Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Learning Breakthrough Program addresses brain processes that are central to a thorough, multi-modal treatment approach for those with ASD. By improving sensory integration skills directly, users can alleviate certain ASD symptoms and foster the ability to improve responsiveness to many environmental stimuli.
There are five major classifications of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), more often referred to today as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autism is considered a "spectrum disorder" which basically means that someone can be a little autistic or very autistic. These disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Despite the neat image of a spectrum with clear cut segments for different disorders, ASD's are difficult to separate and diagnose. In fact, some would argue that there is no clear line between one diagnosis and another. Autistic people may have high or low IQ's. They may be chatty or silent, outgoing or shy, good or bad at academics. They may or may not have unusual talents. Some are easygoing while others have severe behavior issues.
Autism Spectrum Disorders range from a severe form, called autistic disorder, to milder forms such as Aspergers Syndrome. The autism spectrum disorders are more common in the pediatric population than are some better known disorders such as Diabetes, Spina Bifida, or Down Syndrome.
All children with ASD demonstrate deficits in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors or interests. In addition, they will often have unusual responses to sensory experiences, such as certain sounds or the way objects look. Each child will display communication, social, and behavioral patterns that are individual but fit into the overall diagnosis of ASD.
Sensory problems may also be present in children with ASD. When children's perceptions are accurate, they can learn from what they see, feel, or hear. On the other hand, if sensory information is faulty, the child's experiences of the world can be confusing. Many ASD children are highly attuned or even painfully sensitive to certain sounds, textures, tastes, and smells. Some children find the feel of clothes touching their skin almost unbearable and some sounds will cause these children to cover their ears and scream.
With ASD, the brain seems unable to balance the senses appropriately. When tested, some areas of ability may be normal, while others may be especially weak. There is no single best treatment package for all children with ASD. One point that most professionals agree on is that early intervention is important; another is that most individuals with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs.
Learning Breakthrough's balance and sensory development activities can have a positive impact for those who suffer from a range of Autism Spectrum Disorders.