How Craniosacral therapy helped reduce my Autistic son’s anxiety
This is my story
Craniosacral therapy has helped reduce my Autistic son’s anxiety, but it’s also helped me when I didn’t even recognise that I needed help!
Rewind to last year, chatting to one of my special needs mum friends at school.
We were talking about the usual temper tantrums, anxiety, and how we try and reduce them. She just happened to mention a therapist that she had been to for pain management that also helped her daughter to talk.
I googled her straight away to see what she did. I had never heard of craniosacral therapy, although I do believe in alternative therapy. I had never thought about using it for Joe.
Then I had the internal meltdown – how would I get him there? how could she help him? how would he know what was going on?
I leaped and made my first appointment, gulp!
I had no idea what craniosacral therapy was or how it could help but I was willing to give it a try.
The practitioner explained that it was a way of working with the body using light touch which supports your body’s innate ability to balance, restore, and heal itself.
How was he going to let her touch him? How is this going to work?
She just sat down and let him be himself. He ran back and forth, stimming and giggling to himself just as if she wasn’t there. I felt the energy in the room change, I can’t explain it but it seemed calmer.
After 20 mins or so Joe had stopped running and climbed onto the bed like he knew what to do. It’s the strangest feeling in the world to witness something you cannot physically see! We had weekly sessions after that for about 6 weeks and every week he would do the same, stim and run and then eventually calm down.
I started noticing changes in him almost immediately
The most obvious change was that he was less anxious. This meant that I could get him to do different things with less of a struggle. He started being able to control his emotions better, I’m not saying he doesn’t have tantrums because he still does, but he can bring himself out of them.
I see the range of emotion before my eyes, anger, grief, acceptance all in about 5 minutes.
This is a boy that only ate ham sandwiches (minus the ham) at school but now eats a variety of foods, even bean wraps.
We now have conversations about his day, what he did, what he ate, etc, it’s amazing.
Only a special needs parent knows the desperation of wanting that connection with their child.
I remember the first day it happened. I picked Joe up from school asking him lots of question and anticipating his ‘no more’ response, but that day was different, that day he answered me! I continued to ask questions trying to stop the tears rolling down my face.
It was one of the happiest times of my life!
Therapy hasn’t just helped Joe, it has helped me see that if I believe something can happen it will. As parents, we are so afraid of what might happen that we let our fear take over and this has an impact on our body too!
Letting go of that fear in the sessions calmed my inner turmoil and allowed me to shift my mindset and it has made a massive difference.
We still go for therapy once a month, it is making a real difference to Joe. He has finally landed and I couldn’t be more proud!
Created by Clare Bailey 2020
Helping with Autism