Live Webinar: Touch and Movement for Autism Spectrum Disorders




This course is the same as the live version offered at our school in the past. It is being taught remotely as a live webinar. 

3 CEUs for NJ chiropractors and massage therapists. *  

Live webinars are interactive. You will be able to ask questions and communicate in real time with the instructor. It is not considered distance learning. Anyone registered for this class will receive instructions regarding how to sign in to the live webinar. It is recommended that you have speakers, a webcam and a microphone for this class. Most laptops, tablets and smartphones will have these functions.

Conventional treatment approaches for individuals with autism spectrum disorders includes touch-based treatment and passive movement of the body (joint range of motion, stretching) as well as active movement (motor skill training and exercise.) The techniques used in these types of treatments are distinctly similar to—or the same as—techniques used by massage therapists, personal trainers, and other providers of fitness & wellness services. This workshop will provide an overview of the clinical presentation of autism spectrum disorders and treatment for associated symptoms. Specific examination will include how massage and movement techniques are used in treatment and the evidence-base for effects on associated symptoms. Strategies to include massage and movement modalities as integrative treatments will be explored.


At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the range of conditions on the autism spectrum and associated symptoms.
  • Summarize human senses and recognize how they present in symptoms that are associated with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Identify tactile characteristics and how they are presented in different massage and movement modalities.
  • Compare and contrast the effects of active and passive movement on sensory awareness and motor skills.
  • Draw information from research to initiate an evidence-based discussion about potential effects of massage and movement on symptoms that are associated with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Identify potential ways to collaborate through movement and massage treatment with individuals who have autism spectrum disorders and (where applicable) their parents/caregivers.

Course will include:

Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders

·         Clinical presentation(s)

·         Risk factors

·         Diagnosis and assessments

·         Conventional treatment approaches

·         Potential for integrative treatments

Review of sensory neurology

·         The special senses

·         Kinesthetic awareness and proprioception

·         Gross and fine motor skills

Passive movement in treatment

·         Touch and tactile stimulation

·         Range of motion

·         Stretching

·         Compression

·         Summary of research evidence

Active movement in treatment

·         Exercise

·         Motor skill training

·         Collaboration and communication through teamwork

·         Summary of research evidence

Practical approaches to integrative treatments

·         Identifying collaborations

·         Preparing summary materials

·         Summarizing theories, practices, and assessments

·         Drawing upon research evidence


·         Detailing treatments

·         Assessing effects of treatment

*  This course is approved for NJ chiropractors because The Institute for Continuing Education is a Pre-Approved Provider/Sponsor with the NJ Board of Chiropractic Examiners.  This course is approved for massage therapists under the National Board of Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).


About the Instructor:  Virginia S. Cowen, PhD

Dr. Virginia Cowen has over 15 years of experience teaching in the health-related or complementary and alternative medicine areas for colleges including Rutgers University and UMDNJ. In addition to her private practice as a therapeutic massage, bodywork and exercise professional, she is also the founder and principal in a research and education consulting company that includes clients in consumer cannabis industries. A popular presenter, she is also a published author of several books about health including a guide for touching and relating to those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as numerous articles for professional publications and journals.


Additional information


Live Webinar: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 6:00-9:00pm, Live Webinar: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 6:00-9:00pm