What is Autism? Holistic Alternatives to Reduce the Symptoms of Autism

Madeline: Posted 16/06/2015

Autism is becoming more common among the population, and it is shocking to see how many kids have been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. According to the Autism Speaks organization, this problem affects an estimated 1 in 68 children, and it has a higher prevalence among boys than girls. In fact, boys are nearly 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism than girls. It is growing so quickly, that it has been called the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States.

There are no known “cures” for Autism and doctors are still working to identify the cause of this disease. But, even though there aren’t any known cures, several holistic treatments have been found which are beneficial to reduce the symptoms of Autism and improve the child’s behavior.

Here are some of the holistic treatments that you might consider:

Heavy Metals Testing

One of the first methods to treat Autism with holistic methods is to test the child for heavy metals. Evidence has suggested that heavy metal exposure might cause autism and other similar developmental diseases. When heavy metals accumulate in the body, they can cause developmental damage, and doctors have found that children with Autism often experience extreme sensitivity to heavy metals. So, the reduction of heavy metal exposure might reduce the symptoms of Autism.


Do you know that children with autism, and their mothers, consistently have lower iodine levels? Iodine is found in every single one of our body’s hundred trillion cells. It is the universal health nutrient and brings health on many levels. The American Thyroid Association urges that pregnant mothers take iodine supplements. The main reason for this is to ensure the mental health of their offspring. In 2007, a research was conducted by James Adams at Arizona State University. It included hair analyses on 51 autistic children, 29 mothers of autistic children, and a control group. This study found that iodine deficiency in mothers could be a cause or exacerbating factor for autism. The study also found that children with autism spectrum disorder had up to 45% lower levels of iodine than the control children.

Interactive Metronome

Therapies that utilize an Interactive Metronome can be beneficial for children with Autism, because these activities help the child with sequencing and motor planning challenges. Many times, these children suffer with issues in both motor planning and sequencing, and Interactive Metronome can help the child to overcome these issues.


Some holistic practitioners have found that dietary changes can have a direct impact on the symptoms of Autism. In fact, some parents have claimed that dietary changes were successful in reversing the signs of Autism. One of the commonly suggested approach is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet. The theory is that a number of common health problems, including Autism, can be linked with the imbalance of gut microbes. So, dietary changes that have a positive impact on those gut microbes can positively impact the body’s ability to overcome health concerns, such as Autism.

The Standard American Diet is filled with many types of food that disrupt the natural flora in the gut. When these foods are eliminated from the child’s gut, the dietary changes support the health of the gut lining so that the body can rebalance the intestinal flora. As this diet is followed, nutritional absorption is improved and it is possible that the symptoms of Autism will decrease.

On the GAPS diet, it is necessary to cut out flora-disrupting ingredients, including grains, starch and sugar. At the same time, the consumption of certain foods is increased, including healthy fats and probiotics. The probiotics are necessary to rebuild the flora balance and help the gut to heal, and it is a good idea to consume food sources of probiotics and to use probiotic supplements as well. Another important element of the GAPS diet is to choose organic foods instead of conventionally grown ingredients.

Essential Oils

Certain types of essential oils can be used to help with the management of Autism. These are some of the common essential oils that can help with Autism symptoms:

Lavender: Soothing properties that help the child to relax, especially during times of hyperactivity.

Patchouli: Improves the emotions and calms the body and mind at the same time.

Ylang Ylang: Another soothing essential oil that offers sedative characteristics to reduce hyperactivity.

Lime: Improves overall mood and soothes the central nervous system.

With essential oils, it is important to remember that a little bit goes a long way! So, use only 1 drop at a time, and make sure that it is diluted with a carrier oil before using it on the child. Another option is to use it in a diffuser in the room, and then you don’t need to worry about applying it topically on your child.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Some suggestions have been made that a lack of certain vitamins might play a role in the symptoms of Autism. For example, Autistic children often have low levels of vitamin A, and one of the best ways to overcome these vitamin deficiencies is with fermented cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is a great source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids that support optimal brain function and overall health.

One of the biggest benefits to using fermented cod liver oil for Autism is that the supplement delivers important nutrients that are missing from the modern diet.

Finding the Right Treatments for Your Child

It is important to understand that every child is unique, which means that different treatments work for different children. Just because one natural remedy worked well for your neighbor’s child, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good solution for your child as well. The best thing that you can do is try different remedies to see how effective they are. Once you find something that works for your child, you can continue using that remedy and look for other options that will help to minimize your child’s symptoms.


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