A child holds vitamins for autistic kids

All children benefit from vitamin supplements. But there is significant research that suggests that you might want to target specific vitamins for autistic children. Studies show that autistic children may be more susceptible to vitamin deficiencies due to their selective eating habits and gastrointestinal issues.

Vitamins play a critical role in a range of bodily functions, including brain development, immune system support, and maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Vitamins, for autistic children, can also help to address specific symptoms and challenges associated with the condition. For example, vitamin D has been linked to improved behavior and mood in autistic children, while vitamin B12 may help with language and social skills.

With the best vitamins for autistic children, parents and caregivers can potentially improve their child’s cognitive function, behavior, and quality of life. Therefore, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to identify any potential vitamin deficiencies and develop a plan to address them through a balanced diet and/or supplementation if necessary.

It’s also important to understand the limitations of what vitamins can do. For example, there aren’t currently vitamins that rebuild stem cells for autistic children. There is also some debate about the efficacy of vitamin therapy at all. But these limitations shouldn’t keep you from discussing vitamins with your child’s doctor.

Let’s take a look at some of the best vitamins for autistic children to help you with your conversation with their care team.

Best vitamins for autistic children

Common vitamin deficiencies in autistic children can often be addressed with supplements. Here are some of the deficiencies that studies have shown to be the most common.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough vitamin D to function properly. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally produced in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. However, many factors can contribute to vitamin D deficiency, including inadequate sunlight exposure, dietary factors, and medical conditions.

In autistic children, vitamin D deficiency is common due to their limited dietary choices and (for some children with autism) reluctance to spend time outdoors. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include bone pain, muscle weakness, and an increased risk of fractures.

Some autistic children with vitamin D deficiency may have no observable symptoms at all. Others may experience:

  • Delayed motor development
  • Difficulty with muscle strength and control
  • Slow growth and delayed puberty
  • Weakness in bones and teeth
  • Frequent infections due to a weakened immune system
  • Sleep disturbance and fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Behavioral changes including mood swings, irritability, and agitation

It is important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with other medical conditions or developmental issues, so a healthcare provider should evaluate any concerns.

The Cleveland Clinic says that “You can get vitamin D in a variety of ways, including:

  • Sun exposure on your skin (however, people with darker skin and older people may not get enough vitamin D through sunlight. Your geographical location may also prevent adequate vitamin D exposure through sunlight).
  • Through the food you eat.
  • Through nutritional supplements.

Vitamin D can be quite effectively supplemented using liquid vitamins for autistic children.

A doctor discusses vitamins for autistic kids

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the production of red blood cells and DNA, as well as supporting nerve and brain function.

In autistic children, vitamin B12 deficiency is often caused by selective eating habits or malabsorption due to gastrointestinal issues. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, anemia, depression, and cognitive difficulties.

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in autistic children can vary, and some children may not display any symptoms at all. However, common signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in autistic children may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Cognitive difficulties, including difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Depression or mood changes
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss

Some of the best sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • Meat (beef, chicken, lamb, and pork)
  • Fish (salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines)
  • Shellfish (clams, oysters, and mussels)
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt)
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals and plant-based milk alternatives (such as soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk)

Other important vitamins and minerals

While those listed above are among the most important vitamins to consider for autistic children, you may also consider the following vitamins as well.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the overall health and well-being of autistic children. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C plays a critical role in a range of bodily functions, including immune system support, wound healing, and tissue repair. Some studies have connected Vitamin C to improved behavior and mood in autistic children,


Zinc is vital for overall health and well-being, including, of course, for autistic children. Zinc is a mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including immune system support, wound healing, and protein synthesis. Zinc has been linked to improved behavior and cognitive function in autistic children, as well as better sleep patterns and decreased hyperactivity.


Magnesium is a mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including nerve and muscle function, bone health, and protein synthesis. Magnesium has been linked to improved behavior and mood in autistic children, as well as better sleep patterns and decreased hyperactivity.

We recommend talking to your child’s care team today to see if they might benefit from vitamins for autistic children.

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