If you are a parent of a child with special needs, you are not alone. I know it can feel like that at times. Not only are you facing the normal stressors of everyday life, you are also dealing with the challenges and struggles your child is facing. But we are here to come alongside you on this journey.
Children with special needs tend to find themselves having trouble focusing, processing their feelings, transitioning in different environments, sleeping, and more. As a parent, if you are being totally honest, you may find yourself facing feelings of frustration, uncertainty, sadness, resentment, or guilt.
Let’s explore how essential oils can support both you and your child, as you walk this challenging, yet rewarding, road.
If you want products that work, then quality matters. When you shop with Young Living you are getting quality products backed by a ‘Seed to Seal’ guarantee that you won’t find anywhere else. You can expect that Young Living will provide you with only the BEST!
  • plant material that is grown on corporately-owned farms or carefully vetted partner farms (that you CAN visit!)
  • sustainable farming and sourcing practices, providing the purest oil
  • great care taken to preserve and protect natural resources
  • hand-weeded fields and ZERO use of pesticides
  • oils that retain all their natural constituents and therapeutic properties
  • use of food-grade distillers with state-of-the-art design and distillation methods
  • low pressure and low temperature distillation, without the use of solvents or synthetic chemicals
  • rigorous testing on each batch by internal labs and third-party facilities
  • oils that are carefully reviewed through every step of production in order to meet or exceed industry safety and purity standards (beyond organic!)
And the best part… if these products do not meet their high standards they are rejected and will not be bottled or packaged as a Young Living product. Now that’s amazing!!
The three main ways to use essential oils are aromaticallytopically, and internally.
As always, when using essential oils on adults or children, you never want to put them directly into the eyes or ears. You also want to be aware of any blends that may contain citrus oils as these are photosensitive and should be avoided if being exposed to direct sunlight.
You may have to get creative with how you will get the oils into your child’s system, especially if they are sensitive to smells, but it can be done!
  • Infuse sensory materials with essential oils, i.e. rice, DIY play dough, bubbles.
  • Add ‘diffusers’ to the room where your child is working or playing - use cotton balls, corks, felt pads, anything that absorbs oil and place around the room.
  • Diffuse while your child is NOT in the room, the effects will still linger but the scent won’t be as strong when they enter.
  • Spray your child’s sheets with a calming blend about an hour BEFORE they go to bed.
  • Add oils to everyday-use products like shampoos and lotions.
  • Add Vitality oils to your child’s smoothies, drinks, or food. Be sure to avoid plastic containers when adding oils to food and drinks.
As you begin to use essential oils on and around your child, it is best to start with just one oil at a time so you can appropriately determine the effects. Then build from there.

Though this is not an all-inclusive list, these are some of the most commonly-used essential oils for children with special needs and the benefits they provide.

  • Vetiver - promotes calm and relaxation; can help with sensory-processing issues
  • Lavender - can help calm, relax, and balance emotions rooted in anger & frustration
  • Cedarwood - can help promote peaceful and restorative sleep
  • Frankincense - can help with focus and can reduce negative emotions or reactions
  • Peppermint - soothing and can calm restlessness
  • Bergamot - increases feelings of wellbeing, relaxing for the mind and body
  • Rosemary - can help to improve cognition and concentration
  • Valor - promotes courage and self-esteem
  • Peace & Calming - can help to calm nervous tension and promote relaxation
Skin sensitivities are fairly common among children. However, these sensitivities may be magnified for those with special needs. Young Living has many gentle oils and products that are safe for even the most sensitive of skin types. If at any time an oil is too “hot” or “cool”, just apply more carrier or discontinue use all-together. The feet are a good place to test out new oils. If your child does not react well to that specific oil, choose another and come back to that one at a later date.
When choosing a carrier oil, consider any food sensitivities or allergies your child may have.  Many carrier oils are fruit or nut-based, which could cause a reaction if your child has a sensitivity to that specific food group. Many people often mistakenly assume the adverse reactions are from the essential oils themselves and completely overlook the carrier. If you are unsure, apply the carrier oil separately to test for any reaction.
Try these essential oils - they are great for supporting healthy-looking skin!
Lavender - great for all skin types and the perfect addition to lotions and creams.
Gentle Baby - helps to rejuvenate the skin; great for soothing and calming.
Tea Tree - contains cleansing properties; maintains the appearance of healthy skin and nails.
Rose Ointment is another Young Living product that is deeply nourishing and perfect for dry, irritated skin. Rose essential oil improves skin texture, while Tea Tree works to soothe rough, irritated skin.
There are many reasons a child may struggle with a lack of focus or concentration, some of which could include the following:
  • Separation anxiety
  • Fear of what others may think
  • Stress or trauma
  • Learning disorder
If your child has already been diagnosed with a special need, these issues can be even more difficult to address. Let’s talk about a few Young Living options that can help with concentration!
Brain Power seems to be the first go-to for many parents in helping their children with better focus and concentration. It contains powerful oils such as Sacred Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Melissa, Blue Cypress, Lavender, and Helichrysum, which are very high in sesquiterpenes. Google the benefits of sesquiterpenes… you can thank me later! Diffuse or apply topically to the back of neck, brainstem, temples, or under the nose as needed.

