Cayce Health Database
Autism is not a disease, but a
developmental disorder of brain function. People with classical
autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction,
problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and imagination,
and unusual or severely limited activities and interests.
Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of
childhood and continue throughout life. Although there is
no cure, appropriate management may foster relatively normal development
and reduce undesirable behaviors. People with autism have
a normal life expectancy.
Autism affects an estimated two
to 10 of every 10,000 people, depending on the diagnostic criteria
used. Most estimates that include people with similar disorders
are two to three times greater. Autism strikes males about four
times as often as females, and has been found throughout the world
in people of all racial and social backgrounds.
Autism varies a great deal in severity.
The most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious,
and aggressive behavior. This behavior may persist over time and prove
very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who
must live with, treat, and teach these individuals. The mildest forms
of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived
The hallmark feature of autism is impaired
social interaction. Children with autism may fail to respond to their
names and often avoid looking at other people. Such children often have
difficulty interpreting tone of voice or facial expressions and do not
respond to others' emotions or watch other people's faces for cues about
appropriate behavior. They appear unaware of others' feelings toward
them and of the negative impact of their behavior on other people.
Many children with autism engage in
repetitive movements such as rocking and hair twirling, or in self-injurious
behavior such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start speaking
later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead
of "I" or "me." Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range
of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person
to whom they are speaking.
People with autism often have abnormal
responses to sounds, touch, or other sensory stimulation. Many
show reduced sensitivity to pain. They also may be extraordinarily sensitive
to other sensations. These unusual sensitivities may contribute
to behavioral symptoms such as resistance to being cuddled.
Autism is classified as one of the
pervasive developmental disorders. Some doctors also use terms such
as "emotionally disturbed" to describe people with autism. Because it
varies widely in its severity and symptoms, autism may go unrecognized,
especially in mildly affected individuals or in those with multiple
handicaps. Researchers and therapists have developed several sets of
diagnostic criteria for autism. Some frequently used criteria include:
- Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
- Impaired ability to make friends with peers
- Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with
- Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
- Restricted patterns of interests that are abnormal in intensity
- Apparently inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
- Preoccupation with parts of objects
Since hearing problems can be confused with autism,
children with delayed speech development should always have their
hearing checked. Children sometimes have impaired hearing in addition
Autism has no single cause. Researchers
believe several genes, as well as environmental factors such as viruses
or chemicals, contribute to the disorder.
Symptoms in many children with autism
improve with intervention or as the children mature. Some people with
autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. However, reports
from parents of children with autism indicate that some children's language
skills regress early in life, usually before age three. This regression
often seems linked to epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. Adolescence
also worsens behavior problems in some children with autism, who may
become depressed or increasingly unmanageable. Parents should be ready
to adjust treatment for their child's changing needs.
From a standard medical perspective,
there is no cure for autism at present. Therapies, or interventions,
are designed to remedy specific symptoms in each individual. The best-studied
therapies include educational/behavioral and medical interventions.
Although these interventions do not cure autism, they often bring about
(Note: The above information comes from National Institutes
of Health Publication No. 96-1877)
THE EDGAR CAYCE PERSPECTIVE OF AUTISM
Edgar Cayce gave several readings for
individuals exhibiting autistic features. Because Edgar Cayce
was more interested in the uniqueness of each individual than in diagnostic
labels, we cannot be certain as to whether these cases are representative
of autism. The word autism was never used in any reading or correspondence.
However, descriptions of behaviors and functioning do suggest that certain
persons who received readings may have suffered from autism.
Notably, three readings given for
an eight-year-old girl (2253), are indicative of autism.
(Q) Why does she not talk?
(A) This reaction, or refractory reaction in system, prevents
the contraction in the muscular forces that have to do with the
plexus from the secondary cardiac to the central nerve system.
This is directly to the vocal box. In the corrections in
the 3rd and 4th dorsal, and the 2nd and 3rd cervical, this will
be stimulated, see? as will necessary later to stimulate
along the eustachian tube for the reaction there, see? This
NOT in the beginning. The manipulations we would make at
least three times each week, and ONE of the treatments and ADJUSTMENT
treatment - the other the drainages set up and the muscular forces
and tendons so relaxed as to make for the feeding out or building
up of nerve impulses as between the sympathetic and cerebro-spinal system.
(Q) Why does she wring her hands?
(A) Nervous reaction. When these come, there is some
form of expression - and in the attempt to find an outlet for that INNATELY
felt, the lack of knowing WHAT to do - see?
(Q) Will she ever be able to understand and carry out a spoken
(A) She will, if these [treatments] are carried out as has
(Q) Where will the first improvement be noticed?
(A) The gradual relaxation, and NOT so nervous.
(Q) Is her brain alright, or just dormant?
(A) Just dormant. (2253-1)
Edgar Cayce traced the cause of the
condition to pressures along the spine where nerve plexus coordinate
the functioning of the system. Nervous system incoordination resulted
producing a disturbance to the "imaginative nerve forces of the body"
causing the child to be "over sensitive."
The pressures, as we find, exist
principally in those of the sacral, the lower dorsal, and the WHOLE
of the cervical areas. These are especially seen in the 4th LUMBAR
plexus, that prevents coordination in the sympathetic and cerebro-spinal
impulses; while those of the central or lower dorsal, sympathetically
with the upper or 4th and 5th dorsal, prevent those impulses to the
central nerve force as to cause any reaction in this direction, and
little or no response is seen in that of a refractory reaction, save
as comes through impulses in the imaginative nerve forces of the body.
Hence those tendencies of the body to be over sensitive to certain vibrations
that may be set up, without the proper coordinating even to BRAIN impulses
as to WHAT the reaction SHOULD be. Hence often the body
responds in a manner as apparently directly opposite from that as would
be, or should be, expected from voluntary or involuntary refractory,
or refraction. (2253-1)
Osteopathic manipulations to relieve
the pressure were recommended. A mild, natural herbal formula
(containing mayblossom and ginseng) was suggested to calm and sedate
the child. An energy medicine device (Radial Appliance) was prescribed
to assist in coordinating the system.
Hypnotic suggestion was consistently
recommended in such cases. Edgar Cayce sometimes used the expression
"suggestive therapeutics" to describe a simple, natural form of suggestion
to be used. Suggestion was recommended to address the habitual,
involuntary hand wringing and lack of normal development:
...as the body sinks to sleep - the talk, the quieting
effect, the improvements through the psychopathic effect that may be
created by suggestion as the body goes to sleep. Something as
this, though it may be altered according to that one giving same.
Do not make same as rote, or as just something to be said, but with
that intense desire to be a channel of aid and help TO the individual:
AS YOU (calling the child by ITS OWN name, that
it responds to even by any FORM of suggestion) AS YOU SINK INTO A QUIET
RESTFUL SLEEP, THE ORGANS OF THE BODY WILL SO FUNCTION THAT THE VERY
BEST WILL BE BUILDED IN THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL BEING, GIVING THAT RESPONSE
THAT WILL BE A NORMAL ACTIVITY FOR THE ORGANS OF THE SENSORY SYSTEM.
(Q) Is there anything we can do to get her to
stop wringing her hands?
(A) Only applying those things that will alter the present
nervous reactions in the system will change same. THIS body, would
be well for the suggestions to be made under the influence of hypnosis,
or auto-suggestion to the body as it sleeps. This must be made
by someone in sympathy with the activities of the body, and THIS would
relieve such stress on the general system. (2253-3)
Although we have no long-term documentation
in this case, a letter from Mrs. Pope of the Rosehill School (where
the child was staying) noted, "I think she has improved noticeably and
more so since she has had the battery although it has been used such
a short time."
Four readings were given for a nineteen
year old male  who had been "abnormal about eleven years" and
who was exhibiting repetitious, involuntary movements and antisocial
(Q) What is the reason for, and what can be done
for the habit reaction he has; such as the spitting, drawing of the
mouth down, and waving of the fingers before his nose and mouth?
(A) These, as indicated, are reflexes through the sensory nerve
system; lack of coordination between impulses and the guided or directed
forces in the mental reactions of same.
Keep up the applications indicated for corrections,
making the suggestions - and not attempting to control by violent means!
(Q) Would you advise scolding or hitting him,
when he is so uncontrollable? or what method would you advise?
(A) Patience, kindness, gentleness, ever; not in that of scolding
or tormenting at all. But in cajoling, and in kindness and in
patience, these are the manners.
Remember, these conditions are for purposes.
While they become very trying to the individuals who attempt to
administer to the needs of the body, know that these are purposeful
in thine own experience also.
(Q) Is this stubborn, fresh and disobedient attitude due to
(A) Due to the ailment; else there would be other measures
indicated. And in the building up of the body, there must be the
response to kindness and gentleness and love, - more than to force,
power, might, hate or scolding. (2014-2)
Again, this series of readings described
nervous system incoordination involving the sensory nervous system.
Pressures along the spine and in the abdominal nerve plexus associated
with the digestive system were noted. Abdominal castor oil packs
and spinal manipulations were suggested to relieve the pressures and
coordinate the nervous systems. The Radial Appliance was also
recommended to assist with the coordination. A mild laxative tea
was prescribed to improve eliminations through the colon as chronic
constipation was a problem.
For the behavioral problems and general
pathological conditions, suggestive therapeutics was recommended:
(Q) What type of suggestion would you recommend?
(A) As just indicated, the type that is to be given continually;
of the creative forces or God, - love manifesting through the activities
of the body. These as helpful forces will bring the bettered conditions
for this body. (2014-3)
The minimal follow-up correspondence
does not indicate whether the recommendations were applied consistently
or the eventual outcome in this case.
A series of twelve readings were given
for a young girl (1179) who was seven years old when she received her
first reading. Her readings and follow up correspondence
suggest possible mild autism. Her readings described a "supersenstive"
system with psychic or imaginative tendencies:
These conditions are rather of the
unusual nature; or the body physically and mentally is supersensitive
and the psychic forces are developing much faster than the bodily functionings.
