Medication is frequently the first treatment suggested for Autism. Increasingly, however, people are becoming willing to try alternative treatments. Natural products are becoming more and more popular as people become aware of the potential problems that can result from the side effects of medications. Some of the alternative treatments for Autism are listed below.
The Nutritional Approach
An alternative approach to treating Autism that has seen good results in some cases is to remove some types of foods from the children’s diets. Nutritional approaches for treating Autism range from Gluten free diets to diets with no dairy products. Autistic children often are extra sensitivity to foods with certain ingredients. Eating foods with these ingredients can cause or contribute to behavioral problems. In some cases, extreme problem behavior may result.
Use of Omega 3
Omega 3, an ingredient found in fish oil, has proved helpful in treating many disorders, including Autism. Some of the benefits people have experienced from using Omega 3 include better sleep patterns, better social interaction, and better over all health. The way to try this alternative treatment is to just add fish oil to the diet. Fish oil is sold in either capsule or liquid form. For those children who have trouble swallowing capsules, the liquid form may be best. A flavorless type that can be mixed in a drink is available at health food stores.
Studies have shown that some Autistic children respond favorably to music therapy. In some cases, an Autistic child will sing along with music even though they will not speak. In fact, music may may be useful in working with the child’s speech. An autistic may find music soothing, helping them to relax enough to take part in activities involving other people.
Sensory Integration Therapy
Children who have difficulty processing everyday sensations may have what is known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. This often is true of children with Autism. It can be very difficult or impossible for them to make sense of the noises, tastes, textures, and smells they encounter. Therapy helps the child to deal with these issues. In some cases, certain smells or textures, etc., can be used to help calm a child.
A must for many children with Autism is speech therapy. Children with Autism often find it very difficult to understand the meanings of words like few or many. As a result, they frequently misuse words. By teaching gestures and communication skills, speech therapists can sometimes help nonverbal children. They can help to improve the child’s ability to communicate and interact with people by helping them to learn to read other peoples body language.
Another useful method for treating some Autistic children is play therapy. Play therapy enables the child to be more relaxed as he focuses on things he enjoys. Therapists may play on the floor with the Autistic child. They will offer various toys to the child in order to see if the child seems to like one of them. The therapist will attempt to get the child to interact with him and will try to form a relationship with the child. If the therapist is successful in forming a relationship with the child he or she may add another child into the play therapy. This is often a very good way to help the Autistic child get used to playing with other children. Although play therapy is most often done by a therapist, the parent can also learn and use the techniques.
There are many alternative treatments that can be used for Autism. Many of them do not involve medication, but they often can be combined with medication for a better treatment plan.