Speech Development in Autism
Language development begins the day a child is born. However, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a more difficult time learning and using language. Children with autism may also need extra support with communication and social skills. As every child is unique, what works for some kids do not work for others. Therefore, it is important to personalize the treatment to the child. If your child is experiencing setbacks in speech development, seek treatment as early as possible. Our naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tasreen Alibhai, ND, can customize a treatment for your child based on his or her lab test results and individual assessments.
Individual Child Assessments
To determine the best course of treatment, our naturopathic doctor investigates various components that are essential to the healthy development of the brain, particularly speech development. Some areas and components of the brain we focus on include:
The body’s chemical messengers used by the nervous system to transmit messages between neurons – e.g. dopamine, GABA, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
A biochemical process that is used in nearly all body functions, as well as the production of neurotransmitters, making of proteins, replication of genetic DNA, and detoxification.
The process of removing harmful toxins from the body, such as heavy metals, which can affect nervous system development and brain health.
Microbiome, or gut health, is the genetic material of all types of microbes and affects good bacteria, fungal infections, and viral and bacterial parasites.
Analysis of the digestive tract includes measuring levels of stomach acid, bile release, digestive enzymes, and bacteria within the large and small intestine.
Testing of vitamins and minerals in the body is important as what your child eats and how he or she digests food can impact everything else. Deficiencies can be tested for and treated.
Putting It All Together
While your child’s speech may be your main concern, it’s important to realize that various systems within the body can all contribute to a delay in speech development. That is why we look at the whole picture when creating a treatment plan to support speech development. The ultimate goal is to introduce treatments that will allow children with autism to better focus, learn, and develop.
When building an individualized treatment plan, we look at our assessments for each component of the body. From gas, bloating, and constipation to allergies, sensitivities, and sleep issues, all of these factors can have a direct impact on a child’s speech development. Learning where potential problems in the body lie can help us better develop a treatment that treats these imbalances and creates a healthy environment for the child to grow and thrive.