Autism Hope Alliance Summit: Hope with a Plan

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This week I had the privilege of speaking at the Autism Hope Alliance Summit along with 31 of the world’s most trusted physicians, researchers, and therapists.

Thousands of people tuned in from 169 countries, which makes this truly a global event!

The summit is just coming to a close tomorrow, but I thought I would share since you can still catch my talk for free until tomorrow morning titled “Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity: Causes and Solutions”.

Now they’ve just released all 31 expert audio sessions to the public, through an All-Access Digital Pass that will give you permanent, lifetime access to every audio, along with transcripts for easy note taking and more.

Check out the Autism Hope Summit All-Access Digital Pass HERE

Autism Hope Alliance has provided over $300,000 in special foods, supplements, books, cleaners, toys and other crucial supplies to families across America. They have also provided over $140,000 in scholarships to families to attend a parent training program at the Autism Treatment Center of America and given free lectures to over 4,000 families.

When you grab this unique and special All-Access Digital Pass, your small donation will go to funding more of these wonderful programs. Plus you’ll equip and empower your family with the latest tools, tips, therapies and resources that can help you and your child on your autism journey.

See the Speakers & Topics Included

In full disclosure I’m on the Board of Directors for Autism Hope Alliance, and volunteer my time to this organization because I believe in the cause!

Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity: Causes and Treatment

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A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that autism spectrum disorder prevalence has significantly increased to over 2% of all children in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 28 boys currently with an autism diagnosis.

Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals and parents are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities.

The journal Autism Research and Treatment recently published a peer reviewed article which discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. I wrote this article with Dr. Jay R. Lucker of Howard University. Our article focuses on brain research to support the idea of the non-classical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain. We also discuss brain mechanisms believed to be involved in auditory hypersensitivity, and treatments for hypersensitive hearing.

This Wednesday, February 3rd at 8 pm Eastern, Dr. Jay R. Lucker will join me on The Listening Program Radio to discuss the topic of Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity, the causes, treatment, and hope for those suffering from sound sensitivities.

Register here for this free program and to ask us a question we can answer live. You’ll receive an email with the call-in number and a web link to listen online 3 hours before the show.

Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity: Hope for Relief

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Helping individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) achieve their greatest potential has been something close to my heart throughout my career. This interest has lead me in many directions including; research, developing scientifically optimized music for brain training, conference presentations, board positions in autism organizations, and writing.

One of my questions has been why do people with ASD so frequently demonstrate behaviors related to sensory over responsitivity (SOR), specifically auditory  hypersensitivity, also called hyperacousis and misophonia? This is a condition that touches not just the majority of individuals with autism, but many others including the so-called “neurotypical”. Sound hypersensitivity can be absolutely debilitating. It is heart-wrenching to see a child or adult suffer pain or perception of pain from everyday sounds.

In the quest to help, I’ve been so fortunate that Dr. Jay R. Lucker of the Department of Communication Sciences at Howard University and I share this interest. For years we have collaborated on research related to this phenomenon. Our first joint article on the topic “Auditory Hypersensitivity and Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Emotional Response” was published in Autism Science Digest in 2012. We then wrote an extensive follow-up to the Autism Science Digest article which is a deeper exploration into the neural mechanisms involved in auditory hypersensitivity which was just published in the peer reviewed journal Autism Research and Treatment.

Abstract

Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities. This review article discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. The authors focus on brain research to support the idea of the nonclassical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain. The authors also discuss brain mechanisms felt to be involved in auditory hypersensitivity. The authors conclude with a discussion of some treatments for hypersensitive hearing. These treatments include desensitization training and the use of listening therapies such as The Listening Program.

If you are a parent of a child with autism, caregiver, educator, or therapist who is touched by someone with autism, or you yourself are on the autism spectrum I do hope this latest research article provides some answers, and hope for relief from over sensitivity to sounds.

 

Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain- For Life

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Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome – the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What’s taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions.

In his latest book Brain Maker, the New York Times # 1 bestselling author of Grain Brain uncovers the powerful role of gut bacteria in determining your brain’s destiny. Neurologist David Perlmutter, MD explains the potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle choices, how it can become “sick,” and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies can alter your brain’s destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, BRAIN MAKER opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential.

Join me and David Perlmutter Wednesday, May 6, at 8PM EST as we discuss Brain Maker, brain disorders, and how to open the door to brain health. Register now for this free program and receive an email reminder 3 hours before the show. http://adbn.co/1BKY8dw

Autism: Identifying the Biochemical Fingerprint

 

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A few years back I was introduced to a physician by a mutual friend, Kristin Selby Gonzales. Kristin is mom to Jaxson who is diagnosed with autism, and Chairman of Autism Hope Alliance , a non-profit doing great work in the field, and whose advisory board I proudly serve on. The three of us shared a panel discussion on autism treatment and recovery at the Natural Product Expo West. That doctor was Dan Rossignol, MD, FAAFP, FMAP. After hearing his personal story as a father with two children with autism, who switched from a family medical practice to biomedical research and treatment to help other families whose lives are touched by autism and other pediatric special needs, I gained an instant respect and appreciation for this man. I’ve tracked his work closely since and want to share what he has been up to with parents and health professionals, so I’ve invited him as my guest on TLP Radio tomorrow.

Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that autism is often characterized by complex abnormalities such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, certain genetic abnormalities, exposure(s) to environmental toxicants, immunological abnormalities, infections, and in some cases, developmental regression and seizures. These abnormalities may contribute to the symptoms of autism, such as sleep problems, obsessive behavior, speech delay, impaired social interaction, self-stimulatory behavior, hyperactivity, inattention, and abnormal gastrointestinal findings.  Many children with autism have a unique combination of these abnormalities and may possess some or all of these problems simultaneously. The early identification of these abnormalities helps clinicians and parents to choose the most effective treatment options.  Dr. Rossignol’s aim is to identify the unique biochemical abnormalities that each individual possesses (e.g., the biochemical fingerprint) and works to create the most effective treatments for these abnormalities using evidence-based medicine principles.

Join me and Dr. Dan Rossignol on The Listening Program Radio and Podcast tomorrow, April 1st at 8PM Eastern as we discuss the latest biomedical research on autism, his approach toward individualized treatment, and efforts to prepare other medical professionals to deliver the best possible care to children with autism through the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS). Register for an email reminder and submit a question for my esteemed guest.

 

Gratitude: An Army for Autism

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A couple days ago I received an email from a mother asking for my help.  She is campaigning for her 3 year old son with autism to receive federal funding for services.  The boy’s occupational therapist recommended The Listening Program® as an essential intervention to support his development.  To receive such funding from DisabilityCare Australia a case has to be made that this auditory based method of brain training is necessary and reasonable to fall within the funding criterion.

This mom shared that given the new rules of a government that previously paid for The Listening Program with our bone conduction audio technology for children with autism, that the ruling in this case would not only effect her son, but every child with autism and other needs applying for funding in the country to follow.

This is no small responsibility. Fortunately this mother who is incidentally an attorney has the strength of a peaceful warrior, empowered with the love for her son. So we quickly moved into action to amass an army standing for access to services for these children in need.

Just 24 short hours ago I sent personal emails to professionals who serve children with autism and asked if they could write a letter of support asking if that in their experience they felt The Listening Program was a necessary and reasonable autism intervention to share it in writing. A couple staff members here at Advanced Brain Technologies extended the outreach as did our Australia representative.

What happened subsequent to our request is nothing short of astonishing! Within fifteen-minutes of my first email, letters starting pouring in. As I read one after another I was overcome with emotion as I absorbed the words before me. Over the course of twelve hours, dozens of compelling, heartfelt messages arrived.  Who wrote them? Physicians, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, neuropsychologists, audiologists, social workers, reading specialists, neurodevelopmentalists , educators, school principals, educational therapists, cognitive rehabilitation therapists, parents, and heads of national autism charities.  Collectively these letters represent thousands of children with autism that have been helped through The Listening Program, coming from some of the world’s top therapists and authorities.

Here is one example:

“Dear Mr. Doman,

I am writing to you regarding the role of The Listening Program (TLP) as a necessary and reasonable therapy for children and adults with autism. As a physician who treats thousands of children and adults throughout the world (including Australia) who are afflicted with autism, I have seen the important measurable progress that our patients make when their families & therapists use TLP. For a large percentage of our patients, the TLP program, such as TLP with Bone Conduction, is a major therapeutic modality for reduction in autistic behaviors such as self injury and social isolation. Furthermore, we regularly see improvements in language, in eye contact, and in general cognitive function. For many of the children, they were never able to achieve these goals of therapy without TLP. Many of our autistic patients are able to remain at home by using TLP, thus avoiding institutionalization. Others have, through TLP, made important strides in participation in work and school, allowing them to gain further benefits of programs in which they were not functionally able to participate without TLP.

Our experience is that The Listening Program is a necessary and reasonable therapeutic treatment for autism, as it has been for years. Thank you for developing this treatment.”

Sincerely,

Anonymous  (I have not yet requested permission to make this letter public, so I’ve removed the author’s name in respect of their privacy.)

The case is being presented in six hours. Mom is prepared with a bound book containing these letters, research, case studies, articles, and other evidence to compel the DCA not only to help her son, but potentially tens of thousands of Australian children standing behind him in need of this vital intervention.

We are standing with you mom, an army for autism awaiting the decision.

This experience has filled me with gratitude, to witness busy people in the autism community, taking time to immediately respond to the clarion call. I wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank each of you who took decisive and immediate action at my request. I am humbled and forever grateful.  – Alex