Uses

  • Autism
  • ASD

Autism is a spectrum of brain disorders that appear early in life, usually between the ages of 2 to 6 years. Symptoms vary, but can include poor social interactions, repetitive actions, and interests that are not typical.

There is no cure for autism. Treatment can help reduce some symptoms. Current treatments include school programs, therapies, counseling, and medication. Alternative treatments may help manage symptoms, but there is often a lack of data to support them.

Natural Therapies

The following therapies focus on reducing symptoms.

Likely Effective

  • Melatonin —hormone that regulates sleep. It may improve sleep duration and the ability to fall asleep in children and adolescents with autism. C1, C5, C11, C12

Possibly Effective

The following therapies may help manage some symptoms when used as part of a treatment plan. No single alternative or traditional treatment is helpful for all symptoms.

Possibly Not Effective

  • Combination of Vitamin B6 and magnesium
    • Note: High doses of vitamin B6 may result in nerve damage and diarrhea.
    • Note: Maximum safe dosages of magnesium have not been established for young children. C8, C10
  • Secretin C2, C3, C4, C6, C8, C10, C13, C14
  • Acupuncture A1
  • Auditory integration therapy D1, D5
  • Gluten-free diet B1, B2
  • Casein-free diet B1, B2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions. Some supplements discussed here have certain concerns such as:

  • Vitamin B6 in doses as low as 200 mg may result in nerve damage.
  • Magnesium does not have safe dosages established for young children.

Revision Information