Sunday, May 16, 2010

Autism and Alternative Treatments - 6 Natural Approaches That Can Help

When treatments for Autism are being considered, medication is usually first attempted. For many reasons, including concerns about the side effects of medication, this is changing. More people are searching out natural solutions. Here are some alternative treatments used for Autism.

  • Nutritional Autistic children are often sensitive to certain foods. Behavioral problems or meltdowns can occur when these foods are eaten. Sometimes just very small amounts trigger the symptoms. Some diets that have been used to help treat Autism include gluten-free and dairy-free. Rotation diets may also be used to identify the triggers.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids Omega 3 has been found to be helpful in treating Autism, as well as many other disorders. Omega 3 supplements are claimed to aid in better quality sleep patterns, improved social interaction, and general health and well-being. The most potent forms are found in fish oil which is available in capsule or liquid form. There are many brands which have enhancements that reduce, conceal, or remove the fishy taste.
  • Music Therapy Several studies have found music therapy to be very beneficial to the Autistic child. Sometimes an Autistic individual will sing along with music even though they will not speak. Music therapy can be used as a calming tool or a way to help the Autistic person work on skills such as speech, muscle development, or sensory issues. The music can also be beneficial in social interaction through group activities.
  • Sensory Integration Autistic individuals can be very sensitive to sounds, tastes, textures, and smells. Sensory integration therapy helps the child to deal with these heightened and often overwhelming responses to their own senses.
  • Speech Therapy Speech therapy is important for any child with Autism. Children with Autism usually misuse words, and they often have difficulty understanding the meanings of words. Speech therapists can help teach gestures and communication skills to nonverbal children and can recommend special equipment to help your child communicate.
  • Play Therapy Play therapy can be a very useful treatment. Play therapy allows the child to relax and focus on things they enjoy. A therapist will play on the floor with the child and will give the child various toys to see if the child takes a liking to one of them. If the child begins to play the therapist will then try to interact with the child. After the therapist has formed a relationship with the child they might include other children into play therapy. This can open doors for the child to interact and increase their ability to relate with others. Usually a therapist does the play therapy, however the parent can engage their child in the therapy after they have learned the techniques used.
These are just a few of the many alternative treatments available for Autism. They can also be combined with medication to build a better treatment plan.

There are so many unknowns when it comes to Autism. Gaining knowledge is so very important. You may find to be a helpful tool. has articles, videos and other resources to help you grow in knowledge and understanding of the different issues surrounding Autism.

by Deborah Lee

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