NAC 2022 Schedule for PROFESSIONALS only
Looking for the Main Conference (non-CME)?
Friday and Saturday
NAC Professionals Only Track - CME Credits
Friday – Earn CME Credits in the NAC Professionals Only Track. Tailored for MD, DO, DC, ND, PA, NP and RN, RD, CCN, PharmD, RPh, PsyD with leading experts from around the country.
Category 1 CME offered. Check with your state board for the approval.
Saturday – Stay for the 2nd day of the Main Conference for an additional $30 to offset the cost of food and drinks.
Optional – No CME Credits Earned Saturday!
Limited Space Available. Register Early
Thursday | May 5, 2022
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Kick off the NAC 2022 with some fun and relaxation. We will be hosting a Welcome Reception to kick off the National Autism Conference. Please join us in the Grand Foyer, for lite fare and cash bar as we mingle with fellow parents and speakers.
All are welcome! Book your room, meet some new people, take a few hours to relax and be ready to go in the morning.
Friday | May 6, 2022 | Professionals Only
8:00am – 8:15am
By Kathy Morris
NAA Pennsylvania, Volunteer
8:15am – 9:15am
9:15am – 10:15am
10:15am – 10:45am
AM Snacks, Coffee and Exhibitor Viewing
10:45am – 12:00pm
Harnessing the Healing Power of Oxygen: Evidence Based Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Autism
12:00pm – 1:00pm
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Demystifying PANS/PANDAS: A Functional Medicine Guide on Basal Ganglia Encephalitis
By Dr. Nancy O’Hara
2:00pm – 3:00pm
3:00pm – 3:30pm
PM Snacks, Coffee and Exhibitor Viewing
3:30pm – 4:30pm
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Physician Conference Wrap-up
Movie Premier of "Spellers"
Free to All Attendees (no CME)
A Documentary Film Inspired by the Book, "Underestimated: An Autism Miracle"
by J. B. Handley, Jamison Handley
Saturday | May 7, 2022 | Professionals Only
Professionals are invited to attend the NAC Main Conference conference free on Saturday.
Note: There are no CME credits for Day 2 of the conference. All credits are earned during the Professionals Track on Friday.
Just pay for a small fee for your food and beverages throughout the day.
Schedule is subject to changes.
Michael W. Elice, MD is a board certified pediatrician who has treated patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders, mitochondrial disorders, PANDAS, immune and metabolic disorders for almost 20 years. As a practicing pediatrician for over 40 years he recognized the significant changes in the way children have been developing and how chronic illness has become the new 'norm' in pediatric medicine. Investigation and treatment are based on the theory that autism and related disorders are actually complex neurodevelopmental disorders with genetic and epigenetic origins.
Dr Elice is an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Northwell Health Cohen Children's Hospital in New York. He a board certified pediatrician and MAPS physician. Dr Elice has lectured at Defeat Autism Now!, MAPS Autism One and National Autism Association conferences. He has treated patients in over 20 countries around the world and is convinced that autism is a disease of epidemic proportions needing up to date medical attention.
Dr. Sharon Hausman-Cohen, Co-Founder, Chief Science Officer, and Medical Director of IntellxxDNA, has been using genomics for over a decade to deliver personalized medicine and help her patients achieve optimal health and wellness. As a researcher and clinician advocate, she recognized that information inaccuracies and complexity were barriers to entry for many. She saw the need for an easy-to-use, accurate, science-based genomics interpretation tool for clinicians, and began to develop what is now IntellxxDNA™. In addition to being a well-regarded doctor and researcher, Dr. Hausman-Cohen is a sought after speaker and educator on genomics, personalized medicine and integrative medicine. Dr. Hausman-Cohen received both her master’s and medical degrees from Harvard Medical School. Board-certified in Family Medicine, she is a Fellow of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, possessing additional board certification in Integrative Medicine through the American Board of Physician Specialties. She has been practicing Full Spectrum Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine for more than 20 years.
James Neuenschwander, M.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Neu) has been practicing integrative medicine since 1988. He is the owner of Bio Energy Medical Center, a multidisciplinary, integrative medical practice with the philosophy of treating illness at its source using whatever tools are available.
