What is Occupational therapy?
Jewel Autism Centre’s occupational therapy program is one of the world’s best occupational program with timely updations and therapy materials under the sensory integration therapy approaches. Our Occupational therapy program focuses on evaluation and training of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, cognitive-perceptual skills, pre-writing skills, activities of daily living, social skills, play skills, and sensory integrative dysfunction.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Occupational therapy is “skilled treatment that helps individuals to achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Occupational therapy assists people in developing the ‘skills for the job of living’ necessary for independent and satisfying lives.”
A person on the lower end of the autism disorder spectrum (ASD) may have significant developmental and sensory challenges that are severe enough to get in the way of normal activities and relationships but on their spectrum scale, the symptoms may be relatively mild or the number of symptoms may be less. Though there is no such official ‘diagnosis’, such a person is said to have mild or very mild autism. It is difficult to spot mild autism in toddlers / children under the age of 3 and it often goes unnoticed. Signs of mild autism in adults are much more prominent. Earlier it was considered that even mild autism symptoms cannot be ‘reversed’ and that it was a lifelong condition. Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. While the child may still need support, mild autism can be treated to help the individual to lead a better life. A good therapist and the right interventions will be able to help the child live comfortably as part of the mainstream.
Why Would a Child With Autism Need to See an Occupational Therapist?
In the case of autism, Occupational Therapists (OT’s) have vastly expanded the usual breadth of their job. In the past, for example, an occupational therapist might have worked with an autistic person to develop skills for handwriting, shirt buttoning, shoe tying, and so forth. But today’s occupational therapists specializing in autism may also be experts in sensory integration (difficulty with processing information through the senses) or may work with their clients on play skills, social skills and more.
What Does an Occupational Therapist Do for Kids with Autism?
Since kids with autism often lack some of the basic social and personal skills which are required for independent living, Occupational Therapists have developed techniques for working on these needs. For example:
- Provide interventions to help a child appropriately respond to information coming through the senses. Intervention may include swinging, brushing, playing in a ball pit and a whole gamut of other activities aimed at helping a child to manage his body in space.
- Facilitate play activities that instruct as well as aid a child in interacting and communicating with others. For a specialized Occupational Therapist, this can be specifically structured into play therapy; such as Floor time, which is developed to build intellectual and emotional skills as well as physical skills.
- Devise strategies to help the individual transition from one setting to another, from one person to another, and from one life phase to another. For a child with autism, this may involve soothing strategies for managing transition from home to school; for adults with autism it may involve vocational skills, cooking skills and more.