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. Thus, apart from strengthening and balance training, a physical therapy intervention program provides a child with multiple benefits.
It has also been suggested that vigorous or strenuous exercise are associated with decreases in stereotypic (self-stimulatory) behaviors, hyperactivity, aggression, self-injury, and destructive behavior. It also improves child's awareness of their body posture and movements. As they face difficulties in communicating, it also helps teaching them ways of breathing control, and improve endurance.
Physical therapy additionally works to improve posture to improve fine motor, gross motor, and self-care activities, improve balance to improve movement control and attention and decrease impulsivity, lay down the foundations of gross motor skills to support participation in community and peer activities. It also has a calming and relaxing effect and improves academic responses.
Goals of physiotherapy for children with autism:
Improve posture to improve fine motor, gross motor, and self-care activities.
Improve balance to improve movement control and attention and decrease impulsivity.
Learn to perform the ideation and execution of any physical activity.
Maximize sensory processing and organization skills to put into controlled movement skills.
Lay down the foundations of gross motor skills to support participation in community and peer activities.
Calming and relaxing effect
Reduces self stimulatory behavior
Improve academic responses
Thus, a physical therapist devices a patient based physical therapy intervention program which includes:
Strengthening of weak muscles
Core muscle strengthening