LIHUE — Kathryn Taketa-Wong, a naturopathic physician with Sacred Healing Hearts on Oahu, will be at Kauai Community College Monday to give a presentation on autism; more specifically, how to reduce risks before and after pregnancy and in early childhood.
“I’m trying to increase awareness about if we have an idea of risk factors, that gives us information about treating and preventing it,” she said. “Autism is treatable, and in some cases, we do see reversible of diagnoses or significant improvement.”
For example, cerebral folate deficiency, which is an autoimmune disease where the brain is not getting enough folate, or Vitamin B, is found to be connected to autism, she said.
“What’s happening is that the disease prevents folate from getting into brain cells, and because of that, there’s not a lot of brain development,” she said. “It’s exciting because they’ve found that it’s treatable with a high dosage of vitamins, so if we catch condition early enough, I have seen children loose their autism diagnosis.”
Taketa-Wong, who was been working with autistic families for six years, was asked to come to Kauai by the owners of North Shore Pharmacy.
“There’s lots of families who have children with autism, and on Neighbor Islands, there’s not as many resources available,” she said. “So they wanted me to come over and see patients.”
Taketa-Wong will use the office space at North Shore Pharmacy to see patients this week.
She said the most rewarding part of her job is making a difference in people’s lives. “It’s definitely when I see these kids getting better. It’s why I do it,” she said.
The free, 90-minute presentation begins at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.