Try This Tuesday #40: Supplemental Therapies

Try This Tuesday

Welcome to this week’s Try This Tuesday. For details on how to participate, please check out the welcome post. If you’d like to join in but aren’t sure what to write about, try the topic suggestion for this week: Supplemental Therapies.

I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it, but I’m thinking about therapies outside the ones typically offered in Early Intervention or school settings, i.e. Speech, OT, PT, DT. Things like music therapy, aqua therapy, hippotherapy, listening therapy, psychotherapy, etc, etc. Have you tried any? What have the results been?

Supplemental Therapies We’ve Tried

Biomedical Intervention
This may not fall into the exact category I suggested, but I feel I should mention it because it has made a big difference in Michael’s life.

To this point, we have implemented the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet along with nutritional supplementation and treatment of a mild yeast overgrowth (all done under a doctor’s supervision). We saw increased alertness and communication within days of starting the diet. Over time, we have also seen improvement in GI and immune system issues as well as in better sleep and sensory regulation.

I think it is true for all of us that feeling better physically and getting enough rest has a large impact on how well we function and relate to other people, and this has definitely been the case for Michael.

Listening Therapy
After much research into auditory integration training, we decided to go forward with a Dynamic Listening program. This was done with an OT who is also trained in Floortime, so we got a lot of bang for our buck, so to speak.

I was amazed how quickly I saw improvement in his fine motor skills and even his strength, especially after two years of weekly OT at preschool with little change.

A week into the program, he began buckling his own seat belt, which completely shocked me at the time. He also began showing awareness of bodily functions, which we really hadn’t seen before, and we were finally able to begin potty training.

Music Therapy
Despite all the wonderful things I had heard about music therapy, and how much Michael enjoys music, this particular venture didn’t turn out so well for us. It may have been a combination of a fairly-new therapist and the fact that Michael was so reluctant to let anyone else be in control of their own actions, let alone his.

If I could go back, I would have asked the director to step in and offer some direction before giving up. Although I decided not to return after a break during the summer before kindergarten, I don’t regret trying it.

After a couple of months in kindergarten, Michael began really noticing that he was different from the other children and started expressing a lot of negative things about himself. Finally, I decided I was going to seek out a psychologist with experience in the area of autism to get an objective and informed opinion about the situation.

This turned out to be a great move, both for him and for me. After the therapist had seen him individually for a while, she recommended that he join her group sessions for Kindergarten-2nd grade boys on the spectrum. He was so excited to meet other boys who “think like him” and has continued to be enthusiastic about going even when he grumbles about everything else he has to do.

So that’s a bit about some of the things we have done. I’d love to hear what has worked (or not worked) for your children.

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges, or feel free to post your own challenge for input from others.

Topic Suggestion for Next Week: Open Mic. I don’t really have a suggestion ready for next week, so I’m leaving it open. Share whatever’s on your mind, or ask for suggestions on an area you are dealing with now.

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier and invites you to do the same. You can also find her blogging at Another Piece of the Puzzle and Autism Interrupted.

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