Hyperbaric oxygen has been used for some time to treat divers, and more recently multiple sclerosis sufferers. By breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised chamber for an hour, the patient can obtain multiple benefits including:

  1. Better blood flow to the brain by compression of red blood cells

  2. Accelerated healing of damaged tissue, including possibly brain tissue, through stimulation of growth of new capillaries and mobilisation of stem cells from bone marrow

  3. Reduction of inflammation in the gut, shown to be a problem in at least 75% of autism cases

  4. Oxygenation of beneficial gut bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus in order to out-compete the anaerobic pathogenic bacterium known as clostridia, very common in autism


Recent anecdotal evidence from the US has shown dramatic benefits, such as previously non-verbal children uttering their first words after a few sessions. More information on this interesting therapy can be obtained from the International Hyperbarics Association, and their October 2005 newsletter containing many testimonials from parents of children with autism.

To find a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the UK, call your local hospital and ask for the multiple sclerosis department. They should be able to give you the address of the nearest hyperbaric oxygen treatment facility that is licensed for children. One which has treated ASD children in the past is the MS Therapy Centre in Bedford.

The Advance Technique developed by Linda Scotson starts with the premise that brain injury at or close to birth results in under-development of the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles. By using restorative methods such as special exercises and massage, oxygenation to brain is greatly improved with consequent developmental benefits. Originally developed for children with cerebral palsy who were known to have had hypoxia, it has also been used to great effect on ASD children. This suggests that a more subtle form of hypoxia is a causal factor in autism.