Dr. Neu is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Integrative and Holistic Medicine, as well as Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) as well as holds a certification in chelation therapy. He is a member of A4M, ACAM, and ILADS. He has been a DAN! Practitioner since 2007, a member of MAPS since its founding, and a MAPS fellow since 2014.
Nancy H. O’Hara, MD, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Nancy O’Hara is a board certified Pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her functional medicine practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and ASD.
She is also a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the United States and abroad. Dr. O’Hara has written a comprehensive guidebook, “Demystifying PANS / PANDAS: A Functional Medicine Desktop Reference on Basal Ganglia Encephalitis”, which will be available in Summer 2022 with pre-orders available in May 2022.
Dr. Jason Sonners has always been fascinated by the machinery of the human frame and strives to learn everything and anything he can that might help even one of his patients. Always working to integrate new knowledge and practical experience, in addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic, Jason earned his Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (DCBCN) and his Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology (DIBAK). He is one of only 250 professionals in the world with this distinction.
Dr. Sonners utilizes his combined training in various modalities to create comprehensive programs and help patients achieve their health goals. His patients are dealing with, among other conditions, a variety of autoimmune and neurological conditions, allergies, autism and cancer. He combines Chiropractic, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Nutrition, Exercise, Detoxification programs and more to naturally support patients and guide them through their health challenges.
Anju Usman Singh, MD, FAAFP, ABIHM, FMAPs, Hom-C
Dr. Anju Usman Singh is director and owner of True Health Medical Center and Pure Compounding Pharmacy in Naperville, Illinois. She also is the Chief Science Officer for True Healing Naturals. She specializes in biomedical interventions for children with ADD, Autism, PANDAS/PANS, Down Syndrome and related disorders. She has been involved in research regarding copper/zinc imbalances metallothionein dysfunction, biofilm related infections and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. She serves on the board for The Neuroimmune Foundation, and the medical advisory boards for TACA (The Autism Community in Action) and Autism Hope Alliance, as well as faculty for MAPs (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs). Dr. Usman Singh received her medical degree from Indiana University and completed a residency in Family Practice at Cook County Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois. She is board certified in Family Practice and Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABIHM), and holds a certification in Homeopathy.
Dr. Richard Frye, MD, PhD. is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Allergies, Asthma & MCAS
Dr Elice will discuss the underlying causes of these common pediatric disorders, how to recognize the symptoms, do appropriate testing and recommend treatment options.
Biochemical Foundation of Integrative Pediatrics
Psychiatry has held a unique position in medicine. It appears to be the only discipline in medicine where the diagnosis is made purely on answers to questions with little thought to the biochemical causes of those disorders. This principle has held true with autism: the diagnosis is based on observation of behaviors with no other testing. Unfortunately, there are a large number of biochemical abnormalities that have been associated with autism (like many psychiatric disorders). Addressing these abnormalities can improve outcomes with more traditional therapies (like ABA). In this presentation, I will review the biochemistry of autism and how this differs from neurotypical children. Looking at areas of mitochondrial function, toxicity, neuro-inflammation, gut dysbiosis, imbalanced brain signaling, methylation and sulfation disorders, and immune dysfunction, I will review the biochemistry behind all of these issues. At the end of this presentation, practitioners should be aware that autism is not a random, psychiatric event; it is a web of biochemical imbalances, many of which can be treated.
Microbiota Transplant Therapy (MTT) for Treating Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with ASD
We conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial of an Investigational New Drug involving 2 weeks of oral vancomycin (to kill unhealthy gut bacteria), followed by a bowel cleanse and then Full Spectrum Microbiota (FSM) from healthy donors to create a healthy GI microbiome.
We treated children ages 7-17 years who had ASD and moderate or severe gastrointestinal problems. We administered MTT in two stages: an oral or rectal dose, followed by 7-8 weeks of oral administration. There was an 82% reduction in GI symptoms, and a 25% reduction in autism symptoms. Their bacterial diversity significantly increased, from 25% below normal to normal. At the 8-week follow-up, the improvements in GI symptoms, ASD symptoms, and microbiome diversity were stable. At the two-year follow-up, most of the GI improvements remained, and there was a 47% reduction in ASD symptoms compared to baseline.
