Natural herbal & homeopathic remedies useful for Autistic children

Autism
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - AUTISM

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for autism and autism spectrum disorders

General description and overview of autism and autism spectrum disorders


During the early years, when mental development is so important along with physical growth, many problems center around the stimulation of the brain and the senses that serve it. Autism is a perplexing, life-long mental disability that is believed to be caused by brain damage rather than by emotional trauma.

Autism (sometimes called “classical autism”) is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). It affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. Autism encompasses a wide range of behavior and is usually characterized by impaired social interactions (a child cannot relate to other people, sometimes even his parents), problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely restricted activities and interests.
 
Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). 

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended for autism and autism spectrum disorders

Tic Tamer™

Homeopathic tics remedy to help relieve repetitive, involuntary body movements and muscle jerking.

Product Details

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

Focus Formula™

Promotes concentration, memory and ability to focus attention without distraction.

Product Details

Tula Tantrum Tamer™

Helps reduce tantrums, soothe fiery tempers and reduce frustration in young children.

Product Details

How common is Autism?

Autism was earlier thought to be a rare disorder affecting as few as 1 in 5,000 people. However, recent findings have upped the estimates to at least three to six children out of every 1,000 children in the U.S.

This large discrepancy owes to an increase in awareness about the disorder and much improved diagnostic criteria. Others believe that autism is a developmental disorder that is on the increase. Most autistic children develop symptoms before 3 years of age, and the disorder tends to affect four times as many boys as girls.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for autism, although treatment options are available to help your child lead as normal a life as possible.

Herbal remedies for autism. Autism should become apparent in the first 3 years of life, although it is sometimes diagnosed much later.

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Symptoms of autism and autism spectrum disorders


The symptoms or behaviors may vary from moderate to severe and their impact on the individual from mild to disabling. A combination of the following areas may be affected.

Impaired social interaction
:

  • Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child. As early as infancy, a baby with autism may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time.  

  • Shows a lack of empathy - He has difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because he can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and doesn’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior

  • Does not make friends and is generally withdrawn, i.e. prefers to spend time alone, rather than with others

  • May not respond to eye contact or smiles - Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people

  • May treat others as if they are objects

  • Many a times, a child with autism may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

Verbal and nonverbal communication:

  • Is unable to start or sustain a social conversation

  • Develops language slowly than other children or not at all

  • Language regression - loses previously acquired ability to say certain words or sentences

  • Repeats words or memorized passages, like commercials or “Disney speak”, i.e. repeats phrases from frequently watched cartoons or movies

  • Doesn’t refer to self correctly (for example, says "you want water" when the child means "I want water" or may refer to himself by name)

  • Uses nonsense rhyming with little understanding of how to make sense of the words used or use them in own speech

  • Communicates with gestures instead of words and often finds difficulty in expressing own needs

homeopathic medicnes & remedies for autism - An autistic child may not startle at loud noises, yet at the same time may find normal noises painful and even hold his hands over the ears.

Response to senses:

  • Has heightened or low (abnormal) senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste

  • Seems to have a heightened or low response to pain (Many children with autism have a reduced sensitivity to pain)

  • May withdraw from physical contact because it is over stimulating or overwhelming (These unusual reactions may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as a resistance to being cuddled or hugged)

  • Rubs surfaces, mouths or licks objects   

While playing:

  • Shows little pretend or imaginative play

  • Does not play interactive games and prefers solitary or ritualistic play

  • Doesn’t imitate the actions of others

  • Some may speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking

Other behaviors & activities:

  • Has a short attention span

  • Uses repetitive body movements such as rocking, hand flapping and twirling

  • Shows a strong need for sameness and demonstrates perseveration (gets stuck on a single topic or task), to the extent that becomes distressed when routines or rituals are changed

  • Also, has very narrow interests. In fact, sometimes the child has obsessive or inappropriate attachment to certain objects

  • "Acts up" with intense tantrums

  • Shows aggression to others or self (e.g. self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging)

  • Is overactive or very passive

Diagnosis

Autism is a complex disorder. It varies widely in its severity and symptoms and may go unrecognized, especially in mildly affected children or when it is masked by more debilitating handicaps. Doctors will often use a questionnaire or other screening instrument to gather information about a child’s development and behavior.  Some screening instruments rely solely on parent observations; others rely on a combination of parent and doctor observations.
 

