Participants: Dr. James Marcum (Host), David Adams
Series Code: BRX
Program Code: BRX00010A
00:01 Are you confused by the conflicts in the health
00:03 reports in the news today?
00:05 In this well marketed world is hard to know who or even
00:08 what to believe, but there are answers you can depend on.
00:11 Hi! I'm Dr. James Markham.
00:14 Join me for Bible RX, a program exploring the healthcare
00:18 world, looking at all aspects of healing.
00:21 Using the Bible, and Biblical prescriptions,
00:25 as the ultimate source of truth.
00:49 In our last program we talked about Autism.
00:51 We spent a little time defining what Autism was.
00:55 Today we're going to talk about some of the
00:57 treatments that are available.
00:59 The different types of medicines,
01:00 the different types of foods,
01:02 all the different things that are out there.
01:03 We have a specialist, Dr. David Adams,
01:06 that is going to help guide us through this most
01:09 difficult and challenging topic.
01:12 Autism is a major concern, that's why we are talking
01:15 about it today.
01:16 It is affecting more and more
01:18 families, the economic
01:20 implications, the family
01:22 implications, and the disease itself on the individual.
01:26 Dr. David Adams we are glad that you are here talk
01:28 with us on this most interesting topic.
01:29 How did you get interested in the world of Autism?
01:32 Basically with the diagnosis of
01:35 my son approximately 6 years ago
01:38 My son actually suffers from Regressed Autism
01:44 developed normally till about twenty two months and
01:46 then regressed into the diagnosis of Autism
01:50 where he lost all language.
01:51 He was actually totally nonverbal for
01:53 two and a half years.
01:55 Lost the ability to communicate,
01:58 lost the ability to respond to verbal communications
02:03 and understanding, and really went into his own world.
02:06 Now you were a physician that practices every day,
02:10 once you had a child with this disorder,
02:14 did you start educating yourself even more than ever?
02:17 The fortunate thing is that at least,
02:20 being a physician you know where to look.
02:22 You know which books to read, which experts to call.
02:27 I was extremely disappointed by the lack of information there
02:32 is out there on Autism.
02:34 Lack of good research, the lack of quality early intervention
02:38 that is available for parents.
02:41 So your learning curve has definitely gone
02:43 up through the years?
02:44 It's been incredible.
02:45 It's like discovering another world.
02:49 Now do you find many of the researchers,
02:53 that write about Autism,
02:55 do they actually have Autistic children themselves?
02:57 Or are they, I would think that if one would have an Autistic
03:00 child, they would be even more in
03:02 tune to this disease?
03:03 Fortunately there has been, because the increasing
03:06 numbers has a lot of attention focused on to the
03:09 disorder and many researchers beginning to look into it
03:15 and investigate what is going on in Autism.
03:17 A lot of that is motivated by parents
03:21 of Autistic children.
03:23 To be honest with you, most of the major advances
03:27 in Autism has been made by parents,
03:30 or siblings of Autistic individuals.
03:32 I guess they have a passion for it?
03:34 Very much so.
03:36 Now today we are going to talk about some
03:38 of the treatments.
03:39 Last time we talked about what Autism is.
03:41 Let's review some of the diagnosis of Autism
03:43 briefly, what is that again?
03:45 There are three main areas of symptoms that a
03:50 child with Autism will have.
03:52 The first is in language, significant language delay,
03:56 the use of inappropriate language,
03:58 the use of stereotypic or repetitive language
04:02 where someone, you might ask them a question,
04:05 do you want to a cookie?
04:06 The child will respond, do you want a cookie?
04:08 Rather than saying yes or no.
04:10 A loss of nonverbal means of communication
04:13 such as gesturing, pointing.
04:14 The second area is in social interactions, difficulty picking
04:20 up on eye contact, difficulty maintaining eye contact,
04:25 difficulty with transition, difficulty with
04:27 being in crowded environments.
04:30 The third is stereotypical, or a typical activities.
04:34 For example: spinning the wheels,
04:37 looking for hours at the spinning wheels of a truck,
04:41 rather than playing with the truck properly.
04:44 Wow! So that's the diagnosis.
04:46 So let's go to questions about
04:48 how to treat these individuals.
04:49 First one comes from Vermont, from Suzanne in Vermont.
04:53 She says:
05:08 Let's start with what can be done to help a 2-year-old?
05:11 Over and over again looking at the studies in Interventions For
05:16 Autism, the earlier we start the more likely the child is to
05:21 progress and make significant improvements.
05:26 The time to start treatment is at diagnosis.
05:31 The 2 to 5 window, the preschool window is
05:35 the most critical.
05:37 Getting a child into an intervention program
05:40 is incredibly important.
05:42 Because Autism affects so many spectrums of areas of function
05:47 it has to be multi-disciplinary.
05:49 Beginning with educational, there are specific types
05:53 of educational interventions that loosely go under the
05:58 term called, Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA.
06:01 This involves breaking tasks, to be learned,
06:06 into small parts.
06:07 And developing and trying to identify the child's
06:11 problems and delays, and working in developing an
06:16 individualized program that specifically
06:18 addresses those delays.
