The Ws of Autism

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been blogging about the ABCs of Autism. Here’s our last post: the Ws.


Weighted blankets (or vests, or toys)


Weighted items are based on the technique of deep pressure, which is used to assist the autistic child to self-calm, self-soothe and relax. This way, sensory stimulus can be processed.


When a weighted product is used, it’s believed that the child gets unconscious information from his or her muscles and joints. Kids who are hyperactive, hypersensitive, easily distracted or who lack concentration reportedly respond very well to the added pressure of a weighted item.


Wilbarger Protocol


According to the Autism Society of Canada, “some children have a tendency to respond to certain harmless sensations as if they were dangerous or painful.”


This is called sensory defensiveness, and the child who has sensory defensiveness might assess the world around them as being dangerous, scary, alarming, or frustrating. If SD is left untreated, every part of life can be negatively influenced.


The Wilbarger Protocol uses frequent application of deep or firm pressure to various body parts, followed by gentle joint compression.


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, or WISC-III


The WISC-III is an individually administered clinical instrument used to assess a child’s intellectual function.


Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R)


This is a clinical instrument like WISC-III. It is used for children ages 3-0 to 7-0.

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