see also ADHD/ADD (how
ADHD and autism differ is detailed below)
Autism is a
developmental disorder that affects the way a child
communicates and interacts. It can be generalized
as ASD (autism spectrum disorder) that includes a range
of different manifestations that varying in degree of
severity. ASD includes Asperger’s syndrome
(high-functioning autism), autism, and PDD-NOS
(pervasive developmental disorders-not otherwise
From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke: “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of
complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social
impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted,
repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD,
is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along
the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger
syndrome, the rare condition called Rett syndrome, and
childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive
developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually
referred to as PDD-NOS). Although ASD varies
significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all
ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group.
Experts estimate that three to six children out of every
1,000 will have ASD. Males are four times more likely
to have ASD than females.”
This article goes on to describe some of the signs of
autism in this way, impaired social interaction, children
may fail to respond to their names, they often avoid eye
contact with other people, they have difficulty interpreting
what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t
understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial
expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues
about appropriate behavior. They lack empathy. Many
engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling,
or in self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging.
They also tend to start speaking later than other children
and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.”
Children with ASD don’t know how to play interactively with
other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about
a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for
the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.
Another characteristic of autistic children is they are very
sensory sensitive. This could be hot or cold, touch,
taste, or smell. This is important with essential oils
since some may not be able to have oils applied directly but
may need them applied to the feet or with diffusion where
they do not have such a strong sensory impact.
A summary of the relationship of
Asperger syndrome, autism, and ADHD
Because symptoms are similar between these disorders
confusion may exist with the inexperienced in diagnosis as well as proper
response. (for those that have children with these
disorders it is not difficult to understand the
difference.) The following summary addresses the
similarities and differences.
Autism is a developmental disorder
that affects the way a child communicates and interacts.
It can be generalized as ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
that includes a range of different manifestations that
varying in degree of severity. ASD includes
Asperger’s syndrome (high-functioning autism), autism,
and PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorders-not
(Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a
neurobehavioral disorder that causes an inability to
focus and listen to direction. In older literature
the term ADD or “ADD with hyperactivity” was used
for this same disorder.
One of the notable differences some have noted is that
those with autism do not learn well from experience (or
coping) but rather by rote or memorization. Most love
structure and will repeat very well learned structure.
On the other hand those with ADHD will learn from
experiences and are able to extrapolate this learning to
It is believed the root causes of the two disorders
are different but since they are both developmental
disorders and both affect children in communication,
social interaction, and behavioral characteristics they
can be confused and even misdiagnosed. The website
www.retrainthebrain.com gives the following lists of the
behaviors occurring in autism and ADHD:
Autism Behavioral Checklist
· Difficulty mixing with other children
· No real fear of danger
· Tantrums: displays extreme distress for no apparent
· Inappropriate giggling or laughing
· May not want cuddling or act cuddly
· Noticeable physical over activity or extreme under
· Little or no eye contact
· Works impulsively; often makes careless mistakes:
work is sloppy*
· Uneven gross/fine motor skills*
ADHD Behavioral Checklist
· Cannot talk or play quietly; disrupts others with
talk or actions
· Difficult awaiting turn in games or activities
· Engages in potentially dangerous activities
· Plays without normal caution or consideration
· Severe temper tantrums
· Interrupts, disrupts, talks and acts inappropriately
· When younger, difficulty accepting soothing or
· Always on the move, overactive, even during sleep
· Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
· Often does not give close attention to details or
makes careless mistakes in school work or other
· Uneven gross/fine motor skills
Some that have had experience with children with these
disorders disagree with some points. For instance
a child with Asperger Syndrome is very structured in
what they do and would not be considered sloppy.
What may appear to us to be a careless mistake is not to
them from their point of view. This same child may
also have very good motor skills. Also the
difficulty in communication skills is much different
between autistic and ADHD children.
A common symptom between autism and ADHD is that
either may suffer from gross and fine motor skills as
well as the impulsive driven behaviors. In some cases,
the autism behaviors reveal a deficit in being able to
Essential oils and autism and ADHD. Like other
health concerns these disorders may be helped at
multiple levels. Since many of the symptoms
(behaviors) are common between the two disorders there
will be benefits from the same oils. As you work
with the oils you will find what works best for
your child as well as the
mode of application. By clicking on the
"Experiences & Testimonials"
tab on this page and the ADHD page you will see the
experiences of others using oils to help.