There are plenty of other oils and supplements you can use to support your child’s focus and concentration. Dilute and apply these oils below to the back of their neck, top of their head, and their big toes. Allow your child to inhale these oils from the bottle or out of the diffuser. Remember that consistency is key with the use of essential oils and supplements. For many people it takes 3-4 months to really see the difference.

  • Mindwise - an incredible supplement that gives the brain essential fatty acids to support normal brain function. (I love the individual packet option!)
  • MightyZyme - an all-natural, vegetarian supplement designed to help children combat the negative effects of enzyme depletion, which is a precursor to body dysfunction that could impede growth and brain development.
  • Vetiver - an essential oil with a distinct earthy and grounding scent, which can help your child stay calm during tense times.
  • Cedarwood - an essential oil high in sesquiterpenes, which makes your brain happy.
  • GeneYus - an essential oil blend with similar sesquiterpenes levels as Brain Power, which can help your child focus and concentrate on the task at hand! Plus it comes pre-diulted so it’s ready for use! Note: If your child has a nut allergy, you should NOT use this blend.
  • Clarity - an essential oil blend specifically designed to provide greater mental concentration and alertness.
  • Peppermint - an essential oil with an energizing aroma that boosts alertness. (Extra dilution suggested to decrease cooling sensation when applied topically.)
Here are a few other non-oily tips for increasing focus and concentration in children:
  • Prepare an environment free from distractions
  • Establish a schedule or a routine
  • Allow time for frequent breaks or a power nap
  • Break large tasks or goals up into smaller ones
  • Add more protein into their diet, which has the ability to raise concentration level

For some children, the lack of flexibility in their thinking can make a seemingly simple task of transitioning from one activity or place to another extremely challenging. There are several different strategies you can employ and oils you can use to help your kiddo stay calm and accept these transitions.
Transitioning Strategies
  1. Clearly define how long the task or activity will last using a timer or some other visual cue.
  2. Allow your child to see what is coming next by using pictures or creating a schedule.
  3. As much as possible, stay consistent in your daily routines and transitions.
  4. Plan ahead and don’t rush; this will only cause added stress for you and your child.
Suggested Oils
  • Surrender - helps one surrender control
  • Acceptance - opens the mind to accepting new things
  • Grounding - promotes feelings of stability and balance
  • Common Sense & Brain Power - help to support clear thinking
  • Ylang Ylang - boosts confidence and balances emotions
  • Northern Lights Black Spruce & Idaho Blue Spruce - promote feelings of confidence and calm
  • White Angelica - repels negative emotions and energies; known as the “tantrum tamer” oil
Please keep in mind, all children are different. You may need to try a few different oils to find the one that works best for your child. All of these oils can be diffused or applied topically. As we talked about previously, dilute as needed. Allow your child to choose an oil, ask them what scents they prefer, and how they feel after using it. Sometimes they know better than we do!

If your child has limited mobility, I’m sure you are always looking for ways to love on those tired muscles and support healthy blood flow. Try these tips!

