Published On: Tue, Jan 17th, 2017

ASD: The unproven treatments

It might be something that has garnered a lot of coverage over the years and it would certainly be fair to say that ASD has become much more understood through the world. Unfortunately, this definition of “understood” doesn’t span to the causes and treatment – whereby science still hasn’t calculated the best approach to deal with the condition.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sure, there are more establishments than ever before that are designed to help people with ASD – you only have to look at some of the work that Christopher Manente is performing to see this. However, from a purely scientific viewpoint, the experts don’t have a clear picture of what works best with ASD.

Instead, something that has become much clearer is what “doesn’t work”. The likes of the NHS, and other health organizations from around the world, have already documented some treatment methods that aren’t recommended for the simple reason that the evidence is lacking. Taking this into account, we’ll now take a look at some of these methods to highlight what at least shouldn’t be turned to in the case of ASD.

A dietary approach

This is something which has been subjected to a huge amount of research yet still, the evidence is lacking. There have been calls for people with ASD to turn to a gluten-free or casein-free diet yet despite this, there is no solid evidence to show that this works. In fact, one study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has immediately disproved this – suggesting that other treatment approaches should be considered instead. Another in 2009 also concluded that the evidence for a gluten-free diet helping to control the condition was lacking and as well as this, scientists are still not sure ‘how’ it would work even if the results suggested otherwise.

Chelation therapy

This is one of the more controversial treatment options for ASD and has actually been responsible for deaths of some people who have attempted to use it.

The main reason that chelation therapy was mooted as a potential treatment is because it removes mercury from the body; a substance which some sources have said (despite no proof existing) cures autism.

Therefore, coupling the dangerous aspect of chelation therapy with the fact that there’s no evidence out there to support the mercury-link, means that this form of treatment has been advised against by a lot of organizations.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

There are fewer studies to both support or disprove the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for autism purposes. However, this time it’s not just various health organizations which don’t recommend the practice – the FDA have waded in as well.

They have issued a statement saying that there is no definite cure for autism and in the case of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, this is a dangerous procedure.

The process involves being based in a pressurized chamber and inhaling concentrated oxygen. We’ll again reiterate that no studies have proven its effectiveness, while the statement from the FDA gives provides yet more insight into it.