Autism and the Environment 101: Online Course 23
One big problem here is that there is great disagreement and controversy over how to measure body burdens of toxics and what levels are “safe”. If physicians and scientists can’t even agree about these measurements, you can imagine that there would be even more controversy and confusion over treatment.
Even so, there are approaches to medicine variously known as environmental medicine, functional medicine, orthomolecular medicine and biomedical integrative medicine that have applied existing knowledge about how the body reacts to toxic exposures and have developed treatment approaches. Some of these are in widespread use in the autism community and it is important to understand what they are trying to do, whether or not an individual or family chooses to use them. While many of these approaches are not mainstream, there is growing interest in them as emerging science lends more support to some of their models and practices, and as more and more people become concerned and alarmed about their own or their children’s personal environmental health and usually do not find support or interest in this from their regular allopathic doctors.
At its core, biomedical treatment that is sensitive to environmental challenges to health involves two basic things:
- Removing obstacles to healthy body physiology (such as toxins and allergens), and
- Providing things the body needs more of in order to have healthy physiology (such as healthy, nutrient-rich food).
We will go into more detail about how the body handles toxins, how some practitioners try to help it do that better, and what we know and don’t know about toxic impacts and treatments for them in our “Autism and the Environment 201” and in other forthcoming materials. It is our hope that by developing balanced information resources we can help people think through their options more effectively and with greater support, and we can help incorporate this information into training, not only for prevention but for treatment.