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The Scotson Technique Library

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Autism & The Scotson Technique

Autism is a condition caused by a disruption of cerebral metabolism often clearly related to brain injury. The child’s information processing becomes fragmented. This includes motor function which is impaired by the abnormality in higher brain centres.

Conventional approaches focus on the child’s cognitive symptoms reflecting problems with receiving processing and responding to information. Help is provided by different types of management that attempt to train children to make the best use of their existing understanding. Movement abnormalities are ignored unless these are severe enough to be labelled cerebral palsy. The evaluation looks more deeply into the chain of events caused by the brain injury and metabolic disturbance and how they frustrate recovery.

The Scotson evidence shows that as a result of brain injury or abnormality, autistic children have abnormal respiratory mechanics. This occurs as a consequence of the respiratory system’s attempts to meet the increased demands of the cerebral metabolism particularly at the time of the cerebral assault. Respiratory organisation is also affected as an indirect result of the damage to higher brain centres.

These problems prevent a normal electrical picture of the muscular skeletal function function as well as visual and auditory information from reaching the brain which in turn prevents the normal growth or restoration of neurological systems.

The restless repetitive fragmented movement and disorganised perception also exhausts the weakened respiratory system and the general and cerebral metabolism. By correcting respiratory mechanics The Scotson Technique begins to reverse the effects of autism.

The Scotson Technique:


Restores the normal internal pressures of the thorax and abdomen so that the shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle open out to normalise limb insertion and so limb movement.


Enhances cerebral processing.


Reduces deep fatigue and begins the gradual recovery of normal metabolic processes.

The result is the brain regains the capacity to organise the development of growth and structure along increasingly normal lines.

As the abnormal movement of the autistic child reduces and cerebral metabolism improves cognitive function becomes better organised allowing an improvement in the reception, processing and output of information.

How can the gentle exercises be performed on an over-sensitive, hyperactive or excitable child?

Autistic children don’t always like to lie down for very long.



The exercises can be done while the children sleep.


For many reasons autistic children do well with only short periods of the prescribed respiratory exercises interspersed with 5 minute’s rest.


At the centre parents can practice the techniques on each other and on our therapists as well as on their children. This allows parents to perfect their exercise technique without having to worry about how to keep their children still, and longer periods of therapy become possible.

As a result of the therapy, the children steadily improve and become calmer.

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