Gut Brain Stability
The gut is the second brain. Improving gut health is becoming the cornerstone of improving brain health. The importance of absorption, digestion, the gut microbiome, vagus nerve function, SIBO/SIFO and motility seem to play a huge role in neurological health. In my experience, supporting the gut health through diet, exercise, nutrients and clean up protocols, such as biofilm protocols, motility enhancing agents, and binders can help support improved gut brain stability.
Contributing Factors for ASD, Through a Genomic Lens
In this talk, Dr. Sharon Hausman-Cohen will focus on describing how common nonpathogenic SNPs can help guide clinical decisions leading to improved outcomes in children with ASD. Gene variants relating to nutritional factors, inflammation, mitochondrial factors and other neurodevelopmentally related genes will be discussed with case studies used for illustrative purposes.
Puberty: Surviving Teens, Hormones & Rage
Treating Hormones, Rage, Dysautonomia and Aggression
Adolescence is a time for learning and change, however for many patients on the Autism Spectrum puberty can be a rough transition to adulthood. Hormonal changes may trigger issues in sleep, adrenal function, and blood sugar regulation which may lead to abnormal mood and behavior. Abnormal hormone regulation can also lead to an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. By addressing these underlying issues symptoms of aggression and rage can be helped greatly.
Seizures & Mito Disorders
Both seizures and mitochondrial disorders affect a significant number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Epilepsy and seizure-like activity in the brain appears to be associated with more severe autism and are associated with other medical abnormalities. Research studies suggest that specific treatments may be effective for the treatment of seizures and seizure-like activity in children with ASD and some studies suggest that such treatments may improve ASD symptoms. About 5% of children with ASD can be diagnosed with classic mitochondrial while mitochondrial dysfunction may affect as much as 80% of children with ASD. Recent research has identified unique types of mitochondrial dysfunction that might be associated with environmental exposures and neurodevelopmental regression. Several treatments that target mitochondria appear to have evidence for use in children with ASD, including cofactors such as L-Carnitine, and the ketogenic diet. Mitochondrial dysfunction overlaps with seizures and epilepsy and some of the same treatments can be effective for both disorders. This talk will provide an overview of seizures and mitochondrial disorders in ASD with a focus on treatment.
Gut On Fire: The role of SIBO, Dysbiosis, and the power of leveraging the microbiome
The inflamed disrupted gut is a complex medical issue that we face in the biomedical treatment of children on the Spectrum as well as in many adults. The resulting overgrowth of opportunistic and pathogenic organisms leads to the conditions we so commonly find –dysbiosis, SIBO, and suppressed immune function. Dysbiosis is the imbalance of microorganisms Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is this opportunistic overgrowth in the small intestine, amplified by an abnormal motility pattern of the intestines. The damage created by this overgrowth leads to the inability of the intestines to do the work of digestion, which leads to more bacterial overgrowth, and thus the cycle continues-with ever increasing PAIN, bloating and misery.
Patients with multiple digestive problems, including children with autism may be at risk for developing SIBO. Dr. Logan will discuss the assessment, treatment options, and steps for correcting these imbalances and outline the road to recovery and relief from these complex conditions. Additionally she will discuss some of the novel discoveries in leveraging the microbiome to counteract the destructive effects of antibiotic use and systemic inflammation.
Identification and Treatment of Seizures and Seizure-like Activity in Autism
Dr. Rossignol will review the evidence for seizures and epileptiform activity in children with autism, including the link between abnormal EEG findings and autism behaviors. He will also discuss normal brain function, the mechanisms of seizures in autism, and potential treatments. This lecture will review actual cases of children with autism to emphasize that these EEG problems are treatable.
Mycotoxins: The Hidden Cause of Inflammatory Illness
Mycotoxin exposure is more common than previously thought, and in genetically susceptible individuals, can lead to crippling illness. Biotoxin mediated illness can look and act just like Lyme disease, and often goes along with a Lyme infection. Unresolving inflammation and severe symptoms in many body systems is the hallmark of this disease, earning the name Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)
We are discovering more and more frequently that many of our patients with severe inflammation, allergies, compromised immune function, Mast Cell Activation Disorders, Autism, Pandas, Lyme diagnoses, etc are actually a mold exposure that has been undetected, creating the inflammatory storm that underlies many of these conditions.
In this presentation Dr. Logan will discuss the discovery, diagnosis and treatment of this illness, and discuss its possible relationship to PANS/PANDAS, as well as it’s role in Autism severity.
