In recent years, caregivers are seeking alternative or complementary 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.

One of the major characteristics of autism spectrum disorders is difficulty with verbal and social communication. However, many individuals with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually i.e. “in pictures.” Art, in general, is a form of expression that could open doors of communication for a child with autism. It also promotes self-exploration, emotional growth, and sensory integration while also encouraging social interaction in a fun setting.

Arts-based therapy differs from traditional art-making or performance in that the emphasis is on the process of creating and making rather than on the end product.

Benefits of Arts-based Therapy

  • It helps to express feelings that may be difficult to verbalize and thereby increase communication skills and develop the ability to recognize and respond to facial expressions. 

  • It enables the child to explore their imagination and creativity and help them think symbolically. 

  • It aids the child in developing healthy coping skills and improves self-esteem and confidence by identifying and tackling emotional issues and concerns.

  • It promotes sharing in a safe nurturing environment along with decision making.

  • It also improves fine and gross motor skills and physical co-ordination.

  • It also improves the tolerance for unpleasant stimuli while channeling self-stimulating behavior into more creative activity and manages sensory issues. 

  • It works on the cognitive difficulties faced by children with autism. 

  • When done in a group setting, it helps in developing cooperation, turn-taking, respecting differences, teamwork and a sense of acceptance and other social skills that can all be practiced in an enjoyable, natural setting. 

  • It also works on enhancing language comprehension, self and social awareness and perceptual skills.

  • It can be employed to decrease echolalia (uncontrolled and instant repetition of the words spoken by others).

Physical Therapy

Children with autism, apart from the core difficulties in social behavior and interaction, communication skills and stereotypical behavior, also face problems with motor planning, posture and coordination. But in the presence of gross behavioral and sensory manifestations the motor symptoms are often overlooked. Slowly as the understanding of autism is growing, various studies have identified motor and physical impairment in children with autism.

Physical Therapy is thus, the detection and the corrective measures taken for these physical complaints before they become permanent.

 

What is animal assisted therapy?
What is
Physical
Therapy?
Physical therapy is a treatment option for those children with autism
spectrum disorder, that need help developing age-appropriate motor
skills, have low muscle tone, or problems with physical systems such
as breathing control, etc. Read more
What are the benefits of animal assisted therapy?
What are the benefits of physical therapy for
my child with Autism?
Physical therapy has now being considered as
an integral part of the early intervention
program for the management of autism. Read more
When can I start Animal assisted therapy and who should it be done from?
When can I start Physical Therapy for my child with Autism, and
who should I do it from?
Physical therapy can be started from birth, and the
therapy differs based on the age of the child. You can
refer to our exhaustive database to see which good
Physical Therapists are available near you. Read more
What can I do at home with my child?
What can I do for my
child at home?
You are advised to work closely with your child's
physical therapist as well as the occupational
therapist to learn about what to do at home. Read more

Play Therapy

Just like with other kids, it is important for children with autism to also learn to play and interact with their peers, which they usually find difficult to do. Play therapy is an interactive and fun way of helping them feel comfortable, and communicate better, along with build their other important cognitive and sensory faculties.

 

What is animal assisted therapy?
What is play therapy?
Play therapy is a form of therapy which focuses on
exploration, understanding and expression of emotions,
thoughts and feelings channelized in an appropriate way. Read more
What are the benefits of animal assisted therapy?
How can play therapy
benefit my child with
Autism?
Play therapy responds to the unique developmental needs
of young children, who often find it simpler to express
themselves better through play activities than through
verbal communication. Read more
When can I start Animal assisted therapy and who should it be done from?
When can I start Play Therapy
for my child and who should I
do it from?
Play therapy is a safe non-invasive therapy method
that can easily be tailored according to each child's
needs and requirements. Read more
What can I do at home with my child?
What can I do at home?
At home, it is recommended that parents work
closely with the play therapist and occupational
therapist to find methods that work well
for their children. Read more

Animal Assisted Therapy

Since time immemorial, human beings have shared a unique bonds with various animals. However, it is only recently that healthcare professionals have begun to realize what animal caregivers and everyday pet owners have known for years: that pets can have a therapeutic and calming effect on the human psyche.

From petting a puppy to, 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.

 

What is animal assisted therapy?
What is animal assisted
therapy?
Animal-assisted therapy is a therapeutic method that
includes animals such as dogs, cats, pigs, horses
and birds, into a plan of treatment. Read more
What are the benefits of animal assisted therapy?
What are the benefits of
animal assisted therapy?
Studies done suggest that animal assisted therapy has a number of benefits
such as an increased attention span, an increase in self-confidence,
transferable skills of empathy, and a better sense of well being. Read more
When can I start Animal assisted therapy and who should it be done from?
When can I start Animal assisted
therapy and who should it
be done from?
Animal-assisted therapy often acts as a complementary mode of treatment with traditional
work done by a licensed psychotherapist, social worker, or another mental health–care
provider. Our database also has information on animal assisted therapy centres and
therapists, which have been sorted by country, state, and city. Read more
What can I do at home with my child?
What can I do at home
with my child?
It is most important that as a parent you work
closely with the animal assisted therapist to
find methods that work well for your children. Read more

