The Benefit Assessment of the Physiotherapy Sessions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Background. Children with autism disorder show atypical preference for non-social stimuli. Therefore, the deficits of social communication and social interest are primary and usually named features for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The main idea of the present work was to show that the physiotherapy sessions (PS) were some of the ways that could improve the physical condition of children with ADS. Moreover, the application of such programs increased self-esteem, communication skills and permitted a better adaptation and integration within society.
Methods. Eleven children attending kindergarten for children with special needs participated in this investigation. The inclusion criteria were a clinical diagnosis of ASD. All participants had F 84.0 code in their cases and were specified for grade II autism disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association (2014). The investigation process consisted of four stages: the initial testing, the application of the physiotherapy program (PS), the post-application testing and the analysis, interpretation and comparison of obtained results. The investigation process was applied for six weeks.
Results. After PS applications, the children’s balance improved by 21.32%, coordination – 23.36%, physical and functional abilities such as speed (13.18%) and explosive leg strength (37.14%).
Conclusions. The physiotherapy sessions improved the physical condition of children with ADS: balance, coordination, functional abilities and the explosive leg strength. The capability to do physical exercises in a group, at home or in individual sessions with specialist improved as well.
Keywords: pre-school children, individual physiotherapy program, social skills.