Children with Asperger's Syndrome are Good Candidates for Hemispheric Integration Therapy

Published: 25th July 2009
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Functional neurology deals with affecting neurologic pathways or areas of the brain that are under functioning (A functional disconnect syndrome with regard to an Asperger's child). This assumes that there are no structural problems in the anatomy and children with Asperger's Syndrome are just this type of situation. Their neurological workup that might have included an EEG or an MRI is usually normal. Thus we are dealing with a functional lesion and not a hard lesion such as a tumor or stroke. It is the practicing functional neurologist job to localize or find out where the problem is in the nervous system. Along with a thorough neurological examination an in-depth history must be performed which includes motor development. The doctor should look for developmental delays such as delayed crawling, standing or walking which may signal when the problems began. Once the primary problem has been determined all secondary lesions and consequences of that primary lesion must be addressed. Hemispheric integration relates to the concept that usually these Asperger's children will have an underactive hemisphere and poor communication between the hemispheres. With Asperger's Syndrome children this tends to be the right hemisphere. Let us look at normal functions of the right hemisphere.

NORMAL FUNCTIONS: Right Hemisphere is responsible for nonverbal communication, math, reasoning, reading comprehension, spatial and attention. It controls impulsive behavior, feeling your own body, proprioception, seeing the big picture (Global Coherence), facial recognition, social skills, withdrawal behavior and getting stuck in any activity. Right hemisphere may also control fear, anxiety, immune suppression, low frequency sound and light, gross motor, eyes, posture, and big muscle rhythm.

Now let's look at a paragraph from National Institute of Health. What is Asperger's syndrome?

Children with AS are isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests. They may approach other people, but make normal conversation impossible by inappropriate or eccentric behavior or by wanting only to talk about their singular interest. Children with AS usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills such as pedaling a bike, catching a ball, or climbing outdoor play equipment. They are often awkward and poorly coordinated with a walk that can appear either stilted or bouncy.

Now back to the title of the article. Children with Asperger's syndrome are higher functioning along the autism spectrum. They are intelligent, so much so that they are known as the little professors. They do not have verbal communication issues and are better able to follow instructions. The functional neurology practitioner will treat the patient with a concept called neural plasticity. Neural plasticity states that the brain is malleable and can be changed. There are many therapies and exercises that can be performed with the Asperger's child in order to up regulate the under functioning and under connected areas. The better the child can follow instructions the more therapies that are available to the doctor to create the changes necessary to help the child. Since an Asperger's child is high functioning this opens the possibility of a wider range of therapies that can be used and the children can usually progress through them faster. This also allows the functional neurology practitioner to move up through the nervous system from the foundation on up, stimulating the affected area with more ease.

Dr. Mane offers a one on one consultation as well as group seminars for parents and children who suffer from Asperger's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation or to attend a seminar please call 813-935-4744.

For more information about Dr. Nelson Mane, D.C. and his treatment approach for Asperger's go to www.manecenter.com or visit his blog at http://www.hitautism.com.


















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