Saturday, May 21, 2011

Autism Treatment for Kids - What Is Sensory Integration Therapy?

There are many different kinds of autism treatment for kids, but one that we will focus on here is sensory integration therapy.

Kids with autism have many sensory issues, but there is help available. Occupational therapists are able to use different methods of sensory integration therapy to try to address some of these problems.

Auditory Integration Therapy Helps Kids with Autism

If your kid is very sensitive to sounds and noise, therapists can do something called auditory integration therapy. Your kid listens to different tones and frequencies of music, using headphones. These tones are prepared specifically for your kid. Your brain needs to adjust itself to hear these tones, so in this way, this process can actually, over time, change the way the brain processes auditory information. As a result, this can make your kid less sensitive to auditory stimuli.

Wilbarger Deep Pressure technique

Many kids are sensitive to touch, and often have trouble with the feeling of clothing, or have similar tactile problems. These kids may do well with a technique called the Wilbarger Deep Pressure technique. Your kid's skin is brushed with a special brush, in a very specific way. This stimulates receptors and nerves in your body and brain and in time can help you tolerate the feeling of touch more. Please note that this should only be done with a professional who is trained in this technique.

There are also other methods of autism treatment for kids that would fall under the category of sensory integration therapy.

Some Kids are Under Stimulated While Others are Over Stimulated

Keep in mind that some kids are under receptive to sensory stimuli, and need to do activities such as balancing, spinning, running, rolling on a ball to get themselves "going" and start "feeling okay."

Other kids, however, are over sensitive to sensory information, and need to avoid it as much as possible. But no matter which is the case, there are activities, often referred to as a "sensory diet," that can help change the way your kid's brain processes sensory information. Activities that look like play, done with a competent therapist, can actually change the way your kid's brain works.

Sensory Diet

There are many other things, often referred to as a "sensory diet," that can help kids with sensory issues. Simply put, some kids are under receptive to sensory information, and need to engage in activities like spinning, balancing, running, rolling on a ball and so on to get themselves going and start "feeling okay." Others are too sensitive to this information and there are activities that can help re-engineer the brain so that they can process it better. Often something that looks like play can actually be changing the way a child's brain works.

Sensory integration therapy is an important autism treatment for kids.

And parents should learn as much as you can about sensory issues. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.

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