We're always on the lookout for ways to better help our kids with autism thrive. You would already know that early intervention is key to helping kids with Autism, yet in this you will find key strategies that you probably haven't looked at yet.
This article goes beyond the standard at home techniques for children with ASD. It looks at ways at improving health and some of the less common, yet very useful new strategies that parents have successfully used to help their kids.
There's not just one way to do autism therapy at home, so below you'll find some ideas that you can consider for your own family.
Therapy sessions by a professional are important, however it's important to get some advice from therapists as to what can be done in the home. There are a variety of therapies we can practice at home to support our children with autism spectrum disorder. From well-established approaches to innovative diet and lifestyle changes, we'll cover a range of strategies that can make a difference.
We'll also touch on exercises and less conventional therapies to broaden our toolkit for in-home support.
When it comes to at-home therapies for autism, we must acknowledge the fundamental methods that are the backbone of many treatment plans. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a widely used approach that focuses on improving specific behaviours through reinforcement strategies. But there's more we can do. We can embrace occupational therapy, speech therapy, play therapy, and floor time to help our loved ones develop essential life skills right in the comfort of our own home.
With various exercises easily adapted to a home setting, we can enhance their communication abilities and empower them even further.
Let's explore how diet and lifestyle changes can transform autism therapy at home. A healthy, tailored diet is the key to empowering our children to live vibrant lives. Discover which foods support their needs and avoid those that don't. We'll also master stress management and gracefully navigate challenging behaviours, building resilience for ourselves and our kids.
Natural remedies like glutaryl and ION supplements detoxify and nurture gut health, enhancing overall well-being. These strategies empower our children to thrive on their unique journey with autism.
Let's go beyond diet and lifestyle and explore exercise and unconventional in-home therapies for children with autism. By incorporating physical activity into their routines, we can boost their motor skills, strength, and overall well-being while reducing self-stimulatory behaviours.
We'll also dive into primitive reflex integration to help children gain better control over their movements. Sensory integration therapy will improve how they process sensory information, while auditory processing therapy tackles sound-related challenges.
Creating sensory-safe environments at home provides our children with a sense of security and support. These strategies enrich our at-home autism therapy repertoire, catering to the diverse needs of our kids.
Discover the power of home-based therapies for children with autism. Engage your child through interactive methods like Play Therapy and Speech Therapy, fostering communication and social skills. Unlock their potential with structured approaches to learning and relationship development through Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Floor time. Empower your child's journey towards growth and connection at home.
Play therapy has become the cornerstone of our approach to supporting children with autism. Through play, we connect with our kids in a comforting and educational way. Here's how we do it:
By intertwining learning with fun, we meet our children where they are while guiding them towards new milestones. This method strengthens our bond with them and gently nudges their growth and development. It's incredibly rewarding!
Our home-based speech therapy strategies for children with autism build on the power of play to enhance their communication skills. We create a nurturing environment where each child's unique voice can truly shine. By incorporating consistent routines and engaging activities, we empower them to express their needs and feelings.
You may utilise tools like picture cards and sign language to foster understanding and bridge gaps in verbal communication. Patience is key, as we celebrate every small attempt at speech, recognising that progress is individual and takes time.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), a well-established therapy, has an in-home program designed to help our children with autism develop new skills and behaviours.
Key Components for Home ABA:
With the right professional support, ABA at home creates a nurturing environment for our kids to thrive. We understand their needs and guide them with patience and care. Dedication is required, but witnessing their progress reminds us of the powerful impact we have on our children's development and happiness.
Incorporating floor time into your home therapy routine is a captivating way to connect with your child's unique interests and rhythms. This therapeutic practice, rooted in respect and understanding, allows parents to engage with their child on their level. By participating in their activities and following their lead, you create an enriching environment that fosters natural development and learning. Floor time urges us to be attentive and responsive, ensuring our interactions are meaningful and empowering for our child. It's about meeting them where they are and building upon their strengths. This at-home strategy strengthens our bond while supporting growth in communication, social skills, and emotional intelligence.
Managing autism at home involves more than just therapy. It's important to foster health and happiness through diet and lifestyle as well.
Introducing nutrient-dense healthy foods that nurture gut health and reduce inflammation are very important for children with autism. Sometimes the foods you remove from their diet is more important than the foods you add. For example, for our son, we knew we were on the right track after simply removing gluten and dairy from his diet. He became more calm and improved communication after only removing those inflammatory foods.
