Treatments for Special Needs People
I have been working with autistic and developmentally delayed children since 2006. I like most children--even the difficult ones--and they usually like me. Sometimes it takes a little while to develop rapport, but once it is developed, change happens quickly. Besides being trained as a chiropractor, I am a metaphysical healer. I work with the energy body as well as the physical body. I utilize many energetic healing techniques including Reiki, Reconnective Healing, and Pranic Healing.
The following techniques are three of the standard techniques I use in almost every session.
Gentle non-force chiropractic techniques: addresses emotional and physical stress in the body. The nervous system is the communication line from brain to body and vice versa. Keeping the nervous system healthy, free of interference, in good working order allows better communication between all physical and emotional systems.
Brain Gym: a movement-based modality that affects the brain and nervous system by integrating right and left hemisphere communications. These are simple movements that can be fun and practiced at home as well as being done in the office.
Energy Psychology: a therapy used by psychotherapists, social workers, and many other professionals that is especially effective with trauma, fear, and phobias. It is very useful when working with children who experience anxiety or have behaviors associated with anxiety or fear.
Treatments for Special Needs People
The first visit with a special needs child is usually rapport building. I try to ascertain if I can work with the child. This depends on several factors: if the child likes me; if I like the child; if I think the parents will be a positive factor in the healing relationship.
I usually tell the child exactly what I’m going to do, why I do what I do, and I ask them to help me. Whether or not they get it intellectually, they do get it on some level and appreciate being treated with respect. I use a variety of techniques with children. We usually begin with Brain Gym exercises, go on to simple energy–balancing techniques, then we do Energy Psychology session, where we work with a trauma or anxiety.
If the child is old enough, I try to teach her or him muscle testing (kinesiology). Generally, children can learn this skill very easily. I have taught many special needs kids how to do a good muscle test. I make it a game and they usually pick it up really fast. If they are too young or unable to learn the test, I try to teach the parent or guardian. Muscle testing helps facilitate my work. I can still work with children without the test, but it is faster if I can teach the child or the parent this skill.
I finish the session with a non-force spinal alignment that seems to neurologically "lock" in the previous work.
Recommended Minimum Treatment Protocol for Special Needs People
In my experience, special needs people need a minimum of 16 visits, as change is often slower for them than for neurotypical people. Within 16 weeks of care, most parents do see positive change, often including a decrease in anxiety and aggressive behavior and an increase in focus.
Seeing positive change in as little as 16 weeks is really quite impressive. Creating these changes takes time because we are interfering with non-productive neurological habits and replacing them with new neural connections. It takes time to develop the process of creating these new connections. To support the continued benefit of the treatments, I also teach a home program to help integrate and maintain the changes.
An 18-Month Study
As part of my work, I conducted an 18-month study with 16 developmentally delayed children with a variety of diagnoses. The various mind/body techniques that I employed targeted anxiety, as well as trauma. Each technique was chosen because it affected the neurological system of the child. I have had very good results with these techniques, showing marked improvement in many areas after as little as 12-16 visits.. The results of the study are currently being written; as soon as they are completed, they will be posted to this website.
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