Autism Speaks Calming Centre
Sensory integration therapy is a central treatment modality at Giant Steps, one of the best practices used by our Occupational Therapist to treat the sensory, neurological and behavioural issues experienced by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Calming and organizing strategies that provide sensory and proprioceptive input are part of many of our children’s treatment plans.
With an Autism Speaks Canada Family Service Community Grant in 2010, we renovated and refurbished a room into a calming/sensory therapy room featuring Temple Grandin’s Squeeze Machine.
The Squeeze Machine and other sensory and weighted therapy equipment have been used since October 2011 to deliver controlled deep pressure therapy to our students, treating the sensory modulation issues, anxiety and behavioural challenges experienced by children with autism.
After 1 year of use, our report describes our experience and conclusion that under the direction and supervision of qualified therapists at Giant Steps, controlled deep pressure delivered through Squeeze Machine and other weighted therapy equipment, is an effective tool for diffusing tension, calming and organizing children with autism, and increasing their ability to participate in functional activities.
We are thankful for the generosity of Autism Speaks Canada, and their commitment to supporting autism services and programs.