A Comprehensive Approach to Treating Autism and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Prepilot Study

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of a multi dimensional treatment plan involving nutrition, environmental control, chelation, and behavioral/educational/physical/speech therapy to treat children with autistic spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) disorder. This study is only a preliminary study, and its small size (10 patients) precludes statistical analysis of simultaneous multiple modal treatment regimes.
Design: This was an open-label observational study.
Settings/location/subjects: This study examined 10 children aged 4–10 years old who had been diagnosed with both autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD by outside physicians or psychologists. These 10 children presented consecutively in an environmental medicine clinic in Buffalo, New York. The children were given comprehensive nutritional/environmental/chelation treatment for 3 to 6 months in addition to their usual behavioral, educational, speech, and physical therapies.
Outcome measures: Study outcomes were measured by objective/subjective improvement as judged by physicians/parents/teachers. Outcomes were also measured by changes in urinary heavy metal burdens over time.
Results: All 10 children showed significant improvement in many areas of social interaction, concentration, writing, language, and behavior. Urinary lead burden dropped significantly in all 10 children.
Conclusions: Autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD are complicated conditions that probably require multidimensional treatment strategies. Larger studies are needed to determine optimum treatment plans involving nutrition, environmental control, medication, and behavioral/education/speech/physical therapies.