Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for children with autism

An interesting new treatment for children with ASD is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). A 2009 study showed it can have beneficial effects on the symptoms of autism and a 2011 study on Thai autistic children showed that 75% of children showed some improvements.

Jeff Birnberg of Andi Hyperbarics writes here exclusively for Special Needs Jungle explaining how HBOT works:

“What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)? If you’re like most people, you just drew a blank, but if you are a diver who ascended from depth too quickly or someone who was struck down by carbon monoxide poisoning and in both cases lived to talk about it, in 99% of those cases it was HBOT that saved your life.

If you suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury and were treated with HBOT, you were the fortunate recipient of a treatment that helped to restore some or all of the functions you lost. If you are the parent of a child who had been diagnosed with Autism* and included HBOT as part of the treatment protocol, you most likely saw improvement in your child’s health and wellbeing.
At sea level, the body breathes ambient air, absorbing about 21% Oxygen (O2); this is the most oxygen the hemoglobin can absorb under normal circumstances. This oxygen is then distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. But what happens when, as the result of a bodily injury, or degenerative condition, the supply of O2 is decreased or lost completely? The cells begin to shutdown and of course will eventually die. The result is the retardation of or the complete loss of cell function and the consequent reduction of or elimination of body and brain functions associated with those cells.
With HBOT, we create an environment where the air pressure is greater than sea level and the person breaths medically pure oxygen; oxygen, generally at 93% to 100% purity.  As a direct result of the increase in air pressure the oxygen will now be absorbed into the body’s fluids. Those same cells that were in suspended animation or dying from lack of Oxygen will begin to receive O2 via the body’s fluids and responding; will begin the process of healing.

Will HBOT work for everyone? No. For those for whom it does work, are the improvements in health and well being worth the time and investment needed to see results? Absolutely!
There are options for receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy. There are hospitals and private clinics run by GPs; the cost ranging from £100 – £200 per hour. There are charities such as the MS National Therapy Centres**, which will consider treating autism and where the cost is minimal. There is also the option of purchasing a soft portable hyperbaric chamber which can be placed within one’s own home and operated solo or with the assistance of a trained family member. Chambers for home use are more convenient, eliminating the time and difficulties associated with travelling to a remote location. It’s also much less costly over the long term, making it possible for families or even families acting together to share a chamber, to provide a treatment that has helped so many.


Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. 13-02-12 Love Special Needs Weekly Showcase

Please leave a comment - your views are important!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: