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Supplements to Reduce Stimming in Autism

Stimming is a common characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It refers to repetitive movements, sounds, or behaviors that individuals with autism engage in to self-regulate or stimulate their senses. 

Understanding stimming is crucial for parents, caregivers, and individuals with autism to effectively address and manage this behavior. For those seeking support, ABA therapy in Maryland offers effective strategies to help manage and understand stimming behaviors.

supplements to reduce stimming

Importance of Addressing Stimming

While stimming is a natural expression for individuals with autism, it is essential to address this behavior when it becomes excessive, disruptive, or interferes with daily functioning. Excessive stimming may hinder social interactions, impede learning opportunities, or impact the individual’s overall quality of life.

Addressing stimming involves finding a balance between allowing self-expression and promoting more appropriate ways of self-regulation. It is crucial to focus on understanding the underlying triggers and needs of the individual with autism

By identifying and addressing the root causes of stimming, caregivers and individuals with autism can work together to develop strategies that support self-regulation while minimizing disruptive or harmful stimming behaviors.

autism supplements for stimming

Common Supplements for Stimming

Fortunately, there are certain supplements that have shown promise in reducing stimming behaviors among autistic individuals. These supplements are often used as part of a comprehensive approach that includes therapy and other interventions. 

Let’s look at what these are.

Vitamin D3

Supplementing with Vitamin D3 has shown positive effects in improving signs and symptoms related to autism. Studies have indicated that children with autism who are supplemented with Vitamin D3 experienced improvements in various areas, including irritability, hyperactivity, social withdrawal, stereotypic behavior, and inappropriate speech.

autism behavior

When considering Vitamin D3 supplementation, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage based on the individual’s needs and existing Vitamin D levels. 

Regular monitoring of Vitamin D levels is also recommended to ensure optimal supplementation.

Vitamin B6 and Magnesium

The combination of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium has been widely studied and shown to be beneficial in reducing stimming behaviors in children with autism. More than a dozen studies have suggested that supplementing Vitamin B6 and Magnesium in children with autism helps ease symptoms, ranging from better eye-contact to increased impulse control and improved social interactions and communication.

Vitamin B6 and Magnesium are essential nutrients that play vital roles in enhancing biological processes in the body and ensuring proper brain and muscle cell functioning. They are often supplemented together for children with autism as they have a synergistic effect.

As with any supplementation, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage and to monitor the individual’s response. Proper dosage considerations should take into account the individual’s age, weight, and specific nutritional needs.


Melatonin, a hormone that aids in sleep and wake cycle regulation, is commonly recommended for individuals with autism who struggle with sleep issues. Sleep difficulties are common among individuals with autism, with about half of children with ASD experiencing challenges in this area.

Studies have shown that melatonin supplementation can improve sleep duration and positive daytime behaviors in children with autism. Melatonin helps establish a regular sleep pattern, allowing individuals to fall asleep faster and experience more restful sleep. Importantly, minimal to no side effects have been reported in studies on melatonin supplementation in children with autism.

When considering melatonin supplementation, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage and timing. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and ensuring a sleep-friendly environment can also complement the effects of melatonin supplementation.

natural supplements for autism

Specialized Supplements for Stimming

There are also specialized supplements that have shown potential in reducing these behaviors. While it’s important to consult with healthcare providers before implementing any supplement regimen, the following options have been studied and explored in the context of autism.


Probiotics, specifically a Bacteroides fragilis probiotic, have shown promise in easing symptoms in some children with autism who experience gastrointestinal distress. Gastrointestinal issues are common in children with autism, and addressing these issues can have a positive impact on overall well-being. 

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. They can support digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a supplement that has been studied for its potential benefits in reducing stimming behaviors in individuals with autism. A study conducted at Stanford University found that NAC supplementation led to a decrease in irritability and a reduction in engagement in repetitive behaviors in children with autism. 

NAC is thought to work by modulating glutamate levels in the brain, which may help regulate certain behaviors associated with autism.

Oxytocin Treatment

Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” has shown promise in improving certain social behaviors in children with autism. Oxytocin is involved in social bonding and emotional regulation. While more clinical studies are needed to establish its effectiveness, preliminary research suggests that oxytocin treatment could be a promising option for addressing social difficulties in individuals with autism.

It’s important to note that the use of these specialized supplements should be done under the guidance of healthcare providers who are familiar with the individual’s medical history and specific needs. They can provide personalized recommendations and help determine the appropriate dosage for each supplement.

By exploring these supplements, parents and caregivers can have informed discussions with healthcare providers about potential options for reducing stimming behaviors in individuals with autism. 

However, it’s crucial to remember that supplements should always be used as part of a holistic approach to autism management, which may include behavioral interventions, therapy, and other evidence-based strategies.

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