Dr. Diane Brain Health | Autism Treatments | Dr. Diane Brain Health
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Autism Treatments

Autism Treatments

Dr. Diane® Brain Health utilizes state of the art and cutting edge technology and has the Solutions and Resources SM to get you feeling your best. The Dr. Diane® integrative team of Brain Health Experts is trained in conventional, complementary, and alternative specialties. Using her 5 Prong Approach, this team will provide you with customized Autism Treatments, because Dr. Diane® sees each person as a unique individual and knows that one method does not fit everyone.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of complex brain development disorders. These disorders are characterized by difficulties with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, impairments, and repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autism, or Autistic Disorder, is the most severe form of ASD. Other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form of Autism known as Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Understanding Autism

Dr. Diane®’s initial research in Neuropsychology and Autism began when she was teaching the first integrative classroom for Autistic children in Marshfield, MA. She was the first in the world to introduce the use of sign language to help Autistic children communicate. From this experience, Dr. Diane® completed her doctoral dissertation on the topic of Autism, titled “A Description of the Changes of Verbal and Nonverbal Communicative and Noncommunicative Behavior in a Group of Autistic Children.” Dr. Diane® presented this research at the 2nd International Conference on Autism.

 

4 Main areas of Difficulty Associated with Autism:

 

  • Social Challenges
  • Communication Difficulties
  • Repetitive Behaviors
  • Physical and Medical Issues that may Accompany Autism

Specific Autism Treatments

The following is an overview of the various types of treatments for helping a person with the developmental issues related to Autism. The description of treatment is by insurance coverage: Conventional, Complimentary, and Alternative. This does not suggest that one type of treatment is better than the others; instead it is based off of what your health insurance covers. For an explanation of how each of these treatments affects a specific area, please read Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Dr. Diane’s Approach to Treatment of Autism

You are a unique person. How Autism affects your brain is as unique as you are. Are you a hearty person? Or are you reactive or sensitive? What type of childhood did you have? Your life history has to be accounted for in order to determine which treatment is best for you. How often have you been prescribed medications with many side effects, only because the person prescribing the medication or treatment did NOT take into account your reaction to it?

 

Dr. Diane® and her team of Brain Health Experts work as a unified team, which strongly believes that regardless of the presenting problem or situation, you as a person should be seen from the five distinct views that make up our approach: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and energy. Often these areas intertwine and each needs to be addressed, yet Dr. Diane® looks for the core issue. Then and only then are your individual treatment programs developed based on conventional, complimentary, and alternative methods. Based on your unique needs and goals they are able to provide a customized treatment program employing such techniques. These methods are often modified and customized to meet your specific needs as you progress in regaining your life.

Treatment of the issue related to Autism

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech sound production: articulation, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, ataxia, and dyskinesia.

 

Resonance: hyper nasality, hypo nasality, cul-de-sac resonance, mixed resonance.

 

Voice: phonation quality, pitch, loudness, respiration.

 

Fluency: stuttering, cluttering.

 

Language (comprehension and expression): phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics (language use, social aspects of communication), literacy (reading, writing, spelling), prelinguistic communication (e.g., joint attention, intentionality, communicative signaling), and paralinguistic communication.

 

Feeding and swallowing: oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal, orofacial myology (including tongue thrust), and oral-motor functions. Amy Karas is our Speech and Language Pathologist on our Brain Health expert team. She also is a Cognitive Therapy practitioner.

Cognitive Therapy

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Problem solving
  • Executive functioning

Physical Therapy

This encompasses exercises that help improve range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, endurance, flexibility, balance, motor skills, and general mobility (i.e., walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed or chairs). Tailored treatment programs are designed to be unique to each individual, and help to decrease deficit and restore function. Therapy may also involve massage therapy, heat or water therapy, along with other interventions that will help improve a patient’s comfort and accelerate recovery.

 

The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to restore maximum functional independence to each individual patient. Joan Flynn is our physical therapist on our Brain Health expert Team. She also provides CranioSacral therapy.

Craniosacral Therapy

Developed by John Upledger, CranioSacral therapy employs the concept of dynamic activity and relationship within the CranioSacral system. This therapy is a technique based on cranial osteopathy, with therapists believing that the natural movements of the skull bones come from the membrane that lines our nervous system structures, which lead to the brain and spinal cord. Improving the natural rhythmic movement helps to improve brain functioning.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is designed to assess the function and potential complications related to the movement of upper extremities, daily living skills, cognition, vision, and perception. Together with the patient and family, an occupational therapist will help determine the best ways to perform daily living skills including showering, dressing, and attending to personal hygiene. The therapist will identify equipment that can help the patient with said skills.

