Q – My son has just been given a mild autism diagnosis (presents like Asperger’s, according to his psychologist). I’d like to find out how to help him at a “brain level” rather than superficially with OT (Occupational Therapy) or tutoring. He is 9 years old.
A – We see many children with autistic spectrum disorders. The procedure is to do a brain assessment to determine the exact nature and location of the deficiencies in the brain, and then to normalize brain activity in those areas.
Q – Autism and persecutory paranoia: My daughter is 27 and was originally diagnosed with autism (she had 8 out of 10 classic symptoms as a child). As adulthood approached she became progressively more suspicious of everyone and has now been termed persecutory and delusional. I have never heard of this combination and am wondering if you know anything about it – an autistic person becoming paranoid.
A – People with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) can develop anxiety, psychological and/or psychotic disorders. The susceptibility depends on many factors including the level of intellectual functioning. Because of the ASD, some of the interpersonal centers are not functioning appropriately so it may be difficult to help the client psychologically. We have found that improving the functioning of these centers neurotherapeutically can often be very helpful in facilitating some psychological/behavioral treatment for the disorder.
Q – My 25 year old son has had symptoms since childhood that I now know are suggestive of mild Asperger’s. It will take a year to get him assessed. He has also had life-long problems with sleep. He is currently in grad school, and having increasing difficulties managing his life. Is your therapy likely to help, and if so, how many sessions are likely to be needed?
A – We see many adults with ASD, many of whom are functioning very well with some minor ASD like behaviors. Your son may have several modest brain dysfunctions that are causing the difficulties. Sleep, for example, can be quite independent of ASD but the poor quality may exacerbate the ASD behaviors. Generally, with Asperger’s we find a deficiency in the right prefrontal brain regions that are associated with poor social skills. The treatment of this condition, assuming that the above suppositions are correct, would not require many visits. As part of the treatment, once the frontal brain regions are corrected, we would provide some behavioral therapy to help with social skills acquisition. I would guess that 20-30 sessions would be adequate. However, this is just a guess based on the limited information. We can be far more precise once an intake brain assessment is completed.
Q – My daughter aged six had a severe head injury two months prior to her second birthday. She had exhibited delayed development from a young age, and had been diagnosed with mild global developmental delay. After the head injury she appeared to return to her usual self within two weeks. However she has continued to develop at a delayed rate. She was also formally diagnosed with autism just before she turned five. She recently had a neuropsych assessment with the report indicating that her symptoms are related to autism rather than injury. As I understand it, many head injury symptoms are similar to autism. My question is, could the head injury have contributed to or increased the symptoms of autism?
A – As you note from the list of symptoms associated with head injury, autism like symptoms can be associated such injuries. We also have a number of cases that would suggest that head injury and other brain injuries exacerbate ASD conditions. From a neurotherapeutic perspective the origins of the conditions are largely irrelevant for the treatments are quite similar.
Q – I am interested in this treatment for my daughter with autism. I live in the Toronto area, are you aware of any centers in this area that we can access?
A – Fortunately one of the best teams in the world is right in Toronto. Drs. Lynda and Michael Thompson 905-803-8066.
Q – If you are able to, how do you treat toddlers who are likely too young to play the video games? I have in my care a 3 year old who is non-verbal, has autism, and probably PTSD.
A – We treat many clients who are not capable of volitional feedback treatment procedures. This includes very young children, elderly clients with serious dementias, brain injured clients, and severe autistic and Asperger’s clients. The procedures that we use in such cases are non-volitional and use light and sound (with adults we also use micro-amperage stimulation, EMF fields, etc) contingent on brainwave activity to drive the brain toward more normal functioning ranges. The lights are presented either with light strobes that are reflected off a page of a book or from light emitting diodes attached to look-through goggles. The sounds are usually presented open-air. During these braindriving procedures the child can be engaged in tasks such as imitative play, looking at picture books, dialogue etc. This is a very effective procedure because the area of the brain implicated in an activity (such as reading) is under treatment while the activity is in progress. We see children as early as 6 months of age.
Q – I have an eight year old and a nine year old boy with high functioning autism. They are scheduled to begin neurotherapy in July. Of course, my boys struggle with social skills and some with anxiety and becoming very emotional. I am wondering (as I read the comments regarding different areas of the brain) if they can be assessed in your office and the therapy provided in the office of the neuropsychologist in our area? Can that ever happen? I would greatly appreciate your feedback as we want to begin on the right track.
A – We often do the brain assessments and then consult with the neurotherapists in the clients local area who provides the actual neurotherapeutic treatment. You must be VERY careful however that the local person who offers neurotherapy is in fact certified and qualified to offer treatments. Unfortunately we have many therapists with very poor training who have purchased franchise like operations who offer one-size-fits-all treatments. These people are totally unqualified to treat any condition as serious as ASD and we will not be involved with these unqualified practitioners. If you let us know where you are located we can often refer you to practitioners who are qualified and certified to offer neurotherapeutic treatment. In some cases, you may be in areas where you can have a very qualified person do the brain assessment as well as the treatment. Again, contact us and we can tell you if there are qualified practitioners in your area.