Autism and osteopathy.
Like all children, your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may suffer from muscle or joint pain/injury at some stage in their life. This could be a headache, postural discomfort or sports injury. If your child struggles with communication, expressing this pain may be difficult and frustrating but left untreated may snowball into larger issues. Dr Josh Wood, Osteopath at Spring Osteo Clinic has experience working with children with ASD and believes these children are often under-treated and under-examined. He wants to see this change. He can work with you and your child to identify the cause of their problem or injury and develop a safe and effective course of action to relieve, manage and prevent it.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that focuses on the connection between the structure of your body and how it functions. Josh uses his hands to treat you. He works with your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons using a combination of stretch, massage, pressure point and manipulation techniques.
Children with ASD particularly those in their teens, like many children and young adults are dealing with heavy school bags; poor school desk and chair ergonomics; and poor posture when watching or using their TV/iPads/laptops. This, paired with body changes due to puberty and growth, may result in postural pain, muscle and joint dysfunction and headaches.
Even the most eloquent of patients have difficulty describing their current pain. Pain can be present in a multitude of ways (sharp, dull, achy, throbbing) and can be present at different times (constantly, intermittently, when aggravated, or during rest). Three common areas of pain that osteopaths see children and teenagers with ASD for are:
Postural pain – Postural pain can have a drastic impact on children. Continuous pain may change behaviour, actions and emotional state.
Muscle and joint pain – Children with autism and other similar conditions are known to have a few specific, routine movements or actions that are exhibited for a variety of reasons. Some of these movements may be quite explosive and rapid which may cause damage within their joints and muscles. If they can’t perform these movements due to pain or discomfort, it can be quite stressful, as these actions may be a coping strategy or a way to release tension and stress.
Overuse injuries – Habitual, everyday actions can be quite taxing on any child’s body, children with ASD are prone to having specific motions and activities that they perform regularly, such as pointing their arm, this can lead to ‘overuse injuries’.
Osteopaths treat many kids, teenagers and young adults with postural pain; muscle and joint pain; overuse injuries and more. We need to ensure your child is receiving the same care. Getting on top of aches and pains while your child’s body is still youthful and capable of increased levels of healing rates may be the best approach to prevent more crippling aches and pains in later life.
About Josh Wood and his treatments
In addition to working as an Osteopath at Spring Osteo Clinic, Josh work for the ‘Son Rise’ program, an innovative training program for parents and professionals caring for children challenged by Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and other developmental difficulties. Through this experience Josh has an understanding of how to gain the trust of children with ASD. He believes trust and confidence is the key to establishing a good relationship as well as understanding your child’s physical cues confirming they are comfortable in their surroundings. He believes that treatment is and always will be a process and establishing trust will be paramount prior to any hands on treatment.
Before any treatment he will work with you and your child to plan the best way forward. He will start by getting to know you and your child and give your child a chance to get used to the environment. When he thinks your child is ready he will take a complete medical history, conduct an examination, and ask you and your child questions. Josh can then determine which type of osteopathic treatment is suitable, and if referrals to other health practitioners are needed.
With trust established Josh would aim to remedy aches, restrictions and pains reported by you and your child as well as screen for pains and areas of stiffness that may not be reported.
When it comes to structural conditions that can affect their lives, Josh believes that children with ASD are often under-treated and under-examined. With his qualification and experience in osteopathy and experience with working with people with ASD he aims to make a difference in this area.
To make an appointment or to discuss your personal requirements further, please contact Josh on 03 9830 7044 or online through our bookings page.
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About Spring Osteo Clinic
Spring is an osteopathic, clinical pilates and massage clinic located on Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria. We are available to treat your back, neck, headaches, migraines, sports injuries, pregnancy pain, postural related pain and more. We take a holistic approach to your treatment by reviewing your direct problem area as well as assessing your whole body and lifestyle. This helps us to understand the cause of the problem and find ways for you to gain immediate and long-term relief; offer preventative solutions; and equip you with pain management skills. We treat people through many stages of life including babies and children; teenagers with study strains; athletes – beginner to professional; pregnant women and new mums; tradesmen and desk bound workers with postural complaints and more. www.springosteo.com.au