Further testing may be needed if a child fails to meet any of the following language milestones:

  • Babbling by 12 months

  • Gesturing (pointing, waving bye-bye) by 12 months

  • Single words by 16 months

  • Two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months (not just echoing)

  • Loss of any language or social skills at any age

If screening instruments indicate the possibility of autism, doctors will ask for a more comprehensive evaluation. An evaluation of autism will often include a complete physical and neurologic examination. It may also include a specific diagnostic screening tool, such as Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised (ADI-R), Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Gilliam Autism Rating Scale and Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test-Stage 3.

Children with some symptoms of autism, but not enough to be diagnosed with classical autism, are often diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).  Children with autistic behaviors but well-developed language skills are often diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.  Children who develop normally and then suddenly deteriorate between the ages of 3 to 10 years and show marked autistic behaviors may be diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder.  Girls with autistic symptoms may be suffering from Rett syndrome, a sex-linked genetic disorder characterized by social withdrawal, regressed language skills, and hand wringing.

Children with known or suspected autism will often have genetic testing (looking for chromosome abnormalities) and perhaps metabolic testing.

Do symptoms of autism change over time?

For many children, autism symptoms improve with treatment and with age.  Some children with autism grow up to lead normal or near-normal lives.  During adolescence, some children with autism may become depressed or experience behavioral problems.  Parents of these children should be ready to adjust treatment for their child as needed. 

Symptoms & natural remedies of autism - Children whose language skills regress early in life, usually before the age of 3, appear to be at risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity.

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Causes of autism and autism spectrum disorders

Autism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. Scientists are not certain what causes autism, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with the disorder.  Studies of people with autism have found irregularities in several regions of the brain.  Other studies suggest that people with autism have abnormal levels of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in the brain.  These abnormalities suggest that autism could result from the disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development caused by defects in genes that control brain growth and that regulate how neurons communicate with each other.
 
A number of other possible causes have also been suspected. They include digestive tract changes, diet, mercury poisoning, vaccine sensitivity, and the body’s inefficient use of vitamins and minerals. Research suggests that heredity and early fetal development may play a causal role in autism, however studies show no association between risk of autism and parental factors such as age and socioeconomic status.

The role of inheritance

Recent studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism.  In families with one autistic child, the risk of having a second child with the disorder is approximately 5 percent, or one in 20. This is greater than the risk for the general population. Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to this increased susceptibility. In some cases, parents and other relatives of an autistic child show mild impairments in social and communicative skills or engage in repetitive behaviors. Evidence also suggests that some emotional disorders, such as manic depression, occur more frequently than average in the families of people with autism.

Risk Factors

Autism affects males four times more often than females. Additionally, about 50% of all boys with autism have a parent with the disease.

Autism occurs more frequently in children with rare genetic disorders and other medical conditions such as tuberculosis, phenylketonuria, neurofibromatosis, and epilepsy.

 

Causes and remedies/supplements for autism - The theory that parental practices are responsible for autism has now been disproved

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies for autism and autism spectrum disorders


There are many different medications that are prescribed to treat the symptoms of autism. While no drugs exist that can cure autism, certain drugs may be prescribed to treat the symptoms.

Whether or not to use prescription drugs is a personal choice that needs to be made on the basis of an informed decision as to the benefits and disadvantages involved. It is always important to balance symptomatic relief of symptoms with possible side effects and health disadvantages.

If prescription drugs are used, it is essential that these are prescribed and regularly monitored by an experienced professional to prevent dosage problems as well as adverse drug interactions.

It is also important to realize that there are effective natural treatments for autism using herbal and homeopathic remedies instead of prescription drugs. As with any medication, it is always best to consult your doctor before changing or discontinuing any prescribed medicines.

Natural treatments for autism are extremely effective, and can/should be viable alternatives to synthetic drugs, with far fewer risks and side effects.

A holistic approach uses nature’s intrinsic ingredients to better address the underlying issues – and not just treat the symptoms of autism. Depending on the issues that need to be addressed (which will be different between children), certain herbal and homeopathic ingredients such as Melissa officinalis, Passiflora, St. John’s Wort, and Chamomila may be recommended as part of a holistic treatment plan.

Biochemic tissue salt combinations to support brain and mood functioning may also be very beneficial. If your child is already taking prescription medication, remember to consult your health professional before making changes or combining herbal remedies.


For bringing peace to the uncertain mind

  • Hypericum perforatum (also known as St. John’s Wort) has been traditionally used for centuries to support balanced mood and safely maintain mental wellness and equilibrium. In recent times, clinical studies have confirmed ancient wisdom and Hypericum is one of the most widely studied herbs on the market today.

  • Passiflora incarnata (also known as Passion Flower) - Like St John’s Wort, Passiflora has also stood up well to clinical studies which support its traditional usage as a soothing and moderating herb. A study in France investigated Passiflora as a natural nerve tonic. In modern herbalism, Passiflora incarnata is known as a natural aid for the nerves, supported by clinical trials.

