Occupational therapy (OT) can help people improve their cognitive, physical, social, and motor skills. The goal is to enhance daily skills and make people more independent and participate in a wide range of activities. For people with autism, occupational therapy programs usually focus on game skills, learning strategies, and self-care. Occupational therapy strategies can also help control sensory problems.
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often cannot communicate and interact with others. Their interests, activities, and skills are usually limited. Suppose your children have been diagnosed with autism. In that case, you need to try occupational therapy to help them develop skills at home and at school.
Why is occupation therapy beneficial?
Occupational therapy studies human growth and development and the interaction between humans and the environment through daily activities. This method is efficient because of its social, emotional, and physical effects on illness and injury. This knowledge helps them improve the independent living skills of people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Occupational therapists will create a close relationship between parents, teachers, and other professionals. They help people with autism set specific goals. These goals generally involve social interaction, behavior, and classroom performance.
Occupational therapists can help people with autism in two main ways: evaluation and treatment. Once the occupational therapist has gathered the information, you can develop a plan for your child. There is no single ideal treatment plan. But early, structured, and personalized care has proven to be the best.
OT can combine multiple strategies. These can help your child adapt better to the environment. These occupational therapy strategies include:
- Physical activities, such as stringing beads or puzzles, help children develop coordination and physical awareness.
- Fun activities to improve interaction and communication with other people.
- Developmental activities, such as brushing teeth and combing to create routines and interaction.
- Coping strategies to help autistic patients improve their quality of life at home and school. The therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills so that people with autism can be as independent as possible.
The following are some of the skills that occupational therapy can develop:
- Daily living skills, such as potty training, dressing, brushing teeth, and other beauty skills
- Great motor skills required to hold objects when writing to hand or cutting with scissors
- Exercises for walking, climbing stairs, or riding a bicycle
- Perception skills, such as distinguishing differences in color, shape, and size.
- Visual skills for reading and writing.
During therapy, a therapist observes the child to see if he can complete the tasks he should do at his age, such as dressing or playing. Sometimes the therapist will record the child during the day to understand how the child interacts with the environment around him to better assess the type of care he needs. During this period, a therapist may notice any of the following:
- Your child displays a need for attention.
- He often transitions to new activities.
- He engages in many games.
- He requires personal space.
- There are feedbacks to touch or other types of stimuli.
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