 

In addition, occupational therapy helps an individual adapt to educational and classroom environments, as well as the workplace. Occupational therapy can also be used to help brain-injured adults to improve their fine motor and social skills and to learn new techniques for managing everyday responsibilities such as shopping and household chores, as well as new ways of performing various job skills and how to avoid re-injury.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is designed to increase awareness, within your choices of thought, feeling, or action. Psychotherapy can increase your sense of wellbeing and can better manage discomfort or distress. Psychotherapy can also help you to deal with behavioral or emotional problems, as well as psychological reactions to any life events.

 

Types of Psychotherapy:

 

Insight Therapy – Traditional talk therapy to gain insight and understanding from your past to help you modify how you feel. Types include Freudian and Jungian therapy, which are extremely useful in treating depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as allowing self-exploration.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – A type of Psychotherapy that helps people change how they think, feel, or act in order to improve their mood, reduce stress, or achieve other important goals. Some goals may be specific, such as reducing worrying or procrastination, whereas others can be more general, such as figuring out why one’s life seems to lack meaning, passion or direction, and figuring out what to do about it.

 

There are three parts to CBT:

  • How you think (cognitive) can and does change your behavior.
  • The way you think may be monitored and altered.
  • The desired behavior change may be affected through changes in the way you think.

 

Dr. Diane® is a licensed clinical psychologist, board certified health psychologist and neuropsychologist.

Psychopharmacology

Sometimes called drug or medication therapy, Psychopharmacology includes the use of medications to help change or regulate mental activity, mood, and behavior. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety agents are among the most commonly prescribed Psychopharmacologic drugs.

 

Psychopharmacologists are Psychiatrists who specialize in the use of medications to lessen or eliminate psychological, neurological, and behavioral problems. Dr. Sharon Barrett, M.D. is our Psychopharmacologist on our Brain Health Expert Team.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, an ancient form of Chinese medicine, is centered on the body’s qi (also called chi), or natural energy flow. The subtle energy that flows through your body is as important to your health and wellbeing as the more traditionally recognized bodily functions.

 

Often when these energies become weak, disturbed or out of balance, we experience physical and emotional symptoms. In order to relieve these symptoms, the energy that flows through your body must be restored. William Mogan is our acupuncturist on our Brain Health expert team.

Reiki

Reiki is a method of energy healing, developed in Japan in 1922, and is currently practiced all over the world. Reiki utilizes a natural universal energy that helps to balance the client’s system and assists healing at all levels. Because it is relaxing and supports the healing process, it can help treat a wide variety of issues.

 

Reiki is especially effective for stress reduction, increasing overall vitality, and treating injuries. It can be used independently to maintain health. However, when medical conditions are present, it is used in conjunction with other medical or therapeutic techniques. Clara Diebold is our Reiki Master on our Brain Health Expert Team.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a type of behavioral medicine that trains people to use information about their bodies to improve their health by monitoring skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and other body conditions, which promotes control over the nervous system through conditioning and relaxation.

 

There are four types of Biofeedback. All employ some type of computer or monitoring device, along with electronic sensors to give information about what is going on in the body:

 

  • Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
  • Thermal (as seen in “mood rings” which measure skin temperature)
  • Muscular (Electromyography: EMG)
  • Neurological (Electroencephalography: EEG), also called Neurotherapy.

 

Neurobiofeedback or Neurofeedback, is a technology-based learning technique that uses a computer to give information to a person about his or her own brainwave pattern in the form of EEG activity. Doing this trains the person to modify his or her own brainwaves. When the brain is not functioning properly, evidence of this usually shows up in EEG activity. EEG Biofeedback assists a person to alter his or her own brainwave characteristics by challenging the brain to learn to reorganize and function better. The EEG Biofeedback technique is a process in which subtle brainwave information is amplified and shown back to the trainee in the form of a computer game. The object of the training is to re-educate the brain to make voluntary changes via computerized graphic displays and auditory signals that encourage a change in mental state and thus challenge the brain to function more effectively. Both Dr. Diane and Paul Soper are the Neurofeedback specialists, and are part of the Brain Health Expert Team.

Water Therapy

Water therapy refers to treatments and exercises performed while one is submersed in water. The hydrostatic (passive) and hydrodynamic (active) properties of water provide an optimal environment for safe and effective therapy and conditioning. With little or no weight bearing in the water, clients are able to return to desired activities quickly and safely. Dr. Igor Burdenko, Ph.D., is world renown for his water therapy method, called the Burdenko Method. He is a part of our Brain Health Expert Team.

Nutritional Changes

The importance of a Brain Healthy diet is essential for you to regain your life again. Martha Lindsay is our nutrition educator. Please see our Brain Health Foods.

Brain Health Experts

Our integrative team of Brain Health Experts provides various Autism Treatments, and can work with your current providers to help you regain your life again. Depending on where you live in the world, the Brain Health Experts can provide virtual treatment too. If this is not possible, Dr. Diane® and/or the Brain Health expert team will find someone in your locale to help you.

To schedule an appointment for an in-person, phone or Skype consult with Dr. Diane®, please call us at 800-500-9971 or submit a contact form.