Thursday, April 12, 2012

Martha Herbert, M.D. and "The Autism Revolution"


Dr. Martha Herbert's new book, The Autism Revolution is a gift to those of us trying to understand what the mish-mash of research results in the area of autism really mean. She talks about autism as a whole-body disorder that includes the mind. It's "a collection of problems that can be addressed and many that can be solved."

Friday, April 6, 2012


MeMoves is an engaging exercise for small or large groups. Its developers describe it as "a kind of Western t’ai chi or yoga set to music". Children watch and imitate images of slow rhythmic movement and in the process get calm and improve attention skills. In children with autism it fascilitates the function of the mirror neurons.

The original product is a DVD with a variety of moves and costs $59. Watch the children below work to it.

There is also a MeMoves app for iPhone which helps with calming and focus, but without the whole-body movements. It is $10.

I've heard this described as a timing program - but I'm going to disagree with that. It is rhythmic, and the children are doing coordinated movement, but in what I've seen thus far, the stress is on calming and attention rather than on precise timing. In any event, it appears to be a great product! Find out more at

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sensory Check Lists

I often get asked about a sensory check list for parents. I like the Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist from SPD Foundation because it looks at function, covers all ages and looks at modulation. Another list I like a lot is the Sense and Self-Regulation Checklist by Dr. Louise Silva. It was published in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of AJOT, and is also available Dr. Silva's web site.

The gold standard for sensory questionnaires is the Sensory Profile with the Sensory Processing Measure being very good, as well. Both of these are standardized on large populations and available commercially from Pearson's and WPSpublishing respectively.

How about assessments? There is the SIPT, but it does not cover modulation. I am waiting for the Sensory Scales from SPD Foundation to be completed. They have standardized the SOR (sensory over responsivity) section on a few hundred children across the US, but have much work to do on the rest of the tool. By the way, the SOR section is being actively used by researchers.