Time for some real talk! Most parents may find it uneasy to face the possibility of their child having autism. If you have friends or acquaintances who work as educators, you might hear of stories of their special children; those who might not be able to keep up with the classes because of learning disabilities, or those who excel in their work but are socially awkward. When confronted with the possibility of their child being autistic, some try to brush it off and say that there is no need to seek help. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be diagnosed by a doctor. It is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, along with restricted or repetitive behaviours. Without a diagnosis and some efforts to help someone with ASD, it can be difficult for the person who has it; making life distressing and bewildering. When they are left without a medical or learning intervention, it results in difficult behaviours, social isolation, and underperformance in school. Image by August de Richelieu from Pexels However, once diagnosed, the young person can understand themselves better and realise they are not alone in the way they feel. Their parents and the professionals working alongside them can all learn how best to help them. The right services can be accessed, and adaptations can be put into place in the educational setting. As parents, you must remember to seek help when needed. Timeline to Identify ASD You must know that ASD\u2019s symptoms vary and are different in each person. There is no defined age, where you will be able to say, \u201cOh, this is when to start looking for signs of autism.\u201d Some infants show hints during their first months. Behaviours can become apparent as late as age 2 or 3. To add to the ambiguity, not all children with autism show all the signs. Uh-oh! Image by Meru Bi from Pexels Many children who do not have autism may show a few signs. But if you have someone telling you (especially educators) that there might be signs you should look at, engage a professional to evaluate them. An analysis can prevent so much distress as the child grows. Young people with ASD benefit from medication to help with anxiety and help manage some functions. However, it will need to be prescribed by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Oh my, this topic is DEEP! But we are not telling all these to get you worried. We want to let you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Clinical trials have been going on involving the use of stem cell therapy and educational intervention to significantly help children with ASD, and so far, there have been positive results. Feeding the Brain Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Based on a research from postmortem brains of ASD patients, there is evidence of abnormal functions and cerebellum (the bottom part of the brain) alterations. There is not enough of a crucial cell called Purkinje cells. These cells are in charge of movements and coordination. Now, we see that the lack of Purkinje cells should be restored so that the brain can function normally. And, as it turns out, this \u201crestoration\u201d could be achieved by stem-cell-based cell replacement! Transplanting cord MSCs can promote synaptic plasticity and functional recovery;\u00a0leading to the creations of more Purkinje cells. Now, note that it helps functional recovery; not the recovery of ASD itself. Improving the Condition It is still in the early states of clinical trials but cord blood is proving to be an effective enabler for children suffering from ASD. Based on Duke University's preliminary, phase I study on the safety of treating children with autism with an intravenous infusion of their own umbilical cord blood disorders, they found that among 25 children ages 2\u20135, more than two-thirds who were treated with cord blood showed improvements in their speech, eye contact (tested using Eye\u2010Gaze Tracking computerised test) and how they socialise after six and 12 months. These findings are exciting and can potentially help a person with ASD to have better quality of life. Reorganising Body Functions Image by swiftsciencewriting from Pixabay If your imagination is making you see body parts being redesignated in the body, we have got to stop you there, because we do not mean that kind of reorganising \u2013 though that is a funny thought. But this organising process is more towards the molecular functions in the body of a person with ASD. You see, the blood-brain barrier function is altered in ASD children due to neurological swelling, immune dysregulation, and increased inflammatory cytokines in the brain. Just imagine deformed molecules that are not effective in the body just floating around\u2026 quite redundant, huh? Introducing CordMSCs\u00ae! They are mesenchymal cells that can help whip these deformed molecules into shape by stimulating tissue remodelling, decreasing inflammation, and activating the satellite cells (involved with the regeneration of old or injured cells). This can help subdue the degree of impairment of ASD and improve quality of life. More and more studies are looking into the optimal doses of stem cells that can be used and how frequent it can be used. What are CordMSCs\u00ae and Cord Blood? Photo Credit: Instagram @ cryocord.malaysia Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in Wharton\u2019s jelly. Not any kind of edible jelly, but soft connective tissues in the umbilical cord that protect blood vessels connecting the mother to the baby. Now, once the baby is birthed, the umbilical cord is discarded, but did you know that this waste is sooo precious? The CordMSCs\u00ae inside the Wharton\u2019s jelly holds the potential to differentiate into a wide range of cells, such as bone, heart, nerve, muscle, and cartilage. It is also immune-system-privileged and will not induce a rejection. The body\u2019s immune system is unable to recognise umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells as foreign. Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells also differentiate more efficiently than \u201colder\u201d cells, such as those found in adult fat and tooth pulp. Therefore, they are considered to be more \u201cpotent\u201d. Given that MSCs are multipotent cells with many potential therapeutic applications, research also shows that they represent a future powerful tool in regenerative medicine, including ASDs. Cord blood, however, is blood drained from the umbilical cord to be stored as it as high concentration of stem cells that can be used to develop mature blood cells that have a specific function in the blood stream. Though trials are ongoing for ASD, cord blood has already been used to treat nearly 80 types of blood related disorders, such as leukaemia, sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia and immune system disorders. Do Not Take Chances! Did you know that the frequency of ASD is on the rise? We are currently looking at 60 cases for every 10,000 children, according to the Centre for Disease Control. Between 1991 and 1997, there was already a 56% increase in paediatric prevalence. But before you think children with ASD will never live a normal life, think again! It can be managed and improved with proper medication and education. Parents whose children may suffer from ASD should come to terms with it early so that intervention can start. Image from CryoCord The people at CryoCord believe that those with ASD are a good candidate for stem cell therapy. After all, there is scientific evidence that some types of stem cells, given intravenously, can improve the overall regulation of the immune system and the neural connectivity in the brain. There is no conclusive evidence that MSCs and Cord Blood will 100% help ASD, but it likely will. The problem is, these primitive stem cells can only be harvested from the umbilical cord \u2013 and that only happens once in one's lifetime! Are you going to take the chance to save your baby\u2019s CordMSCs\u00ae and cord blood? Or, look and see what plays out? Do not get flustered about making a decision just yet! Get more information on what CryoCord has to offer and how it can provide bio-insurance for your child and family by visiting their website at CryoCord.