Supplements that Have Helped A Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder   Leave a comment

I write this post in the hopes it will be helpful to another family and another child.

I have several children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum.

We’ve had the opportunity to utilize the wisdom of a biomedical doctor, and that added to my own research and all the supplements and therapies I’ve tried, has been helpful.  I sometimes wished that there had been a way, however, to get a personalized recipe, in advance, of which supplements and therapies would be the most effective, and just try those!  It would have been great to avoid cost, time and misery on things that didn’t work.  However, life doesn’t give its secrets away in advance, does it?

So, because I have seen an immense change in my nine-year old over the past two plus years of treatment, I would like to mention some things I think are most  helpful.

First, let me give you a profile: My nine-year old is incredibly creative and intelligent, very sensitive, highly irritable, very grouchy and sometimes difficult to get along with. He tends to have a chip on his shoulder and to find it difficult to forgive and natural to hold a grudge.  (OK, I admit it, the negative portions of this description can also by applied to myself; guess he comes by it naturally.)

Disclaimer: what I suggest here won’t permanently solve your problems.  But, it’s still worth sharing, as I can definitely say I can’t imagine the child’s life now without these several supplements.

First, diet is important.  Unfortunately I don’t know which diet will be most  helpful to your child.  We were gluten and casein free for 15 months and did not see definite changes.  When we went back on gluten we didn’t see changes either, so we aren’t still eating that way.  Eating MSG free and avoiding food coloring and corn syrup, on the other hand, has made a  huge difference in decreasing irritability and hyperactivity, so he has a better place to start from.  My other commonsense thought is cook from scratch as much as possible because of all the additives in prepared and processed food.

Then, supplements.

Fish oil: We use two kinds, both are Nordic Naturals brands.  I know, these products are expensive.  However, they are good for so many systems in the body, I think they are worth paying for.  We use the children’s strawberry flavored DHA soft gels, actually a double dose.  Also, we use Nordic Naturals’ Ultimate Omega  lemon flavored liquid.  Within a week or so of starting that, my son became markedly less irritable and more agreeable.  Again, taking down the internal stress or whatever it is he’s living with every day, helps him cope with the other daily challenges of life, whether they be academic, emotional, or social.

Magnesium: We use Source Naturals magnesium citrate.  It comes in capsules and I put it in applesauce with the other capsule contents and mix in.  Again less irritability,  better able to sleep, less stress, etc.

Lithium orotate: This little capsule is a mood stabilizer, and I guess a lot of people are deficient in it, as many are in magnesium, because it has certainly helped in that area.  We buy Complementary Prescriptions brand from

Vitamin E can be helpful too, but not in too high of a dose.

GABA: Another calmer.  We have been happy with Solgar brand.  My son’s occupational therapist noted that he was calmer and more focused after starting this, and she asked us what we had changed.  High five for GABA.

I wish I could give you the laundry list of all the other supplements we have tried.  Believe me, there have been many, probably 3 or 4 times the amount listed here that we are still using.  He is very sensitive to any change and to any new supplement or medication.  For example, we tried Nasonex for his congestion and found after two months that it literally made him depressed.  Quick change there.  Other allergy medications have unfortunate side effects as well.  So, I keep a record of what we are taking, and anything we change.  Also, when we change something, if at all possible, I change nothing else for at least three weeks.  It can be that long or longer before a side effect appears.

If you have a child on the spectrum, ideally, I’d suggest finding a biomedical doctor.  If that is not possible, do your own homework.  Just keep in mind all people are different, so you may get different results with your child.

But here is a place to start if your child is anything like mine.


Posted October 17, 2014 by swanatbagend in mental health, parenting

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