ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
“There Are No Cure, but There Are Many Ways to Treat ASD for A Better Living Outcome for Your Child”
According to recent statistics from CDC in the USA, 1 in 7 children have some sort of developmental delay. UK NHS figures indicates that 1 in 15 people in the UK have a so called “rare” disorder. Meanwhile, about 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. ASD is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than girls (1 in 189).
Recent studies have indicated a very strong association between genetics and Autism. A recent study from October 2014 carried out at the world famous Great Ormond Street Hospital in London identified more than 100 genes linked with Autism.
However, Autism is beyond genetics as there are other factors such as environment, dietary, and physiological health issues including Increased Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut) and autoantibodies that can be the underlying causes of Autism.
“This work is very important as it brings us closer to interpreting genetic data from families affected by autism and using it during genetic counselling to start explaining to families why their child may have the condition and what their likelihood of having further children with ASD might be.” – Prof. David Skuse, Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Should I get a formal diagnosis to see if my child is on the spectrum?
- Diagnosis of ASD usually begins with a developmental screening to test if your child has any delay on their basic skill. Developmental screening can be done via psychological tests conducted by Developmental Pediatricians, Child Neurologists, or Child Psychologists.
- Besides that, you can also do a genetic test to get a more accurate, objective diagnosis for genetic disorders that identifies developmental delay. Although there has been no specific genes that has been identified as a genetic condition for Autism, you would still be able to get a more detailed information of the root cause for a developmental delay.
- Sengenics can perform Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which includes exome sequencing, genome sequencing and targeted gene sequencing, where you will be able to view and identify your child’s gene conditions.
- It is best to understand the genetic profile of your child. Once the genetic condition has been identified, you will be able to learn more about their unique condition, and target to provide them with a more individualized treatment and care.
Will I be able to detect that my child is autistic while I’m still pregnant?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, you will be able to detect any developmental delay in your fetus by running a preimplantation diagnosis or screening on its chromosome profile. No, the chromosome profile specifically for autism has yet to be identified by specialists and professionals. Click Here for PGD/PGS information on doing a preimplantation genetic screening or diagnosis on your fetus.
How can I provide treatment for my child that is on the spectrum?
To address the treatment and management of individuals with autism specifically and individually, we need to understand all factors including:
- Formal diagnosis to understand the severity level of your child’s spectrum.
- Genetic testing to identify genetic conditions.
- Biomedical testing / blood testing to complement the findings from genetic testing as well as guide diet and supplement choices (Click here for a list of tests)
- Gut microbiome sequencing to understand the bacterial composition inside the guts; which includes identifying:
- Antibiotics – to get rid of bad bacteria from the gut.
- Probiotics – to add in good bacteria to the gut.
- Prebiotics – to improve the environment of the gut, such as fibers to improve the functioning of the probiotics itself
- Protein Array Test to understand the autoantibody profile of the immune system.
- Therapy to help improve social and behavioral deficits.
Does therapy help my autistic child?
Many parents have experienced positive changes and improvements in their child by doing approaching therapies. However, there are no autistic child that is the same as the other. Though they may have similar difficulties, it is important to understand the baseline of deficiency of your child in order to achieve full potential in therapy sessions. There are various types of therapies to approach your child’s needs. Click here for more general reading on therapy and recommendations for improving an autistic child’s social and behavioral deficits
THE TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS: THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH
Are there any other methods for me to help my autistic child besides the therapeutic approach?
Yes. Once you have understood the condition of your child, specialists will be able to develop a more specific treatments to target the results collected from the factors stated above. Some suggested treatments are:
- Genetic testing A genetic diagnosis will help you understand the cause of your child’s symptoms. Thus, you will be able to get seek appropriate medical attention for your child. Through Sengenics’ Next Generation Sequencing, you would be able to compare your child’s gene’s to our huge resource database on the list of genes related to autism, and thus have a reference to the type of treatment you can proceed for your child. Click here for a sample result of genetic and biomedical test.
- Dietary Changes and Supplements
a. Dietary Options. These are only general guidelines. Avoid feeding it to your child if you know or suspect that they are allergic to or cannot eat it safely. (Click here for more info)