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Diet & Nutrition in Autism

Diet in Autism

Often the nutritional status in Children with autism remains compromised. They usually have vitamin A, vitamin B - 6, vitamin B-12 and folic acid deficiencies. This could be due to many reasons like difficulty to swallow and digest many foods items, sensory problems like food preferences, diarrhea, constipation, frequent infections, bloating and gastrointestinal (GI) pain. When things go awry in the “gut,” negative behavioral changes and cognitive problems occur or are exacerbated. Hence, an alteration in the diet with respect to the nutritional requirement after assessing the other aspects like the swallowing and digestive ability is necessary so as to improve the quality life of the patient.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Since time immemorial, different animals have been used for a wide variety of purposes. However, it’s only recently that the health professionals are waking up to a realization about animals and the therapeutic effects they can bring about on human psyche. From petting a puppy, going for a swim with a dolphin, engaging in play activities with a dog to riding a horse, all these different activities involving animals can aid us in achieving psychological well-being.

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) revolves on the principle of improving the cognitive, emotional and overall well-being by means of animals possessing certain characteristics suitable for the problem in question. The animals generally used for this purpose are trained dogs, cats, horses, dolphins etc.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga is increasingly practiced by people all over the world to improve their physical fitness, as a stress reliever, to improve concentration and lastly to enhance the spiritual experience. But, the extrapolation of yoga therapy to the treatment of a myriad of diseases has only surfaced in recent times.

Aquatic therapy in Autism

What is aquatic therapy? 

The Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute defines Aquatic Therapy as "The use of water and specifically designed activity by qualified personnel to aid in the restoration, extension, maintenance and quality of function for persons with acute, transient, or chronic disabilities, syndromes or diseases". 

Simply put, aquatic therapy means making use of various physical and chemical properties of water for the treatment of various disorders.

Arts Based Therapy

In recent years, caregivers are seeking alternative or complimentary treatments for autism and have a wide array of options available. One such treatment is arts-based therapy. It is a natural fit for autism. It helps assuage the deficits associated with autism by channeling autistic behaviors into an expressive, creative outlet. 

Arts-based therapy is an umbrella term comprising of various art forms namely, visual art, dance/movement therapy, music therapy, play therapy and drama therapy. Contingent on the interests and preference of the child, any one or more art forms can be employed to reach the desired goal.

Drama Therapy

Drama Therapy entails the use of drama and other techniques involving performance arts to augment the psychological well-being of individuals. The myriad techniques made use of in the therapeutic space revolve around story-telling, role play, enactment and mime, as well as covering voice production and the use of artifacts as props. The aim in the therapeutic space can be approached in a group or an individual setting.

Dance Therapy

Dance / movement Therapy entails reinforcing the mind-body approach. It helps children with autism by enhancing the awareness of mind and body that is often misplaced in these children thereby augmenting the inner accord.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, social needs of children with autism. Music therapy meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. The sensory stimulation and playful nature of music can help to develop a child’s ability to express emotions, communicate and develop rhythmic movement. There is also evidence to show that speech and language skills can be improved through the stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain. Children with autism also experience improved self-esteem.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a form of therapy focusing on exploration, understanding and expression of emotional issues, thoughts and feelings channelized in an appropriate way. Play as a medium is intrinsically reinforcing and soothing thereby making this form of therapy exceedingly helpful in providing a suitable channel for what a child may find strenuous to otherwise communicate. Play is also an indispensable part of the development of a child in regard to the different spheres of life