5 Alternative Autism Therapies You May Not Have Heard Of

boy surfingWhen it comes to autism, there are an overwhelming number of unknowns. From what causes it to why it manifests so differently in individuals to if we can someday prevent or cure it, there are many questions for which someday we'll hopefully have answers. In the meantime, however, there are families raising children with autism right now who are attempting to help their children on a daily basis with no standard medical protocol intact.

So many of the families craft their own plans for their children's care. They research, network, and try to make some sense of the puzzle that that this disorder presents. Some stick with whatever their school system provides, but others search further and have come up with some amazing ways to help their children navigate the world from inside the world of autism. Here are five alternative autism therapies you may not have heard about.

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  1. Surfing
    Some parents say events put on by groups like Surfers for Autism have allowed their children to expand in ways they would have never dreamed possible.
  2. Horses
    Called Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), some believe that people's brain waves change when they're around horses. They often have a calming effect, and some believe they help their children communicate better.
  3. Service Dogs
    Though traditionally a tool for the blind, these amazing animals also can be great companions for children with autism. They can help keep them safe and can also have a calming effect.
  4. Dance Therapy
    Some believe dancing gives those who aren't otherwise able to express themselves a beautiful way to do so. It can help them communicate with their therapist and also helps some develop greater body awareness and mobility.
  5. Art Therapy
    Like dance, this gives individuals with autism another way of expressing themselves. According to the American Art Therapy Association, it can help them "resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.”

What alternative autism therapies have you heard of or tried?

 

Image via mikebaird/Flickr

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