Thursday, February 10, 2011

Treating Autistic Children - 5 Time-tested Alternative Methods

As more research is done on autism, a brain development disorder, doctors and researchers are finding alternative ways to treat it. Medication used to be the only recourse and can have nasty side effects. Parents are looking for different, natural ways to treat their autistic children.

There have been some alternative methods in treating autism that are more common than others. Some work alone while others are used in combination. There is no telling which method will work best for your child. Speak with your doctor to learn about alternative treatments for autistic children.

1. Music Therapy: Autistic children have been found to respond to music in a number of ways. Sometimes the music makes them happy and they want to move around, helping with their motor skills. Other times children sing along to the words of the song, helping with speech therapy. This has been seen in children who do not even talk. Music therapy is a natural way to help autistic children.

2. Sensory Integration: Everyone, autistic or not, has a certain smell that reminds them of something happy. Or the touch of a certain cloth will invoke specific feelings. This holds true for some autistic children as well. Researchers have been using sensory skills to get autistic children to react. The autistic children rely more on their hearing, touch, taste and smell to understand and communicate. This is also used to calm autistic children down by using specific odors or textures.

3. Nutritional: An autistic child's diet can have an effect on the way they react. There have many different diets that doctors have been using. Some of the popular diets are gluten-free, which is no wheat products, or removing dairy from the diet. Certain ingredients in foods make autistic act out or have bad reactions. Learn what they are and eliminate them from your child's diet.

4. Omega 3: Omega 3 is a fatty acid that has been found to have health benefits, which includes better sleep patterns, better social skills and better general health. All of these are positive attributes to a child with autism. While you can buy Omega 3 at many nutritional stores, discuss with your doctor the benefits of trying Omega 3 in your autistic child's diet. Omega 3 and other essential fatty acids are needed in a child's normal growth pattern. However, no major studies have been done on the benefits of fish oil for autistic children.

5. Play Therapy: Play therapy works well because it doesn't feel like work. Autistic children are in a more relax atmosphere and have a chance to react naturally. When a therapist begins playing with the autistic child, this will give the therapist and the child a chance to bond. The child will learn to trust the therapist through playing and make the sessions easier. By helping to create bonds through playing, autistic children can learn to play well other children their own age.

Good treatment plans may use some of these alternatives along with medication or you can try them out before resorting to medication. Every child is different, so some of the alternatives therapies could work well for one autistic patient while not work for another. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work for your child. Just look for ways to keep your child happy while giving your child the best care.

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