Blog, Chirosecure Live Event April 17, 2021

April is Autism Awareness Month, What Should CHIROPRACTORS Know?

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Past tax day. We got a reprieve on tax day. This year. I am Dr. Monika Buerger. And I am your host today for this incredible show. Thank you, ChoiroSecure for giving us this platform, um, and our, a chance to talk about the kiddos. So, um, today I want to, uh, it’s autism awareness month. April is autism awareness month. Um, so I wanted to share a couple tips and tidbits for you. Amazing chiropractors out there and get you thinking a little bit differently about, um, the way to look at, uh, some of these neurodevelopmental challenges that we’re seeing in the world. So, um, we’re going to go to a few slides and take a look at what we’ve got cooking. And I have my sidekick here today. Uh, Elizabeth is with me again, those of you have visits in the past. Elizabeth has been with us before as my

So let’s, um, sit back, relax. And, um, hopefully you enjoy this segment today. Again, ChiroSecure, you are amazing for letting us bring this information to the Look to the Children’s show. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to look to the children. So celebrating neuro-diversity yes, it is autism awareness month, but we, um, the, the w the way that, um, our neural developmental challenged community is looked at now is a neuro diverse community. And so I think we should really turn the tide and let’s look at this community and celebrate all the gifts that they have to offer us. So let’s take a look at, we are in 2021. Yes, that is the year. Um, and back, Oh, I don’t know, probably a decade ago when they look at the statistics of the number of little fiddle farts, um, that were at an eight year in eight years of age, they had extrapolated those statistics out and by the year of 2022, so we only got one year left.

You guys one year left, excuse me. They anticipated at about a decade ago that by the year 2022, one in one in nine three-year-olds were going to be diagnosed with autism at sometime in their life. So just sit back for just a second and get those numbers by next two year, if we work off these numbers that we’ve seen, and the, the ESCO escalation in these, uh, neuro-diverse challenges, one and nine three-year-olds is going to set their behalf, uh, at some time be diagnosed with autism. I don’t know about you, but that’s not okay with me. And that is definitely not okay with Elizabeth and her friends right now, where we stand in the United States. It’s about one in 54 kiddos are being diagnosed, um, with, on the autism spectrum and about one in 160 worldwide. When we look at boys to girls, there’s still a ratio of boys to girls, four to one, one in 37, boys are said to be on the autism spectrum.

And one in 150 girls are said to be on the autism spectrum. So that’s kind of the breakdown is we’re seeing it. Now, the according to the DSM-V, a lot of social characteristics are associated with autism, but what I want to do is I want to spin your brains around a little bit, and I want you, we’re going to think about this a little bit differently from the chiropractic standpoint. So the DSM-V breaks autism into three levels. It is no longer, we no longer have separate diagnoses, like Asperger’s, um, we have levels, so to speak. So level one is a higher functioning capacity. Most of their characteristics, their symptoms, their signs are based around executive functioning skills. And so that’s why we see some individuals on the autism spectrum, their, um, challenges pivot around that social engagement aspect. So for us as chiropractors, we should be thinking Vegas nerve, especially that what we call the new Vegas, the smart Vegas, the myelinated Vegas, the social engagement aspect of the Vegas nerve.

And I want you to hold onto that for just a second, because I want to get to an important point that I want you to, um, tie this information together. So, um, organizational skills, executive functioning skills can be a challenge, level two. They will have those challenges, but some additional characteristics. Um, and you might see more restricted and repetitive behaviors. And then level three, are your lower functioning, more struggling, little fiddle, farts, or individuals, um, that have the same characteristics as level one and level two, but they’re restricted behavior. Their, um, their non-verbal skills are, uh, much more significant. Now, again, look at this. This is more based around our social cognitive skills, more of our actually social engagement skills and our, our, our, uh, verbal expression and our language. But how do we get there? That’s what I want you to think about what are the neuro developmental steps that as chiropractors we might want to be looking at that might be expressing themselves before social and language skills are an issue.