Unfortunately, even in 2023 after we know so much more about health and childhood development, most strategies for helping children with autism don't involve any changes designed to improve health. To make matters worse, many professionals and parents actively slander anyone who suggests improving health can improve the lives of children with autism.
I make no apologies for being one of the early proponents of improving health. I offer ideas on how you may improve your kid's health, but please choose your own path. Consider doing things to improve your children's health, but do it the way of your choosing. I simply offer some things to consider.
When we choose foods for our kids, we often focus on stuffing them with calories instead of nourishing our bodies with nutrient-packed foods. But it's time to change our mindset and prioritise nutrients over calories. To truly support our health, we need to give our cells the essential nutrients they need to perform optimally.
We often think about meeting their energy needs with calories, thinking that our kids haven't eaten enough. So we think we need to feed them something to get their calories up.
Even if they are carrying some fat, and calories are obviously not an issue, we still feed them mac and cheese to keep up their calories. Meanwhile, their cells are starving of nutrients, and sending signals to the brain to eat more food.
When choosing meat, go for the grass-fed and finished options. They pack in higher quality fats and fatty acids that do wonders for our bodies and brains. Contrary to what you might think, stable fats from top-notch sources and a higher proportion of saturated or monounsaturated fats are actually better for us.
Some examples of these stable fats include animal fats from grass-fed critters, coconut oil (including MCT oil), avocado oil, and olive oil. But remember, don't fry your food in these oils, as high temps can mess with the fats.
On top of that, adding stable and high-quality omega-3 oils to our diet can have some awesome benefits, like helping kids with Autism. You can find these oils in fatty fish or through supplements. If you want more details on which foods to add and ditch in your diet,
I recommend downloading the Bulletproof Diet Road map. It's a super helpful resource that can steer you toward making healthier choices and boosting your overall well-being.
Gut health is increasingly recognised as a fundamental aspect of overall wellness, and this is particularly important for children with autism. The gastrointestinal (GI) system is not only responsible for digestion but also plays a key role in the immune system and brain function due to the gut-brain axis.
Here are several reasons why maintaining good gut health is essential for children with autism:
1. Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Many children with autism experience GI issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, or abdominal pain. These symptoms can cause discomfort and may exacerbate behavioural challenges associated with autism.
2. Nutrient Absorption: A healthy gut ensures proper absorption of nutrients from food, which is crucial for physical development and cognitive functions. Children with compromised gut health might not be getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need for optimal growth.
3. Immune System Regulation: A significant portion of the body's immune system resides in the gut. An imbalance in gut flora or chronic inflammation can lead to an overactive or underperforming immune response, potentially affecting overall health and increasing susceptibility to illness.
4. Behavioural Impact: Emerging research suggests that there may be a link between gut health and behaviour in individuals with autism. Imbalances in the microbiome have been associated with mood swings, increased anxiety, and other behavioural issues that can impact quality of life.
5. Neurological Influence: The gut-brain axis refers to the two-way communication between the GI tract and the central nervous system. This relationship means that poor gut health could directly affect brain function, potentially influencing symptoms related to autism such as sensory processing or social interaction difficulties.
6. Emotional Well-being: Discomfort from GI problems can lead to stress and irritability, impacting a child's emotional state and ability to engage positively with their environment. That coupled with neurotransmitter production inside a healthy gut can support emotional well-being.
By focusing on improving gut health through diet modifications, probiotic supplementation (if recommended by healthcare professionals), regular exercise, adequate hydration, stress reduction techniques, and possibly medical interventions when necessary—parents can support their child’s digestive well-being alongside their broader therapeutic goals related to managing autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
While there isn't one-size-fits-all advice for every child with ASD due to individual differences in symptom presentation and underlying biological factors, prioritising gastrointestinal wellness remains an integral part of supporting their overall development and quality of life.
Supplements, when carefully selected, can play a pivotal role in our home-based approach to managing autism. Incorporating dietary supplements, especially those that boost glutathione levels, is a promising strategy that we're keen to explore. Here's how we can integrate this into our daily regimen.
In general, supplements should be carefully chosen based on each individual child through investigation by a healthcare professional. This is why I recommend consulting a healthcare professional that is trained and experienced in health promotion rather than symptom suppression.
There are some supplements that are likely to help most people, and many children with autism. Based on the understanding from scientific study, there tends to be higher levels of inflammation, toxins and oxidative stress in children on the autism spectrum. Supplements that address these issues are likely to be helpful in improving the lives of children with autism.
