Each month, Life Development Institute (LDI) offers free Speaker Series to its community.
These Speaker Series events provide the audience with an opportunity to learn about topics related to LDI’s student populations, which include older teens and young adults who have Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other social and learning differences.Speakers that present include a number of professionals across Phoenix Metropolitan, and the audience is made up of students, parents, professionals, and other community members.
On September 14, 2016, Dr. Taylor Hill from Daniel’s Den spoke about biomedical treatments for Autism, ADHD, and related conditions. Dr. Hill is a licensed Naturopathic doctor and the founder of Daniel’s Den, which a clinic where he focuses on pediatrics and biomedical treatment of special needs conditions. Dr. Hill brings a personal touch to this conversation as he is the father of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and understands the needs and experiences of families with an autistic family member.
To begin, Dr. Hill advised of the effects the digestive system can have on the brain. Interestingly enough the brain and the digestive tract are intimately connected. The digestive tract has more neurons than what are located in the spinal cord. Additionally, the digestive tract makes more than 90% of the body’s serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in mood, sleep, and contentment. Further, if you are in pain due to digestive issues, then you are clearly going to be anxious and irritable. This can lead to aggressive behavior. Therefore, the food and beverages that are consumed relate directly with mood and potentially resulting behaviors. As such, persons should be cognizant of what is being consumed and consider making dietary changes to determine if food and beverages are playing a large role. In fact, research and evidence is emerging that suggests these factors are especially true for teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other similar conditions. Regarding dietary changes, Dr. Hill further mentioned that diets do not treat each person equally. Therefore, what works for one may not necessarily for another.
Continuing, Dr. Hill identified the role of a biomedical doctor and proper expectations. To begin, a biomedical doctor recognizes that benefits come with this form of treatment and seek to use dietary recommendations to meet more than the common expectation of just physical health. Although it will make a difference regarding digestion, pain, mood, and balancing the immune system, the goal is to ultimately improve thinking, cognition, clarity of thought, behavior, mood stabilization, and sleep patterns. As such, a first visit usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes due to the thorough intake, which includes consideration for family members and their related conditions along with early childhood events. Following this, persons go through a medical exam and have offered recommendations for lab testing that can help identify problematic areas for individuals. Then, a biomedical doctor usually will recommend some dietary changes along with the inclusion of supplements while waiting for the lab results.
Finally, speaking specifically to the benefits for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, and related conditions, Dr. Hill states that biomedical treatments create the foundational piece when constructing plans for assistance. In fact, diet is primarily because persons consume more food than anything else that is put into one’s body. One cannot out-medicate the diet. Unless the diet is addressed, everything else is just “chipping away at the edges.” Therefore, one should start with the diet in order to deal specifically with the underlying issues.
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