And that’s what I want you to wrap your head around. So, first of all, timing does matter. We know that our neuro diverse community, those struggling with neurological challenges, the stage is set preconception care. And definitely the prenatal period is huge in the neurological foundations, especially the end of the second and third trimester. So the insults that happen during that time period will set the stage for the autonomic nervous system, the development of the autonomic nervous system, especially bagel function. So what does that mean for us? That means that in our wisdom that we have about looking at a total wellness approach, that chiropractors are so amazing at is being able to support the parents and especially mom from a minimal stress standpoint as possible expecially expecially that latter half of pregnancy. So this is going to lay the foundation down and prenatal stress, especially what we’ve been experiencing this last year.

Prenatal stress will hamper the development of the autonomic nervous system and bagel tone. So from the get go with these stress sores on the system, this is really what sets the tone for sub chronic subluxation patterns, not so much the mechanistic, um, stress source of the birth experience itself. The stage is set way before that. So idealistically, when we’re working with pregnant moms, I, I was telling my pregnant mom was I’m working. I’m not working for one anymore. I’m working for two. So I’m working for you and the baby trying to minimize those stressors. So we should look at that as a huge key role player for what we’re going to dive into now, because we know that these stress sores will also affect neuromuscular development. Being able to, um, build the essential and sequential motor habits, motor milestones that need to be set in stage in order for the social ones to come online.

So when we get, when we get these labels of level one, two or three, essentially level one is analogous to the old Asperger’s level. But when we get those labels, what came before that, that, that led them to get this social, these social struggles, that’s our motor involvement. Okay. So prenatal stress will set the stage for neuromuscular development. So I want to just go over a few key things. Again, a lot of, um, those on the narrative verse spectrum have speech issues, um, whether it’s, you know, receptive language or so forth, or, um, non-verbal altogether speed. We have to have that motor component to lay down for speech to develop. So what can we do to pick up and, and ensure that these patterns get laid down so that these other, um, social engagement features are not struggling. So it’s stability before mobility, you guys stability before mobility, it’s like a tree trunk.

We have to have that core stability, the core muscle strength in order to move to these milestones in order for fine and fine motor skills to come on board and language and social engagement skills to come on board. That is so classic autism, however less talked about in the past is the fact that most kiddos on the spectrum also struggled with motor delays. And that’s where we come in. That’s where I want your brain to go. And what the cool thing is, is let’s go through some of these motor milestones. First of all, we have prenatal stress, trauma, toxins, bots, technology, and any tethered or restriction on the nervous system becomes an issue. Mom might have poor nutrition. We need to talk about that. As far as autism go, there’s been a couple of really fun key studies looking at, um, maternal nutritional factors and a lot of key nutrients that deal with the methylation cycle.

We won’t go there. It’s a lot. That’s a lot of information, but bottom line is when they look at, um, moms that are eating whole food, just eat real food, [inaudible] just eat real food and taking in dark green, leafy vegetables. And a lot of that were giving us these B nutrients. They found that when those diets were restricted, there was a huge correlation to autism because these are key nutrients needed for brain building. So we should be talking diet with mom. And of course, when there’s prenatal stress and poor nutrition, there’s poor neuromuscular development. What we’re going to see as chiropractors, the little fiddle, farts, not wanting to get into certain patterns. This is where I want you to start picking things up a key paper, um, by a gentlemen, last name was title bomb. What he looked at were kiddos that were diagnosed on the spectrum. And he, he went back and took video, looked at videos and pictures of their motor milestones in their younger years. And what he found was there was a key core pattern or maladaptive patterning that later on led a kiddo was more susceptible to being diagnosed with autism.

