Facilitated communication is a technique where the child’s arms and fingers are supported so that the child might type out inner thoughts. There are several scientific studies, which have been conducted on the subject of facilitated communication and studies show that the typed messages will often reflect the thoughts of the person providing the support. Also referred to as FCT or FC, it can be a very effective treatment for autism.
Holding therapy is another alternative and non-conventional method of therapy where the parent holds the child in a loving “hug” for a long period of time. The assumption is that this technique will help form a stronger bond between the parent and the child. There is some school of thought that feels this method may also help to stimulate the child’s brain activity, but there is not scientific evidence to support this theory at this time. Holding therapy is attractive to parents it is not as intrusive as other forms of therapy, such as medications. Holding therapy came about because experts felt that autism was the result of parent-child detachment. The holding therapy is supposed to help the parent and the child reconnect with each other.
Auditory Integration Therapy is where the child listens to a variety of sounds in the hopes that this type of therapy will help the child improve language comprehension. This method may be as effective as the simple act of listening to music. Listening sessions are meant to help normalize hearing and sharpen listening skills. It can help decrease anxiety while increase attention to detail in everyday life. Music during the sessions actually moves around acoustically. The music will alternative unexpectedly from ear to ear. It will also go from loud pitches to soft pitches and certain pitches are emphasized at unexpected times. The brain is supposed to learn through the movement of the acoustics. The auditory messages that the brain receives are complex and intense. The sound stimulus travels through the brainstem, medulla, superior olivary, superior colliculus and thalamus. All of these structures are connected to the auditory cortex.
A new modality that has been helping some people with autism is flotation therapy. A person gets inside of what’s a call a float tank. These float tanks are usually used for meditation, but they were originally designed for sensory deprivation, which can be of great benefit to people with autism and sensory stimulation issues.