Study on Complementary and Alternative Treatments


Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will try just about anything that might help their child, much like a hiker desperately seeking water in the desert.  I must have tried just about everything I hear that has worked for another child : vitamins, amino acids, neurofeedback, psychotherapy, diet changes, natural cures, allergy elimination etc etc.  Often, these are based on recommendations and personal research, generally not supported by most psychiatrists. Imagine my excitement when a guest blogger, whose husband is a psychiatrist, shared this article with me, about complementary and alternative treatments (CATs) from the March 2013 issue of Psychiatric Times. This is a medical trade publication written for an audience involved in the profession of psychiatry, distributed to about 50,000 psychiatrists monthly.

Not all of the information is new, but it offers “scientific evidence for 19 CATs” from experts leading the review.

Here are excerpts from the article:

“CATs considered “acceptable” for trial were vitamin B6 and magnesium, folic acid, omega-3, L-carnosine, probiotics and GI medication (as needed), iron supplementation (as needed), and chelation (on confirmation of heavy metal toxicity from reliable testing). Acceptable externally administered CATs included acupuncture, exercise, music therapy, and animal-assisted therapy.”

The authors recommended a thorough diagnostic evaluation before administering treatment.

Some other orally ingested CATs included melatonin for its sedating effect, and Omega-3s which “are thought to have a neuroprotective effect and help neurons grow in a healthier way.” The study cited results from a random trial for Omega-3 fatty acids.

The authors also noted that since evidence suggests that ASD kids with autism seem to have low levels of Vitamin D, that “it is worth checking those levels and giving them 2000IU/d” which could possibly “improve the core symptoms of autism, including sociability, eye contact, anger outburts and sleep”.

There were CATs that were not recommended because “they failed to show positive effects across several randomized control trials”

Read the full story on If you get a pop up window, just close it.  Because this is a back issue in March, you will need to do a Search for “complementary and alternative treatments for autism spectrum disorder”. This will pull up the complete article, which is worth reading.

Also Read : Neurofeedback Treatment : Myth or Medicine?

Kate M

Reformed Corporate Workhorse. Reuser / Recycler. Blogger. Reader. Singapore Girl. San Diego Mom. Believer.

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