sought to prove that autism can be treated in such a way so as
to reverse its course. Natural and pharmaceutical treatments exist to treat autism, but which one
would autistic clients or the parents of these autistic children choose, which one will ultimately
work for the benefit of the clients/patients?
Natasha Campbell-McBride MD experienced firsthand what autism can do to a loved
one. Her son suffered from ASD for many years, but she refused to believe there was no cure for
her boy, so she embarked on a journey of edifying and fruitful ramifications. Dr. Natasha
Campbell-MacBride did not just find others medical professionals studies and conclusions, she
established a rigorous program to help patients with autism recover from it. The answer:
recolonization of good gut bacteria (Toh & Allen-Vercoe, 2015). Dr. Campbell-MacBride not
only helped her son recover from ASD, but she also produced many more recoveries with the
assistance of her strict diet of fruits, vegetables, some oils and meats diet the GAPS diet, short
for Gut and Psychology Syndrome (Campbell-MacBride, 2010).
What we know today that we did not know, or rather, did not want to embark on knowing
years ago was that many ASD patients guts florae differed from others without the autistic
spectrum disorder. Parracho, Bingham, Gibson, and McCartney (2005), offered this fact many
years ago through their observations and rigorous tests on normal children and children with
ASD. They found major differences in these two groups gut microflora (Parracho et al., 2005).
What led them to this study? The many complaints from parents about their ASD children. From

Treatment of Autism

irregular bowel movement to distinct intestinal pain behaviors like reaching and holding the
abdominal area (Parracho, 2005).
Nevertheless, Parracho et al. (2005), found that ASD children had a higher concentration
of Clostridium histolytic um bacterial group (I and II). This led them to believe that due to the
overpopulation of this particular toxin-producing gut bacteria, children suffered from not just
ASD, but from gut dysfunction which affects the metabolic system which in turn also affects the
overall health, especially the cognitive and mental health of people (Parracho et al., 2005). If this
is true, then solutions can involve either antibiotics or a change in diet (Toh & Allen-Vercoe,
2015).
Therefore, Campbell-MacBride (2010), contends that a change in diet is the superior
solution because it goes to the root of the problem. The source of the problem, in this case, is the
overwhelming amount of bad bacteria in the gut and its toxic effects on the brain. She contends
that the solution does not include the use of antibiotics because these chemicals will not just
destroy the bad bacteria, but the beneficial bacteria as well (Campbell-MacBride, 2010). The
only solution without the use of pharmaceutical substances or chemicals in this regard may be a
diet change.
Campbell-MacBride (2010), suggests one cuts down on lactose products, canned meats,
grains, complex carbohydrates, starches and a few other food items completely from the diet. In
essence, one should consume a good variety of foods. These foods should include, meats and
fish: fresh or frozen, game, organ meats, poultry, and shellfish. These meats and fish products are
rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 essential to body (Campbell-MacBride, 2010).
Eggs (pastured and free-range), milk (preferably unpasteurized), and butter (from raw milk) are
helpful too (Campbell-MacBride, 2010). Non-starch fresh vegetables, all fruits, and berries,

Treatment of Autism

especially if they are from organic farms, are essential for support of the immune system
(Campbell-MacBride, 2010). It is obvious to see that these food items are nothing out of the
ordinary. Incidentally, nuts and seeds like white navy beans or haricot beans, lima beans, string
beans, lentils, and peas and pulses can be added to the diet, though, these nuts and seeds must be
soaked for at least 12 hours before cooking or consuming them(Campbell-MacBride, 2010).
What one can also see is that none of these food items are processed, broken down and
then put together again as a different concoction. The GAPS protocol also encourages adherents
to consume large quantities of beneficial bacteria as can be found in foods such as kefir, yogurt,
and high-quality probiotic supplements. It seems as though the best way to proper health is the
old-school way to consume fresh produce, fresh meats, healthy (non-hydrogenated) oils,
vegetables, and fruits. The fewer preservatives and additives in the foods, the better.
The outcome of this dietary method is to provide relief to many by helping the body clean
itself and restore itself to good health. Campbell-MacBride (2010) states that most of her clients
started seeing results within months. She also maintains that the GAPS protocol needs only be
temporary, lasting from one to three years long enough for the gut to heal and regain its ability
to handle the most difficult to digest foods, i.e., grains, starches, and complex carbohydrates
(Campbell-MacBride, 2010). However, she does admit that some of the most severe cases may
demand a permanent adherence to the GAPS diet (Campbell-MacBride, 2010).
This is an outstanding find considering its simplicity. The only problem might be the
mindset changing ones mind to stop eating artificial, man-made garbage and start eating
strictly natural foods.
Treatment number 2

