There are a plethora of issues that come with autism. You have to constantly be on the lookout for sensory needs as well as other autism-specific issues like anxiety, over stimulation, frustration, etc. Think of it as putting out fires all the time. Natural remedies are always my first choice for my family, regardless of autism. There are some pretty common issues that can be treated with essential oils pretty easily.
Raising a child with autism does not come without added expenses. In 2014, the JAMA Pediatric Journal did a study that found the cost of raising one child with autism throughout their lifetime costs $1.4 million dollars and that if that child had an intellectual disability with autism, the cost went up to more than $2.4 million. Autism parents must do what they can to help their children feel well and cope with the over stimulation in their environment without breaking the bank. Medications and supplements can often become cost-prohibitive. One simple way to help a child cope with sensory stimulus is through the use of aromatherapy—or, as the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM) says, the use of essential oils for the purpose of healing. Although true aromatherapy is conducted by a certified professional, UMM discusses the benefits of certain oils in relieving pain, helping with depression and anxiety, and reducing stress levels. The following oils are known for helping with these symptoms, which are also common in children with autism.
3 Things We Treat with Essential Oils
Essential Oils for Calming
Lavender Oil is used for calming and relaxing the nervous system. You can use lavender in so many ways!
- Put a few drops into the bath at night before bed.
- Put some on your child’s pillow at bedtime.
- Put a few drops in a diffuser.
- Mix it with water in a glass bottle to spritz in the room and on the bed as part of your bedtime routine.
Sandalwood Oil is useful for many, many things. Sandalwood can reduce blood pressure, relieve inflammation, help with weight loss, improve memory, and reduce anxiety. This oil comes from a tree, so it has more of a woodsy smell, but you see sandalwood used in many places, including deodorants, soaps, and lotions.
- Put a few drops in diffuser. (I think it smells like camping if that helps.)
- Put a drop in your hand then rub together; cup hands over nose to inhale the scent.
- Make a roller ball blend. Fill roller ball with fractionated coconut oil then add a few drops of Sandalwood. Apply to the brain stem area on back of neck.
- Place one drop in 8 oz. of water to drink. Be careful to get oils safe for internal use.
Essential Oils for Happiness
Rose Oil has many uses, but the largest known use is as an antidepressant. Rose oil boosts feelings of self-worth, self-confidence, and mental strength. The oil comes from the Damascus Rose, which has a stronger rose scent, so it can be quite pleasant.
- Very nice diffused or spritzed like lavender.
- Put a drop on your hand then rub your hands together; cup them and put them over your nose to inhale.
- Make a roller ball blend to apply like perfume.
Bergamot Oil, which has a sweet smell, is used as an antidepressant and as a stimulant. Since bergamot oil has a freshness about it, the oil has been known to create feelings of joy and energy, both of which help combat sadness.
- Use just like Rose Oil.
Essential Oils for Pain and Stress Relief
Orange Oil gets used mostly to combat inflammation and soothe someone after a rough day. You can use orange oil as a sedative, to relieve anxiety, or to help with depression .
- I love diffusing citrus blend as well as orange oil.
- This can be put into a roller ball, but my favorite is to put it in the same bottle as the roller ball but change the cap to a spritz one. Mix with water instead of oil if spritzing (but oil won’t kill you if you spritz it on too). Spritz it into your mouth like breath freshener when you need it.
- A drop under your tongue when anxiety is reaching epic proportions works wonders.
Lemon Verbena Oil is one of my favorite scents of all time. Lemon verbena essential oil can reduce inflammation, help with digestive issues, and with anxiety. I love this oil so much, and so does my autistic child, who often asks to have some of it when I use it.
- Use the same as you would the orange oil.
Thank you to a fellow autism warrior mom who helped me with this article. We warrior moms must stick together. Help a girl out and visit her blog below.
Teresa was born in the 1980s in Oklahoma and grew up in a military family learning to raise stray animals. They left Oklahoma for places unknown where they won Yard of the Month for 12 straight months. Teresa now lives near the Crystal Coast of North Carolina with her strong husband and her two strapping young lads, one of whom happens to have autism. When not writing bestselling novels, Teresa likes to tell corny jokes to middle school children. You can find Teresa at Embracing The Spectrum.