[search helps: aspergers, autistic, hyper,
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
Balance, Frankincense, Helichrysum, InTune, Lavender,
Marjoram, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Essential oils based
products: Life Long Vitality supplements
Serenity, Ylang Ylang
Note - Since many with ADD/ADHD,
asperser's, or autism are highly sensitive to odors and
sometime touch do not force the application of oils if it is
a negative experience as this will build a experiential
resentment towards their use in the future. Many times it is
successful letting them make their own selection from a few
choices of oils.
Focus - Vetiver (Frankincense, etc) oil
carried with the child during the day can help them if they
find themselves loosing focus or calm. Clay necklaces
with the preferred oil or applying some oil to the area of
the hand between the thumb and first finger allows an easy
quick technique to inhale during a busy school day.
Special Blend - InTune is a special blend (Amyris,
Frankincense, Lime, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood,
Ylang Ylang) prepared to enhance focus and support healthy
Rest - Many times lack of rest and
relaxation is an issue and nightly foot massages with
Lavender or other relaxing oils is very helpful. Also
consider diffusing relaxing blends or oils.
Diet - Be assured nutritional balance is
addressed. Using the Life Long Vitality supplements
(reduced quantities depending on age) and testing for and
eliminating any food allergies is important.
Application - These oils and blend can be inhaled or carried via the
blood stream. For the latter applied topically to the feet
is effective or with a light massage action along the spine.
Dr. David Hill also recommends applying the oils to in
regions that are in close proximity to the sources of blood
flow to the brain. Two he specifically mentions are on the
areas of the right and left jugular just below the chin on
the front and each side of the neck. The other is the suboccipital triangle which not only gives proximity to
arterial flow to the brain but also key neurological tissue.
He describes finding this by placing the fingers on the sub
occipital protuberance (little bump at the top of the spine
on the back of the neck) then
just below this grip the large muscle tissue and roll the
fingers off to the side. This depression just behind and
below the ear is the suboccipital triangle and the location
Dr. Hill suggests is an excellent place to topically applies
these oils and blends.
More on protocols:
The early writers on
the use of essential oils (Valnet, Tisserand, Gassefosse)
were before our modern era where this type of disorder has
become so common. For that reason there is no
information from them on the use of oils. More recent
essential oils users have documented their successes in
using oils to address the symptoms often experienced by
those with autism. Summarized below are some of their
recommendations but also go to the
“Experiences & Testimonials” tabs to read their experiences
· For frustration, impatience, and anger use oils and
blends that calm. Balance, Serenity, Lavender, Ylang Ylang. Applying to the feet, back of the neck, behind
the knees, and diffusion are all suggested.
· For improved
concentration the oil Vetiver. Again on the feet or,
for school children that need help during the school day, a necklace with a pendant that will absorb the oil
can make it available all day.
· Some, with autism, are
particularly sensitive to smell and may resist the use of
oils. Applying to the feet, even after they are
asleep, can circumvent this problem.
· Note: You will also find in “Experiences
& Testimonials” tab
suggestions on sleep, nutrition, and yeast that will be
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Our thanks to:
daughter has been diagnosed with ADD and
mild autism. I have spent thousands
and thousands of dollars on natural and
conventional remedies to help my daughter
function at her best. She has been in
therapy since she was 2. She is now
10. Five weeks ago I had a meeting
with her school and they felt she should
leave her current school for a full time
autistic classroom. Two weeks ago, I
got an email from a DoTerra representative
about a story of a little girl and her
recovery from a medical issue. It made me
think... so I decided to write her and she
led me to this website where I found
recommendations of certain oils to use for
her. I used Frankincense and Balance
for the next two weeks (I already had these
two oils and I am ordering Vetiver and
Serenity for her anxiety as recommended).
Last week I took her to her neurologist and
she noticed a difference in Cassidy since
her visit 3 months ago. She said she is more
engaged in our conversation and more social.
Two days after this her teacher came to me
saying the same thing. She said she
doesn't sit with the teachers anymore on the
playground. She is engaging in play with the
other kids and she is participating in the
classroom also, raising her hand and getting
the answers correct. In these 2 weeks
she went up 3 reading levels. She is
in 3rd grade on a 1st grade level.
At Girl Scouts she usually just goes with
what is happening or she drifts off on her
own after a while. In her last Girl
Scout meeting she was participating and at
one point she was actually instructing the
class because she had finished first and was
confident enough to help others! This has
Today we went to a birthday party and she
had no anxiety about it. We have missed so
many birthday invites because she was too
anxious to go. I could probably give
you at least 10 more examples of her
progress in 2 short weeks. This is
incredible for our little girl.
We just got the Vetiver and Serenity in
today so I am anxious to add these to her
regiment also. She was so excited when
they came in and said she would use them
also and keep getting better. I think
she notices a change also.
