SomaticWell has a special focus on supporting infants and children with neurodevelopmental conditions – especially autism, attention deficit disorders, and emotional dysregulation. The Clinical Phenomenological approach considers autism to be a generalized developmental disorder that occurs early in life due to an alteration in the neurobiological foundations of intercorporeality and intersubjectivity. In autism, the role of biological factors is already evident in early stages of development and has a direct impact on clinical conditions.
Focusing on sensori-motor development is a key component of
the SomaticWell therapeutic approach for autism.
The SomaticWell therapeutic approach emphasizes sensitivity to motivating intentionality
underlying a child's particular motor activity. Our therapeutic programs foster a child’s
inherent spontaneity and self-possibility – “I Can!”
We play close attention to a child’s non-verbal communication, subtle gestures,
and even repetitive behaviors. Somatic movement therapy provides a powerful therapeutic
modality for reducing symptoms associated with autism and developing social interaction.
The Feldenkrais Method® and Play in particular helps children with autism develop their capacity
to perceive and differentiate neural stimuli, helping them to develop their unique sense of self.
Focusing on sensori-motor development is a key component of the SomaticWell therapeutic approach for autism.
The SomaticWell play space is constantly changed according to the needs of the individual child. Our play environment is set up to foster a developing child’s self-awareness.
Play equipment used to stimulate different kinesthetic
and sensory perceptions includes, non-structured toys, jamboree equipment, balls, cloths and fabric,
and a hammock for vestibular stimulation.
The therapeutic modalities for infants and children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, especially autism,
provided at SomaticWell include:
- Integrative Medicine -
- Feldenkrais and Play -
- Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) Listening therapy -
- Photobiomodulation -
All three modalities are focused around regulating the vagal system and balancing Autonomic Nervous System function. Each personalized SomaticWell therapeutic program is developed following a Neuro-Somatic Assessment.
Our personalized therapeutic programs are developed in close consultation with each child's parents and primary caregivers.
Following an expert SomaticWell neuro-developmental assessment, parents may elect either a somatic or
integrative neurobiological therapeutic program,
or optimally an integrated program personalized
around the needs of their specific child.
A Typical Therapeutic Program may include:
Initial Consultation & completion of SomaticWell Questionnaire.
SomaticWell Neuro-Developmental Assessment.
Somatic Therapy Sessions.
Integrative Medicine Counseling.
including nutrition& vitamin supplements.
Somatic Wellness Support for Parents.
The Prodrome of Autism
The prodrome of autism is characterized by impairments in the emergence of behavioral precursors associated with the later onset of autism. Assessment of the prodrome of autism
is based on a constellation of signs and symptoms,
including lack of eye contact and delayed sensory-motor development. The prodrome of autism may be assessed
from 12 months of age, and even sooner in severe instances.
9 RED FLAGS:
Lack of Appropriate Gaze.
- 2 -
Lack of Warm, Joyful Expression with Gaze.
- 3 -
Lack of Sharing Enjoyment or Interest.
- 4 -
Lack of Response to Name.
- 5 -
Lack of Coordination of Gaze,
Facial Expression, Gesture, and Sound.
- 6 -
Lack of Showing Toys or Objects.
- 7 -
- 8 -
Repetitive Body Movement.
- 9 -
Repetitive Movement with Objects.
(Wetherby AM, Woods J, Allen L, et al. Early indicators
of autism spectrum disorders in the second year
of life. J Autism Dev Disord. 2004 (34:47)
While not every child with developmental delay will be diagnosed at a later point with autism; all infants and children with autism have complications in their sensory-motor development. Remedial therapies emphasizing sensory-motor development, such as the Feldenkrais Method and Play, provide important therapeutic strategies in helping infants and young children improve behaviors associated with autism and help stimulate their self-development. The first two years of life provide an important window of opportunity in providing therapeutic intervention for infants with the prodrome of autism. If your infant or toddler is showing behavioral signs and symptoms associated with the later diagnosis of autism, it is advisable not to wait till the age of 18 months or later when the diagnosis of ASD may be confirmed by a child developmental specialist. Rather, it is advisable to seek immediate neuro-developmental assessment and therapeutic intervention. SomaticWell provides a neuro-developmental somatic assessment of infants and young children, as well as therapeutic services for infants at risk of developing autism. Elements of the SomaticWell assessment and therapy may be conducted online as well as home-coaching in the therapeutic elements of the Feldenkrais Method and Play.