Autistic child helped by Hyperbaric therapy - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Autistic child helped by Hyperbaric therapy

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Karla Sempsrott is a former educator turned homeschooling mom.  

She has a 15-year-old autistic son, Jake and a 4-year-old son named Noah.

Sempsrott said Jake was diagnosed at age 12 with "Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified."    

"It's basically a "catch all" on the DSM 5, diagnostic system that they say there are autistic behaviors in there.....and it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that," said Sempsrott.

Sempsrott said it's just after Asperger's on the autism spectrum.  She said parents must take small puzzle pieces and put them together, correctly.

"You're trying to get the most help, the fastest for your child," said Sempsrott.

She said when Jake was about three he was advanced in some areas and behind in others.  By 2nd grade, he was declared gifted with a learning disability in math.    

"If they could do just that they would make a lot of money, but the school experience is about a well-rounded child," said Sempsrott.

That makes it tough on the teacher, the parents, and the child. Then Sempsrott discovered the hyperbaric chamber. She said Jake spent his time in the chamber composing music. 

"As he was in there. He designed it much, much faster and it had more of a flow in the melody," said Sempsrott.

And when he got out?   

"Almost like getting a new pair of glasses...like oh I've never seen that before," said Sempsrott. "He went from a 3rd-grade math level to a 5.8 which is 5th grade, 8th month."

At age 15, Jake said the treatments changed his world.   

"I come back out and I'm thinking clearer. And you know, more stuff is making sense," said Jake.

Jake is not the only child benefiting from this treatment.

Joseph, who is five-years-old has been using the hyperbaric chamber for about a year.  Believe it or not, when he first came he was non-verbal.  Now, he talks up a storm. 

Jake said he sees a lot of improvement.   

"Well I guess I'm communicating with my family better, I guess. It's just been a lot easier with them," said Jake.

Jake also said he still faces challenges like being easily distracted.  

There are some side effects to the therapy, according to the website, "Autism Speaks."

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