List of alternative therapies for developmental and learning disabilities

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This list covers alternative therapies for developmental and learning disabilities. Many of the treatments—including physiotherapy, massage and others—are neither generally considered as 'alternative therapies' nor as standard treatments for developmental and learning disabilities. They are, however, sometimes given or recommended as treatments specifically for these disabilities and therefore included in the list. None of these therapies are supported by scientific evidence.[1]

Bioenergy therapies[edit]

  • Distant healing[2]
  • Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Balancing Technique[2]
  • therapeutic touch (TT)[3] According to the American medical association,therapeutic touch is "little more than quackery".[4]
  • Zero Balancing[2]

Dietary treatments[edit]

  • B6-magnesium treatment[3]
  • glyconutritional supplement[7]

Eclectic approaches[edit]

  • Sunflower therapy[8]

Hearing therapies[edit]

  • Spectral Activated Music of Optimal Natural Structure (SAMONAS)[2]

Holistic healing[edit]

  • flower remedies[2]

Medical interventions[edit]

  • anti-motion sickness medication and other types for Vestibular Dysfunction[6]

Movement-based therapies[edit]

  • Brushing technique[2]
  • Developmental Exercise Programme (inhibition of primitive reflexes)[7]
  • (Psychomotor) patterning[3][6]
  • Dance Movement Therapy
  • Physio-Neuro Therapy[10]

Pedagogical approaches and policies[edit]

  • Gentle Teaching[3]
  • Person Centered Approach (PCA)[3]

Psychosocial interventions[edit]

Stress management[edit]

  • caffeine-free diet[2]

Student profiling[edit]

Technological interventions[edit]

Several scientific studies have shown that facilitated communication is quackery by proving that what the Autistic patient "says" is influenced entirely by the facilitater.[11]

Touch therapies[edit]

  • Brushing and joint compression[3]

Training methods[edit]

Visual approaches[edit]

  • Asfedic Tuning (TintaVision)[7]
  • Coloured overlays[7]
  • Dunlop test[2]
  • Harris Filters[2]
  • Optim-Eyes[7]
  • Prism glasses[3]
  • Visual Tracking Magnifier[2]

Emerging therapies[edit]

  • Dolphin Assisted Therapy[2]
  • Light and Colour Therapy[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax Chivers, Maria (2006). Dyslexia and Alternative Therapies. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-84310-378-3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag Jacobson, JW; Foxx M; Mulick JA (2005). Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities. New Jersey: Erlbaum. pp. 1–505. ISBN 0-8058-4192-X. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ addressing challenging behavior
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Silver, Larry B (2003). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Clinical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment For Health and Mental Health Professionals. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub inc. p. 247. ISBN 1-58562-131-5. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Reid, Gavin (2005). Dyslexia A Complete Guide for Parents (PDF). Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. p. 213. ISBN 0-470-86312-9. 
  8. ^ Bull, L. (2007). "Sunflower therapy for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia): A randomised, controlled trial". Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (1): 15–24. 
  9. ^ American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Doman-Delacato treatment of neurologically handicapped children. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1968; 49:183-186.
  10. ^ American Health Journal
  11. ^

External links[edit]