Alternative Therapies for Children with Autism

Alternative Therapies Children with Autism Far Infrared TherapyEvery autistic child is unique and deserves a tailored treatment program. When used with traditional therapies such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA), alternative therapies can help correct many behaviors in children with autism. Recent studies have shed light on the benefits of three approaches: nutritional therapy, music therapy, and infrared therapy.

Nutritional Therapy

It’s no secret that what we eat plays a direct role in how we function. For children with autism, a change in diet can make a world of difference.

Roughly half of all children with autism suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. Trouble sleeping can worsen autistic behaviors and lead to other developmental and health issues. In various studies, melatonin supplements have helped relieve insomnia and improve sleep quality in children with autism.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like nuts and fish help with brain development and function. Several small studies suggest that omega-3 supplements can lessen autistic behaviors such as hyperactivity and repetition while also improving social skills.

According to many parents, children with autism who eat a gluten and casein-free diet show improvements in behavior.

Consult with your child’s doctor or dietician for more information on special diets and supplements that may help treat autism.

Music Therapy

Music provides universal enjoyment. Music therapists design tailored treatment programs to stimulate positive brain responses in children with autism and reduce negative symptoms. Learning to play music activates multiple areas of the brain responsible for speech, sensory perception, and fine motor skills. Music therapy has also been shown to improve focus and mitigate aggressive behavior in children with autism.

From a child’s perspective, music is fun, soothing, and non-threatening. It recruits both hemispheres of the brain to help stabilize thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Music therapy fosters a strong bond between child and therapist, which, in turn, encourages a child to interact positively with family, friends, and peers. The American Music Therapy Association can help you find a professional music therapist who can adapt to your child’s needs.

Infrared Therapy

In today’s world, toxins are all around us. Fetuses are exposed to alarmingly high concentrations of toxins proportional to body weight, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism have steadily risen since the 1980s. Recently, far infrared saunas have gained popularity in treating autism in children.

Chemicals such as lead and cadmium can have heightened negative effects on children with autism. These include cognitive impedance, trouble sleeping, and inability to focus. After using an infrared sauna, many parents report a noticeable reduction in these symptoms.

An infrared sauna works by clearing away toxins and allowing the body to better regulate itself. After a half hour of exposure, body temperature can increase by 2 to 3 degrees, which research suggests promotes positive behavior in children with autism. The infrared waves also improve circulation, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the brain. The result: a happier, healthier child with fewer autistic symptoms.

Here at Sunlighten we care deeply about the effects of autism on children, and are big supporters of both the National Autism Association and alternatives therapies for children with autism. The detoxification benefits of Sunlighten saunas can help improve some of the symptoms of autism; Sunlighten also provides Acoustic Resonance Therapy (A.R.T.), which combines the healing effects of sound and vibration with the sauna experience to balance brainwaves and create a deep sense of relaxation. And for those who want to participate in traditional music therapy, our saunas are also equipped with either a CD player with MP3 input or a DVD player with a 7-inch LCD screen.

For more on how Sunlighten’s far infrared therapy and Acoustic Resonance Therapy can help with autism, we encourage to check out this family’s testimonial. To help support the National Autism Association, we will also donate a portion of our proceeds in the month of April to help fund the NAA’s efforts.

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