And some of the things he found was this, what we call this protective extension reflux. And we should be looking at that in our kiddos. This is when they have enough core control, okay. To sit independently. And should they topple over kind of like when weebles wobble, should they topple over? They extend their arms to protect themselves from splatting and hitting the ground protective extension. I’m going to protect myself and extend my arms. So I hopefully won’t get hit my head. What, um, what Teitelbaum found in his, in, in going back and looking at these kiddos was they did not develop that reflex.

That reflex develops about six months in the four directions. So when we have a little fiddle fart and they’re sitting and they fall forward, they put their hands out. When they’re sitting and they start toppling sideways, they should put their arms out sideways. And that starts about eight to 10 months. And when they’re toppling backwards, they should put their arm. The arm should go back to protect them against their fall. And that starts about 10 to 12 months. So we should be looking at some of these subtle red flags that we might pick up a can they sit independently at assisted, about six months of age and B, are they developing these protective extension reflexes? That means that higher areas of the brain are coming on board.

Rolling was another one rolling. What he found in his paper was that this kind of is an image of a little one, rolling like a log. Their whole body is rolling together as a log. We want really this corkscrew pattern rolling. So about age three months, you’re looking for them to start through the pelvis and corkscrew, roll through the shoulders and get out of their tummy. About six months, they should start that corkscrew roll from their shoulders, roll through their torso and on their back. So a couple months ago, I did a show for y’all on low muscle tone. And we so showed some of the things we can advocate if the child has important muscle tone, and you can go back to those videos either on our intersect for life, Facebook page or Cairo secure and look at those videos. But what I want you to know for today is why is this so important? Neurologically, what is setting the tone, uh, for us to try to advocate these kiddos, getting in these correct postures.

And I’ll tell you a couple of things to do, especially for this protective extension to help foster that reflex on board, but for you. Chiropractice what I think is so important is understanding why we’re going to look for these things. What does it mean what we can do to help foster them, but not just what we can do exercise wise, but when we’re doing this, what does it mean? One of the biggest areas studied in the autism world of, um, basically, um, the biggest toxic insult or hit during development is a cerebellum. Cerebellum is a big Kona that has probably been the widest, uh, the most studied area of the brain when it comes to autism and, and the most, um, the, the most consistent finding of dysmaturation or, uh, maladaptive neuroplasticity, because it actually, the cerebellum gets the biggest hit during the prenatal period from prenatal stress.

So we also know that the upper neck area, the cervical spine is going to feed a lot of input into the cerebellum, but what gets really fun, the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex, it’s, it’s a, what they call a closed loop. It’s a loop and they grow up together. So to speak, they mature together. Both of those areas of the brain have a prolonged period of development. They develop over years, they mature over years and they actually think that the two of them there, they’re kind of like husband and wife or brother and sister, whatever you want, look at it. They grow up together. Twins, I guess we can call them twins. Okay. Brothers, sister, twins. They grow up together at the kind of the same pace. And what happens in one area happens in the other. So whatever inputted my right cerebellum will affect my left prefrontal cortex and vice versa.

So from a standpoint of a chiropractor, if I am able to help foster input by working in the spine, especially the upper cervical spine and putting input into the cerebellum, the set, whatever happens at the cerebellum is working at a high level. The prefrontal cortex is a high level. They’re maturing at the same rate they’re together. If one’s low, the other one’s low. Both of these areas, this is where it gets so far. Both of these areas are going to deal with that whole social engagement aspect that we see struggling with the kiddos on the spectrum, both of those areas, because we know now that the cerebellum works in concert with the prefrontal cortex and they’re growing up together. So this is the why behind the reason we want to look at these milestones and understand the significance. If they’re not able to do these motor movement patterns, when they can’t, there’s not the proper information coming in sensory input into the brain, allowing those areas to mature. We also know that the adjustment has a profound effect in regulating those two key areas of the brain. So here’s the picture, prenatal stress, poor nutrition, poor muscular development, and able to get into these positions.

