This week we began our talk about therapies and treatments. We were able to touch a little on OT (sensory overload and Apraxia), speech and behavioral therapy (ABA and Constructive Play). I am attaching my lesson plan that you saw up on the screen. It is your job to go through and watch these short videos. Your homework deals with information about each of these therapies.
- OT (Occupational Therapy
2. Sensory Overload
- Speech Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
2. Constructive Play
- Music Therapy
- Vision Therapy
- Food Therapy
- Art Therapy
There are so many other kinds of therapies out there that I have not listed. These are just some of the most popular therapies that families and schools will often use or recommend. What I tend to see is that therapies are chosen based on a student's need (Student has difficulty speaking? The parents will seek out speech!) along with what therapy is currently popular. Lately I have been hearing a lot more about vision therapy. It's kind of like it's the latest trend in therapies. One of our peer's parents actually do a lot for vision therapy in the area.
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 has been 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 large 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 particular 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 their 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!
Please be sure to check the "Homework" tab to see what you need to do for this week. Also, comment on the following video. It is one of my favorites!
Have a wonderful weekend!