Patterning therapy is a treatment which involves a series of bodily exercises, and other activities, which are intended to “rewire” the brain.
There are a number of different forms of patterning therapy (such as the Delacato method, the Doman method, and Developmental Reflexive Rehabilitation) but they all follow similar principles.
Patterning therapy is based on the belief that developmental disabilities like autism are caused by mild to severe brain injury. Those brain injuries can be overcome by moving the body in specific patterns, which is supposed to provide feedback to the damaged brain and help it to heal itself.
Patterning therapy is normally conducted by several adults on a single child. For example, one adult may turn the head of the child, another may move the child’s right arm and leg and a third may move the child’s left arm and leg.
This treatment is based on an outmoded and oversimplified theory of brain development.
There is a limited amount of research evidence to suggest it is not effective in the treatment of autism.
Because of this we cannot recommend the use of patterning therapy.
Please see the Advanced version of this page for more information about this intervention, including relevant research studies and details of how we ranked them.
Please read our Disclaimer about this intervention.
Last Updated : 05/04/2013 Back to Top