Dysmaturation at two key areas that are, uh, very much associated with neuro-development the cerebellum, the prefrontal cortex. We are able to detect these, uh, Averitt, these, these movements that are not happening intervene to get the train back on the tracks before it derails. And then they don’t hope what we’re hoping is they don’t get that, those social engagement struggles. So hopefully that makes sense. So when we’re doing the adjustment, a we’re firing that and put into there, but B one, why are we doing this exercises, things that you want to do to foster the, um, this, this protective extension reflex. Oftentimes we talk about role on the baby, on a ball, rolling Elizabeth on the ball forward. Okay. But why are you doing that? You’re doing that to help foster that input into the brain and regulate these neural circuit communications. What you’re looking for is that eventually when you’re rolling her on the ball, she is able to bring her arms forward into that protective extension mode.

If at about 10 months, you’re not seeing them develop that reflex, falling to their side, lay them on the ball sideways. I think a lot of people get the ADP rocking on the ball, but they don’t think about this, lay them ball on the ball sideways. And what you’re looking for is them to put their arms outside ways as you’re tilting them on the ball. And they start to engage that protective extension reflex going sideways. And then you’re also going to roll them on the ball supine to foster that reflex going backwards. So, um, hopefully this, this gives you some, um, some cues as to not only what to do, but why you’re doing it and looking at that connection that you’re building between two huge neurocircuits when we looked at, um, rolling. We’ve talked about that before, as far as getting them to roll in a corkscrew fashion.

So that’s really important. And when they’re creeping or crawling, if they do not develop good tone, core tone here, they’re not going to have enough shoulder strength to get on all fours. And that’s when you’re going to see these abnormal crawling patterns like the army crawl or dragging the arm or dragging the leg. That was another, um, key sign that Teitelbaum found in his paper on kiddos that missed those huge motor milestones later on were diagnosed with autism. So tummy time, that’s, that’s a no brainer. I want you to look at rolling your protective extension reflexes and the mechanism, the manner, the biomechanics in which they’re creeping are crawling. We want them on all fours with a good cross crawl pattern, social engagement. So we said that most of the criteria for, for a diagnosis of autism is the social engagement is average social engagement criteria.

The thing that we also know is that in the first few months of life, eye contact, especially with mama and speech with mama, social engagement interaction with mama is absolutely key in order to develop good social engagement skills. So a little chip, a Jew, if you’re adjusting, you should be just a mom and baby together. Cause they’re a unit, right? Baby feeds off of mom’s breasts stress. You adjust them together. Let them sit for a few minutes after the adjustment and have some bonding and social engagement time. This is going to foster the development of that social engagement part of your Vegas. And there’s a huge window, a golden window of opportunity after the adjustment for this to be enhanced. So look for your motor milestones, intervene with exercises and adjustments in order to bring those on board in order to bring the social engagement aspect on board, adjust, allow some bonding time with mom and baby. After the adjustment, before they leave your office foster optimal neural development in order to help the train, not to derail and get those labels.

One of the biggest things studied in our neuro-developmental challenges is what they call hypo function of the prefrontal cortex. That part of the brain executive part not coming on board moral of the story is at the cerebellum’s not on board. The prefrontal cortex is not on board feed, proper input into the cerebellum by doing the things we talked about, allow the cerebellum and that prefrontal cortex to mature together, grow up together, foster proper perception and sensory, and put into the brain and foster proper motor output, close the loop, exercise. These key areas, get in there, adjust them. Um, and that’s how we’re gonna really dig in and be part of the part of the team to help shift these numbers. So that next year we don’t end up with the one in nine three-year-olds being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. So just a few key points I wanted you to look at, um, and start, um, putting the picture together so that we can turn the tide with that said, I want to thank ChiroSecure for this amazing chance to bring this information to all of you. And, uh, Dr. Erik Kowalke will be back the first Thursday of, uh, may. We’re going to be in may and I will be back the third Thursday in may with, um, some new pearls to share with all of you until then keeping amazing and keep changing lives.