Today we will continue our conversation about different therapies available to families.
The following was shared with you in your Google Drive. Part of your homework is to tell me some things that you observed or learned from each therapy. You do not need to do this for Hippotherapy as you already did that for your homework. You also will not need to do this for speech as we will be learning more about that when Ms. Tilma comes in.
- Constructive Play
It's important for you guys to understand that just because a therapy is popular does not mean that it always works or that it has the scientific proof behind it. I am not speaking directly toward vision therapy, I have not done a lot of research on it. But there are a lot of other therapies and therapy centers out there that will claim to have amazing results even though there is no scientific proof.
You see, the numbers in autism are growing. Businesses realize this and want to "jump on the autism bandwagon", so to speak. They also realize that parents will do anything, and I mean anything, to help their child. So if you were a parent of a child with autism and your chiropractor said "Hey, I have a great new way to help cure kids with autism", there is a very likely chance you would say yes. There may not be any scientific proof that it works, but you are willing to try anything.
This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because these parents may find a great way to help kids with autism. As you know, every child with autism is different (One kid with autism is one kid with autism!) therefore a therapy might be great and work for one kid, but might have absolutely no effect on another kid. These new therapies might be bad because people are making a lot of money off of parents who are vulnerable and willing to try anything.
Does this mean that parents should not put there kids in therapies? Or that we should not support therapies? No! There are some amazing therapies out there with a lot of scientific background! I just want you to be aware that autism has the ability to make people money and that can be used in a dishonest way. Scientific proof is very important and being aware and skeptical is an okay thing.
As a teacher, sometimes it is my job to help guide and recommend parents toward opportunities to help their children. Therefore, I need to stay informed on what is out there and I need to research and speak with people involved before I make recommendations. You all are becoming "experts" in the area of autism. Someday your opinion may matter to someone in need. So be careful what you recommend and be aware of this whole therapy situation!
I look forward to reading through your homework and seeing how you do on the post-test! Don't worry, it will not be worth a lot of points. I just want to see if you ended up learning anything :-)
I will now leave you with an amazing video that has been going viral on the internet this week. It's similar to the Jason McElwain video I showed you a few weeks ago. I found it to be (as usual) incredibly heartwarming and definitely made me tear-up! Let me know what you thought in the blog comments.