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Vol. 16 - Num. 61

Special Articles

Possibilities of physical therapy in the multidisciplinary treatment of autism

Jorge J. Cazorla Gonzáleza, J Cornellá i Canalsb

aFisioterapeuta. Colaborador docente. Escuela de Fisioterapia EUSES. Universidad de Girona. Girona. España.
bPediatra. Psiquiatra infantojuvenil. Profesor del Grado de Fisioterapia. Escuela de Fisioterapia EUSES. Universidad de Girona. Girona. España.

Correspondence: JJ Cazorla. E-mail: parlita7@hotmail.com

Reference of this article: Cazorla González JJ, Cornellá i Canals J. Possibilities of physical therapy in the multidisciplinary treatment of autism. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2014;16:85.e37-e46.

Published in Internet: 19-02-2014

Abstract

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) coincide on deficits affecting social interaction, communication and flexibility in thinking. Furthermore, some exhibit lifetime motor deficits that can benefit by means of physiotherapy. Therefore, the figure of the physiotherapist is necessary for early intervention in the child, taking advantage of their brain plasticity to impact positively on their development and quality of life, and to obtain a proper social integration.

It is well known that water treatment is highly effective and it has an important role in the development of children with ASD, where the physiotherapist, besides working motor deficits, indirectly will positively influence aspects related to common deficits of the ASD (communication and attachment).

A co-intervention with a psychomotor-therapist and physiotherapist performed at the same time, besides influencing child development, will help manage the child from two different perspectives: aspects associated with emotional and behavioural problems, besides physical aspects. Both take place through play or game.

This fact opens a new line in pediatric physiotherapy, in this case, within child psychiatry. It is an emerging opportunity to contribute with new physiotherapy treatments integrating the physiotherapist in the multidisciplinary ASD team. This way the physiotherapist is directly involved in an integral child care project, and assuming the role of a health-promoting agent.

Keywords

Autism Autistic spectrum disorders Hydrotherapy Multidisciplinary approach Physical therapy Psychomotor activity

 

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