We were aware of this 10 years ago when we were searching far and wide for ways to help our son. Based on that knowledge, and blood testing, we understood the importance of glutathione. As such we tried many ways to boost our son's glutathione level.
We used the standard approach of N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC), vitamin C and selenium to boost glutathione. We also used different types of glutathione supplements, including basic tablets, liposomal and transdermal.
Traditional glutathione supplements aren't effective, since they don't absorb well into the body, that's why we use precursors such as NAC to boost levels. As evidence of the benefits of boosting glutathione, during the pandemic, NAC was sold out worldwide for months. Even though the main benefits of glutathione are to reduce oxidative damage and neutralise and remove toxins, glutathione also enhances the immune system significantly. Hence, there was a shortage during the pandemic.
For our son, all of these precursors and traditional glutathione supplements had little to no effect, until we recently found a new form of glutathione supplement that is readily absorbed - Glutaryl.
Although food is the most important thing to focus on for our kids, if there was one supplement that I recommend it would be Glutaryl. It is the only glutathione supplement that I notice a difference when taking, and have noticed a difference with our son. It uses nanotechnology to ensure the glutathione is absorbed and used by the body. It's not cheap, but when calculating the ratio of benefit to cost, it comes out on top of everything else because it actually works.
To read more about improving health for our kids with autism, please read the post - 4 Ways to Health Autism Naturally at Home.
We're turning our attention to the benefits of exercise and physical therapies in managing autism at home.
Addressing primitive reflexes and incorporating sensory integration therapies can be powerful tools for improving motor skills and sensory processing.
These approaches not only support physical development but also enhance overall well-being for children on the autism spectrum.
Integrating primitive reflexes through exercise and physical therapies at home, we can address the developmental delays our children with autism may face. By incorporating targeted activities into our daily routines, we're not just helping our kids; we're empowering them to overcome obstacles that can hinder their growth.
Here's how we can make a positive impact:
Applying these strategies at home allows us to provide a supportive environment where our children can thrive. Let's take these steps together, fostering their independence and enhancing their quality of life.
I recommend finding an occupational therapist close to you that incorporates primitive reflexes into their program. They can then give you exercises to do at home with your children.
Sensory integration refers to the brain's ability to take in information from our environment through senses like touch (tactile), balance (vestibular), and body awareness (proprioceptive), process that information correctly, and respond appropriately. These three basic senses begin forming connections even before birth and continue evolving throughout life as individuals interact more with their surroundings.
Dr. A Jean Ayres was instrumental in developing a general theory of sensory integration along with treatment methods based on extensive research into neurosciences and physical development. Her work laid the foundation for evidence-based treatments that support people experiencing atypical sensory responses—therapies that can significantly enhance comfort levels and overall quality of life.
Sensory integration therapy typically involves occupational therapists conducting tailored exercises designed to help retrain the brain's response to sensory input. This could include activities like swinging gently to stimulate the vestibular sense or engaging in tactile play such as handling different textures to improve touch perception.
The goal is not just about helping individuals cope but enabling them to integrate their senses effectively, so they can participate fully in everyday activities without feeling overwhelmed by their environment. For many families dealing with ASD-related challenges, this form of therapy has been transformative—allowing children especially—to navigate their worlds more comfortably and confidently.
For noise sensitivity, there are also specialised therapies such as Tomatis and the Safe and Sound Protocol designed to improve children's ability to process sounds. Many Autistic children have severe sensitivities to certain noises, and these therapies can often be the most important therapies to help them feel more comfortable.
General exercise is also important. Exercise has many benefits, including improving health and how well your cells utilise oxygen.
Encourage exercise while having fun at the same time. This is an individual thing based on interests, however whatever you choose, try to fit in some intense bursts of activity from time to time.
I'll keep this section short, however I have written more in my e-book. I'm a bit of a mad scientist geek when it comes to athletic performance, and my ideas can be new to a lot of people, and need a lot of context, so they are best left off this page. You can download my e-book for free here.
As we embark on this journey together, embracing our children's unique paths, we discover hope and progress within the sacred walls of our homes. By taking a broad approach, each activity helps the next to see improved overall benefits.
Let's continue to explore, innovate, and support one another to ensure that our homes remain havens of growth, love, and understanding for our incredible kids with autism. Together, we will unlock new doors to their brightest futures.
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Do you want to make a real difference in your child's life? The report is packed with ideas that can enhance early intervention. Inside you'll find simple ideas to improve health and wellbeing of your child. Written by a parent of a child with autism, full of the best ideas enable ytoiur child to life their true nature and purpose.
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