Therapy and Treatment for Kids With Autism

Bridget Fargen

For many kids with Autism, the world around them can be overwhelming. That's why treatment is so important to help kids function as normal as possible.

Occupational Therapist and Owner of Handprints and Footsteps Diane Boney says, "A lot of the therapists have to be very creative and find out what they like."

At Handprints and Footsteps therapist Annette is working with a boy named Henry on hand-eye coordination and knows he likes spinning and playing catch.

Her goal, to improve his sensory input--meaning how he moves his body and how he develops skills such as drinking out of a straw.

Boney says, "You're presenting them with everyday activities that they have an experience to explore on their own, perhaps in a little bit more supportive of them."

Repetition and routine are key for the 6-year-old, which is why it's all written out on the board for him to read.

She says, "Routine is key for these kids, being able to do things in the same way until they get persistence and are able to complete it. So lots of times what we have to do is not only figure out what works for them, but help the parents figure out so they can do it at home."

When it comes to different kinds of therapy, kids with autism's brain and the muscles work perfectly fine. But there's often a lack of communication or processing between the two. That's why when it comes to chiropractic care doctors work to un-kink the nerves to remove any interference.

Dr. Alex Kallio is a chiropractor and owns Comfort Chiropractic in Lincoln. He says, "Chiropractic specifically opens up and reduces the interference within the spine that may be creating those blockages in communication, that can work to improve the nerve flow through there and improve communication between the brain and where ever that nerve is going."

Dr. Kallio knows first hand how chiropractic care can help a kid, his daughter has Autism.

"We have from very early on from both the adjustments and the nutritional program we put her on, pretty literally within 7-10 days of getting her started on that. We saw some drastic differences with eye contact, words, speech and sounds that she was making."

He stresses nutrition is important. Because often times the sensory issues of kids with Autism, prevent them from eating a balanced diet.

"Different textures of food, whether it's a mashed potato versus something more solid, the feel of it, they don't understand it, they don't like it, and potentially having it in their hands or mouth, it's sensory overload."

An overload that these professionals stress, needs a balanced, well-rounded approach. Just one therapy or care won't work--it takes a team effort, because in the end it's about helping the child succeed.

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