Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
How TheraTogs Can Help
TheraTogs systems can address the problems of postural control – the ability to sustain a posture while attending to and engaged in a purposeful activity – and hypersensitivity to tactile sensory input by delivering a cozy body hug that raises body awareness and reduces exposure to tactile stimuli on the torso.
The fabric is designed to resist vertical stretch, so that it offers gentle postural stability to the trunk and hips throughout the day. Just donning the garments frequently produces a calming effect. Unlike a weighted vest, the compression of the garments varies with position changes and movement, and so calming effect does not wane over time.
The addition of strapping to the garments can improve postural alignment, connect the thorax to the pelvis, or deliver a deep compression through the joints of the spine and hips.
Which TheraTogs Systems to Use
These TheraTogs system can support therapy goals for ASD:
Applicable Evidence, Science, and Therapy Approaches
Sciences that apply to the management of ASD:
- Somatosensory information processing and modulation
- Neural plasticity: cortical mapping and massed practice
Therapy approaches that can be used to address ASD:
- Perception-Action Approach (P-A) (formerly TAMO – Tscharnuter Akademie for Motor Organization)
- Sensory Integration Approach (SI)
More About Autism Spectrum Disorders
The autism spectrum was redefined in 2013 to encompass autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett syndrome (featuring a loss of muscle tone, problems crawling or walking, diminished eye contact, and later, loss of purposeful hand use and speech). These disorders are characterized by social deficits and communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays.
A large segment of the population with autism shows impairments in movement quality or skill, sensory modulation problems, and deficits in postural control.[2,3] Postural control deficits (PCD) in children with autism have been detected using measures of body sway over the feet in standing position. Interestingly, a correlation was found between PCD and restricted, repetitive behaviors – one of the core diagnostic criteria of ASD.
Other challenges can include clumsiness; motor planning and task execution; and altered sensitivity to sensory inputs such as light, sound, touch, and movement. (See also SMD.)
Children with Asperger syndrome (AS) are usually not diagnosed until they are age 7 years. Retrospective studies of home videos of children with AS when they were infants have demonstrated early problems holding symmetrical postures, integrating primitive reflexes, gaining balance, and organizing movement skills such as reciprocal crawling and walking.[4,5] Learn more. For more information on ASD:
- Autism spectrum disorder fact sheet. DSM5.org. American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013.
- Radonovich KJ, Fournier KA, Hass CJ. 2013. Relationship between postural control and restricted, repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders. Front Integr Neurosci. 7:28.
- Owen JP, Marco EJ, Desai S,et al. 2013. Abnormal white matter microstructure in children with sensory processing disorders. Neuroimage Clin. 23;2: 844-853.
- Teitelbaum O, Benton T, Shah PK, et al. 2004. Eshkol-Wachman movement notation in diagnosis: the arly detection of Asperger’s syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 10;101(32):11909-14.
- Teitelbaum P, Teitelbaum O, Nye J, Fryman J, Maurer RG.1998. Movement analysis in infancy may be useful for early diagnosis of autism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 95(23):13982-7