AUTISM and Essential Oils



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patience + kindness



The diagnosis of AUTISM (ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be overwhelming.  Many young families are dealing with this very real challenge on a daily basis.

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Autism is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.  The most obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.  Currently, there is no clear explanation for this continuing increase in the number of cases of ASD, improved diagnosis and environmental exposures are two reasons that are often considered.  No matter the cause, it is devastating diagnosis for any young family.

Touch is a basic need.  Children with ASD are very sensitive to touch and so may be deprived of this very basic expression of affection.  Slowly and with attention to each child’s individual responses, the use of gentle essential oils may be received well.

Many with autism or other learning disabilities may be sensitive to aroma as well. Proceed slowly.

The choice of oil and the application will be based upon the individual child

Light touch seems to be worse than firmer pressure. It tends to be too stimulating.

Communication and trust need to be developed in a non-verbal and non-threatening way by using interactive touch.

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Social workers in schools have observed that children often hang around their office if they diffuse gentle relaxing essential oils.  Many times the kids don’t even know why they are doing it, but some of them will respond that it just makes them feel better.

Each person will be different in how they respond to a particular kind of oil.  Let them be the guide.  START– place one drop of oil on a tissue in the room to test response, start with:

If responded poorly (agitation, head averted, pushed away) try another oil, if responded well (relaxed, came closer, reach out to hold aroma), add a diluted version (2-3 drops/ounce of carrier oil – jojoba, almond or olive oil) to the back of the caretakers hand and spend time with the child

if responded poorly go back to the beginning and try another oil, if responded well, try to be closer, massage a couple drops of diluted oil (2-3 drops/ounce of carrier oil – jojoba, almond or olive oil onto the hand(s) or feet, firm enough not to over stimulate.

This needs to be a very gentle, intuitive process of slowly bringing soothing aroma and touch into the life of these amazing little spirits.

For educational purposes only.  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.