  1. Stay active. This may be difficult depending on how mobile your child is, but it’s important to keep muscles moving, even if done manually. PanAway is a great oil to apply after exercise of any kind since it contains Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint essential oils. Grab a 10 ml roller bottle, add about 10 drops PanAway + 10 drops of Copaiba, top with a carrier oil and apply where needed.
  2. Use quality supplements. Thankfully, Young Living has provided us with supplements we can trust. Featuring bioavailable food-sourced vitamins and minerals that contain an infusion of pure, powerful essential oils, you’ll get the whole-body support you need. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, like those found in OmegaGize, along with the nutrients and minerals found in BLM and Sulfurzyme can provide the building blocks needed for healthy muscles.
  3. Keep things moving. Blood carries oxygen and oxygen is vital to all parts of the body, including the muscles. The less mobile a person is, the more you need to focus on circulation. Massage is a great way to increase blood flow and incorporating oils like Cypress, Nutmeg, Juniper, and Idaho Grand Fir may be just the boost you need.
Staying well isn’t an easy task, especially if you are dealing with a compromised immune system or an overworked body. Many things can be taxing on our body systems - regular medication intake, environmental toxins, food and products filled with harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients. We are constantly exposed to so much that is harmful to us! It’s important to stay PROactive with our health and do our best to support our bodies BEFORE they get bogged down. Creating a DAILY wellness routine composed of good quality oils and supplements can help us live and stay above the wellness line.
Try these member favorites!
  • Thieves*
  • Oregano*
  • Longevity*
  • Lemon*
  • Exodus II
  • ImmuPower
Any of these oils can be added to a roller bottle for convenient application. You can even get your child involved and allow them to apply to the bottoms of their feet every morning and every night. It’s a good idea to use a variety of oils to support your body’s needs, as they are constantly changing. Make up several different wellness rollers and rotate them out here and there.
Did you know a happy gut leads to a happy immune system and many other happy systems? A daily probiotic is necessary for emotional and physical wellness. If your child can swallow capsules you may consider Life9. It features 17 billion live cultures that represent nine different bacteria strains to support gut health and an overall healthy immune system. If you need something that can be taken a little more easily try MightyPro - a blend of prebiotics and probiotics! This supplement features over 8 billion active, live cultures to support digestive and immune health. Plus it’s in a super convenient packet that does not require refrigeration and tastes like a pixy stick candy. Your child will beg you to take them.
NingXia Red is also a great compliment to your daily wellness routine thanks to its primary ingredient - the Ningxia wolfberry. It’s packed with superfoods and tastes DELICIOUS! NingXia Red benefits include support for energy levels, normal cellular function, and whole-body and normal eye health. A daily shot of 2-4 ounces helps support overall wellness with powerful antioxidants.  It’s also super easy to hide this in smoothies or popsicles! #momhack #momwin

*Also comes in a Vitality version, which has been labeled for ingestion.
“Restful slumber is crucial for helping kids grow and develop—recent studies have linked sleep to intellectual performance—yet statistics show 50% of children with ADHD also have sleep problems. And other studies have found children on the autism spectrum tend to have lower levels of melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate wakefulness and sleep cycles.” ~ Parents.com
So what can you do to help your child get the rest he/she needs? Here are some suggestions from other parents of children with special needs.
  1. Play soothing sounds like calming music or audiobooks.
  2. Create a cozy environment; consider using a weighted blanket.
  3. Support with supplements like melatonin or essential oils.
  4. Avoid sugary snacks before bed and eat dinner earlier.
  5. Stick to a schedule and keep a journal of their routines.
As you can see, there are many different strategies you could use. If you choose to go the natural remedies route, here are some supplements and essential oils you can try to encourage a restful night’s sleep.

ImmuPro - This supplement works double duty and is one of my favorites! Not only does support the body’s natural sleep patterns with naturally-occurring melatonin, but it also provides exceptional immune system support. BONUS: It’s chewable!
SleepEssence - This softgel capsule contains essential oils with sleep-enhancing properties along with melatonin to support a full night’s sleep. Adults only, so this one is more suited for older children.
Lemongrass - This oil soothes, relaxes, and helps promote better sleep. Diffuse at bedtime or apply topically.
Lavender & Cedarwood - This popular combo promotes calm and relaxation and can be used together or separately.
Some other oils to consider: Vetiver, Valerian, Rutavala, SleepyIze, Roman Chamomile, Peace & Calming, and Stress Away. Whatever you choose, do your best to be consistent with it and don’t be afraid to try different things until you find what works.
Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Sister, Aunt, Friend . . . you are doing the best you can! Your days are filled with challenges. You question whether you are doing what’s best. You have fears about the future. You wonder if you can make it through another day. YOU CAN! But you can’t do it alone. Find a support system, ask for help, and most importantly... take care of YOU.
Support Your Body
  • PanAway or Deep Relief Roll-On: These are strong oil blends that are perfect for muscles and joints.
  • Cool Azul Pain Cream: Backaches, strains and sprains, stiffness and soreness . . . just a little dab will do ya!
  • BLM: This supplement was designed to support healthy bones, ligaments, and muscles.
Support Your Mind
  • Stress Away: Melt away the tensions of the day with this beach-in-a-bottle blend.
  • Valor: This blend creates feelings of courage and confidence.
  • Forgiveness: This blend helps release hurt feelings and negative emotions.
  • Acceptance: This blend allows you to overcome feelings of denial and be open to accepting new things.
  • White Angelica: This blend dispels negativity and creates feelings of peace, calm, and security.
You can’t pour from an empty vase. Take the time to fill yourself up, so you can be the best version of yourself for everyone else.