Our scientific and medical appreciation and understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders is for ever changing. What we do know is that Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is present at birth. It is associated with an atypical development of the neural pathways and connections within the brain after birth. This ‘wiring’ of the brain leads to immaturity in skills associated with the lower levels of the brain, known as the brain stem.
Difficulties the child may experience:
Social interaction and friendships
Attachment and bonding
Communication and sound production
Set routines and behaviours
Aims of Intervention:
Intention to communicate
Seeking interaction with others
Improved motivation and interest in fine motor skills
Reduced mouthing and sucking of objects
Calmer behaviour · Sustained concentration
An increase in independent working
Greater skills at coping with emotional challenges
At Hemispheres we believe that by selecting specific movements which have been purposefully developed to mature the functions and structures of the brain stem, it is possible to facilitate improvements in the overall ‘wiring’ and functioning of a child’s central nervous system. Indeed children with a diagnosis of ASD who have been using the programme on a daily basis at home, have reported improved levels of functioning. Parents are expected to be part of the intervention programme supporting the child to complete their exercises each day and helping to set intervention goals.
The Hemispheres Motor Programme™ works well in partnership with children who are using Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), The Listening Programme and Talk Tools. It will not negatively affect any concurrent dietary programmes being used.
On average, children with Autism stay on the programme for between 12-24 months. However, early intervention is proving to be more efficient. Those who participate in the programme younger tend to require 12 sessions, compared with the 12 – 24 sessions usually required by their older counterparts.
Currently Autistic Spectrum Disorders makes up 26% of the Hemispheres caseload: 100% of those children have experienced improvements in their presenting symptoms. Hemispheres do not claim to cure Autism, however, we do help relieve many different symptoms and improve each child’s overall level of engagement and functioning.