Alternative Approaches to Treating Asperger's
Many families in the autism community shun the use of psychotic drugs to treat symptoms of the condition, citing worries about the side effects these drugs may cause, and the ramifications associated with long term use. These families often turn to alternative therapies, such as those mentioned below.
The late researcher Dr. Bernard Rimland, of the Autism Research Institute, believed that autism is a biological disorder and not a brain disorder. Based on anecdotal evidence from parents, he began to investigate the use of Vitamin B6 in treating autism. Dr. Rimland recommended a high dose of Vitamin B6 as many of the autistic individuals he studied were found to have Vitamin B6 deficiencies. His research demonstrated that the Vitamin B6 supplement conferred many benefits for autistic individuals.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Although controversial in some circles, this therapy advocates breathing pure oxygen while placed in a pressurized chamber. A study published in BioMed Central Pediatrics, conducted by Rossignol and others, found that children given H.B.O. during the trial showed improvement in eye contact, and reduced stereotyped behavior, verbal skills, and receptive language skills. Other researchers doubted if Rossignol's findings were valid due to the small number of subjects tested and other issues raised by the study.
Chiropractic Adjustment/ Deep Tissue Massage
There has been anecdotal evidence from parents which attest to the usefulness of chiropractic adjustments for autistic individuals. Parents and chiropractors claim some autistic children suffer from "chiropractic sublauxation which could lead to neurological interference." In 2006 a British study conducted by the Newbury Chiropractic Centre, examined the effectiveness of clinical chiropractic treatments for autism. Researchers Jennings and Barker stated that although many chiropractors who worked with autistic children claimed improvement by their patients with eye contact, speech, and other autistic symptoms, there was little literature to substantiate these statements.
In recent years, gluten-free and casein-free food diets have been advocated as effective treatments for autism by both nutrition specialists and parents alike. The diet is based on the premise that autism is caused by gastrointestinal issues or acerbated by them. By removing foods prepared or derived from wheat or dairy products, proponents believe an autistic individual will experience the total elimination or lessening of behavioral and physical symptoms associated with ASD.
The Final Analysis
Data is still being gathered on the effectiveness of certain therapies and treatment for Asperger's or autism. For this reason, parents should consult a professional before starting any program.