  • Lavandula augustifolia (Lavender) is another well-known herb which has made its home in countries all over the world, including Europe and Africa and is also used in Arab medicine. Lavender contains the active ingredients tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, triterpenoids and volatile oil. It is best known for its soothing properties and as a tonic to support the nervous system.

Herbal & homeopathic supplements and remedies for autism - It is important to only use herbal remedies from a reliable source, as the quality of herbs used as well as methods of preparation may affect the strength and effectiveness of the remedies.

For bringing focus in a child

  • Centella asiatica (Gotu cola) is found wild in moist areas throughout Africa and Asia, this herb is traditionally used as a tonic to support the healthy brain and nervous system, Centella asiatica is recommended to support brain functions such as mental clarity, healthy memory and to maintain a balanced mood. This medicinal herb is so highly respected in Ayurvedic medicine for its effect on the mind that it is even said to increase knowledge of Brahma - the supreme reality! Centella asiatica is also a favorite food of elephants and, as we all know, elephants never forget!

  • Avena Sativa is a general tonic traditionally used in folk medicine as well as in modern herbalism, Avena sativa is invaluable in alleviating common nervous irritability that can sometimes ruin your day. Active ingredients are saponins, flavonoids, minerals, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, Vitamins B1, B2, D, and E, carotene and wheat protein.

  • Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) is indigenous to the Cedarberg Mountains of Cape Town, South Africa and is not found anywhere else in the world! Rooibos contains magnesium, zinc and iron which all assist in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Zinc and iron, in particular, support natural systemic balance in the brain, promoting standard consistency and normal functioning of the nervous system.

For dealing with tantrums

Cina (6C) Artemesia Cina is thought to be named after Artemisia - the queen of Persia and renowned herbalist in the 4th century BC. It is used homeopathically to relieve irritability, increase tolerance and prevent temper tantrums. Regular use of Cina is also thought to make children less stubborn and more affectionate.

Chamomila (6C) is used homeopathically for children who are irritable and difficult to please, as well as for those with a low pain threshold. It is also well-known for its soothing effect on infant colic and the symptoms of teething babies.

   

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended for autism and autism spectrum disorders

Tic Tamer for autism - Homeopathic tics remedy to help relieve repetitive, involuntary body movements and muscle jerking.

Tic Tamer™

Homeopathic tics remedy to help relieve repetitive, involuntary body movements and muscle jerking.

Product Details

MindSoothe Jr. for autism - Promote balanced mood and stability in children.

MindSoothe Jr.™

Promote balanced mood and stability in children.

Product Details

PureCalm for autism - Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

Focus Formula for autism - Promotes concentration, memory and ability to focus attention without distraction.

Focus Formula™

Promotes concentration, memory and ability to focus attention without distraction.

Product Details

Tula Tantrum Tamer for autism - Helps reduce tantrums, soothe fiery tempers and reduce frustration in young children.

Tula Tantrum Tamer™

Helps reduce tantrums, soothe fiery tempers and reduce frustration in young children.

Product Details

 

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Dietary recommendations in autism and autism spectrum disorders

Although it has been found that most children with behavioral problems are not particularly affected by diet, some parents may notice that a particular drink or food does make their child’s behavior worse. A normal diet contains several things that can affect brain’s chemistry. For example, caffeine, found in tea, coffee and certain cold drinks, has an effect upon the behavior of many children, and tends to worsen irritability and restlessness.

If you suspect that a particular food upsets your child (according to the National Autistic Society, apples, oranges and tomatoes are frequently cited by parents as causing marked behavior problems), keep a diary of your child’s diet. Make a note of whether he or she has had any of the suspect food, then remove it from the diet, checking ingredient lists to see whether it is included in any processed foods. If after a month the diet has had no effect, the food can be given again. Be aware, however, that  restricting the intake of certain foods can also exacerbate the condition.

Some studies show that children who have autism benefit from antioxidants like vitamin C. Vitamin C may play a positive role because of its known effects on a hormone pathway typically disturbed in children with autism. Vitamin C is richly found in citrus fruits (watch out for orange and tomato, possible allergens), blackcurrant, vegetables (broccoli, potatoes), red capsicums and chillies, strawberry, kiwifruit and rockmelon.

Research shows that vitamin B6 can be helpful for autistic children. Supplemental amounts are widely considered to have potential toxicity that can damage the nervous system; hence, a doctor should only administer these amounts. Good dietary sources include chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, shrimp, beef liver, lentils, soybeans, nuts, avocados, bananas, carrots, brown rice, bran, pulses, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and whole-grain flour.

