Could a Naturopathic Approach be Key in Autism Treatment?

A new practice in Seattle has offered a holistic approach to children whose wellbeing has been affected by autism, as well as their families. Autism can often make a big impact to family wellness, with Autism Spectrum Disorders affecting one in 88 children, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. A more recent study indicates that this number may be as high as one in 50.

Most children are diagnosed with autism at an early age, but, as it stands, there are no standard treatment options. The new Seattle practice, Integra Natural Wellness, works with a naturopathic approach which includes counselling, dietary change, herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrient therapies and physical medicine. The benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t need to involve medications, but if your child is using medicines to help with the disorder the naturopathic approach does not interfere.

According to co-founder and owner Dr Carrie McMillin, ‘At Integra Natural Wellness we use a Family Care Model in our treatment approach. Two of the principles of naturopathic medicine are to treat the cause and treat the whole person. We believe that the health of the individual and the health of the family are linked, and that taking into account the world in which the child must function leads to long-term, sustainable change for the whole family.’

Dr Bethany Glynn, co-founder and owner, noted, ‘As part of our Family Care Model, we offer the option of home visits. Many kids and teens with anxiety, ASD, and even ADHD, can present very differently in an office setting than at home in their own environment. Home visits allow us to assess these children amidst all of their normal surroundings, giving us a more accurate portrayal of behaviours and coping mechanisms in the child’s day-to-day life. Seeing the child in the home also allows us to create treatment plans that are realistic, achievable, and can benefit the whole family.’

In every case, Glynn and McMillin are both present for an initial 90-minute visit in order to attain a more complete understanding of the patient from multiple perspectives. They then develop a unique treatment plan, based on knowledge of the child’s physical, psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. McMillin explained, ‘An overwhelming amount of information exists on the diagnosis and treatment of children with anxiety, ADHD and autism. We are here to help families navigate all of the options available, and support them as they integrate these changes into their lives.’

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