What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is often diagnosed in babies under the age of two. The symptoms of autism occur within a wide spectrum from mild to severe. Often, people with ASD have challenges with learning, communicating, behaving and interacting with others.
Children with autism often have speech and language delays. Social challenges may include temper tantrums and difficulty making eye contact. Autism can make functioning difficult.
Some individuals with ASD have self-stimulating behaviors also known as “stimming.” These movements or mannerisms such as full-body rocking, flapping of the hands, or repetitive sounds or noises are common forms of stimming. Self-stimulation may help individuals with ASD manage sensations that are difficult for them to process.
There are no definitive biomarkers for ASD. There is, however, strong evidence that the immune system plays a significant role. One common marker amongst children with ASD is elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Understanding CST and ASD
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) has been shown to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD.) This gentle, hands-on therapy helps the body and brain move towards balance.
Dr. John Upledger, found CST to be an effective, hands-on approach to reduce the symptoms of ASD. The Craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord, surrounding soft tissue membranes (dura),spinal vertebrae and cranial bones. Chronic tensions within the body can impede normal function within the central nervous system, inhibiting the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood around the spinal cord and brain.
The practitioner of CST releases soft tissue and bony restrictions in the head, spine, sacrum and tailbone. As the patterns of strain are released, the body moves towards balance and the client experiences a sense of well being.
Craniosacral Therapy complements other therapies including Rolfing, Acupuncture, Sensory Integration, Neurodevelopmental Therapy, Homeopathy and Speech Therapy.
In my 40+ years helping children on the spectrum, I have witnessed children becoming calmer, more engaged, and better able to communicate as a result of receiving Craniosacral Therapy.