Some of the most effective home remedies for autism include the use of fish oil, magnesium, melatonin, probiotics, antibacterial and anti-parasitic substances, dietary changes, vitamin D, turmeric, and detox baths.
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What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a long-term disability, which can manifest differently based upon ‘where an individual sits’ on the continuum of ASD. Persons with autism can have trouble interpreting social cues or manners of speaking (e.g. those that are idiomatic or abstract). Many persons with ASD are high-functioning, intelligent people.
Autism is a very complex neurodevelopmental disorder that normally presents itself from birth, which is why parents usually become aware of it within the first two years of life, as a child’s personality begins to develop. It is most commonly identified by unusual social behavior, low interaction skills, communication difficulties, and compulsive or repetitive behavior, in some cases. Since the cause of autism has been such a widely and hotly debated topic for so many years, it can be difficult to suggest preventative therapies. However, it is highly hereditary, although environmental factors have also been shown to have an impact on the likelihood of autism.
There is no medicinal “cure” or formal treatment for autism, although there have been many breakthroughs with behavioral therapy to help autistic sufferers get past the sometimes crippling social impairment of the disorder. In the past, the label of autism was much narrower; it now falls under autism spectrum disorder, which also includes Asperger’s syndrome, child disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. Although these conditions are similar, there are certain distinct differences and levels of severity.
The most commonly recommended approach for autism is a combination of natural remedies and behavioral therapy to treat or, in some rare cases, apparently “cure” the disorder. That being said, the formal medical community has a very mixed perspective on the concept of “curing” autism, as some do not see it as a disease. In fact, some sufferers of autism, due to their focus on a single subject, ability, or skill set, become savants in a given area, and are capable of truly incredible things that defy our understanding. This is not true for all autism sufferers, and given how difficult life can be with autism, the following alternative, behavioral, and herbal therapies are some of the most frequently used home remedies for autism.
Home Remedies for Autism
While a balanced, nutritious diet is essential for all children, magnesium is specifically relevant for those suffering from autism. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of symptoms that are in line with commonly seen behavioral patterns in autistic children, including rocking, teeth grinding, anxiety, poor concentration, and a low attention span. By ensuring that magnesium is a part of every day’s nutrient intake, those symptoms can be reduced, allowing for more productive behavioral therapy and improved behavior.
Omega-3 fatty acids, along with some other types of fatty acids, are actually beneficial and essential for the body’s normal, healthy development. Studies have shown that high levels of omega-3s can increase socialization in people suffering from autism and can also soothe hyperactive behaviors and disruptive behaviors. Fish oil is one of the most concentrated and easily accessible forms of omega-3s, and the supplements can be found almost anywhere.
One of the most closely related symptoms/conditions to autism is poor sleep habits. The disruption in normal sleep cycles can cause irritability, lack of focus and concentration, social anxiety, and chronic stress. Melatonin, however, is a soothing, sedative substance that can ensure healthy, restful nights of sleep, thereby helping autistic children to maintain a more relaxed schedule. The related behaviors of poor sleep will diminish, enabling more effective practice of social and communication skills.
Many researchers have argued that one of the most obvious causes of autism was dietary in nature. In other words, the health of the gut and the intake of nutrients were the two major culprits behind the severity (or even development) of autism. Intestinal permeability has been closely linked to autism, and probiotics are often the best remedy. Probiotics stimulate the growth and development of healthy, beneficial bacteria in the gut that helps us efficiently absorb nutrients and protect the gut from any infections. Probiotics can be found in ample supply in yogurt, and with a healthier gastrointestinal system, some of the symptoms of autism may diminish.
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free
Although research is still ongoing on this particular treatment strategy, there are many who believe that by eliminate sugar, gluten, and other processed foods, the symptoms of autism can be reduced and behavior begins moving back towards “normalcy”. This is a very hot topic of debate at the minute, particularly with the increased attention being placed on gluten in recent years, and the rise of “gluten-free” diets, regardless of whether it is due to a food allergy or not.
Antibacterial and Anti-Parasitic
Other theories about autism from an environmental perspective argue that autism develops due to the child’s gut being exposed to Candida bacteria and other parasitic substances that leave toxic residues in the gut. This very dangerous bacterial exposure at a young age could explain many of the symptoms of autism. Therefore, protecting children from dangerous bacteria and parasites is essential to fully protect them from the possibility of developing the disorder.
This critical nutrient in our diet is often forgotten or overlooked in exchange for the more “high-profile” vitamins. However, vitamin D is crucial for both children and mothers. Low levels of Vitamin D in pregnant women have been connected with higher levels of infant autism, while vitamin D deficiency is linked with leaky gut syndrome and other conditions that affect the gastrointestinal system, a critical aspect of autism development, as explained above. Finally, vitamin D affects the function of neurotransmitters, which are often negatively affected in autism sufferers.
Autism sufferers appear to have higher frequency rates of scurvy, as though their bodies do not process or intake it well enough, further supporting the validity of a diet-based strategy to reduce the symptoms. Keeping a high vitamin C intake in the body helps with the development of collagen, antioxidant activity, cognitive function, and cellular repair and health throughout the body, all of which could improve the symptoms and sensitivities of certain autistic individuals.
As one of the most potent and versatile herbs in common use, turmeric offers antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects to the body. This can significantly improve the health of the gut and ensure proper nutrient intake so that many of the symptoms of autism can be lessened or eliminated altogether.
A Final Word of Warning: It is important to remember that autism is a disorder, not a disease, and as such, there is still no formal cure, nor will there likely ever be. These are supplemental remedies, and should be combined with behavioral therapy as well. On their own, neither approach would be particularly effective. Always speak to a doctor if you suspect that you child suffers from autism, because the different types of disorders within autism spectrum disorder often utilize different treatment approaches.
What causes autism?
The precise causes of autism are not known. There is some evidence that genetic factors play a role. Certain illnesses contracted by a pregnant mother may also be correlated with developing autism (e.g. rubella). Autism tends to affect males at a higher rate than females. Despite persistent rumours, autism is not caused by immunisation.
Is autism genetic?
There is evidence for the importance of genetics in developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the specific causes are unknown. ASD occurs most often from birth, or prior to reaching the age of three; ASD also occurs more frequently in boys than in girls. There do not appear to be race or ethnicity differences in ASD occurrence.
What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a range of disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome. Persons with ASD often struggle to make sense of the world around them, be this in interpreting certain social cues, or understanding more abstract or idiomatic language and ideas. Many persons with ASD are high-functioning and intelligent, while some struggle with learning disabilities.
Can autism be cured?
No, autism cannot be ‘cured.’ Many consider autism a long-term impairment, which can be managed effectively by making support available, and increasing the general public’s awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some persons with ASD consider themselves ordinary people, rather than persons with an impairment; they believe they simply have a unique way of interacting with the world around them.