Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dante and the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber really helps with sleep!
During the last few weeks we have had a rented Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber at home to use with Dante.  His autism specialist recommended it as something that should benefit him.  I was hoping that it would help with his seizures, but that is not what we have seen.  However, if I forget about the seizures for a moment, I must admit that Dante has been doing very well on every other front.

One important detail is that during the time we have used the chamber Dante has not been doing any vaccine clearing, so he hasn’t had any discomfort associated with that.  The oxygen has provoked detox, but I am amazed at how well Dante has been doing despite that.  I have written quite a bit about how hard detoxing is for Dante, so this time it has been very different.  Here’s the list of what I have observed with the use of the oxygen chamber:

+ more use of his hands!!!
+ awesome behavior!  Very calm, happy, very loving, minimal tantrums.  This behavior has been very consistent for the past few weeks and that has been a blessing.  Dante’s babysitters are very impressed.
+ he is enjoying and requesting longer and more complex books!
+ he is requesting to go to sleep when he is ready, goes to bed and falls asleep like an angel
+ awesome sleep – continues to sleep ~11 hours at night!!!
+ His hair and nails are growing like crazy; his feet have grown and he is definitely taller. 
+ very manageable detox! No pain in the morning.  If his tummy isn’t feeling great, he will eat less, but he is not crying in pain!
* My personal experience after using the chamber is that it is very calming, it helps one sleep much better, and it sharpens the mind - all desired effects for our children!

Dante wearing his protective helmet

I think Dante feels really good inside the chamber.  Often, after the 1 ½ hours are up, I will get out of the chamber and Dante will want to stay inside, playing in the open chamber.  That tells me it is a positive place for him.

Dante’s doctor believes that Dante’s brain is very sensitive to any sort of detoxing therapy.  He says that even though his body is benefitting, the tolerance threshold for his brain is much lower.  He recommends we balance the dose of oxygen we use (tweaking the oxygen concentration, the pressure in the chamber, or the length of the session) so that Dante may get the benefits from the chamber without having an increase in seizures.  Right now Dante has been on a break from the chamber for four days and the decrease in seizures has been minimal, if any.

The best news of the week:

Dante accompanied his babysitter to a building downtown that happened to have no air conditioner.  Their wait was about an hour and the place was hot, yet Dante was able to sit on a chair and wait alongside Veronica.  When he would get up from the chair, Vero would tell him, “Dante, we’re leaving soon, please sit down.”  Dante would clap and sit happily on the chair once again.  This is a boy who has never tolerated heat well!

Dante usually has “pony therapy” on Tuesdays, but right now they are on a break until September.  Still, this past Tuesday Dante came to me with the PEC (picture) for Pony.  His babysitter Johanna mentioned, “Have you noticed how Dante always requests the pony on the day when he is supposed to go riding?”.  That is very cool.  He knows his Tuesdays are pony day!

As I’ve stated previously, Dante never carries anything, and he hardly uses his hands for anything useful.  A few days ago, his babysitter was very excited to tell me that while she was working in the kitchen, Dante came to her with a book.  He brought it all the way from his toy room (a first!).  He sort of poked her with the book as if to say, “I want you to read this to me.”  She couldn’t believe it and said, “Dante! You want to read! Let’s go!”  That was the best story of the week.

I’m happy to be able to state some good news despite the fact that Dante continues to have seizures.  I am trying to keep a balanced perspective because I am observing good things as well.  I am trying to not let the seizures be the only thing I see about my son.

Please keep him in your prayers.  I want my boy to keep all his gains AND be seizure-free!

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism


Jesse Rooney said...

Very inspiring to hear. Thank you very much for sharing. We run a small clinic in Denver & Colorado Springs, Colorado and see changes like this all the time. It's great to see others sharing in the progress!

Jesse Rooney

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that there are positive results. What are you using for Oxygen to produce this "Oxygen Therapy"? How does Dante get MORE oxygen? Thanks for your reply.


Mom Connected said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Allen. The therapy we used is the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. It was originally designed for a different purpose and done only in hospitals. Now many have found that exposing the brain to concentrated doses of oxygen benefits other people, such as those with autism or brain damage. Also, portable chambers are now available that provide milder doses of oxygen and may be used at home. You may also go to one of many clinics that provide the therapy. Our DAN! doctor prescribed the therapy and rents the actual chambers at a lower price than the supplier. Below are the links for more information...

Mom Connected said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Jesse!

It is very important for parents to learn what types of changes are possible with the use of the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Also, it is great to learn what options are out there for the therapy, so thank you for posting the link to your site. Please visit us again!