What is autism?
Autism is not a single diagnosis but is rather a spectrum of issues that span a vast array of behaviors and symptoms. Our team at Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine has been treating autistic children since 1992 in Grapevine, TX. Dr. Constantine Kotsanis is a board-certified otolaryngologist and certified clinical nutritionist whose experience with and knowledge of autism rose from clinical experience. In 1995, Dr. Kotsanis’ interest in autism spectrum disorder advocacy prompted him to become one of the founding members of Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!). In fact, DAN! protocol evolved out of a study that Dr. Kotsanis did in 1992. Autism spectrum disorders are often accompanied by digestive, immune, hormonal, neurological, and other co-morbidities. There is no single biological marker that definitively distinguishes any of these conditions as a distinct diagnosis. These diagnostic categories have traditionally been defined by behaviors and diagnosed through a process that identifies these behaviors and their degree of severity. Autism has increased in epidemic proportions in the past twenty years. With increasing pollution and the degradation of dietary habits internationally, we have seen an increase in the incidence of all developmental disorders.
There are often overlapping definitions for similar developmental conditions like autism. Very often, even practitioners are uncertain about which classification to use. Over the past twenty years, many sub-classifications for autistic-like behaviors have emerged because children did not fit neatly into a single autism category. In the realm of clinical practice at Kotsanis Institute, we do not consider labels critical unless they add a dimension of usefulness to the actual act of helping our patients. It doesn’t matter what label you use if you don't treat the underlying metabolic problems, and behaviors are very unlikely to improve to an optimal level. We'd like to be part of your medical team. Call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kotsanis.
Autism is a developmental disorder of brain dysfunction with patients exhibiting a characteristic set of behaviors, including impaired reciprocal social interaction, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, a marked restriction of activities and interests, and abnormal response to sensory stimuli. Some factors that have been connected to autism (not necessarily causes of autism) include:
- Antibiotic overuse
- Chemical toxin or heavy metal toxicity exposure
- Contaminated immunizations (vaccination of immuno-incompetent individuals)
- Digestive, endocrine, or immune system dysfunction
- Endocrine system dysfunction
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Improper or inadequate brain circulation (hypoperfusion of frontal lobe)
- Inadequate brain development or brain injury
- Metabolic dysfunction affecting lipids, amino acids, and carbohydrates
- Nutritional deficiencies secondary to poor nutrition and malabsorption
- Pathogenic bacteria, fungus, or virus
- Sensory anomalies (hypersensitivity of hearing, smell, taste, or sensation accompanied by visual distortions)
- Structural and autonomic dysfunction
Since our earliest studies, we have added much to our body of knowledge of autism and autism spectrum disorders. In order to properly assess each patient, we require a number of tests. Of course, the customized treatment plan can only be designed after we have a complete medical history, in-depth conversations with the patient and caregivers, a physical examination, and metabolic testing.
Our treatment options
Because no two patients are alike, it is important to use objective testing that measures the various metabolic variables essential for treatment. We strive to create a personalized program based on the results of testing. The first three weeks of the program are designed to ease our patients into the changes. The foundations of our treatment are regulating digestive function and enhancing nutrition. Then, Dr. Kotsanis will:
- Assess and strive to correct the competence of the elimination and immune systems
- Provide neuro-endocrine modulation
- Supplement with nutritional interventions
- Detoxify the body, such as heavy metal detoxification with noninvasive chelation techniques
- Perform a comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA)
- Assess and treat allergies
With these interventions, Dr. Kotsanis believes you should see improved behaviors and learning for your loved one with autism. In addition, we highly recommend Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, visual correction via special lenses, and speech therapy. Although we do not offer these latter services at our offices, upon your first visit, we will recommend providers that will help to meet the needs of your child.
For Better Behavior & more Learning
Through his hard work and dedication to autism research, Dr. Kotsanis is seen by many as one of the thought leaders in autism studies. Autism is better understood now than it was many years ago when it was thought to be the result of a cold mother-child relationship. It is now thought that there are many components to this problem: digestive, genetic, metabolic, environmental, biochemical, and sensory. Our hope is that in some cases, with early and aggressive intervention, there can be an improvement in the condition. Explore more about autism and autism spectrum disorders at Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX today.