Demystifying PANS/PANDAS: A Functional Medicine Guide on Basal Ganglia Encephalitis
By Dr. Nancy O’Hara
PANS & PANDAS are complex autoimmune diseases that require a multi-system approach. PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep) involves antibodies from a strep infection reacting with brain tissue (specifically the basal ganglia in the brain) and triggering an abrupt onset of immune dysregulation and movement, learning and behavioral problems including OCD, anxiety and tics. With PANS (Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome), other infectious etiologies besides strep (yeast, viruses, other bacteria, parasites), toxic exposures, and metabolic abnormalities are among other potential triggers for the immune dysregulation resulting in an abnormal autoimmune reaction and negative behavior, physical, and cognitive changes. POTS or Dysautonomia can often be associated with these autoimmune disorders and also needs to be assessed and treated appropriately. Dr. O’Hara will discuss the latest research in the assessment and treatment of these devastating but recoverable illnesses. Participants will learn the research-based functional medicine approach to the care, diagnosis and treatment of these children.
• The participant will be able to understand the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of PANS, PANDAS and Basal Ganglia Encephalitis
• The participant will be able to differentiate causes of anxiety, OCD and tics, as it relates to autoimmune encephalitis.
• The participant will be able to define the triad of treatments for PANS and PANDAS.
Advanced Insight on Treating Mitochondrial Issues
This interactive lecture is geared to both children who are suspected of having mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD) and to children who have already been diagnosed. Tools will be provided which will allow most parents to determine the likelihood of MtD in their child as unlikely, possible, probable or definite. For children who already have a diagnosis of MtD, an in-depth analysis of the medical literature will review treatment options. If available, please bring test results for lactic acid, alanine, lactate/pyruvate ratio and Mito Swab results. Attendees will leave with a plan of action.
Hope and Possibilities Treating Chronic Illness with Hbot
By Shannon Kenitz and Dr. Jason Sonners
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for a treating chronic illness for children for years. This lecture will cover one girls journey using Hbot while also discussing how Hbot can help with chronic illness in children and young adults with Autism , CP, Mitochondrial disorders, GI disorders and more. We will cover how decreasing inflammation through the use of Hbot can change the body’s way of healing these conditions.
Harnessing the Healing Power of Oxygen: Evidence Based Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Autism
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for a treating chronic illness for children for years. This lecture will cover one girls journey using Hbot while also discussing how Hbot can help with chronic illness in children and young adults with Autism , CP, Mitochondrial disorders, GI disorders and more. He will cover how decreasing inflammation through the use of Hbot can change the body’s way of healing these conditions.
A Full Life with Autism: Making it Happen
The transition out of school district services to adulthood can be challenging for both young adults and their parents. This presentation based on Chantal and Jeremy Sicile-Kira’s book, A Full Life with Autism, explains how parents can best prepare themselves and their young adult for this important life change. Topics discussed include: what skills your young adult needs to learn while still in the school system, and how building on a person’s strength or special interest can create community and social connections and employment opportunities. The topics of dating, sexuality and safety will be touched on briefly.
Environmental Issues within ASD
The environment around us is constantly changing and usually not for the better. We MUST be able to recognize, try to avoid, and then remove these toxins safely so they do not negatively affect our health and metabolism. Many children and adults with ASD have alterations in their biochemistry and genetic polymorphisms, whereby they are disadvantaged in the ability to cleanse and nourish their cells ideally. We need to first identify the harmful ingredients to avoid (i.e., heavy metals, chemicals, GMOs, plastics, hormone disrupters, pesticide exposures) and then identify and treat effectively many of the complicated tick-borne diseases as well as fungal infections.
It is no longer “You are what you eat,” but should be “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, WHICH YOU CANNOT EXCRETE.” Once we can identify these harmful agents, we need to determine how to safely rid these toxins, reduce the inflammatory processes they create, and oxygenate the tissues in order for tissue repair to be optimized. Safe Hyperbaric therapies and chelation therapies will be overviewed
I hope to be able to share a great deal of information on how to safely repair ourselves, especially since many environmental insults are growing around us exponentially as WE NEED TO RESTORE OURSELVES TO A MORE HEALTHFUL STATE!