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Suggestions for finding a practitioner

People frequently ask how to find a practitioner who can treat tic disorders along with, or without, standard drugs. It’s a difficult question to answer because there are important factors:

1) The severity and nature of the condition
2) The age of the patient
3) The location and willingness to travel
4) Insurance and financial resources

Also, because alternative research for tic disorders is lacking, most professionals in alternative or integrative health fields have not treated a lot of tic cases.

Sometimes people successfully help themselves or their child through self-education and basic wellness approaches. Others may decide to seek out a chiropractor, naturopath, or homeopath. Biofeedback is sometimes tried. You can search the Internet for a number of referral associations for these practitioners and receive explanations of their disciplines and services. Their backgrounds and training can vary greatly.

ACN has received the most positive feedback on the use of nutritional therapy, diet, and specialized allergy therapy for treating tic disorders including Tourette syndrome.

There are three medical groups that are often recommended by ACN for referrals:

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine. www.aaem.com These are physicians who use special allergy testing and treatment techniques that have been shown to dramatically help some cases of tics/Tourettes. They often also practice nutritional therapy and dietary management; many do detoxification. There is a list on their website for referrals that includes specialty areas. To be a Fellow in the academy one has to complete all the course work and take an exam.

Another group is the American College for the Advancement in Medicine. www.acam.org These doctors and practitioners usually use nutritional therapy and often focus on prevention and detoxification. Their members have a wide range of backgrounds. Inclusion on the list means they are members of this group. See the referral list for their specialties.

The third group has practitioners who use the Defeat Autism Now protocol, which is a comprehensive approach that has successfully reversed autism in some cases. These physicians, naturopaths, or chiropractors can often help conditions other than autism by using a similar approach. However, some now specialize in autism spectrum disorders. A list is not available but www.autism.com is a helpful site to connect with.

For all groups, there is variation in approach, background, and experience. There is also some overlap between these three, meaning someone may be on two or more lists.

Those in these groups generally charge reasonable fees relative to standard health care costs, but because some of the treatments may not be covered by insurance, cost can be a significant factor for many families. There are exceptions—so have relatively high fees.

We regret that ACN is not in a position to offer personal referrals for families.

There are no hard and fast rules when looking for help. It’s a matter of finding the right match for your situation. Word of mouth may be helpful. The search is often not easy, but it can be well worth the effort in many cases.

I sincerely hope every Forum reader finds the help they are looking for.

Sheila Rogers

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