Occupational Therapy

      Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate a variety of behaviors which affect their ability to participate in their daily occupations. Occupational therapists use a number of approaches to enable children and young people with ASD to participate in everyday life and for families to better manage their children’s needs.

      Many of the anxieties and resultant behaviors of individuals with ASD relate directly to their sensory differences and inability to process the world around them. They are unable to process and use the sensory input they receive. Frequently they have sensory defensiveness, in which children are unable to tolerate various kinds of sensory stimulus. These sensory integration issues fall within the frame of scope of OT. Some children with ASD also have additional diagnoses of dyspraxia, dyslexia and developmental coordination disorder and a large proportion experience problems with fine and gross motor skills and coordination.

      Occupational / Sensory Integration Therapy is a method of helping people who are her oversensitive to the senses by overwhelming them with sensory experiences. The overall goal of occupational therapy is to help the children under autism spectrum disorder improve his or her quality of life at home and in school. The therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills so that people with autism can be as independent as possible. They will use exercise, facilitated practice, alternative strategies and adaptive equipment to promote independence.

      Occupational therapists focus on the development of fine motor skills and on optimizing upper body function and improving posture. Fine motor skills are required for holding objects while handwriting or cutting with scissors. Gross motor skills used for walking, climbing stairs, or riding a bike

The Occupational therapist works mainly on the following parameters of the child:

  • Attention span and stamina
  • Transition to new activities
  • Play skills
  • Need for personal space
  • Responses to touch or other types of stimuli
  • Motor skills such as posture, balance, or manipulation of small objects
  • Aggression or other types of behaviors
  • Interactions between the child and caregivers
  • Behavioral Issues
By working on these skills during occupational therapy, a special child with autism may be able to:
  • Develop peer and adult relationships
  • Learn how to focus on tasks
  • Learn how to delay gratification
  • Express feelings in more appropriate ways
  • Engage in play with peers
  • Learn how to self-regulate

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