Sensory Therapy Might Work for Kids With Autism

Study found it helped children bothered by ordinary noises, feel of toothbrush or shower water on skin

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It's not clear exactly how sensory integration works. But it's thought that it might actually change how the brain processes sensory stimulation, Schaaf explained.

That's partly because it's playful. "When something is playful," Schaaf said, "you'll usually go a little outside your comfort zone."

But Levy said it's not certain that sensory integration actually promotes changes in the brain's reactions. The therapy, she said, "is fun. It offers things that a lot of kids like."

At least some of the benefit, Levy noted, might come from giving children a chance to socialize and simply enjoy themselves.

More information

Autism Speaks has more on autism therapy options.

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