Today is Autism Awareness Day and I am truly honoured to be working alongside MINDD and its founding director Leslie Embersits who is really a remarkable individual - please take the time to read and share her message below, it will only take a few minutes and the work that she and MINDD is doing is groundbreaking. If you would like to learn more we will be doing an amazing weekend in June that shouldn't be missed.
Thanks Leslie, keep inspiring with love and laughter!
Autism Awareness MonthTake a Minute to Understand Autism
Rates of Autism continue to rise and now stand at 1 in 68 in the U.S. according to the Medical Observer who last week published 2012 figures released by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control. This is a 30% increase versus 2010 figures of 1 in 88. While the “better diagnosis" debate rages on, the fact remains that there is an alarming Autism epidemic world wide and those of us who take time to understand why will be helping ourselves and our loved ones.
Over the past 10 years I have frequently been asked why Mindd Foundation is so focused on Autism when none of my offspring or relatives are autistic. In pitching to donors, patrons and sponsors I sometimes find myself distancing Mindd from Autism in an effort to engage them with a pitch that speaks to them more personally. Here I launch into the laundry list of medical conditions that many Autistic individuals struggle with on a daily basis including ADHD, asthma, allergies, digestive disorder, metabolic dysfuction or immune disregulation. Most of my relatives have one or the other of these.
My experience is that most people do not want to know about Autism, though many I speak to note that their niece, nephew or neighbour struggles with it. Depending on the audience, I may have a moment or 2 to learn that their child or partner has allergies, anxiety or eczema. This is my chance to explain that the Integrative practitioners that Mindd trains and promotes, who are getting good results with their autism patients, are the ones their loved ones should be seeing for any myriad of conditions. They are the medical detectives taking thorough histories and tests as they look to treat the core cause of a condition in each individual.
If they are still looking skeptical at this point, I quote one of our Mindd Medical Advisory Board members, Dr Martha Herbert, a Paediatric Neurologist at Harvard and author of The Autism Revolution - Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All it Can Be. Dr Herbert explains that “autism may be the result of too much bad and not enough good, in simple terms. On the bad side are environmental toxins, viruses, infections and stress. There is mounting evidence that the risk of autism and/or autistic behaviours increases with exposure to pollution, pesticides, heavy metals and phthalates. Good things include nutrients and rest. A modern diet of processed food lacks the nutrients our brains need to function.”
By treating the underlying medical conditions that contribute to the behavioural diagnosis we call ‘autism’, Dr Herbert and her Biomedical colleagues are seeing rapid and significant recovery of skills and capacities in autistic children.
Autism is the tip of the iceberg in a vast and toxic sea dubbed the “childhood epidemics”. Globally our children are struggling with a range of digestive, neurological and immune disorders. Perfectly vibrant and healthy teenagers are stricken over-night by rare auto-immune conditions. Young adults lapse into schizophrenia. Infants are losing their collapsed colons to surgery. Inattentive children are being calmed with medication. Diseases that once affected the elderly are now harming our children at alarming levels including cancer, diabetes, obesity and even arthritis.
The Mindd community is a significant and growing group of practitioners, parents, educators, bloggers and concerned citizens who understand that the families struggling with Autism need a lot of support in terms of education, healthcare and social services. They understand that two generations of children and now many young adults are delivering an important message about the environment and human health. And most of all they understand that understanding Autism is fundamental to our own health and happiness.
Leslie Embersits, Founding Director, Mindd Foundation
Join our growing community at the 7th Mindd International Forum, June 14 & 15, Sydney