The Usage of Biomedical Treatments for Children with Autism: A Descriptive Study
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Allied Medical Professions Honors Theses; 2009
The purpose of this study was to determine if the parents of children with autism sought biomedical interventions (dietary supplements and special diets) following the positive diagnosis of their child. Approval was obtained from the Ohio State University (OSU) Institutional Review Board. Names and phone numbers of children who had a positive diagnosis for an Autism Spectrum disorder, including classic autism, Asperger’s, and Persuasive Developmental Disability- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) were obtained from three OSU diagnostic clinics where these patients had been seen over the past 1-25 months. Fifty-five families were identified from the database and contacted by phone regarding biomedical interventions explored since diagnosis. Of these 55, 21 were successfully interviewed, 2 opted not to be interviewed, 20 were left messages and a researcher contact phone number, and 13 had disconnected lines. Of the 21 who responded, 12 (57%) used a dietary supplement. Of these 12, 5 used a multivitamin only, and 7 used one or more of the following: fish oil, folic acid and vitamin B-12 (pill, injection and topical crème), Co-enzyme Q-10, riboflavin, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, magnesium, and fiber. Number of supplements used was compared with months since diagnosis. Of these same 21 parent respondents, 8 (38%) have tried special diets, 6 tried the Gluten Free Casein Free diet (GFCF), and 4 are still following it. Sixteen respondents consulted with practitioners (allopathic or alternative); three with a registered dietitian, three with a pediatrician , four nonconventional sources such as a Defeat Autism Now Doctor and New Hope Detoxification Doctor , three with “other sources” (a special diet from Helping Hands Education and Therapy Center and a food coach). Other resources consulted included the internet (61%). Educational Intervention plans include the development of Nutrition Interventions and Therapies for Autism (NITA) as a service to the ever-growing autism community.
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