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The Delacato Method
How did it start?


The Delacato Method was developed in the 1960s by Carl H. Delacato, EdD, an educator and scientist who conducted intensive research in children with learning disabilities. In treating these children, and subsequently in treating autistic children, Dr. Delacato discovered that learning, behavioral, and motor disorders were disabilities that occured along a scale of severity as a result of brain injury or incomplete neural development. Our international organization treats children who are mildly, moderately, or severely brain injured based on Dr. Delacato's neurological discoveries.

Who can it help?

  • Mildly brain injured children usually have perceptual problems that impede learning (learning disorders). Our perceptual and developmental retraining approaches result in significant educational improvements in these children.
  • Moderately brain injured children have more severe perceptual problems that influence behavior as well as learning. These children are usually labeled as autistic or as having autistic tendencies (behavioral disorders). The autistic child's sensory system is usually hyperactive (extra sensitive) or hypoactive (dulled sensitivity), or contains neurological "white noise" (sensory static). These conditions are a direct result of the child's moderate brain injuries. Our program helps normalize the autistic child's sensory system, thereby normalizing his or her behavior and communication abilities.
  • Severely brain injured children have mobility and spasticity problems, such as cerebral palsy (motor disorders). Our treatment of these children is unique: it combines sensory treatment with developmental motor activities to decrease spasticity and increase mobility.

The Treatment Program

Parents of the children, after consultation with the Delacato Centre, attend the clinic in Cirencester to have consultations with David Delacato and Antonio Parisi and recieve instruction how to rehabilitate their children at home.

On arrival at the clinic the team will discuss with the parents their wishes for their child and will evaluate the development of the child to produce a protocol for future therapy.

The team will assess the child's sensory problems to decide the types of exercises needed to address those sensory problems. This assessment takes approximately one and a half hours, after which time a series of exercises are established. The parents are taught the exercises to carry out on their child on a daily basis at home.

Reassessment after 4 months at the next clinic is recommended.

What do the therapy programmes consist of?

Delacato Therapy programmes, lasting approximately 2-3 hours daily, are devised for parents to carry out at home, and work on the senses in order to normalize them. Exercises include:

  1. Massage for tactility and proprioception, light massage for hyper children and heavy massage for hypo children.
  2. Auditory to include reducing amounts of noise intake, work on vestibulary system to improve balance. Hyper children receiving too much stimuli, switch off, and give the appearance of being deaf.
  3. Visual work, to eliminate strabismus, and reduce levels of stimuli intake, improves hand eye coordination, and stimulates binocularity.
  4. Tasks for taste & smell.
  5. Mobility and development.
  6. Education, communication and speech.

All tasks are fitted into 1-5 minute slots to stop the child becoming bored and are repeated as necessary. Programmes for mobility children often take longer.

Due to their vast experience of autism and brain injury, the Delacato Team can assess your child and make an evaluation. They will then tailor a therapy programme to suit your child's needs and after four months will re-evaluate this and alter it accordingly.

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Frequently asked questions about Autism, brain injuries and the Delacato Method. Read More>> 

What do other parents say about the Delacato Method? Read More>>

A Therapy for Autism:
Autism Rehabilitation Therapy is a neurologically based therapy for Autistic and brain injured children. It is a sensory integration therapy based on the plasticity of brain and its ability to create new pathways when new sensory experiences are presented to the central nervous system. Read More>>

Delacato Clinic:
Information about the Clinic where the Delacato Centre meets with parents and children, and designs programmes for home treatment. Read More >>

Principal Facility: 26 Gwscwm Park, Burry Port, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA16 0DX, UK
Tel: 00 44 (0)1554 83 69 60

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