Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that typically appears in early childhood. Most people on the autism spectrum have delays, differences or disorders
in many areas, including gross and fine motor skills. Some individuals may present with low muscle tone in some areas and high muscle tone in other areas, which will create repeated difficulty with
coordination, balance and motor planning. They also may present with decreased strength and endurance, leading to difficulty with walking and sitting for long durations. Multi-step tasks such
as picking up objects and placing them in a designated area may be difficult to achieve without guidance due to poor motor planning. Sensory integration may also need to be improved if the person has
difficulty ambulatingon various surfaces, increased fear or
need for continuous movement. These impairments may not interfere with basic day-to-day functioning, social development and physical development if addressed.
Intensive physical therapy has become an increasingly viable option for children with autism who need help developing age-appropriate motor skills, have low/high muscle tone or have problems with physical systems. Those who have Autism can benefit from customized exercise programs that target areas of deficiency.
Indications for Physical Therapy
What Can Keep Moving Forward, Inc. do for individuals with Autism?
Beginning with basic motor skills such as sitting, rolling, standing and walking, the physical therapists at Keep Moving Forward Inc. can help children who have Autism in a variety of innovative ways. We work on higher level skills to teach techniques to build muscle strength, balance, coordination and endurance. This includes more sophisticated skills such as jumping, skipping, kicking, throwing and catching. Motor planning and multi-step tasks such as squatting to pick up an object and placing it in a high basket are also incorporated as it mimics functional activity of daily life. Our physical therapists can facilitate active movement or provide stability to increase motor skills. These skills are not only important for physical development, but also for social engagement in sports, recess and general play. At Keep Moving Forward Inc. we utilize various tools to aid us in your child’s progression. One key tool is the Therasuit ,™ which is a soft proprioceptive orthosis, which provides stabilization, sensory integration, postural alignment and resistance training. The Universal Exercise Unit is also an integral component allowing muscle strength and isolation to take place through use of our pulley system and weight assisted activity. This provides opportunity to advance to higher level tasks and lead to increased independence.
Intensive Physical Therapy at Keep Moving Forward, Inc.
Intensive physical therapy at Keep Moving Forward Inc. can minimize motor delays and improve balance and coordination faster than traditional physical therapy. This
is due to the increased duration and repetition of tasks, helping with brain activity reinforcement. We are also able to isolate muscles needed to initiate a movement or task. Our advanced
state-of-the-art equipment allows patients to be put in positions, which allow a greater level of security in order for them to figure out how to achieve the movement independently with the
assistance of our experienced physical therapists. This stability and security promotes increased independence, faster growth in strength, and muscle memory. Our Universal Exercise Unit promotes
weight assisted support which allows for sensory integration and motor coordination as well as ability to achieve higher level and multi-joint tasks such as jumping. The TheraSuit® allows for sensory
integration and proprioceptive feedback throughout the body. This helps with the incorporation of senses through muscle movements. Our weight training activities, as well as equipment, (such as our
pediatric treadmill and elliptical) help to incorporate increased strength, coordination and endurance.
This integration of multiple activities helps to establish a greater balance and fluidity within an individual allowing them to perform various tasks increasing independence in all environments.