Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or more commonly referred to as autism, is identified as a medical condition that impairs both developmental as well as neurological functions. 

According to the latest data by the CDC, the rate of autism in 2020 has increased by no less than 10 percent. Compared to adults, children seem to be more affected by the disorder. 

Reportedly, one out of fifty-four children seems to be affected by autism in the US alone. The figures around other parts of the world aren’t inspiring either. 

Autism affected individuals are known to face challenges across the social, behavioral, and communicative front. What makes it difficult to diagnose the issue at an early age is the constant referring to autism for all related conditions, like cerebral palsy or Asperger Syndrome. 

Despite several medical studies and researches, the exact underlying cause for the condition is still unknown. As a result, treatment options continue to baffle medical professionals and researchers alike. 

However, extensive insights into knowing the condition point at genetic issues and environmental triggers to be a source of ASD. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), once used to treat decompression sickness among deep-sea divers is now being looked at as an effective treatment for autism. HBOT for autism has had some positive outcomes for long-suffering ASD patients. The reports indicate marked improvement which makes the case for HBOT as a mainstream procedure.

This post takes a look at the success stories of ASD patients receiving HBOT and discusses the future of the therapy as a potent form of treatment. 

The procedure, availability, and expenses

For all those who are new to HBOT and have only come to know of it as an aid to treat autism should be aware of the procedure. 

It’s no different than the traditional process where the person receiving the therapy enters a pressurized chamber. Once inside, he is fed with pure oxygen to facilitate the natural recovery mechanism of the body.

Over the years, HBOT has not only helped patients suffering from traumatic conditions but other individuals like athletes looking to regain stamina, and heal field injuries faster. Even celebrities are known to have opted for HBOT to fight chronic medical issues. 

In the case of autism specifically, the therapy aims to battle inflammation, oxidative stress, and cerebral hypoperfusion, which seems to be causing the complications. 

One must remember that HBOT for autism is yet to be recognized officially by the FDA. In other words, it still stands as an off-label treatment, which means your medical insurance won’t offer any coverage. 

Given the restricted availability of HBOT confined to a handful of hospitals and private clinics, the sessions can be quite expensive. 

However, in severe cases, it is recommended that you invest in buying a chamber at home. It will not only help you save on travel costs and per session charges at the hospital but also treat an autistic individual amidst known surroundings. 

Autistic individuals, especially children, are known to depict repulsive behavior in unknown circumstances. Hence, treatment at home is always preferable. 

While buying a new hyperbaric chamber can be a tad expensive, one can opt for second-hand devices available at a much lower price. 

Tracking success with HBOT for autism 

Multiple episodes of successful treatment using HBOT for autism crop up in the shape of testimonies left by parents and caregivers. Although not a complete cure from the condition, the HBOT sessions have positively impacted the lives of many families. 

Let’s begin with the case of a male patient with cerebral palsy, a related condition often linked to autism. Reportedly, his seizures led to the doctors prescribing oral medicines. However, his parents weren’t very comfortable with the idea after they came to know about the possible side effects. Subsequently, they resorted to HBOT (a total of forty sessions) running over a couple of months. 

The treatment brought down the number of seizures from six to one, and even zero on some days. Additionally, his stimuli showed more response towards the surroundings, which was never the case before HBOT. 

In another story, we have a child diagnosed with autism when he was just a couple of years old. With time, his condition worsened, turning him into a complete non-verbal or muted stage. He was prescribed HBOT, alongside a special diet and regular shots of B12. 

After a few months of HBOT sessions, the kid regained his power of speech, right inside the chamber. Witnessing the wonder of the therapy, his parents decided to bring home a hyperbaric chamber to increase the frequency of treatment.

 Long after twenty-four such sessions, the kid gained back his power of speech completely and spoke complete words and phrases without the intervention of HBOT. 

Despite such success stories, there have been varying and mixed experiences with HBOT for autism. Thus, even after several promising clinical trials, the FDA has shown no interest to officially recognize HBOT as an on-label treatment for autism, unlike traumatic brain injury or gas embolism. 


Food for thought 

Even though HBOT for autism continues to be an off-label treatment, there is no denying its potential to offer relief and comfort to the patient and the family fighting alongside. 

Being a non-invasive procedure makes it even more welcoming for all those waiting with bated breath to find a cure for autism. 

In all probability, it is in the best interest of suffering families to come forward and embrace HBOT for autism. 

Sure, the expenses are an issue, but one can always consult the attending medical professional for some discount or consider buying a device at home as a one-time investment. 


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