Complementary approaches to autism

This journal examines and critiques selected complementary therapies that a used in cases of autism.

You should consult a medical practitioner before embarking on any program that is potentially harmful.

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Join the discussion on breakthroughs in approaches to helping those on the autism spectrum, to realise their potential.

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Dogs & Autism

Therapy dogs for autism can assist with emotional and physical support. Having a solid and reassuring companion is meant to help ease sensory overload and help the autistic child focus and learn to filter out sensory input.

The child can use the therapy dog to learn to self-soothe through touch and pressure intervention and a trained autism therapy dog can also help with personal safety if the child is tethered to the dog’s harness.

From a vagal perspective, the dog can have a soothing and calming effect on the ‘old vagus’, allowing the child to learn to put the ‘vagal brake’ on and a parasympathetic state to ensue, which can enable a greater capacity for learning and communication.