Information on sensory integration and other Autism therapies for Autism and Aspergers syndreome - common Autism Spectrum Disorders


Developmental neurologists have noted that autistic children tend to be hyposensitive and/or hypersensitive to one or several sensory impressions, and that their gross and fine motor skills are usually impaired to varying degrees. These are symptoms consistent with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Research on Autism, Asperger's syndrome and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders is increasing, and new sensory integration therapies will continue to emerge.


Occupational, auditory, visual therapy as autism interventions

Auditory therapies for Autism and Asperger's syndrome

Auditory therapies include the Tomatis and Berard schools and focus on training the child to use his/her sense of hearing more effectively. Visual therapy, pioneered by Melvin Kaplan and others, employs prism lenses that distort the child's vision, forcing him/her to use his/her focal vision more productively.


Visual therapy

Tinted Lenses were popularized by autistic author Donna Williams in her book Like Colour To The Blind and went on to become widely used by people with autism for the visual perceptual disorder of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome is asserted to underpin reading challenges and asserted to result in a visual fragmentation effect in which it is difficult to see a whole face or process objects or a room visually as a whole.


Doman Delacato Method

Glen Doman and Carl Delacato designed a sensory integration training program for children with acquired brain injuries but used it with a wide variety of disabilities. The program was claimed to be a cure for Autism, by stimulating muscle activity in a controlled and intensive manner, with patterning and sensory exercises to enhance memory and processing. Home-based programs are devised for parents, including massage, auditory and visual work, and tasks for smell and taste, mobility and development. There have been no studies to suggest this could be an evidence-based treatment, and serious criticisms about this method have been raised (Howlin, 1997).


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New therapies continue to emerge as sensory integration interventions- parents are advised to research these carefully until their efficacy as evidence-based treatments is established.