In light of Autism Awareness Day, we’d like to highlight this very complex condition that is found in one out of every 68 children. Though the cause of autism is unknown, the practice of functional neurology is helping individuals on the Autism Spectrum everyday.
Functional neurology is based on the premise of neuroplasticity, the nervous system’s ability to grow and change with the proper stimulation. Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by accelerated left hemisphere development and an under-performing right hemisphere. This causes the individual to be very uneven in cognitive abilities, such as high verbal skills, but low scores on intelligence tests.
Diagnostic imaging has shown two important factors: 1) There is no physical damage to these complex networks, and 2) There are well defined areas of dysfunction. In other words, their brain is physically and individually intact, but not able to coordinate well with other areas. This has been termed “functional disconnection”, and has existed since the early 1970s.
Functional neurologists, like myself, work with patients as individuals, not as an autistic person. No two people, with the same disease or not, are treated the same. Certain characteristics may be present with people on the spectrum, but their treatments will vary according to their neurology. We use non-invasive, natural forms of stimuli to improve plasticity of the nervous system. Much like learning a new skill or hobby, it takes time to build up these networks. Functional improvements are normally seen after every treatment, with overall performance and long lasting results being gained the longer the person has been under the care of a functional neurologist.
We work with a wide range of patients with neurological disorders. Several of our patients with ASDs have seen improvements in daily life such as improved spatial perception and fewer accidents due to improper calculation of their surroundings. They have also had better cognitive focus, ability to communicate with others and decreased dizziness/vertigo issues and dyspraxias.
If you’d like more information or to book an appointment to see me, Dr. Blaine Crevar, at our Charleston, SC office, please click here or call 843-529-1800.