We are pleased to announce that Brainwave therapists now design programmes for children who are either on the autistic spectrum or who have autistic tendencies as part of their diagnosis.
Like all children who visit Brainwave, children on the autistic spectrum are unique. Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. For some it is purely social and communication, but for many children with autistic spectrum disorder there are difficulties with hand skills, movement skills, attention, concentration, behaviour and sensory processing. At Brainwave our therapists will take time to get to know and assess your child and their particular skills and develop a tailor made programme that will challenge their specific difficulties.
For children who find it difficult to attend to tasks, our programmes may include vigorous exercise, which can help to reduce anxiety, self- stimulation behaviours and aggression in children with autism. We have found that doing physical exercises before any concentration work helps children to sit for longer periods of time and concentrate more easily on the task. This is largely due to the fact that the children feel calmer but also because the exercises help to increase body awareness. When a child knows where their body is in space, everyday tasks such as sitting on a chair become less daunting and easier to carry out.
Many children with autism also have sensory problems which may have an effect upon behaviour, movement and cognition. This is clearly an extremely important area as it impacts across so much of a child’s life. Our programmes, therefore, include exercises to address these problems in order to help each child to reach their full potential. Although we look at all sensory systems, we have a particular focus on the tactile, vestibular and proprioception systems..
Communication is another aspect of development affecting many children with autism. All therapists at Brainwave are trained in Makaton and some therapists are also trained in PECS (picture exchange communication system).
Therapists at Brainwave are skilled at assessing fine and gross motor skills which are other areas that may pose a problem for children on the autistic spectrum.
Through doing the Brainwave programme, children with autism have been noted to be calmer, less sensitive to touch, more responsive and happier to co-operate. These are just a few areas where a Brainwave programme can help, and it is clear that practising a Brainwave programme can make a very positive difference to family life.