06:19 It's most of the time done in conjunction with
06:22 the school system, with needing highly trained therapist,
06:27 and often physical therapist or occupational
06:29 therapist, speech therapist are involved.
06:35 The intensity is probably the key that is most difficult.
06:39 Most of the studies that were done on educational intervention
06:43 were looking at employing 35
06:45 or more hours per week.
06:47 That can be incredibly difficult to maintain a program
06:52 for a 2, 3-year-old child, having 35 hours
06:56 even 40 hours of therapy a week.
06:59 Right! - and also incredibly expensive.
07:02 So for Suzanne's question, I guess what can be done to help?
07:05 Make a diagnosis, - correct.
07:07 Get in this high intensity program early on, - correct.
07:10 Now I guess we do not have a date on this,
07:13 will this child ever live a normal life?
07:15 I guess normal as we know it would probably not be.
07:18 That is actually incorrect. - okay!
07:22 Going back to the original study done on educational
07:26 interventions in Autism.
07:28 In 1987, done by a gentleman named Iver Lovos,
07:32 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
07:37 He began in early intervention program in children,
07:41 40 percent of them by kindergarten were able to
07:45 function in a mainstream class room without assistance.
07:49 Those numbers are probably actually higher because he
07:52 typically worked with some milder children.
07:55 Then maybe for an average, but significant numbers of
08:00 children, if intervened early enough, and intensively
08:05 enough, will be able to function at much higher
08:10 levels than they would otherwise.
08:12 Some of which would function at levels that
08:14 we would consider normal.
08:16 So as a society that is going to be our goal now?
08:18 Absolutely! - you know focus our research and energies
08:21 into this early intervention.
08:23 Absolutely! Unfortunately that hasn't reached the
08:27 average child with Autism.
08:28 It is by far the minority of children who get
08:32 that type of early, intensive intervention.
08:36 Now let's move onto our next question.
08:38 This is from Elizabeth in Kentucky.
08:39 She writes:
08:56 I guess she is spending money on special things for
08:58 the child to go special places?
09:00 What would you just say to a child that lives in a town
09:02 that doesn't have the special needs, they put him in a
09:05 classroom that they are not early intervening
09:07 The parent knows that if they don't early intervening
09:10 and have been educated, that something bad is going to happen
09:13 if they don't get on it early.
09:14 How would you counsel Elizabeth here?
09:18 It's a hard situation!
09:19 It is an extremely hard situation.
09:20 The first thing I would say is federal law, federal education
09:25 law, which there are, fortunately for families with
09:30 Autism, a pretty good set of laws that underlie
09:35 what a school system is required by the
09:37 federal government to provide.
09:39 The federal government doesn't give exemptions because
09:41 you live in a small town verses a large town.
09:44 Most of these interventions, I am convinced, can be
09:48 implemented in any community, if that community,
09:51 and school system in that community decides to do so.
09:55 I have seen large cities do very poor jobs with
09:59 children with Autism, and I have seen small cities,
10:02 small towns do a very good job.
10:04 Often at the state level, the Department of Special Education
10:11 you can often find resources.
10:12 In certain states there are actually legal resources
10:17 for approaching the school system, if necessary.
10:21 Every child with special needs is required by the federal
10:24 government to have what is called an Individualized
10:27 Education Plan that spells out what that child needs.
10:35 The other issues is that a lot of families are
10:37 going broke, it is extremely expensive.
10:39 Now where can Elizabeth go, is there a website with
10:42 information that she can go to and maybe learn a little
10:44 bit more about what resources are available to her?
10:48 There are 3 websites that are worthwhile addressing.
10:53 The first one is the organization of "Autism Speaks"
10:58 which is an organization started by the grand parents
11:02 of a child with Autism.
11:03 He provides a lot of information on early diagnosis and
11:06 awareness in information at their website.
11:09 The second is the National Autism Association.
11:12 The third one is Autism Research Institute.
11:15 Just simply Googling Autism or entering those words
11:18 in your search engine, should be able to provide
11:22 their websites very easily.
11:23 You know part of, I would be frustrated too,
11:25 if I did not know what was available and what the
11:27 school system had to do to help my child.
11:30 Unfortunate a lot of school systems don't know,
11:33 or don't seem to want to know what a child needs.
11:36 Or they seem to want to treat every child the same.
11:39 One of the keys to it, is these children are individuals.
11:43 What they need is different.
11:46 You cannot apply the same program to one child and
11:49 to another and expect the same results.
11:51 Or for it to be even beneficial.
11:53 This is a real disease, like diabetes or cancer,
11:55 or any of those other diseases that we are taking care of.
11:58 This isn't just something that is going to go away.
12:00 No it is not, and these children will be in the school system
12:04 for long periods of time.
12:05 Then they will be in the community for
12:07 long periods of time.
12:08 We need to, as a society, begin to address this epidemic.
12:13 Right! Well Elizabeth I hope you are not frustrated
12:16 too long and I hope that some of these tips that
12:19 Dr. Adams gave you can help you get some more answers
12:23 to help your child.
12:24 At this point we're going to take a short break
12:26 and we will be right back.