Some researchers have added magnesium to vitamin B6, reporting that taking both nutrients may have better effects than taking B6 alone. Foods rich in magnesium include shellfish, fish, whole grains, leafy greens, soya beans, bananas, beans, apricots

 

Helpful dietary habits in autism - The most important dietary consideration for children with autism is that they should have a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables

Dos and don'ts and precautions in autism and autism spectrum disorders

There is no cure for autism. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that target the core symptoms of autism:  impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and obsessive or repetitive routines and interests. Most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

Educational/behavioral interventions

Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills. Family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with autism often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with an autistic child.
 
Touch Therapy and Massage

Research shows that some children with autism exhibit a reduction in symptoms after several weeks of touch therapy. Parents report, after weeks of massage intervention, a feeling of physically and emotionally closeness to their children, and children express a range of cues to initiate massage at home.

Another massage called Qigong massage (a type of massage that focuses on energy) helps in decrease in autistic behaviors and an increase in language development, as well as improvement in motor skills, sensory function, and general health.

Art, Music, and Pet Therapy

Art therapy, music therapy, animal therapy, and sensory integration therapy provide opportunities for children who have autism to develop social and communication skills. Art and music are particularly useful in sensory integration, providing tactile, visual and auditory stimulation.

  • Art therapy offers a child a nonverbal, symbolic way to express his or her feelings.

  • Music therapy is good for speech development and language comprehension. Music therapy involving singing helps develop the child’s speech and language skills. In fact, research shows that any music intervention effectively reduces symptoms for children and adolescents with autism. Songs can be used to teach language and increase the ability to put words together.

  • Animal therapy may include therapeutic riding programs on horses and swimming with dolphins. Therapeutic riding programs provide both physical and emotional benefits, improving coordination and help improve the child’s motor skills, while creating a sense of well-being and increasing self-confidence. In fact, some studies show that children who interact with dolphins learn faster and retain more information than children who learned in a classroom setting.

Dolphic therapy in autism - Dolphin therapy was first used in the 1970s by psychologist David Nathanson. He believed that interactions with dolphins would increase a child's attention, enhancing cognitive processes.

  • Sensory integration focuses on normalizing extreme reactions to sensory input. It tries to help children reorganize and integrate their sensory information so they can better understand the outside world.

Tips for Concerned Parents

  • Help others to understand your child
    Parents know their children best, and are aware of what sets them off and what comforts them. Inform educators and professionals of these things so that their time spent with your child is more productive. Also, others may see your child’s behavior as odd, unruly, or a result of bad parenting. Keep in mind that you are doing the best you can, and so is your child. "Normal" behavior is always relative. Hence, try to worry less about what other people think.

  • Change your expectations.
    This is possibly one of the biggest challenges to face. Your child probably will not become the surgeon that you hoped he would, and will not always be on par with other children as far as developmental milestones and appropriate behaviors go. Start with smaller, obtainable goals, and focus on helping your child reach his or her unique potential.

  • Monitor sensory in-put.
    Most children with autism either become overwhelmed by too much sensory stimulation, or get frustrated because they crave it. Learn to read your child’s needs and accommodate their environment accordingly. For instance, if your child is screaming and blocking his or her ears, create a quiet environment.

  • Channel unusual behavior into appropriate behaviors.
    If your child has stims (self-stimulating behavior) adapt these behaviors to be more socially acceptable, such as spinning on a tire swing instead of going to a shopping mall, or climbing a jungle gym rather than the household furniture.

  • Enjoy quality time together.
    In very structured treatment plans, you may begin to feel more like the teacher or therapist of an autistic child, instead of a parent. Even when you are involved in play therapy or “floor time”, remember to enjoy your child’s company and have fun. While continuing treatment at home is important, don’t lose sight of the fact that your primary role is loving parent. Encourage and praise their strengths, and do not make them feel ashamed of their weaknesses. Remember, you have to concentrate on what your child can do rather on what he can’t do.

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended for autism and autism spectrum disorders

Tic Tamer™

Homeopathic tics remedy to help relieve repetitive, involuntary body movements and muscle jerking.

Product Details

MindSoothe Jr.™

Promote balanced mood and stability in children.

Product Details

PureCalm™

Aids nervous system in stress resistance for balanced moods and feelings of well being.

Product Details

Focus Formula™

Promotes concentration, memory and ability to focus attention without distraction.

Product Details

Tula Tantrum Tamer™

Helps reduce tantrums, soothe fiery tempers and reduce frustration in young children.

Product Details

 

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