What Is Autism?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) describes a range of developmental conditions that affect how a person communicates, interacts, and behaves. ASD is called a spectrum disorder because the symptoms and severity can vary widely from one person to another.
Typical signs and symptoms of autism include:
• Having difficulty with communication and social interaction
• Restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior such as repeating words or phrases, lining up objects, or having intense and narrow interests
• Sensory issues, such as being over- or under-sensitive to sounds, lights, or textures
How Can PT Help?
Children with autism also often have difficulties with motor skills, which affect their daily functioning and quality of life. For example, they may have trouble with balance, coordination, motor planning, and body control. They may also have low muscle tone, which can make them appear floppy or weak. These challenges make it hard for them to participate in physical activities like playing games or on playgrounds with peers, which are important for both their physical and mental health.
Physical therapy can help children with autism overcome these difficulties and improve their motor skills. Using individualized and structured interventions, pediatric physical therapists help children with autism learn new skills and practice them in a fun and motivating way. Physical therapy can also help children with autism develop a positive attitude toward physical activity and enjoy the benefits of exercise, such as improved mood, energy, and sleep.
Improved gross motor skills and increased physical activity can also support the development of other areas that are affected by autism, like social and emotional skills. Physical activities can provide opportunities for children with autism to interact with their peers and family, express their feelings, and follow rules and directions. Physical therapy can also help children with autism cope with sensory issues, such as hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to touch, sound, or movement, by exposing them to different stimuli and helping them regulate their responses.
How Do I Find a Qualified PT for my Child?
If you think your child with autism may benefit from physical therapy, you should consult with your child’s pediatrician, who can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in working with children with autism. You can also search for a physical therapist near you using the American Physical Therapy Association website.
• Research (peer-reviewed)
o Physical Activities for Children with Autism – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32192008/
o Exercise for children with autism – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31615098/
o Physical activity effects on sleep and executive function – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30663324/
• Articles and Content
o Recognizing Autism in Healthcare – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34983217/
o Autism – diagnosis and management – https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg142
Supporting people with autism 19 or under – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34283415/
Physical therapy has lots of benefits for active people. Athletes, performers, weekend warriors, and people who work in physically demanding jobs can all benefit from the expertise of a physical therapist. Here are 3 ways physical therapists help active people stay that way.
Active people get hurt. Physical therapists have the knowledge and skills to help people recover from injuries faster. In addition to helping people recover, physical therapists will look for the root cause of the injury and address that as well, to help keep the injury from coming back. If the injury is severe and requires surgery, a physical therapist will guide the recovery and make sure the person gets back to their activity. But in some cases, a physical therapist can help an injured person avoid surgery in the first place.
Surgery isn’t the only thing physical therapists can help people avoid. A physical therapist can also help with injury prevention too. A thorough assessment of an athlete’s strength, mobility, balance, and coordination helps to identify issues that could lead to injury. A PT can then design a program to improve the problem areas before they lead to injury. A PT can also assess an existing training plan and help to identify areas that may lead to sprains, strains, or overtraining.
In addition to helping people improve areas where they’re weak, therapists can help people get better in areas of strength. A physical therapist can create a program to improve strength, flexibility, coordination, agility or speed. Physical therapists are movement experts. They can break down the requirements of a specific physical task like lifting or throwing, then design a training program that will help people meet those demands.
Physical Therapy is more than just a way to get back on your feet after an injury – it can also help you stay at the top of your game. Whether you’re an athlete, a dancer, or someone who wants to stay in shape, physical therapy can help you reach your performance goals. With the right exercises and treatments, physical therapists can help you improve strength, flexibility, and endurance so that you can perform at your best and lower your risk of injury.
1) Research (peer-reviewed)
a) What we currently do for sports – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31077961/
b) Sports injury prevention – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35421834/
2) Articles and Content
c) How Can Physical Therapy Help to Avoid Surgery? – Tucson Orthopaedic Institute
Stories about hiring difficulties are all over the news right and physical therapy clinics haven’t been left out. An aging population with more chronic diseases has been pushing up the need for physical therapy for years. The pandemic has accelerated the problem. Clinics aren’t only looking for PTs and PTAs either. Finding the right people to fill roles in billing, administrative and tech roles is difficult too. Many clinics also employ people like nutritionists, athletic trainers and fitness professionals. If you’re looking for a new place to work or a change in career, a PT clinic might be a great setting for you. Here’s a few reasons why:
Physical therapy is unique in the world of healthcare because of the time that patients spend in the clinic. People often come in 2 to 3 times a week for anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on what they’re coming in for.
When people spend that much time together, it’s easy for great relationships to form. Often these relationships end up lasting a lifetime and have benefits that extend outside the clinic. Having a large and diverse network is never a bad thing and a PT clinic is a great place to build one.
Make a difference
Physical therapists work with people who have injuries or disabilities that affect their mobility, as well as those who have chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. They help people heal faster and get them back to normal life, with a focus on function. That means PTs want to help people get back to meaningful things like going to work, recreational activities, hobbies, or playing with grandkids. Being able to return to things like that means a lot more to patients than lowering their blood pressure or improving their lab values. And it feels good to be a part of making that happen.
If you’ve never considered working in a PT clinic, it might be right for you. It’s rewarding and a great way to build relationships, become valuable in the community, and make a difference in people’s lives.