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Autism spectrum therapy from Salem Health

Children with autism spectrum disorders often struggle with speech or the processing of language, behavioral issues, delays in fine and gross motor skills, lack of social and communication skills, and difficulty caring for basic needs.

Whether your child is in occupational, physical or speech therapy, specialized therapies will be incorporated to improve the overall development and abilities of the child.


Play, play, play

Play-based therapy is always an important element of our pediatric program.

For children in the autism spectrum, learning through play is even more important. Autistic children commonly lack social and communication skills, so they need help learning how to make friends at school or in a playground situation.

Activities to build social skills are integrated into virtually every visit—encouraging eye contact, sharing toys, participating in a group activity, and conversing with therapists and peers.

Sensory integration expertise

Many children with autism spectrum disorders suffer from sensory integration dysfunction, or the inability to process information received through any of the senses (taste, touch, sight, sound or smell), as well as physical (balance and movement or body position).

For instance, does your child seek out activities where he or she can jump, bump or crash into things? Does your child bang his or her head on the floor or wall? Do loud noises upset your child? Our pediatric rehabilitation team specializes in helping children overcome sensory integration disorders that lead to these behaviors.

Often, children who are diagnosed in the autism spectrum do not process auditory input correctly. They may hear speech fine but have difficulty understanding what they hear.  

Our speech-language pathologists are specially trained in sensory integration dysfunctions and use various tools, including augmentative communication devices (such as picture and symbol systems), in order to help your child communicate.

Connect with us

If you are interested in enrolling your child in autism therapy, ask your primary doctor for a referral. For more information, call the Salem Health Rehabilitation Center at 503-561-5986.