Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Every autistic person is a unique individual. At Bodyfit Physio we see Autism as neurodiversity, not a disability. Whilst often issues with Autism tend to be with communication and social interaction, physical difficulties are extremely common. Some estimate that greater than 50% of people with Autism have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) which can interfere with their gross motor and fine motor development. Impaired body awareness is also very common, and at Bodyfit Physio we feel that this impaired body awareness can be a significant factor in sensory issues and can cause significant difficulty. We work on those types of body awareness involved with positionmovement, vision and planning.  

Our approach to assessing your child: 

  • You know your child better than anyone else, so your information is invaluable 
  • You are very welcome to put as much information as you would like in writing prior to the appointment, especially if your child does not like to be talked about 
  • In the initial consult a general movement assessment looking at Fundamental Movement Skills: 
    • Balance 
    • Run 
    • Jump 
    • Hop 
    • Throw 
    • Catch 
  • We will look at handwriting if that is relevant for your child 
  • The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2) is a fantastic tool which results in a percentile score for your child’s movement skills, comparing them to other children of their age.  
    • The results of this assessment can be used by your paediatrician to evaluate whether your child has Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) 
    • This assessment takes more time. Details of what is involved can be found here (link to DCD assessment and pricing – I’ve made a letter, need to post as a blog) 

Issues that some families with a child with ASD might want to address with physio can include: 

  • Ball skills 
  • Running 
  • Jumping 
  • Posture 
  • Endurance 
  • Handwriting 
  • Body awareness  
    • Proprioception (where your body is in space) 
    • Interoception (what is going on inside your body)  

Physiotherapy approaches that families with a child with ASD find useful: 

  • Family focussed activities that you can do at home 
    • This might be introducing a game like playing with a basketball hoop over the back of a door inside 
    • There will be specific skills that your child would like to be able to do. These will take some practice 
    • We break down the learning of new tasks into bite sized pieces that are ‘just right’ for your child. Not too easy, not too hard.  
    • The CO-OP (Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance) approach has very good support in the research. The theory of this approach is: 
      • Breaking down the learning of new tasks into bite sized pieces  
      • Work on the piece that is ‘just right’ for your child. Not too easy, not too hard 
      • Work through the ‘pieces’ of a task until you can put them all together 
      • This approach requires regular practice over a period of 10 weeks 
      • We modify this approach to be manageable for busy families 
      • For more information about the CO-OP approach click here (this is not written yet – maybe we don’t put it in, just put it on Juliet’s to-do list somewhere) 
  • Pilates and Physio Fun 
    • Can be done individually or in a ‘group’ of 2 
    • We love using our Pilates equipment to build movement skills like: 
      • Finding and holding the midline 
      • Finding and holding a ‘zero degree’ knee position 
      • Standing posture 
      • Sitting posture 
      • Core strength 
      • General strength 
    • Kids love using the Pilates equipment 
    • Classes also include skills such as: 
      • Running 
      • Jumping 
      • Throwing  
      • Catching  
      • Balance 
  • Treatment is tailored to the individual and other approaches can be used 
  • Visits to schools, social or sports activities in the community can be usefulWe address whatever issues are relevant to the situation. We enjoy working with those who interact with your child to build their capacity to adapt your child’s environment to make things easier for them.  

Where we work with children 

  • Your home 
  • Our clinic 
  • Their school 
  • Other convenient locations (e.g. sports / community groups)

We look forward to helping you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  


Phone: 03 948123498  

Or Book Online with Kate or Hilary