Autism Spectrum Disorder: An inside look to CATs

Reautismcently there has been discussion about alternative treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The acronym CAT is used to describe these complimentary and alternative treatments. CAT is a great approach to treatment for individuals that are concerned with potential negative effects of taking medication. Some examples of CATs include melatonin, RDA/RDi multivitamin/mineral, massage therapy, acupuncture, exercise, music therapy, and animal-assisted therapy. CAT treatments have previously been used for kids who are nonverbal that have difficulty communicating. This communication barrier makes it difficult for these individuals to express themselves and share whether a certain medication that is being tried is actually working. CATs make it easier to track the progress of these kids, which can be crucial when choosing the best course of action for treatment.

If interested in trying the CAT approach, it is recommended that the process be taken on in steps.  Trying other treatments like medication and applied behavioral analysis before CATs is highly encouraged. There are also recommended prerequisites to the treatment like a diagnostic evaluation with medical, psychological, and developmental history.

A popular CAT is the use of melatonin and omega-3 fatty acids. These help the body regulate itself and have been shown to help individuals sleep better. Vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes can also be helpful to kids on the Autism spectrum. Often, ASD children are deficient in these nutrients, which may be the root of some of their symptoms.

In addition, more information about ASD is being found with a surge in Neurofeedback research. It is known that EEG abnormalities are associated with ASD, so researchers are working to finding more details about the connection.

What is really striking about the newest ASD findings is that some children seem to outgrow autism. These kids are diagnosed with the disorder in early childhood and then are shown to function normally as they grow older. The reason for this recovery is currently unknown. Some people believe the change is due to excellent early on treatment or the fact that the brain is constantly changing. As of now, there is no clear answer to who will and won’t grow out of it.

For more information about ASD research findings, check out this article.