Welcome to the world of therapy!

From behavior interventions to nutritional supplements - we’ve broken them down for you. When possible, we’ll also share a video to show the different therapies in action.

We will not be offering names or information about any service providers here. While they are obviously an important piece to treating children with autism spectrum disorders, selecting the right provider that meets your child’s needs is very personal. We recommend that once you have a sense of the therapies you’d like to pursue that you seek out recommendations or referrals from your health insurance customer service department, from support groups, or the local Autism Society Chapter website (they often have a service provider directory available online).

Our role is to inform you of the differences so you can form your own opinions and make your own choices.

CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is often offered by chiropractors, osteopaths, occupational therapists and massage therapists. The practice focuses on the flow of fluid around the brain and spine. A therapist will use their hands to detect disruptions, and by applying gentle pressure, reestablish the flow.

CST goes all the way back to the early 1900’s. Like many other ‘alternative’ therapies, science has not yet confirmed a benefit to this therapy, while some families have reported otherwise.

CST proponents offer that ASD is caused by a loss of flexibility in the membrane layers around the brain, and that it’s treatable by restoring the flow of fluids around the brain and spine.

Here is a VIDEO of this therapy in process.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE

As with any therapy, be cautious of providers claiming to ‘cure’ autism. There is no cure, in fact some would argue that ASD is a permanent part of the person and that only the negative aspects need to be addressed. That being said, it is not uncommon for families to find that a combination of therapies bring desirable behavior, increased communication, and other positive influences - improving the overall quality of life. But there is no ‘cure’ for autism, and parents should be cautious when anyone selling something uses this term.

Also, not all therapies work well for all children. While some have found positive benefits to chiropractic and/or craniosacral care for autism symptoms, an equal number have found no benefit, with a handful actually experiencing an increase in negative side effects (Increase in migraines, etc). As with any therapy, keep in mind that if it’s not a good fit or is not giving the benefits you expect, you can always stop.

There is currently no professional standard for training in CST and its practice is unregulated. Families with interest in CST should be sure to inquire about the credentials of a provider before beginning treatment.

INSURANCE

Insurance companies are not required to cover craniosacral therapy. Most consider it to be experimental, and do not offer coverage. Some granting agencies might consider covering the cost of craniosacral therapy (and other therapies as well). Most CST patients pay out of pocket for their services.

Please note: This information was compiled by a parent volunteer from public sources, and is not intended to be medical or legal advice.