Chiropractic Care and Physical and Occupational Therapies
Chiropractic care offers a non-medical approach to issues related to autism by focusing on the role of the central nervous and gastrointestinal systems as they relate to sensory issues, learning and growth. By focusing on proper alignment of the spine and healthy nutrition, some families have reported significant progress in the behaviors and adaptive functioning of their children with autism.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
An occupational therapist can help an individual on the autism spectrum by providing a number of different interventions that help develop appropriate social, play, and learning skills. The therapist evaluates the child to determine if he/she has accomplished tasks appropriate to the child’s age (i.e. dressing and play skills) and can help determine whether or not a child is responding to sensory information inappropriately. This type of intervention may include developmental activities and sensory integration.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Individuals on the autism spectrum often have problems with fine and gross motor skills. Children may have low muscle tone and/or poor coordination. Such delays can negatively impact day-to-day functioning and will most likely interfere with not only physical development, but social development as well.
An individual on the autism spectrum may benefit from physical therapy if he/she has any of the following characteristics: muscle stiffness, delay in obtaining motor milestones, poor balance and coordination, muscle weakness, and postural abnormalities.
When seeking heath services, we suggest that you find a provider who is comfortable working with your child, focused on meeting mutual goals, and has your child’s best interest in mind. Below is a list of questions to help you find a health provider that is right for your family.
Questions To Ask Yourself:
- Key Question…Does your child have other doctors or specialists, and therefore you need them to be open to discussion with one another?
- Does your doctor understand the science behind neurodevelopmental disorders?
- Does your child have more complex medical needs than other children or is the major difficulty in the area of development and behavior? 2
Questions To Ask The Provider:
- How will we measure progress? Do you use neurological measurements?
- Do you have experience with other children on the autism spectrum?
- Do you feel comfortable working in a team with other specialists, our family, and the school or day care?
- How available are you or your staff for questions?
- Do you have extended or weekend office hours?
- Are you active on any community boards or organizations that focus on children with special needs?