Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Essential Oils for My Son with Autism

Life seems to be traveling at a warped speed of light these days. Some how today I have a few moments of time to myself (which never happens) to write on this here blog that never gets used anymore.

Between cleaning the house, doing laundry, and taking care of the two boys, making meals and teaching Carter everything (he's a sponge) I feel my days are pretty packed. Oh and I have been running 3-4 days a week. Yeah, life is busy. Just like everyone else.

I thought I would write today about another symptom of Aspergers I didn't really think would effect me or my delightfully bright little glasses wearing friend. Anyone who knows us or has read this blog before or has hung out with Carter in the last few months... has noticed Carter's intensified anxiety. My little boy didn't use to be like this. Or at least he wasn't able to communicate it in words until the last 6 months. Anxiety has gripped my son like the giant squid monster clings to the boat as it sinks in the ocean. And this anxiety is taking my son down with him. Unfortunately its not only during day time hours. Its now in his dreams.

My son was always been an amazing sleeper. From the age of 4 months he was sleeping 12 hours straight through the night. And more when he was growing. Over the last few months my little boy when going to bed would fight (tooth and nail) with going to sleep. He required his Mommy to, in his words, "Mommy snuggles??" And it wasn't just to lay him down, tickle his hairs and give him a kiss. It was the leave the Lego flashlight on all night, let me sleep with all my school buses, airplane and a hot wheels car of my choice and mom's arm around me snuggle. If I got up to go he would scream. If I just left he would scream. If I slipped out after he fell asleep he would scream. This was never going to be ok by me. My son needs to learn to be independent (as do all children.) I don't believe in rocking my children to sleep every night. I don't believe in sleeping in my kids room all night long. I just don't.

This pattern went on for weeks, months even. We got to the point that if I was busy, Dad could snuggle him. But then it transitioned to once Dad snuggled Carter, Mom needed to come in. Then the worst of it hit. He started to wake up in the middle of the night. Every.Single.Night. I would have to go in there again in the dead of night and try to coax him to sleep. Sometimes it would only take 15 min. Sometimes it was 3 hours. Did I mention his screams would then wake up the baby? A terrible cycle indeed. I finally got to the point that enough was enough. Right? I firmly believe that parents with children of special needs need a high five or some sort of pat on the back for how hard and mentally, physically, and emotionally draining it is (even with the reward of having a super smart child.) So I turned hippie.

The best way to describe what I do to help ease my child's anxiety is this: Essential Oils. When you are faced with the option of medicating your child, or naturally helping your child... which would you choose? For me? I chose the natural way. ** Disclaimer: this may not be for everyone and I totally understand that. I just know that this has worked for my child and me. So who can complain if it works?

My Mom is the one who has mentioned that there are people testing essential oils on children with Aspergers, ADHD, Autism the works. This isn't a cure. (Although Ed has said many times this should be called a cure for Aspergers. Joking. But kinda along the line.) I have friends who also have been using the oils to help calm and focus their child. When a child can't sit still and is over sensitized or overwhelmed by their environment, it effects everything for them. And sometimes you as their parent. Carter's fear and anxiety were definitely effecting me. So I began putting a special blend on the bottoms of his feet, rubbing it on his spine and over his heart. The first night he went to bed with a light tickling of his hair, a big hug and a kiss and fell asleep within minutes. No fight. He did wake up in the night and I put the oils back on and he fell asleep within 20 min. On his own, without me in the room. The next night he went to bed calmly in the same manner. He slept through the whole night that night. And the night after that, and the night after that. Its been over a week since we have tried these oils at night. And now also in the day. I still have had to get up with Carter a night or two but I put some oil back on his feet and he's asleep within minutes. During the day he doesn't run as wild in circles over and over again. He's even being more social with his baby brother. Its still early in the game, but I say we have a win here folks. It may not be a cure, but darn it. Its making my life quite a bit easier. So I will accept my new title of hippie and run with it. Who knew using oils that have been around and used for thousands of years would be a helpful tip in raising my child who happens to have Aspergers?


Dan and Liz said...

If it it works for you and your family, then keep using them! I know that Kerrah has had success with different one's. I used peppermint oil for Sam when he had RSV and quite honestly, I felt like it helped him sleep so much better for nap and night...he only slept terribly two nights
And not that I have a son that is the exact same as Carter, but you turning "hippie" sounds like it's working. So glad!

Anonymous said...

I think this is wonderful, but I wish you'd posted which oils. I am searching right now and found your blog but I have no idea about oils and I'm still unsure what to use to try this with my Aspie.

Sharon Olvera said...

Hi. My name is Sharon and I only recently learned I am an Aspie. Would like to share I read a few ideas for what to use in essential oils. A blend I am using is called InTune and has about seven oils in it. Two kinds of sandalwood, frankincense, lime, patchouli, and a couple others I can't think of at the moment. A single oil which is supposed to be good with memory issues is Vetiver. My sister uses this one. Hope that helps.