Raising a child with autism may feel like an uphill battle; there are tremendous responsibilities along with continuously supervising the child.
Being a mother of an autistic child, I had a ceaseless quest to find effective treatment and therapies for my daughter, Ella. Whenever I came across other parents of autistic children or any article related to autism, I used to become curious to know more about the treatments and therapies.
Once, I met a lady at a function, whose nephew was an autistic child. Through a healthy conversation with her, I got to learn how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) helped the child improve his communication skills and behaviors.
As parents, we aim to explore every avenue that gives us a little hope to help simplify our children’s life.
Besides the conventional treatment approaches and medications, we finally decided to give HBOT therapy a try, and fortunately, it didn’t disappoint us.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
After Ella turned 1 year old, I noticed that her quirks were a little different from other toddlers. Some of her unusual behaviors were:
- Ella found it challenging to understand conversational cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice.
- Making eye contact and showing emotions were difficult tasks for her.
- Sometimes, she didn’t respond to a conversation or interrupted the speaker.
- Sometimes, while requesting, answering, or asking for something, my daughter used to repeat her phrase multiple times and wouldn’t stop easily.
- Also, the repetitive movements, like spinning, pacing, flipping switches, etc.
Conventional Treatment Options for Children with Autism
As I mentioned above, we have tried all possible treatments for autism for my daughter. Here are some of the conventional therapies my daughter has undergone:
- Behavioral management therapies: Here, the therapist figures out the reason for a particular behavior of the autistic child. The therapy aims to improve some of the child’s pivotal skills, like taking the initiative to communicate.
- Educational therapies: This therapy includes a variety of activities to improve the behavior, communication, and social skills of children with autism. Children are provided education within their comfortable classroom setting.
- Nutritional therapies: It’s important to ensure that a child with autism is getting enough nutrition. A nutritionist makes a proper meal plan for the child, helping them grow into healthy adults.
- Other medications: In case a child becomes hyper, certain medications prescribed by a therapist can treat severe behavioral problems.
HBOT Therapy in Treating Autism
Several factors, including genetic, biological, and environmental, can be responsible for autistic disorder in children. Several studies indicate that ASD or autism is associated with inflammation in the brain. This inflammatory condition can reduce blood flow in the brain, causing cognitive and behavioral changes, which exhibit autism symptoms.
The major aim of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to provide the body with more oxygen than it naturally gets from the environment. Inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a child receives 100% pure oxygen with an atmospheric pressure 2-3 times higher than natural air.
The therapy supplies enough oxygen to the inflamed or swollen blood tissues in the brain. It enables a smooth blood flow in the cells and tissues throughout the body, minimizing inflammation and improving cognitive functions.
HBOT Therapy in Improving Autism Symptoms
No one can distinguish a child’s behavioral changes better than his/her parents. It’s not like we’re claiming HBOT is a miracle cure but it helped our daughter to improve her social behaviors. After completing 3-4 sessions of HBOT, we observed an improvement in her communication and response skills.
Besides the conventional treatments and therapies, HBOT therapy shows a ray of hope to the parents of autistic children. With a positive approach and expert supervision, HBOT therapy can be a promising alternative to treat children with autism.