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alternative therapies that have been used for Asperger's syndrome include:
Melatonin Sleep problems are common in children with Asperger's syndrome, and melatonin supplements may help regulate your child's sleep-wake cycle. The recommended dose is 3 mg, 30 minutes before bedtime. Possible side effects include excessive sleepiness, dizziness and headache.
Other dietary supplements Numerous dietary supplements have been tried in people with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger's syndrome. Those that may have some evidence to support their use include:
Avoidance diets Some parents have turned to gluten-free or casein-free diets to treat autism spectrum disorders. There's no clear evidence that these diets work, and anyone attempting such a diet for their child needs guidance from a registered dietitian to ensure the child's nutritional requirements are met.
Secretin This gastrointestinal hormone has been tried as a potential treatment. Numerous studies have been conducted on secretin, and none found any evidence that it helps.
Other therapies that have been tried, but lack objective evidence to support their use include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, immune therapies, antibiotics, antifungal drugs, chiropractic manipulations, massage and craniosacral massage, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
While there is no specific treatment or 'cure' for Asperger's Syndrome, there are many interventions that can significantly improve the functioning and quality of life of people and children with Asperger's. It is important to properly classify the condition and remember that it is not Asperger's disease, but rather a syndrome.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be viable alternatives to synthetic drugs and may be just as effective, with far fewer risks and side effects.
It is important that you only use natural remedies from a reliable source, as the quality of herbs used as well as methods of preparation may affect the strength and effectiveness of the remedy.
Depending on the symptoms that need treatment, certain herbal and homeopathic ingredients may be recommended as part of a holistic treatment plan, such as:
Natural remedies may often contain a combination of ingredients for best effect. A holistic treatment plan aims to address the underlying cause of the problem and does not just treat the symptoms in isolation. In this way, it provides an all-around approach to greater well-being.
This should be one of the most important components of a treatment program. Children with Asperger's Syndrome can be helped to learn social skills by an experienced psychologist.
Body language and nonverbal communication can be taught in much the same way as one would teach a foreign language. Children with Asperger's can learn to interpret nonverbal expressions of emotion and social interaction. This can assist them with social interaction, peer relationships, and prevent the isolation and depression that often occurs as they enter adolescence. In addition, recognizing that it is not Asperger's disease but rather a condition can go a long way in mentally accepting the characteristics associated with the syndrome.
Teenagers can sometimes benefit from group therapy and can be taught how to use the teenage 'slang' and language forms of their peer groups.
Because children with Asperger's Syndrome may differ widely in terms of IQ and ability levels, schools should learn to individualize educational programs for these children. Some of them may cope well in a mainstream class with additional support, while others may need to receive specialized education.
In all cases, teachers should be aware of the special needs of Asperger's children, who often need a great deal more support than first appears necessary.
Psychotherapeutic approaches that focus on supportive therapy and the teaching of social skills and concrete behavioral techniques are more effective than approaches that concentrate on in-depth emotional therapy, which may be too uncomfortable and stressful for the person with Asperger's.
Children can benefit from play therapy and 'story' therapy aimed at raising awareness of nonverbal communication, development, teaching of empathy, and learning of social skills.
Although there is no conclusive evidence, there are strong suggestions that changes in diet may significantly reduce the symptoms in some children with Asperger's Disorder.
Many parents report that their children become much more manageable when certain classes of food are eliminated from the diet. These include dairy products, sugar, gluten, wheat, and some artificial colorants and preservatives like MSG and tartrazine.
It is worth consulting a trained nutritionist to assist with dietary intervention, as parents should not simply eliminate important foods from their children's diets without expert advice.
Psychopharmacological Interventions or Drug Therapy
Many children and adults with Asperger's Disorder do not need any form of medication, while others need to be treated symptomatically.
While there are no specific 'Asperger's' drugs, psychiatric drugs can be used to treat some of the problems which may manifest or be associated with Asperger's, such as ADD/HD, depression, mood swings, temper tantrums, irritability, aggression, obsessions, compulsive behaviors, and anxiety.
Many of the drugs used to treat the other pervasive developmental disorders like autism are also used to treat some of the associated symptoms of Asperger's. Like many psychiatric drugs, these often come with unwanted side effects and the risk of addiction. Their benefits should always be weighed against the potential harm they could cause, particularly in the case of children. Bear in mind that, when properly used, there are many natural remedies that can be used in a supportive way very effectively in the overall management plan for children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. Natural remedies for Asperger’s Syndrome can help to maintain balanced mood and emotions, support concentration and promote wellbeing without causing side effects or risking addiction. There are also many homeopathic remedies which can be very helpful with everyday anxiety, mood swings, restlessness and common behavioral problems.