Occupational therapy: How does it help children with autism?

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental condition where the brain does not function properly. This includes impairments in developmental language, communication skills, and social interaction, as well as restricted interests, play skills, and activities. Raising a child with autism can be an overwhelming and enormous task. But occupational therapy (OT) can help.

The occupational therapists at https://www.kidsconnecttherapy.com.au/ can help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) perform better in both home and school environments. But what exactly is occupational therapy, and how does it help children with autism?

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy can help people work on their physical, social, motor, and cognitive skills. Its goal is to improve their everyday skills, which allow them to be more independent. Occupational therapy programs often focus on learning strategies, self-care, and play skills, as well as help manage sensory issues.

Occupational therapists, like the ones at https://www.kidsconnecttherapy.com.au/, often start by evaluating and assessing the child’s current level of activity. The assessment takes into consideration several areas, such as how a child plays, learns, interacts with their environment, and care for themselves.

After occupational therapists have gathered enough information, they will be able to develop a program for your child. However, it’s important to note that there is no single perfect treatment program. But early, individualised, structured care can help children with ASD. Occupational therapy may also be used in combination with other strategies that can help children respond to their environment better.

How does it help children with autism?

Occupational therapy aims to help children with ASD improve their quality of life both in school and at home. The goal of occupational therapists is to help introduce, maintain, and improve their skills so that they can live as independently as possible. Here are some of the skills an occupational therapist may help develop.

  • Daily living skills, such as brushing teeth, dressing, toilet training, and other grooming skills
  • Gross motor skills required for climbing stairs, riding a bike, or walking
  • Fine motor skills needed for holding items while cutting with scissors or handwriting
  • Posture, sitting, or perceptual skills, such as being able to tell the difference between shapes, colours, and sizes.
  • Visual skills for reading and writing
  • Awareness of their body and how it relates to others
  • Coping, play, problem-solving, self-help, social skills, and communication

Some of the essential skills occupational therapists can help with are:

  • Emotion regulation skills
  • Peer interactions and social skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Motor skills
  • Time management and family routines

Benefits of occupational therapy for ASD

With the help of occupational therapy, children with autism may be able to:

  • Learn how to focus on tasks
  • Develop adult and peer relationships
  • Express their feeling in more appropriate ways
  • Participate in play with peers
  • Learn how to self-regulate and delay gratification
  • There are many areas where occupational therapy can help your child. However, do take note that each child’s case is different. That’s why occupational therapists use a different approach when evaluating and coming up with a program for each patient.

Kids Connect Therapy can help your child by teaching them life skills that will prepare them to live a more independent life. They offer a wide range of specialised individual or group-based therapy services. You can learn more about their services at https://www.kidsconnecttherapy.com.au/.