Oxygen therapy showing hope for autistic children

March 31, 2009


Many studies have suggested treatment that might help autistic children but the majority of them are anecdotal and not generally provable or applicable. Each child is different, but a new oxygen therapy has been put through a controlled trial and is reporting definite clinical improvements.

Six centres in the US that specialise in treating autistic children have been running a controlled trial on 62 children aged from two to seven. They have been using something they call hyperbaric therapy which involves the child being put into a pressurized chamber and then breathing in pure oxygen.

The children were divided randomly into two groups; one who got 40 hours of treatment in the chamber with an atmospheric pressure of 1.3 atm and the second group who had a much less pressured chamber and a lower dose of oxygen. Changes in their behaviour were monitored using three different criteria; the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC).

Those children who had the treatment level of oxygen and pressure were found to have experienced significant benefits in terms of their overall functioning, eye contact, and social interaction when compared to the children in the non-treatment group.

As this is the first control study to be reported, it is worth investigating whether similar treatment is available in the UK. If your doctor or specialist wishes further information this report appeared in MLA BMC Pediatrics (2009, March 16). As Hyperbaric Treatment For Autism Reports Significant Clinical Improvements.


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