As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Today I wanted to go into depth about the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatment that we are raising funds for the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund. This is what your donation will be funding... hope.

What exactly is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? (HBOT)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a form of therapy that delivers pure oxygen to the body at greater pressure than we experience here at sea level. The pressure inside the chamber is gradually increased until the proper “depth” is reached, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0 Atmospheres Absolute (equivalent to between 17 and 33 feet underwater). At these pressures, oxygen will actually dissolve into all fluids in the body (not just the blood, as we normally do at sea level.) This means that oxygen, which is the basis of every cell’s healthy function, can be dissolved in the lymph, plasma, and most notably, the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the entire central nervous system.

One of the effects of hyperbaric oxygen is that it can reduce swelling, repair the blood/brain barrier, and stabilize the cell membrane. It can also increase the ability of white blood cells to clean up damaged areas, and over the long term, create a new supply of blood vessels. In addition, if hypoxia has occurred (a period of time when the brain did not receive oxygen), hyperbaric oxygen can reach areas of the brain that would otherwise never receive it, and thus prevent more damage and promote healing.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Autism Spectrum Disorder

It's easy to see the promise and potential in children. When your child has an autism disorder, though, it may seem like you're the only one who can see it.

But through our work in using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat autism, we've been more and more able to see it, too. At the Canadian Hyperbaric Institute, we've been able to help parents find their great kid who's been trapped behind the barriers of autism.

Promising research, as well as numerous reports from parents, shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can have a positive effect on autism disorders to improve behavior, cognition and motor movement abilities.

Autism is a complex developmental disability. Theories about its cause include reduced blood flow to areas of the brain, birth trauma, infections, exposure to toxic chemicals, reaction to vaccines (especially the MMR vaccine), and deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Autism treatment requires that these problems be addressed, to reduce or remove all possible irritants or blockages to proper brain function. Physicians at the Canadian Hyperbaric Institute are DAN!-certified and use DAN! protocols and treatments.

Defeat Autism Now! is a set of treatments and approaches identified as effective through the work of physicians, researchers and scientists overseen by the Autism Research Institute since 1995. The ARI provides instruction and certification for practitioners in these protocols and treatments.

As well, though, HBOT can speed the repair and regeneration of injured brain cells.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen and nutrients. Viable brain cells “wake up” with this increase in blood flow, enhancing brain functioning and improving symptoms. Hyperbaric oxygen also reduces inflammation, reduces oxidative stress, increases metabolism of cells and mobilizes stem cells from bone marrow.

Recent studies on HBOT and autism are showing promising results. Reports from health care practitioners and families, as well as the research here at the Canadian Hyperbaric Institute, are very encouraging:

  • In a June 2006 study at the University of Virginia, 18 autistic children underwent 40 one-hour sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. These researchers noted significant improvements in energy, communication, motivation, mannerism, speech, sensory and cognitive awareness and overall health.
  • In the October 2006 issue of Family Practice News, a landmark study was presented on hyperbaric oxygen therapy and chronic brain injury. Daily living, socialization, communication and motor skills significantly improved for 21 brain-injured children (average age 4.5 years) who received hyperbaric oxygen therapy compared with 21 brain-injured children who received standard therapy alone.
  • In a November 2000 study at Cornell University, 26 children with cerebral palsy underwent 40 one-hour sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The results showed hyperbaric oxygen provided substantial improvements in motor skills, attention, language and play.

In our clinic we commonly see children with autism becoming more present and aware of their surroundings. One child with autism’s mother explained how her son would look at flowers and his environment like he was seeing them for the first time. Being more aware and focused, they can be more present in their world.

We typically see improvements in eye contact, language, socialization, appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms, motor movements, and a significant reduction in tantrums. We have also been able to slowly wean children off drugs such as Ritalin or Prozac.

It is important how hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered. A certified site ensures safe equipment and qualified attending doctors and technicians. Hyperbaric oxygen is a medical therapy and does come with risks. These risks are minimal when administered under safe and supervised conditions.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve symptoms remarkably and allow children with autism spectrum disorders to function more normally in their everyday lives.

Please make a donation to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund. Thank you.

Thanks for reading,

Information from Canadian Hyperbaric Institute

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