Connecting with the Disconnected
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. While the causes and symptoms of autism vary greatly, many studies have shown common occurrences of brain and gastrointestinal inflammation triggered by dysfunctional genetic expression and environmental toxicity.
Research and anecdotal evidence is largely in favor of utilizing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for children who fall on any area of the autism spectrum. Parents often report improved sleep, speech, digestion, focus, detoxification, cognition, reflexes, social skills, generalized pain, sensory processing and more.
There are multiple mechanisms of action for hyperbaric therapy with autism. The anti-inflammatory response initiated by an increase of systemic oxygen to the body can positively affect children with inflammatory conditions within their brains and gastrointestinal tracts. If there is neuroinflammation affecting the speech center of the brain, reducing that inflammation could result in increased speech and communication. The same may be said for inflammation affecting other areas of the brain.
The effect of pressure being placed on the tissues and cells during a hyperbaric treatment can produce a “pushing” effect to stored toxins, both natural and environmental, releasing them into the bloodstream. This enables these toxins to be excreted from the body.
Many children on the autism spectrum experience clinical symptoms of anxiety and hyperactivity. On HRV tests, many children show to be in chronic sympathetic nervous response (also known as “fight or flight”). Hyperbaric therapy has been shown to reduce this response and help the body regulate its stress responses. This may lead to better sleep and a reduction in anxiety and hyperactivity.