DAN! Autism Treatment in Seattle

puzzle-pieceWhat is Autism?

Autism encompasses a broad range of traits and behaviors. These characteristics may present themselves at differing ages of development.

For some parents, autistic indicators were exhibited at birth or at about six months of age. For others, their child was a year, three years or even seven years of age before autistic character traits were obvious in health, development, and/or behavior of their child.

Due to the variability in character traits and differences in the age of onset, the condition is broadly referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Characteristic behaviors include:

  • Avoidance of physical contact, arching of back
  • Frequent and intense agitation, non-stop crying in infants
  • Excessive passivity, overly quiet
  • Repetitive self-stimulatory behavior: rocking, flapping hands
  • Self-injury behavior: banging head, biting hand
  • Advanced in reaching developmental milestones
  • Delayed in reaching developmental milestones
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Eating problems
  • Difficulty making eye-contact
  • Indifferent to pain
  • Unusually active, overly or inappropriately energetic
  • Under active, lacks interest in common activities
  • Difficulty remaining focused, attention deficits
  • Insists on sameness in food, clothing, and/or routines


The exact cause of autism has yet to be identified; however the body of research on the topic has resulted in the recognition that certain factors alone, or in combination, can lead to an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These factors include a genetic link or exposure to certain viruses, toxins, or environmental pollutants.


Over the past several decades families and physicians have worked to identify the best method of treatment for those on the autism spectrum; however the character traits are so broad that a singular approach has yet to be identified. Both conventional (prescribed medication) and less conventional interventions have proven successful. In some cases, a combination of the two has worked best.

Some of the less conventional methods used for treating ASD include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA, behavior modification)
  • Nutritional supplements: vitamin B6 with magnesium, Di-methylglycine (DMG)
  • Dietary modifications: elimination of gluten, dairy, and soy
  • Sensory integration therapies

DAN – Defeat Autism Now!

The Autism Research Institute has been supporting families and physicians of autistic children through education, helping them remain up-to-date on the latest research, testing, and interventions by providing them with recurrent and on-going training.

Those associated with ARI’s DAN! campaign believe that psychotropic drugs do not always provide the only or best method for treating the disorder. They are instead committed to exploring a variety of effective methods when treating those suffering from the medical conditions associated with autism.

Dr. Jena Peterson is a DAN! provider who excels in finding solutions that improve the quality of life for those on the autism spectrum and their families.