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Pediatric Massage for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

     The internet has been in a panic due to the recent CDC estimations of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, increasing from 1 in 80 to 1 in 50. The CDC found more children above the age of 7 (above the age of normal diagnosis) which may account for the higher statistics. These alarming statistics only prove that there needs to be more alternatives to treatment and a better base of information for parents with children of autism. Massage has had many different studies done to prove its effectiveness in treating Autism.

Massage is a great treatment option as it is not only low cost but helps facilitate and nurture a stronger bond between child and parent. The many benefits that may come from using massage are: improvements were seen in sleep patterns, on-task behavior, parent and child communication, increased positive responses to being touched, positive social interaction, motor skills, sensory function, language function, and general health. There are a lot of scientific data that backs up all of the benefits but results can still vary on each individual child..

Sleeping is a monumental issue with children of all ages, and something that parents can attest to after a long night of walking their child back to their room! A study done introduced the use of Touch to several families with ASD children, not only did the parents feel more in control and closer after the Touch training was done but also gained the perception by parents of the children as having improved sleep patterns, children were more relaxed after receiving the massage and appeared more open to touch1.

Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can often have trouble with attention behaviors which impact development of social interactions and relationships with others. Steve Solomons, assistant head teacher at Rectory Paddock School and Research Unit in the London Borough of Bromley, set out to explore these issues with the aim of his study to investigate whether aromatherapy massage could increase shared attention behaviors. Through the introduction of Aromatherapy massage the children's responses were observed. The results indicate that the children's shared attention behaviors increased during aromatherapy massage and other positive behavioral changes2.

In another study, Standardized tests showed a decrease in autistic behaviors and increase in language development in all the children, as well as improvement in motor skills, sensory function and general health. Using medical Qigong massage twice weekly from the physician and adding in daily massage from parents for a five week period created these results.

Results from the use of massage have shown reduction in wandering, improvement in on-task behavior, less negative reactions to touch and less time resisting the teacher than the other control group who did not receive massage.. Others reaffirm the use of massage as a way to improve social relatedness behavior during play observations at school, and fewer sleep problems at home5.

With all of the documented reasons why to start massaging there are some considerations to keep in mind. Consultation and guidance from a healthcare provider is a necessity when dealing with any new medical treatment.! Important things to remember when massing your child is to always ask the permission, keeping the child involved is key, additionally adjusting and adapting your massage strokes for your child taking care and caution, making eye contact and continually using verbal and visual ques during the massage.

Copyright (c) 2013 Liddle Kidz Foundation Infant and Children's Pediatric Massage

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Looking for tips and techniques to improve your child's health? Find answers to all your questions about autism massage, children's and pediatric massage at .

Posted on 2013-06-09, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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