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Asphalt children running caution marking

Autism and School Safety

With the death of Avonte, a young boy with autism gone missing last week for a while in Queens and a local 3 year-old with autism locally who was left on a school bus for 6 hours, it made me reconsider the safety of the students at the schools I have worked. The schools put many safeguards in place, but how do we a related service providers piggyback on those safeguards? Read more

How Can Physical Therapy Affect Social Skills?
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How Can Physical Therapy Affect Social Skills?

If you have a child who has difficulty with social skills and I asked you what kind of therapy could help your child develop these skills, what would you say?

I can guarantee physical therapy wouldn’t be on that list.  Not even on the bottom of the list.   Read more

Movement as a Tool

Movement As A Tool: How We Can Learn Through Our Strengths

Reposted from Our Journey Thru Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorders often have movement as a strength. Perhaps the child cannot talk or doesn’t know how to initiate play with a peer, but they can typically walk down the block and climb the monkey bars. We’re not talking about the quality, variety, or skill level of movement because children with ASD often have significant deficits in these aspects of movement. We are so often focusing on what children with developmental disabilities can’t do and coming up with strategies to improve these areas. What if we flip it and and look at their strengths. If we have identified movement as a strength, then how can we USE that strength to help a child learn, have fun and engage in social interactions. Read more

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Discussion on “Does Your Baby Have Autism?” by Teitelbaum and Teitelbaum

As a pediatric physical therapist specializing in developmental disabilities, I have worked with a lot of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past 10 years. After several months of physical therapy, I frequently saw how related areas of development, such as communication and social skills, would improve after addressing their motor deficits. Read more

Autism and Physical Therapy

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Physical Therapy: The Motor Connection

Originally published in Autism Spectrum, Winter 2005

Movement is an integral part of our social, emotional, and physical lives. A 4-month old excitedly kicks her arms and legs in response to the funny face dad makes, so he does it again. An 8-month old will crawl to retrieve her favorite rattle, shake it to hear the sound it makes, and then look at mom to share the experience with her. An 18 month-old takes moms hand, walks her to the kitchen, and says “juice” while pointing to the refrigerator. As a child grows, the length and complexity of movement sequences become more sophisticated. Read more