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Video games might help autistic children in improving their balance

Feb 09, 2018

Video games might help autistic children in improving their balance
Video games might help autistic children in improving their balance | Credit: Hal Gatewood

A study was carried out recently on autistic children at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, and later published in the Journal of Autism and Development Disorders. It found that action based video games which involved rapid movements and featured graphics depicting ninja poses actually helped the autistic children to improve their posture and stability.

This is heartening news, and there are more such alternative treatments that can help children suffering from autism. These treatments can alleviate the symptoms, but can’t be considered a cure. Let us discuss a few of them here.

Relaxation

Techniques to calm the body and mind, like giving pressure massages and wearing weighted clothing can help. Several progressive relaxation techniques have been developed, which can be combined with deep breathing to provide relief from stress and agitation.

Chelation

This is a disputed treatment, because no conclusive scientific studies have corroborated this. But this helps to flush out toxic metal (lead, mercury etc.) from the body, and metals are said to be one of the possible reasons for autism.

Bright Lights

Exposing the child to bright lights during the daytime could induce better sleep at night by releasing more melatonin in the body. Autistic children often complain of sleeplessness at night, so this could provide some relief.

External Sleep Inducers

In continuation of the previous suggestion, some more measures can be taken to encourage more restful sleep. All video games and TV should be stopped at least an hour before the scheduled bedtime. Pulling the curtains tightly together can prevent outside influences on sleep. A set routine should be established, including fixed timings for meals and bedtime.

Diet

Gluten and casein should be eliminated from the child’s diet. While doing this, care should be taken that the necessary nutrients that the child is losing out by foregoing gluten and casein are compensated in some other ways.

Help From Family

The more knowledge that parents of an autistic child have, the better they would be able to predict behaviour and symptoms and address them accordingly. So the family of the child should try to get as much authentic information as possible. We have already spoken above about the importance of maintaining a fixed schedule for the child. It could help the child immensely if parents can work on increasing their communication with nonverbal cues.

Families with autistic children must remember they are not alone, so they should reach out and ask for help. There is lots of it around.