Autism

Chiropractic treatment has transformed the life of Max Willson and his parents. Christina Hopkinson reports

Quentin Willson is not an obvious advocate of alternative medicine. This is the man, after all, who came to prominence as a presenter on that bastion of blokes, Top Gear, and named his daughters Mercedes and Mini. He admits that until two and a half years ago, the most alternative potion he had ever taken was a vitamin C tablet. But after his taking his son Max to see a chiropractor, he has become one of the treatment’s most evangelical exponents. “I’m startled by the difference in Max before and after chiropractic,” he says. “He has gone from being labeled autistic and needing a classroom assistant to becoming an active and feisty seven-year-old in mainstream education.”

Max was born in April, 1998 after a very difficult labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck as well as being knotted and, due to his heart rate slowing, he had to be delivered quickly. To add to his wife’s distress, Quentin was six hours late for the delivery. “I was stuck in the floods on the M40 with no mobile reception. Michaela thought I was dead.”

Quentin and Michaela soon noticed that Max was not developing in the same way that his elder sister Mercedes had done, seven years previously. His eyes didn’t focus, while his hand movements were more unco-ordinated that those of his contemporaries. But it was when Max went into education at four that they began to seek help. “You never want to admit to yourself that you’ve got a backward child,” he says, “but it was clear that he was very, very behind. He couldn’t concentrate, was hyperactive and demanding.” Every childhood hurdle was twice as difficult as it had been for his sister – he […]