Autism and Essential Oils - Plant Therapy Blog

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Essential Oils Blog

Autism and Essential Oils

Spread the word – April is National Autism Awareness Month!  

With more than 3.5 million Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this complex developmental disorder has very likely made an impact on your own life or the life of someone you know. Here at Plant Therapy, we want to make you aware of some of the essential oils full of properties believed to support the varying symptoms a person with ASD may experience. However, because each symptom of autism is as unique as the individual diagnosed, consider these suggestions as merely that – suggestions. What works well for one person may not work the same for another! Be patient and understand that ASD is an individualized life-long disorder.

Children and adults with ASD may commonly experience frustration during their day-to-day interactions.

Struggles with verbal and/or nonverbal communication is a prominent symptom of ASD and can severely affect how that person is able to interact with others – even their family members and dearest friends. Maybe you would like to support someone who struggles to regulate their emotions – another common symptom for individuals with ASD. Hyperactivity and aggressive behaviors may stem from a difficulty in understanding another person’s perspective or understand their actions and reactions. To help promote a sense of calm, and to ease feelings of frustration, these essential oils may be just right:

  • Sandalwood – Known to promote mental clarity, while also relaxing and calming the body and mind.
  • Bergamot – Perfect to help experience joy and relieve worry with its fresh and vibrant scent.
  • Blues Buster Bright and uplifting aroma that helps to increase emotional well-being and fight off negative feelings.
People with ASD may also struggle with their ability to focus, organize their thoughts, and stay on task. This especially affects how they perform during school or work. These essential oils are great to calm, focus, and balance the mind!
  • Frankincense – Known to help maintain focus and reduce feelings of stress and negative emotions.
  • Clarity Synergy Designed to enhance focus and memory. It’s perfect for any task that requires sustained mental effort.
  • A+ AttentionPerfect to help calm an overactive body while bringing focus and clarity, this KidSafe synergy is a great place to start for anyone looking to support an individual with ASD.
  • Vetiver – Quiets an overactive mind and relieves feelings exhaustion.
Many individuals with ASD may struggle to get regular deep, restful sleep. Lack of sleep can seriously impact their attention-span, ability to learn, physical health, mood, and basically make the waking hours more overwhelming and exhausting.
  • Lavender – Calming and known to improve sleep quality, as well as feelings of nervousness and stress.
  • Chamomile Roman – Soothing, comforting, and famous for its calming properties, this is an especially great choice if you’re looking for an oil to help get deep, refreshing sleep.
  • Sweet SlumberCalms, soothes, and relaxes the mind and body. Perfect for kids and adults alike – the name says it all!

These oils can be an amazing compliment to treatments already in place for an individual with ASD (such as behavioral management, family training, and/or prescribed medication). However, since there is a very limited amount of research done on this topic, you should always consult with a physician before making any kind of changes to a treatment plan. If you have a child with ASD and would like to incorporate essential oils into their school day, please check with the school first! Your district may have a policy about bringing essential oils to school, so check with the child’s teacher or administration.

Another quick note: Sensory over-stimulation occurs with many who have ASD. Certain aromas or the strength of aroma may be too aggressive for the individual. Approach each oil cautiously with that specific person in mind.

Essential oils are an amazing way to enhance the quality of living! They can support positive reactions, feelings of self-worth, ease restlessness, improve mental acuity, and so much more!

Have you ever tried essential oils to help support yourself or someone you know with ASD? Tell us in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “Autism and Essential Oils”

  1. Great read. I bought nighty night and claming the child to aid my ASD son with his sleep. Tried A+ Attention when we did revision at home. It does help him stay calm and grounded. Now I will definitely be looking into single oils to help him further.

  2. anyone have a recipe they would like to share? J am completely new to this and would like to get my son started as soon as I receive my oils. any recipes would be greatly appreciated!

  3. My friend and I are using these for her son who’s been recently diagnosed with ASD. Thanks for great ideas to make their lives better!

  4. If a husband said “I work at (blank), take care of 4 kids and a wife”, how would that sound?

    All those oils are excellent. Our 9 yr old son is also autistic. Essential oils help a lot. One caution. Some 75% of autistic children have low stomach acid (blood type A mostly) which leads to a leaky gut. Take care taking lavender oil internally. While it’s safe and wonderful it does reduce the stomach acid production. Instead try bitter herbs to increase the stomach acid production. It’s counter-intuitive but it will help with GERD/acid reflux. If there is insufficient stomach acid, the upper stomach acid does not close fully and the stomach contents can back up causing the unpleasant irritation.

    1. Thank you for your comment and bringing some light to this subject. Plant Therapy recommends always consulting with someone who is qualified to administer essential oils orally, and that person should be aware of any potential health concerns.

  5. My son (10yrs old) has ASD. He is on the high functioning side of it. He get easily frustrated and has a hard time with change. Bergamot is his favorite. I put one drop on the collar of his shirt above his shoulder. This is part of are morning routine before school and days we are going to be out and about. Most of the blends are to strong for him. I have purchased alot of single oil and have found that he likes the citrus ones better. He love to open my drawers of to pick out ones he like and makes his own blends. We incorporate theses blend in to personal inhaler, but he forgets to use it. So we also use them in bath soap, bath salts and shower steamers. He is the reason I started my quest to became an aromatherapist. I also work at an elementary school and take care of 4 kids and a husband.

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