Treatment of Autism

Laprime and Dittrich (2014), experimented with a preschool child, David, a 4-year-old
child with ASD. They implemented a token economy and a social story system to diminish the
childs strange vocalizations. The method of the experiment consisted of providing fifteen tokens
to the child each day and putting a red wristband on the child at the beginning of the
intervention. This mean the experimenters utilized reinforcing protocols, however, they also
instituted some punishment rules as well. They implemented punishment through the takeaway
of the tokens. The child did not like this, so he adhered to commands a lot smoothly than if the
reinforcement/punishment apparatus had not been present. If any amount of tokens remain at the
end of the session or treatment for that day (30 minutes), the child received a reinforcement, i.e.,
a treat (Laprime & Dittrich, 2014). The outcome of this part of the experiment was successful.
The childs strange vocalizations decreased significantly from that day.
The problems with this treatment seem to encompass the use of proper vocalizations. It
punishes the child for strange vocalizations, but it does nothing to encourage appropriate
vocalizations. Laprime and Dittrich (2014), suggested measuring the correct or appropriate
vocalizations just to get an idea of their frequency. Additionally, they suggested switching to the
token system to only using the colored bracelet on the childs wrist to measure how he would
behave knowing the treatment or reinforcing period started but continued without the token
system in place (Laprime & Dittrich, 2014). These are some other protocols which could be
appropriate and useful to the experiment.
Conclusions
In conclusion, it seems as though groups against economic destabilization of processed
foods focus want to shift the attention of the populace to the unrelated causes of autism instead
of focusing on the obvious side-effects of many processed foods in the market. Regardless of

Treatment of Autism

what causes or what not causes autism, these processed foods ability to trigger side-effects in
anyone who consumes them should not be neglected. While everyone focuses on what does not
cause ASD, perhaps the health communities should concern themselves with what can help
minimize ASD, and what sustains it so it can be either discontinued or adequately fought. For
instance, in the case of the bad bacteria in the gut creating neurological toxins. The health
community should focus on not just antibiotics, but something which will reduce the bad
bacteria-causing toxins and increase the good bacteria-supporting good overall health.
Pointing fingers is enough as long as the accusations support another means by which to
proceed and create viable solutions to the problem, not just obvious and blatant and biased
discrediting of ideas.
Nevertheless, Laprime and Dittirchs token reinforcing and punishing system seem
significantly useful for cutting down an autistic childs insistent vocalizing behavior. It is an
excellent idea, from a behavior modification perspective. However, it does not possess anything
which could be used to diminish autism in children.
Since autism seems like an internal issue, it would be responsible for considering what
one eats as both, the potential instigator of autism and the remedy. Behavior modification,
psychotherapy, all other external and cognitive variances of treatments or interventions are great,
but they should be part of something which may help turn the child around like Dr. CampbellMacBride tries to tell us, consume particular foods. These specific foods can help cleanse the
body, allow the body to heal itself. Interventions to achieve this could be helpful, especially in
cases where a child might not want to eat a GAPS diet proper food. Behavior modification
protocols would be extremely useful there.

Treatment of Autism

It seems, though, we have forgotten how powerful our bodies are and how autonomous
they can be if we allow them the freedom to heal us instead of weighing it with foods that are
tough on the gut. The body, however, cannot recover if it is not healthy or if it weighted down
with processed foods. It would be like starting to put the high octane gasoline in a car after years
of using cheap gas which clogged the fuel injection lines. No, the fuel injection lines must be
properly cleansed for the new, high octane gasoline to keep them clean and propel the vehicle to
greater power, efficiency, and longevity. This is what needs to happen to perhaps people with
ASD. Put healthy foods in the stomachs of ASD persons so their bodies can get rid of the brainaffecting toxins and their bodies can naturally heal themselves and become healthy again.

Treatment of Autism

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References

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(DSM-5). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Buser, S. (2014). DSM-5 insanely simplified: Unlocking the spectrums within DSM-5 and ICD10. Asheville, NC: Chiron Publications.
Campbell-McBride, N. (2010). Gut and psychological syndrome: Natural treatment for autism,
dyspraxia, dyslexia, A.D.D, A.D.H.D, depression, schizophrenia. Soham, Cambridge:
Medinform Publishing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2014). Autism prevalence. Retrieved
February 16, 2016, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/prevalence.
Laprime, A. A. (2014). An evaluation of a treatment package consisting of discrimination
training and differential reinforcement with response cost and a social story on vocal
stereotypy for a preschooler with autism in a preschool classroom. Education &
Treatment Of Children, 37(3), 407-430.
Parracho, H. M. R. T., Binghman, M. O., Gibson, G. R., & McCartney, A. L. (2005). Differences
between the gut microflora of children with autistic spectrum disorders and that of
healthy children. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 54, 987-991.
Toh, M. C., & Allen-Vercoe, E. (2015). The human gut microbiota with reference to autism
spectrum disorder: Considering the whole as more than a sum of its parts. Retrieved
February 16, 2016, from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310852.