Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism is a complex developmental disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life, impacting development in all areas, especially social interaction and communication skills. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it can manifest itself in forms ranging from mild to severe.

The autism spectrum looks like this:

Aspergers Pervasive Dev. Delay (PDD) PDD- Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) Autism
Least severe  Severe >>>>>>> More severe>>>>>> Most severe


An Integrative Medicine Approach to Autism

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, is a wide range of developmental disorders that affect the nervous system. The most recent statistics show that 1 in 68 children in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder. That affects over 3 million children. An estimated 1 in 42 boys are diagnosed in the U.S., compared with 1 out of 189 girls.(1) 

Autism is a complex disorder which impairs social and communication skills. The symptoms of autism are thought to be permanent, but current research shows that a variety of interventions may help children with overcoming social, communication and developmental challenges faced by children with autism. There is a wide spectrum of approaches to autism. The integrative medical approach to autism spectrum disorders is to address the underlying multi-factorial causes which may contribute to the child’s condition. The following areas form the basis of a biomedical testing and treatment approach. 

Detailed history and physical, including prenatal, birth history, immunizations and developmental milestones.


Individualized Laboratory Testing

The use of advanced lab testing can help identify and correct underlying physical problems and create a healthier internal environment in a child's body, which may allow recommended sensory, motor, educational and behavioral therapies to work more effectively.

  • Food and environmental allergy testing
  • Evaluation for Heavy metals
  • Evaluation for infections, e.g. Lyme and co-infections, Viruses and Fungi, Mold, PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus) and PANS (Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric  Syndrome)
  • Organic acids
  • MTHFR or additional genetic testing
  • Digestive imbalances


Nutritional Counseling

  • Diet can have a big impact on autism symptoms. A number of foods, most commonly casein in dairy products, gluten, and soy can exacerbate autism symptoms. On the other hand, diet rich in berries, green leafy vegetables, seeds, and nut butters may reduce inflammation and help cognitive function.
  • An organic diet reduces the toxic load from chemicals or pesticides used in food production.


Detoxification Protocols

  • Our bodies are designed to eliminate common toxins from air, food, and water, personal care products, but at times our natural detoxification systems may be overwhelmed.
  • Helping the body detoxify by using a variety of detoxification therapies such as IV therapy, Epsom salt baths, ion footbath, and more is an important component of an integrative program for autism spectrum disorder


Look into supportive services to optimize your child’s development, education, socialization and overall health.  These include the following:

  • Speech Therapy: Not just for actual language challenges, but also to address Feeding and Sensory issues with eating. Many children have nutritional challenges and texture issues with certain foods.
  • Individualized Education Plans: for education
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Play and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


All children have special gifts and talents that can be valued as a blessing.  My recommended charge to parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, is to find what is unique, precious and special about your child. Autism is not a condition that should be viewed as fixable or reversed.  Set attainable goals.  Change negative perspectives and outlooks for your child. Avoid “guilt parenting” . Try not to question “What is wrong with my child?” but ask “What is different about my child and how can I, as his parent, help develop these challenging differences into success? “  It is important to have an organized approach to the multi-factorial root causes for the overall condition, which along with a community of practitioners, specialists, and modalities…like those of us here at NIHA… will assist you in this journey.


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Dr. Kannankeril

My son has autism (Asperger's). He has had digetive problems since age of 2. He is 21 now. We've searched for help since he was a toddler. He suffered from leaky gut, undigested food, smelly bowels, skin breakouts, behavior changes due to stomach discomfort. We've been to several docs over the years. No one solved it until Dr. Kannankeril at NIHA. She recommended Enzy-Gest and probiotic pearls. He's been a different person. What a huge difference in the quality of his life. Thanks Dr. Kannankeril! D.B.


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Symptoms of PANDAS in Children

Parent Fact Sheet from the Autism Exchange

Facts about Autism

A Holistic Approach to Autism

Autism Research Institute's Graph of Helpful Therapies