More Parents Trying Alternative Medicine For Kids With Special Needs

An increasing number of families are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for children with autism and other developmental delays, finds a new study from the University of California-Davis MIND Institute. Alternative approaches included food-oriented ones such as a gluten-free diet; homeopathic remedies; and meditation and other mind-body medicine. Families typically used these treatments in addition to conventional approaches found the researchers, reporting on 600 children age 2 to 5.

Max has cerebral palsy, and my husband and I have tried all sorts of alternative treatments over the years. We have given Max an Omega-3 supplement, Coromega, said to help with brain development. We’ve tried craniosacral therapy to help loosen Max’s muscles, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to spark brain activity. Max even got a stem cell infusion at Duke University. This was all done with the approval of Max’s team of doctors and specialists—and that’s key. In the above study, close to 9 percent of families were using alternative treatment considered potentially unsafe or unproven, including chelation therapy and vitamin B-12 injections.

“Our study suggests that pediatricians and other providers need to ask about CAM use in the context of providing care for children with autism and other developmental disorders,” said study lead author Roger Scott Atkins, “and take a more active role in helping families make decisions about treatment options based on available information related to potential benefits and risks.”

Our motto has always been, if it couldn’t hurt Max and it might help, we’ll do it. My son needs all the help he can get to help him reach his potential; as his parents, we owe it to him to try.

From my other blog:

The people who help you see the progress your child is making

Stem cell therapy: Has it helped Max?

On not explaining your child’s special needs to strangers

 

Image of bottles on shelf in old pharmacy via Shutterstock

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  1. by The Latest Autism Research | The Parents Perspective

    On April 14, 2014 at 10:44 am

    [...] any alternative medicine is beneficial for autism. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and a recent study found that close to 9 percent of parents are giving their child treatments that are considered [...]