Having worked with high-tech medical equipment for decades, Samuel David Lehrer has developed a deep understanding of current technological limits and new breakthrough approaches to care. Here, he explains how hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which uses high concentrations of oxygen and pressure, can help relieve and improve symptoms of autism.
Samuel David Lehrer tells us that while hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been around for more than a century, only recently has it been used in novel therapies to treat conditions such as autism. The connection between improved cognition and behavior in patients with autism and the unique therapy is still being explored, but already it has made a large impact especially on parents of children with the disability.
In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients are asked to join a group in a specialized room or else lie down in a tube that changes the pressure and amount of oxygen exerted on the body. Oxygen levels usually reach near-100% and the pressure is increased two or three times its normal amount. This has proven on many occasions to enhance the healing process and cut down on the time it takes for wounds to heal.
In the group approach to the therapy, up to a dozen people are situated in a single room that is specially fitted with equipment or designed to allow the pressure and oxygen level to be adjusted. The patients receive the same therapy all at once in this scenario. In the individual approach, patients are asked to lie on a table that is then encased in a clear tube that changes the pressure around their bodies and pumps high concentrations of oxygen across it.
“The therapy has been especially popular among parents of children with disabilities like autism in recent years,” says Samuel David Lehrer. “After having their child receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy, many parents report that their child has improved in various areas, such as socializing and making new friends, showing better performance in school, and playing with their siblings more among many other positive results.”
Recovery isn’t the same for every client, Samuel David Lehrer reminds us. However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has significantly improved the lives of many people with autism in health, individual skills, and personal growth. Recently, it’s had enough of a reaction in these patients to be adopted in recovery centers and therapy units across the nation. And, as mentioned above, it’s growing in popularity with parents of children with disabilities such as autism.
“The reason hyperbaric oxygen therapy achieves results in autistic patients is because it affects the common symptom of inflammation in the brain,” says Samuel David Lehrer. “The pressure and the high amounts of oxygen help to lessen the strain in inflamed areas and ease tension, allowing more average cognitive abilities to come through.”