Our Working Definition of Autism
Autism Consulting Service works with the belief that autism is a system (body) in trouble.
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by an impairment in communication, an impairment in social interaction, which limit the individuals ability to take a full role in society. Those on the spectrum claim that it is like a wall they cannot get through. Their brain is working perfectly and they know what they want to say and do, but their body does not cooperate.
The DSM IV and V also add the use of repetitive behaviors, interests and routines as core symtoms of autism, but they are not. They are the natural human responses to high levels of stress and anxiety. People with autism live at the extreme and the heightened use of these coping behaviours only serve to demonstrate the amount of stress and anxiety they are facing moment by moment.
We have discovered that autism is caused by a genetic vulnerability to a specific virus or viruses based directly on ancestral contact with that specific virus or viruses combined with exposure to the specific virus or viruses at an early age: either during gestation or infancy. The virus or viruses are specific to families based on the history of the family and exposure to the specific viruses in the past, which leads to a weakness in the genetic strain. Any type of virus or combination of viruses can be the source of blockage. In the past the chance of exposure was limited because it would have to come through direct exposure in the environment at the time. The chances of exposure in the present moment are high because of the vaccination process which makes it almost impossible for the child to miss out on the specific virus when given all of the vaccinations recommended by the medical establishment.
The presence of the viruses create a situation in which the sensory system of the infant is maintained at a heightened level in order to protect itself. This leads to unique brain development in early childhood as sensory information is responded to at a higher level than normal and the brain connections are developed after birth through sensory input. The development of the brain is unique for each child, based directly on the sensory experiences the child has from birth on. The developed brain continues to react to sensory input at a higher level which leads to heightened levels of anxiety which increases the quantity and quality of symptomatolgy.
The presence of the virus or viruses in the body block the ability of the body to maintain it's health, which lead to a breakdown of the system to work effectively over time. Problems may include gastrointestinal distress of all kinds, the development of allergies, heavy metal toxicity, and immune system dysfunction. These may also be compounded by other genetic vulnerabilities that have been passed down through the family. These all lead to heightened levels of anxiety.The heightened levels of anxiety lead to hypoadrenia: the burn out of the adrenal system over time which has a major impact on the whole endocrine system.
This means that every person with autism is a unique individual based on their specific genetic vulnerability, the specific viruses involved, the timing of exposure, and the impact that the stress has had on the individual body throughout the individual's life. All treatment plans must be individualized to meet the needs of their particular body.
The symptoms of autism as recognized by the DSM: a qualitative impairment in communication, a qualitative impairment in social interaction and the use of restricted repetitive behviours, interests and routine are only symptoms of the blockages caused by the presence of the viruses in the body. Once we remove the blockages, these symptoms all decrease on their own. On the other hand, concentrating treatment efforts on symptoms leads directly to heightened levels of anxiety and increase in the use of symptoms. Autism is not about not about a lack of knowledge or ability but about being blocked from following through on one's actions.
Effective treatment of autism is based directly removing the blockages in the body and on the reduction of anxiety for the person with autism with a clear understanding of the source of anxiety for the individual. Heightened levels of anxiety come from the outside (sensory input from the environment and from people within that environment), the inside (physiological problems such as hunger, thirst, pain, lack of sleep, etc.; bio medical concerns; emotions and memories) and from boredom. This website outlines the various types of treatment we use.
Source: This definition was developed through years of listening to people on the autism spectrum, working closely with hundreds of clients and their families, reading scientific literature, attending conferences and workshops, connecting with professionals who work in the field of autism from all around the world and keeping up on the what is happening in research.
My first clue that autism was a system in trouble came through my work with children who have sexually abused at a very young age. As I compared their symptoms to those of autism I realized that there was a close correlation between the two groups. Dr. Bruno Bettelheim noted the same similarities when he compared the reactions of autism to those of people interred in the concentration camps in Europe during the Second World War. Listening to those on the spectrum taught me one source of this "trouble": sensory systems that work at a higher level than those of the rest of us. Medical professionals such as the Defeat Autism Now (DAN) group led me into the world of biomedical concerns. Although this definition of autism is not the one that is found in most literature on this subject, I believe that it is the one that makes the most sense and that will be the one through which we find effective treatment for this group of people.
The bibliography for my research numbers into the thousands of articles and books at this point, which is far too much for me to share with you on this website. Much of this is not accessible on the internet. I have decided to add a couple of sites for those of you who wish to examine some of what I base my work on. The first sites in each this list describe what I am talking about to a degree at what I see is a superficial level. The second sites connect to actual research studies, which is what I pay more attention.
1. The viral connection with autism:
Autism may be caused by an Immune system response to a virus by Dr. Joseph Mercola.
A Genetic Study of Autism/PDD - Molecular and Family Studies by Dr. Peter Szatmari of Hamilton, Ontario
2.. The impact of sensory input on the brain.