Alternative Treatments for Autism

Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother

Disclaimer: This article was written with my own opinions and experience only. Please consult with a doctor or other professional before following my suggestions.

girl covering her face with both hands

I remember when my boys were first diagnosed with autism. I asked myself, what did this mean? How would I treat this? Would they require medication? I had so many questions, and I did not know where to start. I felt very alone and scared.

With my back ground in social work, I generally have a knack for researching topics like a ninja. After doing some research, I found that the first treatment mentioned for autism is medication. This is changing. More people are open to trying alternative treatments. Medications can have terrible side effects, so more people are looking for natural products. Here are some alternative treatments used for autism.

Nutrition

There are several diets that can be used when treating autism. They range from eating gluten free products to eliminating dairy from the diet. Some autistic children have a sensitivity to certain ingredients in food. These ingredients can contribute to behavioral problems, or meltdowns when eaten.

For my boys, eating a gluten and dairy free diet was the best option. I observed a significant decrease with stimming and meltdowns when following this diet.

photo of three orange fruits

Omega’s

Omega 3 has been found to be helpful in treating autism, as well as many other disorders. People using the Omega 3 have reported better sleep patterns, social interaction, and over all health of their child. People wanting to try this alternative treatment can add fish oil to their children’s diet. Fish oil can be found in capsule for or liquid. Some children have trouble swallowing the capsule. The liquid form can be found in a flavorless type that is mixed in a drink.

brown gel close-up photography

Music Therapy

Several studies have found music therapy to be very beneficial to an autistic child. Sometimes an autistic child will sing along with music. This is one way of working on the child’s speech. The music can also be soothing to a child with autism. It can relax them enough to take part in an activity with other people.

From personal experience, music plays a big role in my boys lives. I often have meditative music playing in the back ground. From experience, creating a calm environment leads to better regulation.

round black vinyl disc on vinyl player

Sensory Integration

Children with autism can be very sensitive to noises, tastes, textures, and smells. Sensory integration therapy can assist the child to deal with whatever it is causing them problems. It can also be used to calm a child with something like a certain smell or texture.

My boys had many successful sessions with an Occupational Therapist to assist with their own unique sensory issues.

boy in front of cake and white car toy

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is a must for any child with autism. Children with autism often misuse words. They often have a hard time understanding the meanings of words like few or many. Speech therapists can help teach gestures and communication skills to nonverbal children. They can assist the child to learn how to read other people’s body language.

don't give up. You are not alone, you matter signage on metal fence

Play Therapy

Play therapy can be very useful when treating a child with autism. Play therapy allows the child to relax and focus on things they enjoy. A therapist working with an autistic child will play on the floor with the child. They will give the child various toys and 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 bring another child into play therapy. This can be a great way to get an autistic child to play with other kids. Usually a therapist does the play therapy, however the parent can do the therapy after they have learned the techniques used.

brown box

These are just a few of the many alternative treatments available for autism. Medication does not have to be a first resort. These can also be combined with medication for a better treatment plan.

Do you have any alternative treatments that you would like to share?

Disclaimer: This article was written with my own opinions and experience only. Please consult with a doctor or other professional before following my suggestions.

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