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  • Writer's pictureHannah's Hope


Eileen Lamb is the author of "All Across the Spectrum" and "Be The One" and the founder of The Autism Cafe as well as a writer, photographer, and a podcast host. On her blog she shares the privileges and challenges of raising a child with severe autism, while being on the autism spectrum herself. She wrote a blog post in February titled "Mendability: In-Home Sensory Enrichment Therapy" to highlight some ways in which parents can work on sensory problems that their child may face, especially with everyone being at home so much over the last year. Lamb describes the issues she faced with her own son when she was at home with him through the pandemic and how she turned to at home Sensory Enrichment Therapy to learn more about what she could do for her son while still keeping him safe at home. Sensory Enrichment Therapy is an effective, affordable, evidence-based, and clinically-validated program that was designed to help individuals with autism improve their outcomes. It is designed to increase brain function which results in improved sensory processing, enhanced attention span, sleep, communication skills, and other core symptoms associated with autism. The results of this therapy were recognized in random control trials in which children who added this type of program to their existing ones were six times more likely to improve by at least five points on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. There is some recognizable overlap between Sensory Enrichment Therapy and Occupational Therapy, however Mendability serves as a compliment to OT because it aims to induce a state of enhanced plasticity which helps reach the root of behaviors, anxiety, processing issues, etc...SET's focus is on aiding the brain in learning to process the environment and not get so overwhelmed. Lamb explains a few ways in which Mendability has been impactful and helpful to their family. They have weekly phone calls with the therapist to go over her son's struggle and progress. The therapist also gives her a few exercises that are personalized to her son's needs, and those exercises can be done at home on a schedule that works for the family, as long as they are done at least daily. Lamb lists a few examples of Mendability exercises that she does at home with her son that anyone can do at home as well, if they are interested in incorporating this type of therapy into their child's enrichment programs. The first exercise that Lamb lists is hold ice than poke play-doh. Have your child sit at the table with one bowl of ice and one bowl of play-doh in front of them. Ask them to pick up the ice first and then poke their fingers into the play-doh to differentiate between the feeling of each. The next exercise is walk on a 2 x 4 beam. This can be done inside or outside of the house, just wherever you have space to lay the beam down. The goal of this exercise is to promote balance and eventually the child will hopefully be able to walk across the beam blindfolded. Lamb has her son do it while holding a teddy bear at the moment. The next exercise involves pairing scents with textures. You can do this by having your child smell a scent while touching a specific texture. There is a similar exercise where the child can smell fruit, see fruit, and taste the fruit. These exercises, as well as others in the program can be done with materials that you already have at home, which makes these easy to practice and implement into your child's regular routine. If you feel like your child would benefit from any of the therapy options that Mendability offers, Lamb has a link at the bottom of this blog post with a discount code to try it out for yourself.

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