Autism and NAET Therapy
Study finds multidisciplinary allergen elimination technique to be effective in the treatment of autism.
By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor
Despite increased research into treatment and prevention, autism diagnoses have continuing to climb according to recently released CDC statistics, which found a 23% increase in autism over the last two years, with one in 88 children falling into the autism spectrum. The role of dietary influences on autism has been a predominant headline and researchers have continued to hone in on dietary sensitivities. A recent study focused on the methodology of Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET®) and found it to have a favorable impact on young autism patients.
Discovered in 1983 by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad, NAET is billed to be a “non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to eliminate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”
Patient allergens are treated one at a time and basic essential nutrients are “treated” during the first few visits. According to the NAET website, chemicals, environmental allergens, vaccinations, immunizations, etc. are treated after “completing about ten basic essential nutrients.” This approach is said to “successfully eliminate adverse reactions to egg, milk, peanuts, penicillin, aspirin, mushrooms, shellfish, latex, grass, ragweed, flowers, perfume, animal dander, animal epithelial, make-up, chemicals, cigarette smoke, pathogens, heat, cold, other environmental agents. It may take several office visits to desensitize a severe allergen,” though a disclaimer said NAET does not claim to cure allergies or food, chemical and environmental sensitivities.
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, whose Teitelbaum Family Foundation funded research on NAET, recently completed a study published in Integrative Medicine--A Clinician's Journal which found that after one year, 23 of the 30 autistic children in the NAET treatment group were able to return to regular school classes with their healthy, non-autistic peers, as opposed to none of the 30 children in the untreated control group.
Dr. Teitelbaum first learned of Dr. Nambudripad’s technique in 1998 and became intrigued after witnessing an autistic child in hisoffice recover using the NAET protocol.
Taking into account that autism prevalence increased by over 50% between 2002 and 2006, Dr. Teitelbaum and his colleagues hypothesized that major contributors to the development and symptoms of autism included food and nutrient sensitivities and sought to test the tenets of NAET as they related to the desensitization to multiple allergens in the treatment of autism.
Their study, “Improving Communication Skills in Children With Allergy-related Autism Using Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques: A Pilot Study,” followed 60 children ranging in age from 2.5 to 10 years old who had all been diagnosed with autism.
The children were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control groups. The treatment group consisted of 26 boys and four girls and the control group included 25 boys and five girls. The treatment group received NAET treatments (which combined acupressure and kinesiology) for 50 key allergens for one year. The children in the non-blinded control group did not receive any NAET treatments. Each group was allowed to continue with any other therapies they had been receiving. The NST (kinesiology/muscle testing) was used to determine which substances triggered sensitivity reactions in each child and NAET acupressure treatments were then used to eliminate the sensitivities.
Primary outcomes were measured using the Autism Research Institute Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ARI-ATEC). Secondary outcome measures included the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Neuromuscular Sensitivity Testing (NST) and the Allergy Symptom Rating Scale (ASRS). The participating children were evaluated using these instruments at the beginning and at the end of the one year study.
By year’s end, 56 children (26 in the NAET-treated group and 30 in the control group) had completed the study. “After one year, the children receiving NAET treatments exhibited clinically dramatic and statistically significant improvements in performance compared to the control group, as demonstrated by the mean 68.4% decrease in the total ARI-ATEC Score (compared to the mean 0.8% decrease in the control group; p<0.0001) and the 64% to 82% mean decreases on the 4 ARI-ATEC subtests (all p<0.0001),” the researchers wrote. “Similarly, the CARS rating improved by an average of 47.4% among the NAET-treated children, compared to only 0.4% in the control group (p<0.0001); the NST Score improved by an average of 65.5%, compared to a mean improvement of 0.0% (p<0.0001); and the total ASRS Score decreased by an average of 85%, compared to 2.3% (p<0.0001).
“In addition,” they wrote, “NAET treatment also produced statistically significant improvements in each of 30 of the 35 symptoms assessed using the ASRS. Clinically, 23 of the 30 children in the treatment group were able to return to regular school classes with their healthy, non-autistic peers after treatment while all of the children in the control group continued to require special education.”
The researchers concluded NAET to be an “effective and well tolerated treatment for children with allergy-related autism.”
More than 9,000 licensed medical practitioners have been trained in NAET procedures and are practicing all over the world. For more information on NAET or to download a full copy of this study, please click the blue hotlinks.