Autism Spectrum Disorder

March 7, 2015 by
Filed under: Case of the month, Cases, Spinewave Bulletin, Symptoms 

JCCP chiropractic autism

This was a Spinewave case on autism from several years ago that has undergone many iterations of scientific write-up by students for paediatric journals but has only now been published following the final successful attempt by Karen Singh.

The published case

Chiropractic James AutismA 7-year-old male diagnosed at 14-months of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presented for chiropractic care. History examination revealed the patient had daily chronic diarrhoea and nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting). Despite being verbally reluctant and having limited receptive language, the patient maintained good eye contact with a noticeable exotropia of the right eye. He also had various self-stimulatory behaviours such as hand flapping, which turned into temper tantrums.

At age two he began applied behavioral analysis treatment (ABA) for his toe walking. After three years of this therapy little improvement had occurred. He appeared to be unaware of his environment and the emotions of people around him, and did not tolerate other children in his physical space.

The patient also displayed fixative behaviours associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, watching the same movie multiple times and sleeve chewing. He was allergic to pollen, dust mites, horses, cats and dogs. He also suffered from asthma, which was managed by daily medications, namely Ventolin®, Severent® and Becotide®.

The patient’s response to chiropractic care was monitored by his parents, in addition to clinical observations made during his visits to the chiropractor. Within 6 visits, spanning a period of 4 weeks, the patient’s right eyed exotropia had normalized, his nocturnal enuresis had reduced from 6 nights a week to 2 nights per week and he had consistent and regular bowel movements at 8AM every morning.

Within 2 months of beginning chiropractic care the patient went to the toilet by himself for the first time; his sleeve chewing and toe walking had also resolved. His parents noted several other positive behaviours including more awareness and reduced incidents of temper tantrums.


download JCCPAlcantra, J., et al. Improvement in a pediatric patient with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) following a trial of chiropractic care: a case report. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. 2014 Vol 14(3): 1183-1186.

The original story

With reference to chiropractic care by Dr Neil Bossenger on James Cunnington:

James was diagnosed with severe autism at 14 months, he is now seven. James is non-verbal, though he does have receptive language skills. He is not yet toileting himself consistently. He toe walks and constantly chews his sleeves. He has good eye contact, though his right eye roams. He flaps and has various other self-stimulatory behaviours and as well as a lot of diarrhoea. He has temper tantrums when his needs are not being met.

Chiropractic James Autism Before
Poor concentration
Sleep problems
Toe walking
Sleeve chewing
Temper tantrums
Eye roaming (exotropia)

James started with applied behaviour analysis treatment at age two and continued with this for four to five years with only small positive results. He has had dietary interventions; gluten/casein free and supplements with no positive results.

James started chiropractic care and had positive results.

Very quickly, his right eye stopped roaming, his diarrhoea decreased, and his temper tantrums decreased. After 1 to 2 months of care his sleeve chewing and toe walking had almost completely stopped. He has also had other several positive new behaviours including improvements and more awareness of toileting.

Spinewave Chiropractic James After
Improved demeanour
Reduced eye roaming (exotropia)
Normalised bowel habits
Fewer temper tantrums
Tantrums less severe
Reduced sleeve chewing
Reduced toe walking
Self awareness when toileting
New positive social behaviours
Receptive to touch
Reduced bedwetting
Improved asthma symptoms

I would highly recommend Neil Bossenger. He is a highly knowledgeable, skilled and experienced chiropractor. He is very patient and understanding with autistic behaviours and has a good rapport with kids.

Andy Cunnington

© 2015 Spinewave

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