Or the body functionings are of such a nature that the sensitiveness
of same precludes some activities through the nominal physical developments.
There are periods when there are
unusual activities in the psychic forces of the body. The imaginative
reactions to the sensory and the external forces in the experience of
the body at times find physical expression in moods. (1179-7)
The child was somewhat withdrawn and
difficult. Her mother's comment immediately following 1179-1:
"Now I know better how to cope with this child, who reacts so differently
from my other children - she is so unusual in so many ways."
The mother's difficulty in dealing
with the child's antisocial behaviors was noted:
DO NOT make it an issue with the
body! Advise with, but do not rave at nor scold nor make the entity
conscious of same by constant nagging, or insistency! And this
will be better, it will be found, in ALL the ways of IMPRESSING the
body in ANY manner for any activity.
As has been indicated, the body is supersensitive,
and is made aware of self's shortcomings or self's virtues by a continual
impressing on same. Listen to the entity's arguments, always.
Never tell her to shut up or stop, but hear it out! Then, parallel
same by counsel as respecting what MIGHT be better if paralleled in
THAT direction. (1179-6)
Social withdrawal and interpersonal
deficits were cited in the correspondence. The child also apparently
had some difficulty with reading.
Edgar Cayce described problems with
the digestive system which were contributing to the difficult psychosocial
development of this child. Various digestive aids and nutritional
supplements were recommended, including Ventriculin, a dietary supplement
made from the gastric tissue of hogs.
As with the other cases cited above,
the Radial Active appliance was suggested to assist with nervous system
coordination. Spinal manipulations were recommended. A basic
diet, focusing on body building foods, was emphasized. In one
reading, when asked about substituting other grains for wheat, Edgar
(Q) Should the body discontinue the use of wheat
products, substituting RYE BREAK, WHITE RICE, OATMEAL CEREAL, BUCKWHEAT
AND CORNMEAL PANCAKES?
(A) It would be well to discontinue the greater portion of
the wheat products, if these others are used - and they are all very
well to be used. (1179-5)
Although suggestive therapeutics was
not directly mentioned, the readings did insist on the importance of
providing spiritual guidance to the child through Bible stories.
According to correspondence from her
mother, Ms. 1179 became a school teacher at age twenty-two and married
thirteen years later.
Although the above cases vary greatly
with regard to symptoms and severity, some common themes are worth noting.
In all these cases Edgar Cayce focused on nervous system incoordination
involving the sensory nervous system. All these individuals were
described as over sensitive (even "super-sensitive"). Nerve pressures
were cited as causative factors. Spinal manipulation was consistently
recommended, as was the use of the Radial Appliance to assist with balancing
and coordinating the system.
Problems with the digestive system
and intestinal tract was significant in two of these cases (1179 and
2014). Therapies such as abdominal castor oil packs, diet, and
dietary supplements were suggested.
The mental and spiritual aspects of
healing were prominent in all three cases. Suggestive therapeutics
was usually recommended. The spiritual focus of the family and
caregivers was strongly emphasized.
Thus a blending of treatments into
a well integrated treatment plan was often recommended by Edgar Cayce
for the treatment of autism. Here is a summary of some of the
most common treatment recommendations.
Conceptually, the Cayce approach to
autism focuses on assisting the body in healing itself by the application
of a variety of therapies intended to address the underlying causes
of the condition. The mental and spiritual aspects of healing
are strongly emphasized.
Here are some general therapeutic recommendations
intended to address the underlying causes of autism:
- MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION): Cayce often recommended
spinal manipulations to correct specific problems which may be
a primary cause of autism. It is difficult to obtain the
osteopathic adjustments specified by Cayce. However, a chiropractor
may be of help. The frequency of the adjustments will depend on
the recommendations of the individual chiropractor or osteopath.
The use of an electric vibrator may also be helpful for individuals
unable to obtain regular spinal adjustments.
- ELECTROTHERAPY: Regular use of the Radial Appliance to coordinate
nerve functioning and circulation is recommended.
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Because autistic symptoms were sometimes
linked to problems with the alimentary canal resulting in poor
eliminations, hydrotherapy is recommended to improve eliminations
through the colon. Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to
eight glasses of pure water daily and obtaining colonic irrigations
to cleanse the bowel. Following the diet should also assist
with internal cleansing. Hot castor oil packs applied over
the abdomen are recommended to improve circulation (especially
lymphatic) and eliminations through the alimentary canal.
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation
and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper
alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity
and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly
of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined
carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are
- SUGGESTIVE THERAPEUTICS: The use positive suggestions during
the presleep period and during therapy sessions (such as massage
and the Radial Appliance) is recommended to awaken the inner healing
response. The spiritual attunement of the caregiver is essential.
- MEDICATION: The use of a mild natural sedative (such as Passion
Flower fusion) may be helpful for excitable children. Laxatives
and dietary supplements may be helpful, particularly for individuals
with significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Although Ventriculin
is no longer available, similar products such as Secretin (made
from hog gastric tissue and available only by physician's prescription)
have proven helpful for some persons suffering from autism.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health