It’s Never Too Late for HBOT

 In Success Stories, Success Stories: Hyperbaric Oxygen

Children reach developmental milestones at their own pace. Minor, temporary delays are typically no cause for alarm. However, an ongoing delay or multiple delays in reaching milestones could be a sign that something more serious is going on and there may be challenges later in life. Developmental delays may be caused by a variety of factors, including heredity, problems with pregnancy, and premature birth. Unfortunately, the cause of the delay isn’t always known.

Parents of children with autism often report difficulties or delays in their child’s early development prior to two years of age, yet diagnosis is often not made until a child is about four years of age or older. Why? Placement in early intervention programs before four years of age is thought to improve outcomes for children with autism and helps parents understand their child’s needs. Those children who receive a diagnosis of autism after four years of age may be missing crucial opportunities for early intervention.

Tommy’s family knew that something was going on with his development as an infant. They noticed he wasn’t reaching his developmental milestones, such as sitting up and walking, like his older brothers and peers did. Tommy’s pediatrician wasn’t concerned with his delays and wanted to wait to see if it was something he would grow out of. Thankfully Tommy’s parents weren’t willing to wait. They took Tommy to their county’s special education department for evaluation. Testing showed that Tommy had a brain injury which was causing his developmental delays. Because it was discovered early, Tommy was able to receive special education services and therapies throughout his toddler and preschool years. These early interventions played a vital role in helping him reach physical and educational milestones.

Despite this new found success, Tommy was still behind and facing significant social struggles. He had trouble communicating and interacting with others, would avoid trying new activities and would get very upset when his family life wasn’t kept on a schedule. He would overreact when something bad happened, such as not doing well in school, getting in trouble at home or when a sporting event didn’t go the way he wanted. It would take him a long time (sometimes hours) to let go of the negative feelings and be able to interact with his family and friends. It was disrupting his daily life. Any little thing would cause him to “retreat” into himself. As a parent, it was difficult to watch. His family was so proud that he was involved in activities, but heartbroken to see him not able to enjoy the positive experiences.

When Tommy was in middle school, he was diagnosed with autism. He was able to receive therapy that helped him understand his anxiety and taught him ways to handle his emotions. Unfortunately, the therapy didn’t prevent his negative reactions from occurring. By the time Tommy was in high school, he was still having trouble applying these techniques and continued to struggle with daily life experiences. His family wanted to help him prevent these negative feelings, rather than just react to them.

Tommy’s family discovered Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and learned how it can be effective in treating individuals with neurological conditions and brain injuries. They wondered if HBOT could help both the physical and emotional symptoms that Tommy was struggling with. Their search for potential treatment centers led them to Sara’s Garden. They loved the caring atmosphere and knew it was a place that put the clients’ needs first. After a lot of prayer and talking with their entire family, they decided to bring Tommy for treatments when he was off school in the summer.

After only the first week, they noticed Tommy’s outlook and demeanor was improving. He was more positive and was openly talking to people about the treatments he was receiving. The improvement continued after treatments and throughout the rest of the summer. He was more willing to try new things, even activities that were physically challenging. He re-learned how to ride a bike and went canoeing in the months after his treatments. He also felt really positive about himself after both of these experiences, whereas before, he would have remained anxious even after doing something new. Overall, Tommy is now much more relaxed and confident. He is interacting more with people outside of his family, which is something he previously struggled with. He recently went to visit a college that he is interested in attending where he willingly talked to various people and was excited to learn about what the school has to offer.

His family (including his older brothers) have really noticed an improvement in his anxiety level. He still gets upset or disappointed when something negative happens, but now, they are able to talk him through the situation and within a few minutes he is able to move on. Even Tommy’s neurologist and chiropractor noticed improvement in his balance, coordination and flexibility following HBOT treatments!

Tommy’s mom stated, “We came to Sara’s Garden concerned about Tommy’s future. Now, we feel he can cope with the stresses of life. He is willing to learn and try new things and he is more comfortable interacting with the people and world around him. The staff at Sara’s Garden are amazing, caring people and made the experience a positive one for Tommy and for our family. Going every day for 4 weeks was a big commitment, but we were always welcomed with a friendly face and Tommy enjoyed the time he spent and the people he met. I’m sure this positive atmosphere enhanced his treatment process!”

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

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