Doubt Cast on Usefulness of ‘Sensory’ Therapies for Autism – US News and World Report.

This annoys the heck out of me, because sensory integration therapy was a lifesaver for Rob. It clearly made a big difference in his ability to calm himself, handle noises, tastes and textures that bothered him, to tolerate clothing, and reduce his “tactile defensiveness” (his dislike of being touched). It also greatly reduced his hyperactive behavior, and enabled him to expand his tolerance for frustration in general.

But Rob clearly had signs of sensory issues: he was in nonstop motion, always threw things as hard as he could, arched his back when being held, raged in frustration over the feel of his clothes, refused to eat mixed foods, covered his ears and screamed at loud noises, wore rubber bands around his wrists and ankles, tied bandanas tightly around his head, cinched his belt as tight as he could get it, refused to be held, etc.  Like Temple Grandin, deep pressure was very necessary for him, and we also saw a big calming effect as a result of brushing his skin. Repetitive motion like rocking horses and bouncing horses and swings and trampolines also helped him.

So I would urge you to consider SI therapy if your child is hyperactive, destructive, easily frustrated, dislikes to be touched, reacts to the feel of clothes, and/or shows sensitivity to lights, sounds, tastes or smells.