Autism

New Possibilities

A revolutionary approach for transforming the lives of children with special needs

A child is born. It is a miracle. For the first few weeks, the little one sleeps a lot, nurses, occasionally cries, and needs to be held and rocked. Her arms and legs move, and her body twitches—all involuntary movements. Soon her family notices she is doing things she was unable to do before. When she is picked up, she holds her head up by herself. She reaches out to touch her mother’s face. She clings to a parent’s finger or a small toy. She rolls over.

Sea of Calm

Watsu Water Therapy Touches Young Spirits

Cradled in his arms, children who rarely find a moment’s peace find a sea of calm, Jeff Bisdee has offered the aquatic body therapy known as Watsu at The Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh since 1997. As the manager of recreational therapy there for the past 17 years, Bisdee was impressed the first time he saw Watsu. “It was an epiphany,” said Bisdee. “I was always interested in doing aquatic therapy with patients and when I saw this being done, I knew right then and there it was something I should be doing.”

Calming the Inner Storm

Easing Autistic Behaviors with Massage Therapy

Jonathan Clark teaches children with developmental and communication disorders. He is also a certified massage therapist with a dream. “There are so many different things that massage helps adults with,” said Clark recently from his office at The Matthew Reardon Advanced Academy in Savannah, Ga. “I know it relaxes me to the point I can focus. I thought maybe it could help a child focus.”