Before we begin, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that anything can be a trigger for any person, whether they are a person with autism, ADHD, or none of the above. These are useful, but each individual will react differently. The best suggestion is to start with one and add one more at a time if needed. Later, once you’ve found the best combination, you can create synergistic blends to target or enhance different emotions.
Calming essential oils to help with autism and ADHD
Lavender is can be used as an essential oil to help with sleep, assist with meltdowns, and otherwise bring about a sense of calmness. Good lavender oil isn’t very expensive; most of the time it’s around six dollars to about twelve dollars, depending on who’s selling it. It has a slightly floral, mildly sweet smell.
When chamomile tea is used as a bedtime beverage or bath addition, it can help people to fall asleep. Depending on the person, chamomile essential oil can also help calm someone who is restless. Mixed with lavender it has also been known to aid sleep. This is one of the four that are mixed and matched to calm and help promote restful sleep. Lavender is another and the other two follow.
Passionfruit vines bud stunning, otherworldly flowers that are used to make essential oils, tea, perfumes, and more. Like the previous two essential oils, Passion Flower is often used for calming and sleep. The flower has a light scent to it. If you think of lavender as a base note, chamomile is the alto and passionflower the soprano.
This is a chord all on its own and it’s stronger smelling than the previous three. It can boost the other three or work by itself. One thing to note is that it can attract bees, even with the windows closed. They may come looking for this heady scent, so if there’s anyone afraid of or allergic to bees, it’s best to skip this one.
Essential oils to help people with autism and ADHD focus
The need to focus is something the media raves about on a consistent basis. It’s one reason coffee and tea are so popular. However, caffeine is can be a sedative for those with ADHD, so that particular method is out as a means of focusing. Essential oils can help instead.
For children over two years of age, and for anyone older, peppermint can help sharpen the mind and focus attention. If the person also has some breathing issues, the essential oil could help with those, as well. However, peppermint essential oil should not be used around babies or toddlers two and under. It can cause breathing issues if used on or close to them.
Like peppermint, eucalyptus is often used in focusing blends of essential oils. It has a similarly sharp, minty scent. It may also help with coughing and breathing issues, which is why it’s in so many cold remedies.
Again, like peppermint, there are age restrictions. Children under two should not take anything with eucalyptus. It can cause the same breathing issues.
Essential oils to help with anxiety, autism, and ADHD
Anyone with a learning disorder such as autism or ADHD will have some anxiety issues. It’s hard to be different and people tend to know when they are. This can obviously cause anxiety. Here are some essential oils that have been used in the past to assist with anxiety.
This essential oil has a citrus scent with a unique but sweet twist overtone. It’s sometimes chosen rather than orange because, where orange and lemon essential oils are energizing, mandarin is calming. There are no age restrictions and most children and many adults love the smell.
This is a strong, flowery scent that has been known to soothe anxiety. However, it’s one that can have the exact opposite effect in some. A small trial will be enough to tell whether or not it will work for anxiety reduction. However, if the reaction is negative, there will likely be a stronger emotion in a person with ADHD or autism.
Like ylang-ylang, this is a maybe. For those who it works for, it can do wonders to soothe anxiety. For those who are allergic to pine, it can cause an adverse reaction. This essential oil could also be added to a sleep mixture as well.
How to use essential oils
There are several ways to use essential oils. They can be mixed with a carrier oil and used for massage. There are several carrier oils, including almond, jojoba and olive oil. It depends on what the person prefers.
You can also place essential oils on bamboo wicks around the room. The wicks absorb the oil and gently diffuse it into the room. It can be used for a single oil or a mixture.
Another popular method is to use an electric diffuser. In some situations, this is the best method. It will put out a steady amount of oils over time which is more predictable. This is especially good if your house lacks humidity or you have plants that thrive in humidity
What to be careful of with essential oils
As mentioned, some essential oils are less compatible for some people as opposed to others. It’s important to use care. Talk to your child’s or adult child’s doctor and/or whoever is directly involved with them child on a regular basis. A doctor may also be able to guide you on which to use for your person and their individual needs. Other carers how who work with your child will need to know information on which not to use as well.
Any substance can cause an adverse reaction. That reaction may be emotional/physical rather than an allergic. This is why only one oil should be introduced at a time.
Some essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, but most need a carrier oil to buffer the potent essential oil. Unless package instructions say it can be used directly on the skin, avoid skin contact at all times.
Please note: Stephen’s Place is not associated with the aforementioned study. We cannot claim that essential oils cure ailments and do not advise using essential oils without first consulting your doctor.
About Stephen’s Place
If you have a loved one with developmental or intellectual disabilities, who is looking for a community to live in, please contact us for more information.
Stephen’s Place is a private-pay apartment community due to our state-of-the-art amenities and programs. We are a nonprofit and do not profit from our community. We are private pay because we spend more than some housing communities to ensure that our residents are comfortable and can safely live their lives with independence and dignity.