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When I first meet a child diagnosed with autism whose parents bring him to me to see how chiropractic care can help, I always look to the eyes first.

Are they darting around the room? Can they focus on people or objects? Do they seem to be constantly scanning the environment trying to make sense of their surroundings?

Invariably, the child has moderate to extreme difficulty focusing. With the constant eye movement also comes circular motions of the head and generalized incoordination of motor function. The child is disconnected from themselves and their environment and does their very best to make sense of their universe. After we have conducted our initial neurological testing and I have checked and adjusted the child, I will tell the parents what to expect. 90% of the time the child will take a long nap or sleep for a prolonged period throughout the night. They will usually be much calmer and more relaxed as well.

I also tell them to pay close attention to their eyes.

The eyes truly are windows to the soul. We begin to see in those distant, unfocused eyes the awakening of that soul. Or, more appropriately termed, the unveiling or immersion of it as the child begins to become more fully integrated into his environment. This post was inspired today by the amazing changes I saw in one such child.

His light was dim and in a week a spark was lit.

His face lacked the normal vibrancy of youth and today I saw it restored.

What was once a slumped, depressed version was now the grinning, shining spirit I always knew was there.

Yes, the eyes tell us much, and mine witnessed something beautiful today.

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Dr. Steve Tullius is a San Diego pediatric and family chiropractor. He is actively involved in chiropractic education and research, and is particularly focused on helping children with severe neurological conditions such as autism, other pervasive developmental disorders, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, and epilepsy.

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