In 2015 a 12-year old boy with autism presented to our Greensborough clinic. He was seeing a paediatric chiropractor at Family Tree Health on a regular basis and was referred to our team for soft tissue treatment.

Autism is characterised by early onset of lack of attachment, the failure to cuddle as an infant, and an almost complete disassociation with the environment.

Children and adults display varying degrees of tactile defensive behaviours. A person who withdraws when touched, displays aggressive behaviours, or even refuses to eat certain foods because of their textures manifests this dysfunction of the tactile system.

Children are being diagnosed at an ever growing rate with one of many developmental disorders that includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) and non verbal learning disorder (NLD).

In 1980, autism diagnosis alone were 1 in 5,000; the most current data suggests it’s now 1 in 50 children. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s) interfere with normal development of the brain in the areas that influence reasoning, social interaction, motor skills, communication skills, and attention. Children with ASD’s are typically deficient in verbal and non verbal communication, social interaction and play activities.

For children with autism, research has been published indicating that soft tissue therapy can help provide relaxation, stress reduction and calm muscle spasms for the individual. Research has also demonstrated that this type of intervention may promote more on-task and social relatedness behaviour during play.

Research conducted by Dr Louisa Silva concluded that among the 103 participants the severity of autism decreased by 32%, resulting in improved behaviour and language. More specifically, sensory difficulties improved by 38% and sensitivity to touch and texture improved by 49% after 5 months of treatment. Also notable was an improvement in parent-child bonding and interactions.

During our consultations, the client and his parents share information on his current behaviour and stress triggers. The aim of these appointments is to get the client in a more relaxed state which in turn assists his behaviour. Soft tissue treatment is firm and focused more on the right side of the body. We focus on the right side of the body as the left side of his frontal brain is contributing to the distorted nerve function in his central nervous system. It must be remembered that every individual autism spectrum disorder is different and the treatment with change between clients.

Currently this client now visits our clinic on a monthly basis for soft tissue treatment to assist with behavioural changes and relaxation.

By Megghan Ryan – Elite Myotherapist