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Many people wonder why occupational therapy is used for treating autism. Read this blog to find out!
What are your occupations?
Every day, you do meaningful activities. You play games, garden, make meals and paint. They are an integral parts of our lives. Above all they allow us to access the best parts of our life and make it meaningful for us. OT help with your professional and personal concerns if you are unable to perform daily tasks due to injury, illness, or disability.
- Offer solutions to problems that arise from social and environmental factors.
- Enhanced participation in communities and life.
- Ultimately, help us live the life that we desire.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. It affects about 500,000 people around the world. Autism diagnosis most often occurs in childhood. Moreover, Autism Speaks Canada predicts that 1 in 42 boys and 1 in of 189 girls will be autistic.
ASD can impact every area of a person’s life and each case is unique. Occupation performance refers to the ability to do daily activities, such as self-care and daily living. It also includes education, leisure and recreation for children. As well as their ability to communicate and socially engage.
What are the goals of occupational therapy?
OT’s main goal is to help clients achieve their highest level of independence. In other words, it is important to consider their personal goals, motivations and interests.
Above all OTs should:
- Encourage participation in daily life.
- Develop intervention plans and assess the abilities of the individual.
- Assist children in achieving their developmental goals.
- Encourage learning through their understanding of sensorimotor processing.
- Fine/gross motor skills development and task analysis.
- Recommend changes or accommodations to activities and environments.
- Teach vocational skills and explore independent living options.
- Assist clients in achieving independence.
- Support clients and families with education, consultation, and advocacy.
- Support clients in building intimate relationships through education about relationships and sexuality.
- Participate in the inter-professional team (speech pathologists, behaviour analysts, physicians, early interventionists, social workers and educators).
How is occupational therapy used in treating autism?
Occupational therapists use their skills to improve sensory processing, emotional regulation and fine/gross motor development. Occupational therapy is a holistic approach that offers a unique perspective. They hold advanced degrees and have received a lot of training in the field. Moreover, they are highly skilled in doing assessments and in providing intervention. Occupational therapy interventions require input from family, educators, and caregivers. People transition from one setting into another with the help of occupational therapists. In other words, transitions include from home to daycare, from daycare to school, and from school to society. Occupational therapists provide support to families through education and consultation.
Where can occupational therapists work?
Occupational therapists can be found working alongside health care professionals in many settings. That is to say these can include schools, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and community clinics. OTs also work in support services, family homes and on client health teams. Other organizations may be involved in the occupational therapy’s work, such as government policy-makers, community agencies, or care professionals.
Occupational Therapy at Side by Side
In summary, OTs play an important role on many of our client teams. Occupational Therapists can do direct treatment or consult to our ABA Therapy teams. If you’d like to discuss how we can use occupational therapy in your child’s program call Side by Side Therapy today.