Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that you can notice in a child by 12 months of age but sometimes not until about 24 months of age, depending on the severity. In this article, we’ll discuss how physical therapy helps children with ASD and why it’s often necessary.
ASD Causes Delays
When discussing autism spectrum disorder, it’s important to keep in mind that severity varies for each person with ASD. Although one child may be delayed by years, another may not be far behind children of the same age without ASD.
Children with ASD sometimes have trouble mimicking others’ behaviors. A simple game such as “so big” with a very young child with ASD may be impossible. Gross and fine motor skills may be delayed as well.
Common Movement Traits
There are some common traits for children with ASD when it comes to movement. They are as follows:
- An inability to point at objects
- Poor balance and coordination
- Delayed walking, running, jumping, and skipping
- Unable to control posture
- Poor eye-hand coordination
- Exaggerated or slow movements
Sometimes when a child with ASD displays these common movement traits, they are mistakenly considered to have low energy because of the lack of reaction or movement.
Physical therapy helps children with ASD gain control over movements that they once could not control. It can also relieve frustration often seen in children with ASD as they begin to feel more in control. This, in turn, relieves anxiety. It’s one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle in helping your child with autism thrive.
Keep in mind, one child may respond quickly to therapy, and another may take years. What matters is understanding how physical therapy helps children with ASD and whether or not it’s something to consider for your child.
Let’s look at the ways physical therapy helps children with ASD:
- Teaches new movements
- Helps develop better posture and coordination
- Playtime becomes enjoyable as things like playing catch improve
- Increases health and fitness level
- Practice for their daily routine
As mentioned, ASD severity varies in each child with the disorder. Physical therapy helps on every level, from minimal symptoms to severe.
As you work together with your physical therapist to improve the life of your child with ASD, be patient and consistent, and you’ll begin to see results not only in physical movements but also in emotions and self-confidence.
At Chariot Innovations, our goal is to help all of those who suffer from movement disorders. Using our MiraColt, designed to replicate equine-assisted therapy for those with autism, we have seen great success in improved movement and disposition for those with ASD. Contact us at Chariot Innovations for more information.