Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tips For Success With Alternative Treatments



Last weekend this informative piece appeared in our newspaper. The title "Charlatans target NDIS" with the subheading "Parents of autistic kids warned of bogus treatments". It then lists the treatments parents should be warned of and why.

Firstly, the only treatment on there that provides services to NDIS clients is osteopathy. These practitioners are hardly 'targeting' the NDIS - they aren't even part of the scheme.

Secondly, the article says that these therapies claim to 'cure autism'. I'm not aware of these therapies claiming to cure anything. Australian consumer law states it is illegal to make false or misleading claims about a product / service so you can't claim to cure anything - even doctors can't! These therapies are treatments that address autism and related disorders. None of them are a cure in and of themselves. And really, if you think one chiropractic adjustment is going to cure autism then you probably haven't done enough research. 

Autism and related disorders are multi factorial - meaning there are lots of things going wrong in the brain and body. There are multiple areas to addressed - this is the  reason why alternative therapies are also called "complimentary" therapies - they compliment each other to address the many different factors involved in disease.



Tips for success with alternative therapies




  • Educate yourself. 


Do your research. Read books, journals, medical journals, join online forums...you'll find some alternative therapies have a larger evidence base then others. We have avoided homeopathy for that reason but I know many families who sware by it. It's an individual thing.

  • Trust Yourself


As you educate yourself - trust yourself! Trust in the knowledge you have acquired. This trust is very important as your inevitably encounter opposition.

One of Emma's specialist literally LOL'd when I said we would be researching alternative therapies. This was after he told me there was nothing he could do for Emma and that I should just focus on my healthy children. He was basically saying the better option to 'alternative therapies' was to just give up. I felt sad thinking about how many parents would give up fighting at that point. 


  • Trial and error

Not all therapies will work for your child because each child is different with a completely different genetic profile. 

Contrary to some beliefs alternative medicine is not harmful. You are a thousand times more likely to die from a reaction to a pharmaceutical drug than a natural supplement. It's insanity to suggest a gluten free or dairy free diet is dangerous compared to taking a drug that has has been inadequately tested.

It can take time and patience to find what works for your child. Some things work - some things don't. This is part of the journey.


  • Find out about others experiences

I know a mother with a nonverbal child with autism prone to violent outbursts and not sleeping. Another parent suggested an essential oil. She laughed it off. A year later after trying all sorts of drugs she was so desperate she gave in. On the first day he had noticeably less tantrums and started sleeping through the night. She admitted she had no idea how it worked...but she was just so thankful it did!

As parents, we learn about parenting from discussing and sharing our experiences with other parents. There's no harm in having conversations and finding out about what other parents are having success with as long as we understand that with any parenting advice, it may not work for our child.

A great source of information is the recovering kids biomedical healing facebook page. It has over 85,000 members from all around the world and is a great community of like-minded parents!

Lastly, it's not popular to choose an alternative path.  'Mainstream' means going with the flow, following the majority and believing what is widely accepted as true. Going against the flow means asking questions, challenging the status quo and considering the motives and agendas behind much of 'mainstream' thinking.

Going against the flow isn't easy but we know it's the right thing.

Be encouraged xo 

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