Thursday, September 01, 2005

Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference

TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Cindy Zahoruk wondered why her 3 year old sonMichael looked so unhealthy. He had dark circles under his eyes, chronicdiarrhea, poor muscle tone and a very low energy level. Michael was alsodiagnosed with autism. "We addressed his classic autistic symptoms, such as his difficultycommunicating and socializing, with traditional treatments such as speech andbehaviour therapy, however my husband and I were convinced there was somethingmore to Michael's problem; something at a more complex, biological level"Zahoruk says. Recent scientific studies have found that many children with autismsuffer from severe gastro-intestinal problems, immune system imbalances,metabolic dysfunction, as well as severe vitamin deficiencies. As a result,many parents like Zahoruk are following a multi-disciplined approach totreating autism after witnessing how effective biomedical treatments can be incorrecting many of these underlying problems. Zahoruk adds "We had to travelto the U.S. to see doctors specializing in bio-medical treatments for autism.Michael underwent dozens of medical tests followed by conventional andcomplementary medical treatments, which dramatically reduced many of hisautistic symptoms". Doctors can sometimes dismiss other potential conditions simply due tothe autism diagnosis and these underlying medical problems are left untreated."Unfortunately our kids have difficulty communicating and they cannot tell uswhen or where something hurts. Instead they may show us they are in painthrough an "autistic" behaviour, such as head-banging." adds Zahoruk. "Parentsand doctors need to look at the whole child when they begin treating autism,not just the resulting behaviour" After seeing the success her son and other children were having withthese treatments and dealing with the frustration over the lack of support inCanada, she and a group of other parents started a charitable organizationcalled Autism Canada Foundation ( to provide parents withmore information about treatment choices. "Parents must be the driving forcebehind the research to find a cause and cure for autism. It is the parent-based organizations such as Autism Research Institute and Defeat Autism Now!in the United States that have supported the studies that have made asignificant difference in the understanding of this disorder" says Zahoruk. The medical team from Autism Research Institute and Defeat Autism Now!will lead an upcoming conference for families and medical professionalsinterested in the latest, safe and effective biomedical interventions forAutism, including; Dr. Elizabeth Mumper MD, assistant professor of paediatricsat The University of Virginia, Nancy O'Hara, M.D. an experiencedpaediatrician, and Maureen McDonnell, RN. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Andrew Wakefield, gastroenterologist and researcher. Dr. Wakefield's recent research has led him to uncover a bowel disease unique to autistic children. What: Mini DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) Conference When: September 16, 17 & 18th, Where: Holiday Inn Select Airport, TORONTO visit