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Sensory integration therapy and children with autism

There are many children here in Michigan that have autism. Autism can be an extremely impactful mental disability. Over the years, many different treatments have been developed for children with autism. Some examples include medications and behavioral therapy.

Finding effective treatment methods for children with autism is very important, as finding ways to help children to better cope with the effects of their autism could potentially open up significant opportunities to such kids, both during their childhood and their adulthood. For example, effective treatment methods could perhaps make it more likely that a child with autism will be able to hold employment when they are an adult. Thus, one hopes that researchers, medical professionals and scientists will continue to carefully investigate potential autism treatments and their efficacy.

Recently, a study was conducted looking at the efficacy of a therapy method that is sometimes used for children with autism. The method is a type of occupational therapy called sensory integration therapy. The method involves teaching children with autism to cope with difficult sensory experiences through play.

The study's subjects were 32 children with autism. The ages of the children ranged from 4 to 8. In the study, researchers had the parents of the children identify certain goals they would like their child to achieve, such as being able to shower without becoming upset. The researchers then had some of these children receive three hours of sensory integration therapy a week on top of the treatments they normally received, while having the others just receive their usual treatments. The researchers found that the children who received the sensory integration therapy sessions showed greater success in getting closer to the goals their parents set for them than the children who did not receive these sessions. Thus, the study indicates that sensory integration therapy may be an effective way to help children with autism.

It will be interesting to see if larger studies are conducted regarding the effectiveness of this therapy and, if they are, if the findings of the above-mentioned study will be confirmed by such additional studies.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Study Finds Sensory Therapy Has Merit For Kids With Autism," Shaun Heasley, Dec. 9, 2013

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