Battling the Autism Label

Mental Health

The word Autism is the name given to a sensory processing disorder. It is an impairment in detecting, modulating or responding to sensory stimuli. In other words, the nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) are not working properly. Misalignments of the spinal column, called structural shifts, can cause this malfunction in how the brain interprets the sensory intake. Structuralshifts place pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves, leading to inflammation of the spinal cord and nerves and transmission delay between our brain and our body. This key factor is potentially responsible for the regression in development seen in children who are eventually labeled with autism. A chiropractor focusing on NeuroStructural Correction can help realign these structural shifts with gentle and specific adjustments to the spinal column. 

In addition to impacting the affected child and his/her family's quality of life, recent estimates place the lifetime cost for an individual with autism at $3.2 million. Something needs to be done! There has to be a way to battle the autism label and help find the child that is buried under the label. Treatment approaches are multidisciplinary including alternative therapies, particularly when no pharmaceutical agent alone is effective for the core symptoms of autism. Chiropractic adjustments are a popular alternative.

For any parent dealing with a sensory sensitive child, the idea of chiropractic care can seem unfathomable. A parent may wonder how a child who can hardly bare to be touched could tolerate a chiropractic adjustment. The first visit takes work from both the chiropractor and the child. There is an equal balance between talking and explaining and having the child lay on the table just to get a feel for it. Sometimes no actual chiropractic adjustment is given on the first visit, perhaps the time is just spent helping the child “adjust” to the thought of getting adjusted. A chiropractor focusing on paediatric patients is better suited for these cases as they have the tools and experience to make this transition as smooth as possible. Paediatric chiropractors are trained to care for your child as exactly that- a child. NOT as a label or a set of symptoms. 


Chiropractic Care and Autism- What The Research Is Saying

Often times, children who are labeled with autism are stuck in sympathetic overload- putting their little bodies into a chronic state of stress. Chiropractic adjustments were designed to help balance their nervous systems. Turning down the sympathetic tone and turning up the parasympathetic tone, the portion of the nervous system designed for resting, digesting, and processing sensoryinformation, improves the child’s ability to handle the overload. 

Research published in the Journal of Paediatrics concluded that chiropractic adjustments that help restore the normal structure of the spine allows the nervous system to function better. This can help children to carry on conversations, carry out commands, and dress and groom themselves at a higher level.

Retained primitive reflexes are often seen in children with developmental disorders. Primitive reflexes were designed to help infants survive and thrive however, these reflexes should disappear by the age of 1. When a primitive reflex is abnormally retained, it adds to the child’s sympathetic overload and prevents the sensory processing of other stimuli in the environment. Studies published in the Journal of Paediatric, Maternal and Family Health show that the combination of paediatric chiropractic care and primitive reflex work is of great benefit to the increasing population of children with neurological issues.

It’s time to make a change because you and your child have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

To find out more about how NeuroStructural or Paediatric chiropractic care can help you and your family please visit our website at


1. Alcantara, J et al.  A Systematic Review of the Literature on the Chiropractic Care of Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Explore (NY) Vol. 7 No. 6. 2011.

2. Rubinstein, HM,  Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 1, April 1994. 

3. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health- Chiropractic.