Dry Float Therapy and Autism

The case of Casa Sebastiano

Today, life is hard for everybody, but it’s even more difficult for people with autism spectrum disorders. And those who have it worst are the children and teenagers, who feel overwhelmed by sensory inputs from the environment around them. This makes it impossible for them to relax, which results in a build-up of tension and stress for both body and mind.

A group of Swedish researchers found that floatation could improve the quality of life of people with autism; their studies focused on children, with the aim to understand if a “floating” break from external stimuli bombardment could be a major benefit for them. Today, we know that floatation therapy allows them to rest, relax and get rid of the pressure from interaction with other people. The body benefits from it, by releasing articulation and muscle tension that autism “offers” them as a constant and everlasting life condition.

Introducing this innovation is not easy and we from Starpool, who in 2018 started an amazing journey by donating Zerobody to Casa Sebastiano, know this well. Accepting to lie still while floating on an unknown, new “objects” can be a real challenge. That is where the professionalism and competence of the operators who assist the kids with a gradual approaching process come into play, as it happened at Casa Sebastian. There, the kids are allowed to touch, discover, experiment, refuse or accept Zerobody, without being forced to use it.

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Today we are happy to share some outstanding data with you:

95% of Casa Sebastiano’s kids regularly use Zerobody, by autonomously choosing it among the different well-being and “leisure” activities proposed by the operators.
– From the beginning of our collaboration to date, Zerobody has been used approximately 1200 times.
– On average, every kid chooses to stay on Zerobody for 20 minutes; however, it is not unusual for some of them to choose 30 minutes or 20 + 20 minutes sessions.

However, it is not the figures that we find exciting; what really thrills us is listening to the stories and experiences of the kids who, thanks to Zerobody, can finally find some moments of well-being that, sometimes, become lasting benefits associated with the most difficult aspects of their condition.

These are the communication tables for Zerobody session management:

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Marzia Rizzardi, services coordinator at Casa Sebastiano, tells us three stories that we are extremely proud to share with you now.

The names are fictitious to protect the privacy of our protagonists.
No pictures were shown to protect the privacy of the places and people that we have mentioned to you. If you want to discover more about Casa Sebastiano or contribute to a project of excellence to support teenagers with autism in Trentino, or go see them.

No picture is better than the one that will remain in your heart.

Matteo

“Matteo is a 38-year-old man who lives in residential ward at Casa Sebastiano. It is hard for him to accept things or experiences that are different from what he already knows and accepts. That was also the case with Zerobody, for which a very long approaching process was necessary, along with a great commitment from the operator in respecting Matteo’s pace in touching, discovering, and understanding what it was about. One day, much to our surprise, Matteo decided to use Zerobody and…he fell asleep! For us it was a great vote of confidence and, above all, a display of deep well-being and relaxation”.

Silvia

“Silvia is a girl who daily lives in a state of extreme muscle tension. Floatation sessions on Zerobody are for her a moment when she can relax and stretch her muscles, without needing an operator to step in with specific massage”.

Giulia

“Giulia initially chose to use Zerobody holding the operator’s hand tight, but after a few sessions she started to use it without asking for any help. This was a great achievement for us…Giulia is used to having the operator constantly by her side, and preferably holding hands”.

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