Monday, June 11, 2007
Medical Reports: Answer for Autism
Finally, new hope for children and parents dealing with autism. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is changing lives, helping kids feel better and actually speak and communicate.
WSVN -- Every parent of an autistic child faces the same hardship.
Joanna Lombardi: "The hardest part is seeing him struggle with things that come to someone naturally as kids, like socializing and playing."
But each parent also holds the same hope.
Wanda Glemaud: "My goal for Christian, my hope for Christian, is for a full recovery."
Wanda had a hard time communicating with her 4-year-old son.
Wanda Glemaud: "If we would say, 'Christian, get your bottle and come to mommy,' he would just look at me, like I was speaking an entirely different language."
For Joanna, it was tough watching her son Adan try to play with other children.
Joanna Lombardi: "He was having difficulty socializing. He was more hyperactive, more distractible."
But both moms were encouraged by their doctors to try a relatively new treatment called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. At the South Florida Center for H.O.P.E. (Hyperbaric Oxygen Producing Environment), children go inside this pressurized chamber where they breathe 100 percent oxygen for about an hour, something many of these children are lacking.
Hope Fine Clinical Director: "The studies have shown and the scans have shown that they are lacking oxygen in some areas of their brain. So this is pushing the oxygen in those areas of the brain and basically waking up those areas."
Waking up new behaviors in these children.
Hope Fine Clinical Director: "Children that have never spoken that are 7 and 8 years old will start coming, and they will start to speak. They will have eye contact, which was something that they never had. They will start to become very affectionate. They'll want a hug."
We were there recently when both Christian and Aden went in for treatment and there to see the change. When they came out, Aden, smiling big and interacting with everyone.
Christian: "Mommy cleans my ears."
Christian also affectionate and speaking clearly.
Wanda Glemaud: "More clarity, more happiness, less frustration, more verbal. He just talks up a storm."
Doctors, who are usually baffled by autism, are even surprised by the success of Hyperbaric.
Dr. Jack Olin: "I believe in it because I've seen the results in children who've come back, and the parents have come back."
After months of treatments, both Wanda and Joanna see a huge difference in their boys.
Joanna Lombardi: "We've definitely seen an increase in communication. We've definitely seen an increase in some social skills, sustaining eye contact, and just he seems a little bit more tolerant of his surroundings."
Wanda Glemaud: "Who is this? A lawyer? Good job. Give me five!"
Wanda Glemaud: "He made more eye contact. He understood what I was saying. He looked at me when I was talking as in, 'I understand.'"
More understanding until we understand more about this mysterious disorder.
Richard Lemus: Doctors warn that Hyperbaric is an adjunct treatment to be used along with other therapies, and not all of these Hyperaric chambers are the same. You want to be sure to get one that offers 100 percent oxygen.
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