More and more we are hearing about essential oils and the benefits of using them. Some time ago, I remember reading a thread in a private autism parents group. The gist was divided; half were for essential oils, half thought it was just another waste of time. Some parents even had the misconception that people were touting essential oils can “cure” autism.
Let me start by saying, I don’t seek a cure for my son, or for myself for that matter. That being said, autism can make life hard. So just as we have our children in therapies to help them succeed, why not try a natural oil that could help them in other ways? I mulled essential oils over for some time.
I wasn’t sure what to think. Part of me wanted to believe that they worked. I mean after all, what did our forefathers use for ailments and such way back in the day? So I started to do some research.
First and foremost, I started by researching what it was I wanted to use them for. The top of my priority list was my son’s anxiety. He is autistic as well as having Bipolar disorder, so anxiety runs rampant in him. I went through MANY sites, took notes, and compared answers. What I found was great.
Basically, there are two main Essential Oil providers that sell pre-made blends for different things. They are NOT cheap. We live on a SUPER fixed income, so this was not an option for us. I then went back to my notes, and saw that most all of the sites were on the same page, as to which oil helps what. They also stress making sure you get your oils from a reputable person so that you are sure to get 100% pure oils. You also can’t apply these oils on your skin without a carrier oil, as many of them are strong enough to irritate your skin. I placed an order for Essential Oil’s, roller bottles, and went to the grocery store for my carrier oil. Then I became a “mad scientist” as my son says.
As soon as my oils came in, I set to work making an anxiety blend. I mixed it all up and put it in a nice roller bottle so we could apply it to my son’s wrists and the base of his neck. At first I didn’t notice a lot of difference. So I tweaked my recipe and tried again. It helped. It really, honest-to-goodness, helped. Did it take his anxiety away completely? No. But it helped. Enough that when we are going someplace that will be overwhelming to him, he will ask for his “Peaceful Child”. I homeschool my son and I apply it before we start lessons. It helps calm him, it doesn’t just suppress his anxiety. The best thing is I can apply it many times throughout the day.
After that success, I did more research. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and many other chronic illnesses. I also have a very compromised immune system. So I looked up pain relief, cold and flu relief, and also anti-depressant oils for my son. Again, I went to work blending, trying them out, tweaking my recipes.
This family now relies on essential oils first and foremost. Liam has eczema, so I also use Essential Oil’s to make him lotion. This is not to say we don’t take prescription meds, because we certainly do. However, prescriptions are our last resort. As with anything, what works for some, may not work for all. I do know other mothers that use oil blends on their autistic children, and they too, swear by how much they help. After all, isn’t that what we’re after? Helping our children to the best of our abilities?
I started an Etsy store to sell my blends to families of autistics at a more affordable price. You can also head to Google and type in ‘essential oils,’ and do some research. I am here to say that it has definitely been worth my time and effort, and each time we use one of my blends, I feel a sense of pride that we are trying to live a more holistic lifestyle.
If you would like more information, you can find me daily at A Legion for Liam on Facebook.
Courtney Barnum is a stay at home and home schooling mom. Her son Liam, is autistic with Bipolar Disorder, as well as an alphabet soup of other diagnoses. In her spare time, Courtney writes, runs a local autism support group, as well as an autism support/blog page on Facebook.
This article was featured in Issue 34 – Autism Sleep, Bedtime and Hygiene Routines