(NaturalHealth365) 70% of children aged 10 – 14 who have an autism spectrum disorder are also diagnosed with another disorder. Surprising, to many, 41% are diagnosed with two or more additional disorders. The most common types of diagnoses are usually anxiety disorders.
Researchers report that children with ASD have a hard time self-reporting their anxious symptoms making it more difficult to be diagnosed; which is why parental and teacher reports become crucial. Sometimes this can be quite difficult as repetitive motions used by some children with autism to soothe can also be classified as an anxiety disorder. If a child is non-verbal, outward manifestations of anxiety may be the only way to know that something is bothering them.
Drugging hyperactive children is not the answer
A study recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that while boys were more hyperactive and received more integration aide support in mainstream schools, girls were more socially anxious. Hormones and Behavior found a link between BPA levels during pregnancy with activity, anxiety and depression in children.
The journal Autism also found that some children with autism that have a co-morbid diagnosis of anxiety, are more likely to suffer from migraine headaches. As parents of children with autism – particularly those we are nonverbal – really have to be detectives so that we can help our children in every possible way.
Natural ways to decrease anxiety in our kids
Being aware of what triggers your child’s anxiety is a good first step. Common triggers include poor diet – loaded with processed foods; a lack of sleep; highly social situations and a change in routine. Anticipating these potential anxious situations can help you to come up with alternative ways to decrease anxiety such as rescheduling appointments after a lousy night of sleep or visiting a new school setting several times before letting him or her go on their own.
Obviously, reducing a child’s sugar intake and increase the consumption of fresh (organic) fruits and vegetables will be most helpful.
The homeopathic complex Anxiovita can be helpful for anxiety and nervous tension. It has helped many clients with panic attacks and other acute states of anxiety or to prevent anxiety before exposure to stress. It is the first remedy I consider when working with any anxious client.
Bach Rescue Remedy is also helpful and can be used in combination with Anxiovita.
According to Dr. Christine Northrup, magnesium helps to reduce anxiety by keeping adrenal stress hormones under control and also helps maintain normal brain function. An interesting side note is that magnesium has also been shown to help reduce migraines which were linked to anxiety in kids with autism. At Healing 4 Soul, we recommend Magnesium glycinate and have been witnessing wonderful results.
Visual schedules have been used with success for a number of children with autism. Starting the day with all their tasks on the calendar and pulling off a task when it is completed, gets the child involved and helps prepare them for what is coming up. There are now apps for the iPad that allow you to upload your own photos and set up schedules several weeks in advance without having to worry about losing a photo.
If you believe that a lack of sleep is contributing to your child’s anxiety, Bach’s Rescue Sleep can be of help as can the Delta Sleep System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.
At Healing 4 Soul, we have helped countless children and adults make progress with anxiety, autism and a wide variety of other issues. Our motto is ‘We are here to educate, not medicate’! Let us know if we can help you.
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About the author: Sima Ash of Healing 4 Soul is a clinical and classical homeopath and certified clinical nutritionist who utilizes a unique approach pioneered by Tinus Smits, M.D. called CEASE therapy. The aim of CEASE treatment is systematic detoxification of the causes of illness, leading to step by step improvement and restoration of health in the individual. For additional information, please visit – Healing4Soul.com. You can follow Sima on Facebook at ‘Cease Therapy California’ and through her weekly blog on NaturalHealth365.com
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