AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Children with autistic spectrum disorders usually have problems with auditory processing, sensory integration, visual processing, nutritional deficiencies, and body toxicity. Improvements in any of these problem areas improves their quality of life. On this page, you will find several approaches that have brought substantial improvement in the lives of children on the autistic spectrum, and for their families.
Autistic Students Using Integrated Listening Systems
Auditory Processing and Sensory Integration
For students with auditory processing problems, Integrated Listening Systems combines the benefits of listening therapy with the benefits of sensory integration therapy. Parents have reported substantial improvements in areas such as:
Better ability to follow spoken instructions
Improved expressive speech
Better eye contact
Better social interaction
Improved bonding with family members
Increased concentration and focusing abilities
Better recovery and retention of information
Increased independence in learning environments
Improved balance and coordination
Improved sense of well-being
For more information on this therapy, visit our Integrated Listening Systems page. To see ways that auditory processing issues may be impacting your student, complete the screening for auditory processing problems.
Autistic Adult Expresses Benefits of Tinted Lenses
Austistic individuals with visual processing problems can be helped by programs that work to reduce, resolve, or compensate for those problems.
One common method to assist people with visual processing is the use of tinted lenses. The best known proponent of this approach is the Irlen Institute. The Irlen Method is reported to reduce the problems associated with:
Sensory Overload caused by bright lights, fluorescent lights, and sunlight. Lighting is stressful; and this results in behaviors to filter out the light, poor eye contact, and physical symptoms such as anxiety or headaches.
Environmental Distortions where the individual sees the world in a distorted fashion. Objects are blurry, moving, changing, and can disappear. People may look frightening, stairs may look like a slide without steps, and walls and floors may swing and sway. Misperceptions can cause difficulties with sustained attention, eye contact, gross and small motor coordination, ability to interpret facial expressions, and poor social skills.
Print Distortions make learning or reading difficult. The individual may have good or even advanced reading skills but has trouble with reading comprehension or experiences strain and fatigue when reading or doing other activities. Tracking or building breaks into reading may be a problem.
More information and a list of Irlen practitioners in your area may be found at www.irlen.com.
Behavioral optometrists use methods that work to actually resolve visual processing problems. To pursue this approach, look for a behavioral optometrist in your area. The same type of exercises used by behavioral optometrists can also be used at home. For more information about this approach, contact us.
To see whether processing issues are impacting your student, complete the screening for visual processing problems.
Autistic Boy Helped By Nutritional Intervention
Nutritional Deficiencies and Body Toxicity
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorders commonly have extensive problems with their digestive systems and high levels of toxicity in their bodies. They also frequently have eating abnormalities that result in a nutritionally deficient diet. There has been substantial success with methods of treatment that address these issues through interventions such as dietary changes, internal cleansing procedures, and nutritional supplementation. Although there is a great variety in the approaches being used, they generally include: assisting the body to eliminate toxins; eliminating sources of new toxins; building the immune systems; and restoring everall health.
If there is a local health practitioner that has been successful helping people with autistic spectrum disorder, this can be a great resource. The practitioner could be a medical doctor, naturopath, chiropracter, nutritionist, or other health professional. There is also a great deal of information on the internet regarding the "autism diet" and other nutritional approaches that can be used by families independently.