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Aditya’s Story

By Grant Lisetor, DC

Aditya was formally diagnosed with autism at age 6. At age 8, he had the vocabulary and verbal comprehension of a 5-year old and the social development of a 2-year-old. He had aberrant pain and temperature sensation that allowed him to have bad falls and not cry or really seem to notice, and he preferred scalding hot baths. He would refuse to let anyone touch his hair when it was wet and developed the habit of compulsively peeling the skin from his lips. He was highly sensitive to noises and changes in the environment and would keep his hands clasped tight over his ears as a coping mechanism in those situations. Although he knew nothing different, this was a very challenging start to life for an 8-year-old boy. It was likely even tougher on his parents as they watched him endure these trials. They ensured their son received every therapy and treatment the pediatrician suggested, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and advanced behavioral analysis therapy. Aditya’s mother became an unofficial full-time student, as she read books, sifted through online forums, and burrowed into peer reviewed medical literature. As a result, she put Aditya on a gluten and dairy free diet and became very intentional about every ingredient that was going into his little body. The dietary changes and therapies all made marginal improvements, but after a short time, Aditya’s progress had stagnated. 

In her search for additional help for her son, Aditya’s mother learned about pediatric chiropractic care from another mother of a boy with autism. This mother was raving about the chiropractor her son was seeing. He started care when he was 6 with very limited vocabulary, severe stimming, echolalia, and selective mutism. After only nine months of chiropractic care, her son had the vocabulary of a 4-year-old with complete resolution of stimming, echolalia, and selective mutism. After hearing this personal testimony, Aditya’s mother took him to that chiropractor, but she had a lot of questions, the first of which was how chiropractic care would impact her son’s nervous system and help with his autism. 

The chiropractor was very knowledgeable. He took the time to answer all her questions and completed detailed exams on Aditya, some of which had been performed by other doctors he was seeing and some that Aditya’s mother had never seen before. There were several positive exam findings, including four retained primitive reflexes, which give insight into the central integrative state of the nervous system. The chiropractor always spoke directly to Aditya and made him a part of the conversation, ensuring that Aditya was aware of what the exams would entail. This was a new experience for him. Most of the other doctors spoke directly to his mother, but never involved him in the process, almost like him being in the room was incidental. At the end of the first visit, Aditya was smiling and happy—instead of being anxious and stressed, which was his normal emotional state when leaving a typical doctor’s appointment. 

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