Touch Therapy for Autism

Date: Call your campus for upcoming dates
Course Number/Program Code: CE 0014/CETTA132
Course Name: Touch Therapy for Autism
Contact Hours: 8.0
Days to Complete: 1.0
CEUs: .8
Location: Herzing University Brookfield, 555 S. Executive Drive, Brookfield
Prerequisite(s): None
Who Should Attend: Massage therapists and other healthcare professionals
Course Type: Lecture and Hands-On

Course Description:

This comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Autism (Massage for Children with Autism) course for massage therapists and healthcare professionals provides educational and professional training to those who wish to enhance their skills. Through this advanced training, participants learn to provide massage therapy, nurturing touch techniques, touch therapy, tactile introduction, sensory stimulation, and integration for children who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum disorder.

Currently, we are in the midst of a global epidemic, where children are diagnosed at an ever-growing rate with one of many developmental disorders that includes autism, Asperger's Syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pervasive development disorder (PDD), and nonverbal learning disorder (NLD).

Autism, ADD, ADHD, PDD, NLD, and Asperger's Syndrome were once either unknown or very rare. In 1980, autism diagnoses alone were 1 in 5,000—the most current data from the CDC says that it's 1 in 88 children. Boys appear to be affected four times as much as girls, and the rate could be as high as 1 in 70. There are many theories; however no one can say exactly what causes autism and its related disorders, including Asperger's Syndrome, an autism-like condition usually without language delay, and various Pervasive Development Disorders (PDDs). Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) interfere with normal development of the brain in the areas that influence reasoning, social interaction, motor skills, communication skills, and attention. Children with autism spectrum disorders are typically deficient in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and play activities.

Developmental disorders occur across a spectrum, affecting individuals differently—some children lose the ability to speak, some might have motor impairment, and many lack social and emotional awareness. Behaviors range from hyperactivity to serious self-injury. Families and healthcare professionals often report that children may show lack of eye contact as well as have an aversion to touch and tactile stimulation. These disorders make it difficult for children with ASD to communicate with others, leading to frustrated social isolation. If left untreated, children do not develop the skills they need to become a fully functioning part of society. For children with Autism, research has been published indicating that massage may provide relaxation, stress reduction, and calm muscle spasms. Research has also demonstrated that this type of intervention may promote more on-task and social relatedness behavior during play. Children with ASD show less erratic behavior and are more attentive after receiving massage therapy. This safe, nurturing touch, along with regular sensory integration, is beneficial in reducing inattentiveness, touch aversion, and withdrawal. Over time, touch therapy also helps the child to become more accustomed to tactile stimulation and aids in body awareness. Often by incorporating massage therapy into daily routines, children with Autism experience decreased issues with sleeping.

During the Liddle Kidz™ Foundation Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Autism course, participants will learn about autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), commonly observed symptoms associated with ASD, different therapies currently being employed with children who have a diagnosis on the spectrum, massage techniques, nurturing touch techniques, tactile introduction, sensory stimulation and integration, oral stimulation, oral-sensory activities and methodology, benefits for both children and caregivers, current research, and the importance of communication and attachment in building healthy emotional relationships. Participants will learn how to communicate with parents and healthcare providers and how best to reach children who need these services most. Specific unique verbal and nonverbal communication will be reviewed and discussed, including the use of picture exchange communication systems (PECS), when providing massage therapy. Massage and touch therapy techniques for working with children with varied developmental challenges will be demonstrated and practiced during hands-on in-class sessions. The benefits and importance of individualized adaptations for using massage therapy will be explained.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe pediatric massage and nurturing touch techniques.
  2. Describe the benefits of pediatric massage for children affected by autism, ADD, and ADHD, and relevant research facts.
  3. Describe applications for, and where to use, pediatric massage.
  4. Demonstrate a simple routine of pediatric massage techniques.
  5. Perform demonstration for parents on how to use infant massage.

Required Texts or other supplemental materials:

Will be provided by the presenter



TOPICAL Outline:

Topic Time Spent on Topic
Introductions 15 minutes
Overview of Course 15 minutes
Define Touch 15 minutes
Types of touch 30 minutes
Pediatric Touch and ASD Research 30 minutes
Pediatric Massage and ASD Benefits 30 minutes
Pediatric Massage and ASD Indications 30 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Growth/Development 60 minutes
Lunch 60 minutes
Working With Family and Children 45 minutes
Approach for Children 30 minutes
Hands-On Demo and Practice 10 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Hands-On Pediatric Massage 30 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Hands-On Massage/Alternatives 30 minutes
Question and Answer Session 20 minutes
Course Summation and Evaluation 10 minutes