Aug/Sep 2009

Grapevine

Tender Touch: Autism and Massage Therapy

As a physical therapist assistant and massage therapist, I understand the importance of touch. But I never knew how crucial touch is to children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) until I began working with them on a daily basis. For these children, touch is more than casual contact. It signifies a level of trust and understanding that can only come through patience and diligence. According to the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, regular massage decreases touch aversion in autistic children and helps minimize stress and anxiety.   More...