Question: As autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifactorial condition, with genetic and environmental risk factors contributing to children’s unique presentation and symptom severity, a range of treatments have been suggested. Parents of children with ASD in my clinic are asking me about alternative therapies to improve their children’s condition. One of those therapies is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT); commercial advertisement in the past has suggested good results with this approach. Should I recommend the use of HBOT for children with ASD? Answer Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides a higher concentration of oxygen delivered in a chamber or tube containing higher than sea level atmospheric pressure. Case series and randomized controlled trials show no evidence to support the benefit of HBOT for children with ASD. Only 1 randomized controlled trial reported effectiveness of this treatment, and those results have yet to be repeated.
Sakulchit, Ladish, Goldman (2017). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 2017 Jun;63(6):446-448. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28615394