The child was one of a twin (born through IVF) who appeared to be typically developing up to around 1.5 years of age – around this time a regressive pattern was noticed in communication, interactions with others, and emotions.
Parents (IT professionals in the USA) started having concerns about decreased speech. The extensive time-frames for assessment and interventions in the West led them to look out for treatment options in India – extensive research of the best centre led them to Jewel Autism Centre (Kottayam) when the child was 2.5yrs.
OT/SP/SE professionals carried out initial interviews and assessments. The OT assessment presented a picture of the child having challenges in Alertness/awareness levels, Sleep patterns, Emotional regulation, and Social & communication abilities which thereby affected functional participation in his Occupations of Interactions & Play, Learning, and Daily life activities (Feeding, Toileting, Grooming, etc.) & Rest.
Being his OT for the past 1.5 years, my therapeutic intervention was primarily a Client-Needs based approach. The focus was on working closely with the parent & discussing their significant concerns at home/ community over the course of therapy.
Providing a tailored program catering to the specific needs of the child-centered on the principles of the Sensory Integration approach, Behavior modification techniques, ADL skills training (Feeding therapy, Potty training, Grooming routines), and Play therapy to improve social skills. Simultaneous medical interventions helped to resolve underlying issues that were affecting Sleep, Overall Behavior, Purposeful interactions & Dietary concerns.
Educating the parent on having a better perspective on understanding their child along with close monitoring & regular follow-ups played a crucial role in bringing about a satisfactory outcome for the parent from an occupational therapy point of view.
Alin Isac (MOT)
Pediatric Occupational therapist