Pediatric Autism Treatment & Prevention
Please note that Dr. Debby Hamilton has closed her practice.
Autism is diagnosed in a child when they have problems in three areas of functioning: (1) problems with speech and communication, (2) social interactions, and (3) stereotyped and repetitive behavior. There is a wide range of severity of problems so children are diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The autism spectrum includes children with sensory processing issues (SPD), pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger’s, and classic autism.
While autism is diagnosed based on criteria from a diagnostic manual of mental disorders, it is increasingly clear that many of these symptoms are medical – not psychological. Common medical problems in children on the autism spectrum can include:
|• ||Digestive problems: reflux, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, bloated abdomen|
|• ||Allergies, asthma, and eczema|
|• ||Food reactions|
|• ||Sleep problems|
|• ||Poor nutrition|
|• ||Poor growth|
Dr. Debby’s biomedical approach begins with an in depth evaluation to find the causes of all of your child’s symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, and/or behavioral, since they are all intricately connected. Her evaluation includes an extensive medical history, physical exam, computer diet analysis of food intake, and any needed laboratory tests.
Treatment of your child then focuses on the identified causes of problems along with improving overall health. You will first receive sound nutritional counseling for your child along with an individualized diet plan and targeted nutritional supplementation.
Strengthening and healing the digestive system is often integral to healing children with autism and is the next focus of treatment. We provide therapies that treat infections, heal the intestines, relieve pain and improve function. Balancing the immune system is also critical since an imbalanced immune system leads to numerous allergies and chronic infections. Since sleep is critical to health of both children and parents, restoring normal sleep patterns is always a priority for your family’s health and sanity!
Once your child feels better then they can learn better. They won’t be distracted by pain when at important speech, occupational, physical, or behavioral therapies.
The rates of autism are increasing rapidly with the latest research showing an average of 1 child in 88 to be on the autism spectrum in the United States. Since boys are affected more often than girls, the rates in our boys are even higher. If your family has a child with autism, Asperger’s, and/or ADHD, then any further new children are at an increased risk of developing one of these disorders.
Dr. Debby’s practice offers individual consultation and workshops on autism and ADHD prevention beginning before pregnancy and continuing through the first several years of life.
|We feel very fortunate to have a pediatrician of Debby's (Dr. Hamilton's) caliber in Boulder. For the past five years, she has guided our family through the complicated journey of autism with wisdom and kindness. She not only brings a broad range of experience to her practice, including alternative and holistic approaches, but she is always open to discussing new ideas and research. She is an excellent listener and communicator with a sharp scientific mind, and I would highly recommend her as a family doctor.|
I.J., Lafayette, CO