Yoga Therapy

Yoga is an age-old science which inherently is a holistic approach, simultaneously working on the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga practices systematically strengthen different systems in the body, including the heart and cardiovascular system, the lungs, muscles, and the nervous system. Yoga practices can improve function of the digestive system, foster psychological well-being, and improve oxygen delivery to tissues. Yoga also can help the body more efficiently remove waste products, carcinogens, and cellular toxins

 

What is Yoga Therapy?
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy in the recent years has also started being considered as a complementary
mode of treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders, as the improved blood flow, need to
longer attention spans, help in training the child become more calm, improve his or her
sensory processing, and thus, help in alleviating some of the symptoms of ASD and help
children not only manage their physical bodies but also become mentally peaceful. Read more
What are the benefits of yoga therapy for my child with Autism?
What are the benefits of yoga
therapy for my child with
Autism?
While anxiety is natural, yoga and breathing
techniques can help kids with autism handle the
pressures associated with peers, studies and
their grades In practice, asanas may be difficult
to perform for children with autism. Read more
When can I start and who should I do it from?
When can I start and who
should I do it from?
It can be started whenever a child is ready for it.
You can refer to our exhaustive database to look
for a certified Yoga Therapist in your locality. Read more
What can I do at home?
What can I do at home?
At home, it is recommended that parents work
closely with the yoga therapist and occupational
therapist to find methods that work well
for their children. Read more

Aquatic Therapy

Among the field of alternative or complementary treatment modes for Autism, Aquatic therapy holds a strong foot holding. According to the Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, aquatic therapy or aquatic physical therapy (APT) is "the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist."

APT includes "treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness, and fitness of the patient/client population in an aquatic environment with or without the use of assistive, adaptive, orthotic, protective, or supportive devices and equipment."

 

What is aquatic therapy?
Interventions for children on the autism
spectrum are enhanced when performed within
an aquatic environment. Read more
How does Aquatic Therapy
benefit my child with Autism?
Aquatic therapy entails benefits for the brain and
learning, psychological and behavioral benefits,
and beneficial effects on joint position sense
and muscle coordination. Read more
When can I start Aquatic Therapy,
and who should I do it from?
An aquatic therapy session can be conducted as
an individual session or group therapy session.
Our database has contact details for aquatic
therapists sorted by country, state, and city. Read more
What can I do at home
with my child?
Since aquatic therapy is associated with
exercises to be done in the water,
normally, there is not much you can
do at home. Read more

Chelation Therapy

This therapy is based on the possibility that Autism occurs as a result of certain heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, aluminium and arsenic, etc. in the bloodstream of the child. It is thus, a means to ‘cleanse’ the blood of these heavy metals.

 

What is Chelation Therapy?
Chelation is a process of eradicating or
eliminating specific heavy metals from
the blood. Read more
How is Chelation done?
Chemical agents are given
intravenously or by mouth or in
the skin. Urine levels of heavy metals
excreted are then measured. Read more
What benefits can I expect
from Chelation in my child
with Autism?
While a few cases have shown improvements in eye
contact, attention, language, cognition and social
interaction, there is not enough scientific evidence
supporting these improvements in autism. Read more
When can I do
Chelation Therapy?
Since Chelation Therapy is not a proven method of treating
autism, it can and should only be done after a blood test
has been administered by a professional. Read more
Are there any side effects?
There are a number of side
effects associated with
chelation that can be very
detrimental to a child’s health. Read more
Who can do Chelation
therapy? Can it be done
at home?
Chelation therapy should be administered only by
a specialized doctor who has expertise and
experience in this treatment. Read more

What can I do at home for Art based therapy?

At home, it is recommended that parents work closely with the art therapist and occupational therapist to find methods that work well for their children. Since different children react differently to the therapy, parents can either be asked to do some simple exercises and activities at home or limit the art therapy to the therapy sessions with the art therapist.

Art-Based Therapy

Who is Qualified to practice and implement Art therapy?

Art therapy should be taken from a trained professional art therapist. Most occupational therapists and pediatricians can help in referring a parent to an art therapist. Our database also sorts a number of art therapists based on country, state, and city.

Art therapists are professionals that are trained in both art and therapy. They are trained in human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art a means of therapy, assessment and research, as well as provide consultations to allied professionals.

Art-Based Therapy
Art-Based Therapy

At what age should I start Art Based Therapy for my child with Autism?

Art therapy is a simple non-invasive procedure that can be used in conjunction with occupational therapy to enhance its benefits. Since art therapy does work to improve some motor skills, it can be started as soon as a child reaches an age wherein she/he is comfortable with art equipment.

In recent years, caregivers are seeking alternative or complementary 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.

One of the major characteristics of autism spectrum disorders is difficulty with verbal and social communication. However, many individuals with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually i.e. “in pictures.” Art, in general, is a form of expression that could open doors of communication for a child with autism. It also promotes self-exploration, emotional growth, and sensory integration while also encouraging social interaction in a fun setting.

Arts-based therapy differs from traditional art-making or performance in that the emphasis is on the process of creating and making rather than on the end product.

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