According to all available scientific evidence, state-of-the-art treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder should include an appropriate medical workup, leading to treatment plans that include medical and  conventional behavioral therapies. Parents strive to learn about a subject, speak with various medical professionals (sometimes even second and third opinions), and work with a trusted medical professional to “do the best for their kid.” We all want this, right?

Pediatricians view the child as a whole – that means that the family, their resources, and their situation are part of any proposed treatment plan.

By resources, I don’t only mean financial. One family might have 4 children with two parents and a housekeeper, while another is a single parent with an only child. And, everything in between. Time, money, treatments and personnel can only be divided so many ways. So, the advice given by an involved professional should include such consideration.

I have several patients who have been offered “free” HBOT (various reasons) and my advice is to take the shot (I also have a bunch of other things that they need to do – but that’s another blog). Mixed results. One patient said that, after 20 conventional treatments, the most specific improvement in their young son was sleep (interestingly, this child cannot take melatonin). Adequate sleep leads to less morning fog leads to improvement in AM therapies – that’s good.

One parent swears that his young son acquired remarkable improvements speech and language after HBOT. For this child, I haven’t formulated an opinion yet. Another parent of a moderately affected daughter says that G-I improvement and calming took place, and so she really seeks continued treatment. This unfortunate, beautiful child happens to be a  “runner” and a “stripper”, so I can understand her treatment choice!

Almost all of my experience with “mild HBOT” has come from patients who have tried it previously, usually not recalling much in the way of positive change. But, of course, if it were making their child better, they probably wouldn’t seek additional advice.

Positive testimonials about HBOT (both kinds) abound on the Internet. Negative information – even QuackWatch remains neutral so far.

Next up: SPECT scans