I am so thankful the Jenn shared a story
with her contacts about this other little
girl because it helped me see that there
might be something here for my little girl
also. If I saw this in 2 weeks, I just
can't imagine what is in for her future!
She has not taken anything internal.
I have put the Frankincense on her feet and
the Balance I put on one of her hands on the
fingertips the then on the opposite side at
her temple (ex: right fingertips, left
A few weeks later - Well a
part to add to the story is that the school
came to me again and changed their minds-
they now want to keep her in a regular
classroom at the same school and NOT put her
in an autistic classroom
Our thanks to:
I have 3 adopted boys. Being drug babies
they came with a host of emotional and
psychological issues. Oils really has
changed the atmosphere in our home from
frazzled, frantic, fanatical to controlled
chaos. Our youngest age 8 has sensory
processing disorder, our middle age 10 has
oppositional defiance disorder, and our
oldest age 12 has ADD tendencies although
never diagnosed. I came across the Peaceful
Child blend and wanted to share it because
it has done wonders for our boys and my
niece who is autistic.
Peaceful Child blend
drops Ylang Ylang
drops Clary Sage
drops Fractionated coconut oil
I cut the recipe in 1/3 and mix in a roll on
bottle that they apply to bottoms of feet on
the brain/ spinal reflex points of the feet,
They apply themselves right after showering
in the morning. They also use Serenity and
Citrus Bliss on neck and behind the ears. I
also let them figure what smells good to
Now for the results:
Our 8 yr old increased his math minutes from
10 problems in 1 minute to 30 with in the
first week of using oils. He has shown
steady growth through the whole year.
Our 10 yr old His reading went from an
inconsistent 65 wpm to 140 words per minute
reading indicator test.
Our 12 yr old is much more emotionally level,
not highs and low swings.
RESULTS a more peaceful home. THANK YOU
Peaceful Child blend, and other oils that
have restored controlled chaos to our home..
Maria - Has anyone ever had any
positive results with essential oils and Autism? I have
a friend who's son is autistic (she believes it occurred
after a round of vaccine shots). I'm not really sure
what to recommend besides Balance or Serenity. I heard
someone mention once that Cilantro Oil can break the
blood/brain barrier and attach to metals in the brain to
remove them (Cilantro is in Purify blend). Any thoughts
Lil – Also consider Vetiver. Put
it on the back of the knee, on the soft skin below the
thumb, and diffuse it as well. This is a very thick oil,
so just suck it up from the bottle with a medicine
dropper to apply. To diffuse in the doTerra
diffuser just add one drop to the water in the liquid
Anonymous - I
understand Asperger syndrome is a mild form of autism.
Can oils help?
Kathy - I have heard that much of the lack of focus and
hyperactivity with Asperger's Disorder comes from 3 main
1) Sleep deprivation
2) Nutritional deficiencies
3) Yeast (see "Feast Without Yeast" by Bruce
If you break it down like this, it makes tackling
For sleep deprivation, I would consider testing for oils
that would be calming or relaxing to them. I.e.
Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram or Sandalwood. Or the blend
Serenity. Find the right oil or blend and apply to his
feet at bed time and/or spray his pillow with a mist blend
and/or diffuse the oil at night. Keep the spray around
for “meltdowns” and always have a high protein snack to get
his blood sugar under control. I would find a good
“granola bar” type recipe and make them.
For nutritional deficiencies, if age appropriate consider
doTerra’s supplement capsules. For younger folks
even a ½ dose of the wellness pack supplements will have
incredible benefits. The capsules can present a
problem with younger children (and even some adults) but,
with some coaching and practice, if they are aware of their
benefits they will adapt. Obviously make his diet a
priority. Healthy, raw, and high in vegetables and
fruits. No processed foods, no foods high in sugars.
Finally, for yeast, again, if they can handle swallowing
capsules, get them on doTerra's Candida protocol. If
not, at least massage the oils into the feet daily.
I would also recommend at least weekly spinal technique
massage, using Vetiver and Clary Sage instead of Eucalyptus.
Diffuse Peppermint or Lemon. For children while they
do their homework or other constructive activities.
Another useful thing might be an ADD protocol, including
giving them a clay necklace and putting 5-6 drops of Vetiver
and balance on it and teaching them to smell it daily if
they feels anxiety.
Experiment with the oils and try to find ones that they
react well to in given situations. Find a “favorite”
oil and incorporate it into the protocol. Most
important, love, attention, time, prayer, fasting and faith.
This is all hard work, and is certainly much easier to write
out than to do… but when we have special children like this;
God and our love and attention will turn their weaknesses
into their strengths.
