Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently struggle to engage and communicate with others. There may be limitations to their play abilities, activities, and interests. Occupational therapists assist people of all ages in engaging actively and effectively in daily activities. To build, alter, adjust, or regain abilities that are difficult for a patient to acquire due to their restrictions, occupational therapists work with them to assess their needs.
Pediatric occupational therapists assist kids and teenagers in acquiring and developing the skills necessary to live successfully as adults. The goal of OT for ASD is to preserve, enhance, or introduce abilities that enable a person to engage as independently as possible in significant life activities, such as fine motor skills, self-care, coping skills, etc. If your child has an autism diagnosis or developmental delay, with OT, you can make a great deal of improvement.
This article will give you detailed information on why occupational therapy is vital for children with ASD.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a branch of allied health care and holistically helps people with injuries, diseases, injuries, and autism. OTs assist their patients in acquiring, regaining, or maintaining the capacity to participate in worthwhile everyday activities.
With occupational therapy, children with autism can improve their motor, social, physical, social, and cognitive skills. Therapists assess the kids, and they create programs that frequently emphasize play skills, learning techniques, and self-care. People can learn OT techniques and use them to manage sensory difficulties.
To start, the occupational therapist will assess the child’s present level of competence. The evaluation examines several things, such as how the person:
- Learns, Plays, and Takes Care of Oneself
- Interacts with its surroundings
The assessment will also identify any barriers the kid may face to daily activities. The therapist develops goals and techniques based on this assessment to enable the person to work on essential abilities.
How Does The Assessment Process Go?
Occupational therapists conduct evaluations and assessments to understand a person’s talents, impairments, and skill set. The therapists use a variety of conventional and non-standardized scales to evaluate the regions of dysfunction. Occupational therapists assess children with autism in these areas:
Eye contact, peer relationships, social interaction, etc.
Echolalia, poor speech, nonverbal communication, etc.
Processing of Sensations
Sensory defensiveness, sensory seeking, balance problems, etc.
Avoid scheduling changes, act stereotypically (flapping hands), obey orders, etc.
How Does OT Help Kids With ASD?
Occupational therapy has several advantages for people with autism, such as enhanced visual skills, problem-solving skills, etc. Children can acquire the social and motor skills necessary for autonomous functioning at school, home, and elsewhere. The following skills can be developed with the aid of occupational therapy for autism:
- Gross motor abilities such as bike riding and stair climbing
- Social skills, communication, and play
- Handwriting and other fine motor skills, such as using scissors
- Visual acuity for classroom instruction
- Perceptual abilities, such as the ability to distinguish between various colours and shapes
- Daily chores such as using the restroom and brushing one’s teeth
- Aptitude for solving issues
In simple words, OT for ASD can aid in establishing more robust bonds with adults and peers, communicating clearly, and controlling their emotions in social situations.
If you see your kid showcasing developmental delay and not meeting the developmental milestones, it is vital to seek professional help as soon as possible. Children with autism can improve in their critical areas and conquer their shortcomings with the assistance of occupational therapists.