Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism Using Treatment Methods That Help Resolve Physical Compromise

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism is clearly the preliminary step to their treatment. Yet vice versa, an effective yet specific treatment can help in confirming and diagnosing ADHD and Autism, by virtue of its results. By definition a test is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge or skill in a topic or topics. A performance test is an assessment that requires an examinee to actually perform a measurable task or activity or produce a predictable response to the experience offered by the examiner.

Researchers in two separate studies have concluded that hyperactivity in the brain in children with ADHD is causative in an inability of these children to control impulsive hand movements. A study of mirror hand movements on children with ADHD showed that testing the non-dominant hand (successively tapping each finger of that hand to the thumb) produced twice as many mirrored hand movements in the other hand during the test. This was four times more predominant in boys with ADHD than boys without the condition. "The findings reveal that even at an unconscious level, these children are struggling with controlling and inhibiting unwanted actions and behavior," researcher Stewart Mostofsky, MD, of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, says in a news release. Another finding is that on motor development tests, children with ADHD and Autism also scored nearly 60% worse.

The cranium or skull is made up of several flat bones joined at the sutures (joints) to make up the cranial vault that houses the brain. The sutures allow for movement between the cranial bones. Dr. John Upledger, DO, developer of craniosacral therapy and founder of the Upledger Institute in Florida discovered that the craniums, especially the temporal bones (these are located on either the side of the head and commonly known as the temples) of children with ADHD and Autism are very tight with little or no movement between the cranial bones. This could explain the hyperactivity if the brain, in its wait to break free from this entrapment. Releasing the cranium, with special focus on the temporal bones at their sutural link to the sphenoid in front, the parietal bones above and the occiput behind, is all that it takes to set free the cranial vault in order to decrease the pressure on the internal milieu of the brain. This has such a powerful effect, that some of these children have even been able to integrate into normal classrooms.

The method described above is known as craniosacral therapy and along with lymph drainage therapy and visceral manipulation, more or less completes the circle of healing (sensory integration is also an important treatment here but falls outside the confines of this topic). Lymph drainage therapy offers relief through drainage of the dura, a tissue that completely encases the brain and spinal cord. This technique helps in decongesting the brain and brings relief from pressure. Visceral Manipulation helps to reduce gastrointestinal problems. These treatments help to:

1. Rebalance the nervous system in the release of both temporal bones resulting in improvement in language, learning and focus/ attention, eye contact, social interaction and reduced sleep difficulties.
2. Improve motor control.
3. Improve intestinal health to reduce gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea or constipation) and ease up toilet training.

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism will soon be based on clear and specific clinical symptoms rather than being labeled as spectrum disorder. Just from this article it is obvious that among others, the following three symptoms are specifically present in these children.

1. Mirrored hand movements.
2. Delayed milestones. This may vary from very mild to more severe.
3. Tight cranial sutures.

Since "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", the very fact that predictable results are obtained with craniosacral therapy, lymph drainage and visceral manipulation confirms that these are powerful tools in diagnosing ADHD and Autism. The value in diagnosing ADHD and Autism is that it will allow management via diet control, drug therapy and special schooling to give these children the best opportunities available to break free and come into their own to live a full life.

To learn more about these very effective treatment methods for ADHD and Autism visit

Caroline Konnoth is a Physical Therapist and the Owner of Healing Dynamics Corp. She offers treatment via various osteopathic and physical therapeutic techniques. Caroline is a highly trained Healer, with more than 35 years of clinical experience. She has a vast set of tools for treating clients of all ages and conditions, who come to her, some from different parts of the world. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the New York Chapter, a Life member of the Indian Association of Physiotherapy, the International Yoga Foundation and A Medallion Member of the International Alliance of Healthcare Practitioners. She is a Teaching Assistant with the Upledger and Barral Institutes in their Craniosacral, Lymph drainage and Visceral Manipulation programs. Caroline has been approved by the New York State Department of Health as a Provider for the Early Intervention Program in Pediatrics.

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