Kendra - I think what Kathy is saying is
terrific. Here are some thoughts on the sensory issues. He
might not like the smell of the oils (many with these types
of issues have extra sensory sensitivity). If his mom has a
hard time with him complaining about how the oils smell and
he screams like, "get them outta here, they stink!" and that
sort of reaction, honestly, and I don't care if it's sneaky,
apply them on his feet or 'wherever" she can, while he's
Kendra - There have been a couple of
questions about Asperger's syndrome and I thought that I
would mention a site that is very helpful for parents. You
can ask for help, you can vent, cry, laugh, whatever you
need to do and know that you are not alone.
It's called O.A.S.I.S.
www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger , go there and you have to
be registered to be part of the group, it might take a
couple of days for them to reply, but it's really neat.
Editor's note: Kendra also has some touching
thoughts on ADD/ADHD.
Editorial comment –
We realize the following story is not related to Autism, but
not knowing the proper place to record it, we are trying to
put it where those acquainted with children that might be
struggling will be able to share it with others.
Erica - I have to share this amazing
story - especially if there may be someone out there who
could benefit from it!
My friend has a little boy who had complications at birth
that left him handicapped. He lays on a big beanbag all day,
can't talk, walk, or eat. He has a feeding tube and is on
oxygen. He also receives a suppository each day to help him
go to the bathroom.
I helped them get some essential oils and within the
first weekend they had him on the oils they noticed a huge
difference! My friend called me and said, "it was
Here's what they put on him...
Frankincense on his chest, DigestZen on his stomach,
Breathe and On Guard (alternating) in the diffuser, Breathe
on his back, and On Guard on his feet. The oils were
re-applied every hour.
His response to the oils within that first weekend was
that he was acting much better overall, went to the bathroom
on his own (for the very first time - he's 5 years old) went
off of his oxygen for the first time in months, and slept
thru the night for the first time - he hasn't been able to
sleep because his stomach bothers him so much.
It has been so amazing hearing his success and I'm so
thankful for these oils and the benefits they give to us
all! I'll let you know if anything else changes. We are
going to try some additional oils.
folks recommend for children
Diet and Nutritional
complements to essential oils
What Science & Research are saying
Beneficial Effects of Enzyme-based
Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders
[This is to provide
readers with some background information on the enzyme
therapy referred to in the work of Dr. Timothy Buie, a
pediatric gastroenterologist from Harvard/Mass General
Hospital for treatment for autistic children with certain
gastroinstestinal disorders. This pilot study is
uncontrolled and is not peer reviewed published. This means
that the information provided stands a higher risk of being
inaccurate than from peer-reviewed, controlled experiments.
Parents should be clear that when considering any
experimental medical treatment for a child, we are placing
that child at some risk. How much risk? Some answers to
this can be obtained by gathering information from other
parents on the Internet who are already experimenting with
the same approach (try GFCFKidsemail@example.com).
However, the highest quality of information comes from peer
reviewed, controlled experiments. That's why we need
research, research, research… -LS]
Beneficial Effects of Enzyme-based Therapy for Autism
Mark A. Brudnak Ph.D., N.D., Bernard Rimland,
Ph.D., John B. Pangborn Ph.D., Ilene Buchholz R.N.
Autism is a developmental disease usually manifesting
within the first three years of life. To date, no causative
agent has been found. Similarly, treatment options have been
limited. Of the treatment options available, a number of
them have been nutritionally based in an attempt to address
one or more of the theories regarding the etiology of the
A pilot study was undertaken to address the exorphin
(exogenous opiate-type peptides) theory of autism by
treatment with dietary enzyme therapy. Forty-six patients
between the ages of 5 and 31 were selected for inclusion in
the study based on a diagnosis placing them in the category
of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), some with and/or
without attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The diets were
supplemented with a novel dietary enzyme formulation,
EnZymAid™, for a period of twelve weeks. Progress was
tracked according to the Symptom Outcome Survey (SOS1) form
method of symptom charting and presented in a table for
Results: The novel enzyme formula,
EnZymAid™, beneficially and safely affected all thirteen of
the parameters measured. Improvements ranged from 50-90%,
depending on the parameter measured, of the respondents who
completed the entire course of therapy. Statistical analysis
revealed that even assuming an extremely high baseline,
twelve of the thirteen parameters were significant
Conclusion: The novel enzyme formula
EnZymAid™ was effective at improving autistic symptoms such
as socialization, hyperactivity, attention, eye contact,
comprehension, compulsions, etc. These results indicate that
further controlled studies are warranted.
Editor's note: This research report does not
include the formulation of EnZymAid™.