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View Diary: Autism severity may stem from fear (17 comments)

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  •  When I was told about work to help children (1+ / 0-)
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    "integrate" their sensory systems - work that involved making them put their hands in finger paint, clay, and sandbox sand - I almost screamed. That is not therapy. That's abuse.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:26:45 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I've seen that work well (0+ / 0-)

      with my own daughter. She is both on the spectrum (Asperger's) and has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

      The integration bit is only used in small doses with sensory soothing activities both before and afterwards. For my daughter (who is a sensory avoider, especially of light touch or soft sounds) this means "heavy work" that stimulates the deep propriocepters and reboots her nervous system.

      Over a period of time the nervous system is retrained to have larger buffers to tolerate the sensory input and can be more easily rebooted when tolerances are exceeded.

      I can see how this technique could be overused and abused but it has been valid for us.

      •  PS. My daughter is 14 (0+ / 0-)

        and well able to set limits if she is uncomfortable. It would have been nice to understand her struggles earlier, but I'm relieved that we have something that is working AND that she is old enough to direct it herself.

    •  It's more a matter of (1+ / 0-)
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      Killer of Sacred Cows

      "turning on" what in a neurotypical kid is natural experimentation and seeking of new experiences.

      As an example: when our son was a baby/toddler, he didn't put things in his mouth to explore them like most babies do.  Now, in some ways that's great -- no choking hazards from his big brother's toys left strewn about.  On the other hand, it also meant that he didn't feed himself -- he wouldn't hold a bottle or cup; wouldn't pick up a graham cracker and place it in his own mouth.  It took a lot of nudging -- and accidentally touching a barbecued sparerib and transferring the sauce to his mouth -- to break through to the idea that he could feed himself.

      Same thing with walking -- at a year, he could walk, if someone picked him up and put him on his feet.  He could sit -- if some one placed him in a sitting position.  He didn't have the natural urge to try and get himself in those advantageous positions, and as a consequence didn't have the muscular ability/memory to do it.  It took a physical therapist several weeks to break through and get him to experiment with his own body.

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