One in every 91 children have autism. I'm personally affected by this astounding statistic because my nephews are both autistic. Today I'm going to continue my weekly series aimed at raising awareness about autism by talking about a group of doctors who are committed to finding effective ways to treat this disorder. They are called DAN doctors. DAN stands for "Defeat Autism Now." That's a notion I can get on board with! :)

DAN doctors are often doctors who have in some way been impacted personally by autism. The one who has treated my nephews has three children and two of the three have autism.

Last week we talked a little bit about the treatment of physical symptoms that co-exist with autism. DAN doctors are committed to helping treat individuals with autism and their physical symptoms using a biomedical approach. This biomedical approach rejects the notion that you can take a group of people who are sick in similar ways, give a descriptive name to the group such as autism or depression and then say that the symptoms are caused by the name. There is no one-size-fits-all biomedical treatment protocol for autism. But there is a biomedical approach to the treatment of each individual child in the autism spectrum. In this approach, asking questions is more important than finding a label or diagnosis. The needs of the individual at this moment in time are paramount. Only after asking questions and learning about the individual are possible treatment interventions suggested. There are a number of biomedical interventions that have been shown to help some children with autism. These include special diet, chelation and vitamin therapies. I'm going to delve into these options further in future posts.

Underlying the approach of DAN doctors is hope. Hope that stands in the face of conventional wisdom that says that autism is a life-long disability and that there is little hope of treatment or recovery.

Here are some links for more information should you be interested:

Complete list of DAN doctors who practice in the US
Suggested list of questions you may want to ask a possible DAN doctor to see if he or she is a good fit for you and your child
Some great tips on getting ready for your child's first appointment with a DAN doctor

Thanks for reading and here's to hope!
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