A case series study published in the Nov. 3, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documents chiropractic care helping language skills in two cases of diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. The authors begin by explaining, “Autism is defined as a disorder beginning in childhood marked by the presence of significantly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a distinctly restricted repertoire of activity and interest.”
The study notes that the number of diagnosed cases of autism in the U.S. continues to increase and is now considered at epidemic proportions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 110 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism. In California alone, the rate of autism increased 633% between 1987 and 2007. According to the study authors the current rate of diagnosis of autism equates to one new case being diagnosed every two hours.
In this case series, two children who were diagnosed with autism participated in the study. Each of the two children were diagnosed independently by clinical psychologists. The first of the two children was a boy at the age of a 3 years, 8 months. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 years with moderate autism. With this diagnosis, the boy was suffering with severe language and speech difficulties. Additionally, the boy had a history of allergies, ear infections, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, teeth grinding, and sleep problems.
The second child was a girl at the age of 3 years, 5 months, who was diagnosed with autism 2 months earlier. Her autism was characterized by severely delayed expressive and a moderate delay in receptive language skills. In addition to autism, she was also suffering from chronic colds, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, and sleep problems.
In these two cases, a test known as the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) was administered every three months to rate any progress in the children’s language skills. Using these tests, the young boy was measured at over one year delayed in language while the girl was even worse and was considered severely language delayed.
Chiropractic care was initiated on both children for correction of subluxations. At the first testing interval, both children showed measurable improvement in the language skills. By the fourth test both children showed significant improvement. The boy actually improved to the point where his language skills were 5 months above the average child his age. The girl, whose speech was worse at the onset of chiropractic care, improved enough to be only 8 months behind her chronological age.
The improvements in these children were observed and appreciated by their families. At three months into care the young boy said “I love you Daddy” for the first time in his life. The mother of the girl reported that her daughter was doing well in pre-school and was even seen helping other children with their tasks.