Autism and Deep Pressure Therapy PDF Print E-mail

Deep Pressure, also know as Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS), is a sensory therapy involving the application of a tactile stimulus to provide the feeling of a firm hug, holding, swaddling, or massage. Therapists use DPTS with patients as a form of sensory integration that can be appllied in a number of ways including human application (squeezing a person or brushing), weight, elastic garments, or inflatable devices

Sensory Integration is a broad term which describes the use of non-invasive sensory stimulation, such as deep pressure, and has been used by therapists to treat the sensory processing problems common among patients with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Many caregivers, primarily occupational therapists know that providing different sensory stimuli to these patients can result in positive outcomes such as a reduction of harmful self-stimulating behaviors, an increase in on-task behavior, or a reduction in anxiety.

Despite the common use of Sensory Integration, the clinical and scientific research into its effectiveness has not reached the critical state required to designate it as scientifically based; however significant amounts of published research and growing widespread use are a testament to the benefit deep pressure provides.  Therapeutic Systems, with improved sensory products and properly designed clinical studies, is moving the science and technology forward to realize the full ability of deep pressure and improve the lives of patients.

For more information on Sensory Therapies:

The Spiral Foundation
Autism Speaks on Sensory Integration
The STAR Center

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