Daily Life Therapy (Higashi) for Autism

Daily Life Therapy (DLT) method also known as Higashi was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Kiyo Kitahara at the Musashino Higashi Gakuen School in Tokyo, Japan. She developed the method through what she learned from teaching a child with autism in a mainstream education kindergarten class. Her main objective was to develop self-esteem of the autism children and create emotional security for them.

Higashi is a Japanese word which means ‘hope’ and it is a holistic approach to integrate autism children with other normal children to study together in one group. There are a few methods used in this approach such as providing a systematic education by involving group dynamics, modelling, physical activities, art, music, academic, and vocational training.

How DLT (Higashi) works

Behavior management in DLT does not involve the measurement of neglect, punishment, time-out procedures or through medication. DLT is not to treat or to cure Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD), but is believed to provide other important benefits such as improving the skill of ability, flexibility and function appropriately when they are with internal community and also activities involving family. Activities are group-oriented and highly structured with an emphasis on learning transmitted from child to child through synchronisation and imitation.

The Higashi approach emphasises group learning in the context of a programs which includes vigorous physical activity to develop both strength and concentration. Physical activity is one of the academic curriculum’s of children with autism and it is a challenge for their ability level as well as to increase their interest to engage in activities conducted. Practitioners believe that through exercise, children will be able to control the level of body coordination and at the same time control their behavior. Physical activities such as exercises and games have the positive impact on behavioral, psychological, and physical specifically in individual with ASD. DLT programs are normally using an appropriate instruction, equipment, and daily movement activities such as walking, running, climbing, and jumping to improve gross motor skills which allowing children with autism learn to acclimate to the stimulating world around them.

Among the main principles of Daily Life Therapy (Higashi) are as follows:

i. The focus of curriculum is on movement activities, music and arts.

ii. Children engage in vigorous physical activities throughout the day.

iii. Instructions are group oriented, example all children in the class are taught the same thing and at the same time.

iv. Children learn through imitation, for example they imitate exactly what their teacher do.

v. Routine activities are very highly structured.

DLT using the Higashi approach is an educational program for children with autism based on three interrelated principles: vigorous physical exercise, emotional stability and intellectual stimulation. By using these three core principles of DLT, children with autism learn to naturally focus their attention, diffuse their energy, feel calm and relaxed, and allowing them to learn without the need for medication. DLT also provides other important benefits such as improved coping skills, increased flexibility and improved appropriate functioning within the home community and family events. The ultimate goal of DLT is to archive lifelong inclusion in the community and high quality of life.



Source by Chandramogan Ramaiah

Autism – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by problems with social interactions, impaired verbal and non-verbal communication and a pattern of repetitive behavior with narrow, restricted interests. Boys are more likely than girls to have autism. Though the exact cause for autism is unknown, genetics plays an important role, and environmental, immunological and metabolic factors may have a contributory role.

Behavioral therapy, coupled with specific education, and periodical assessment by a multi-disciplinary team, form the mainstay in the management of children with autism. Additional Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be given to reduce troublesome symptoms and improve cognition. Herbal medicines can be given safely for long periods even to children, and therefore, this therapy is specially beneficial for children with autism.

The brain tissue can be treated by correcting the metabolism of the “Majja” dhatu in the body. Medicines useful in this condition are: Pancha-Tikta-Ghruta Guggulu, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).

In addition, Ayurveda mentions a category of medicines known as “Medhya”, which improve the working capacity of the brain. This category includes medicines like Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Guduchi, Padma (Nelumbo nucifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis).

Normally, a combination of several medicines is used in the treatment and management of autism. In addition to the two categories of medicines mentioned above, other medicines like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) are also used routinely. Autistic children usually require a high dose of herbal medicines to get good results.

In addition to oral treatment, autistic children benefit from massage treatment all over the body using medicated oils like Chandan-Bala-Laxadi oil and Mahanarayan oil. Ayurvedic Panchkarma procedures like “Shirodhara” and “Nasya” are beneficial for the problems related to autism, but may be more suitable for older children and adults.

Treatment has to be tailor-made for each child according to the severity and presentation of symptoms. In addition, different children may respond differently to the herbal medicines. Parents should avoid the temptation to treat their children on their own.



Source by Abdulmubeen Mundewadi

Fun Learning Apps for Children With Autism

Neuro-typical children who grow up naturally with no impediments to their learning and intellectual abilities, are social and can communicate their demands to others. But children with autism spectrum disorder are usually withdrawn in their own world and often display behaviors that are not acceptable to others. They have trouble to effectively communicate with others, especially in a social situation. In fact, it’s often a very common problem for children to not communicate at all. In such situations, fun learning apps for children with autism like “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” can be of immense help.

Emerging practice and research have revealed that use of tech-based support can prove effective to target the major challenges for people with autism. These include socialization, motivation, and communication. These in turn have a significant effect on the way a child with autism spectrum disorder participates in school, home and community environments.

In recent times, there have been thousands of apps that ride on the popularity of mobile technology. These apps help people with cognitive challenges to increase their sphere of communication abilities and reach more number of people. Fun Learning apps for children with autism like “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” are unique tools that help special needs children communicate and learn. These apps also help children with autism live more independently.

While there have been several apps in recent times that are meant for individuals with autism, none of them have been able to match the popularity of the “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” apps. These two apps help children with autism to improve their communication and also increase their language abilities through innovative mobile communication gadgets like the iPad, tabs and smartphones.

The “Make Sentences” and “Just Match” fun learning apps for children with autism reduces the barriers of functional communication that for people with autism spectrum disorder having language delays. At the same time, these two apps strengthen the core vocabulary of the child using common meaningful items from the environment.

Augmentative and communication apps enhance the learning of academic skills by reinforcing the basic language through a robust and dynamic library of life-like graphics. This has made the “Make Sentences” app one of the best in the industry to build vocabulary skills. The two highly intuitive and child-friendly apps have in-built customizable features that have been particularly designed for special needs children. Both these apps have won accolades from special education groups.



Source by Kevin Carter