Children with autism have a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Because their brain seems not to function appropriately, they typically have social interaction impairments and limited communication skills as well as limited activities, interests, and play skills. It is challenging to raise a kid with autism that parents seek the help of an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists aid those with autism of all ages to live their lives to the fullest as their health improves and further illness, injury, or disability is prevented. They assist children with autism to perform better not just in their home environment, but school and play areas as well.
Other Common Therapy Interventions Important To Kids
- An occupational therapist helps children recuperating from an injury to reclaim their skills.
- They assist those who are experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
- They provide an individualized evaluation to determine the child’s goal.
- They offer customized intervention to promote the child’s daily activity.
- They also present outcome evaluation to see if the goals set are met and then make adjustments to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy takes into consideration the emotional, physical, social, sensory, and cognitive abilities needs of an autistic child. Through its holistic approach, OTs work to develop skills for writing, fine motor skills, and skills needed for daily life.
Role Of Therapy On Sensory Issues
A child sometimes happens to have problems with social interaction, behaviors, and communication because of a sensory processing issue. Almost 80% of children with autism are affected by this sensory processing problems. It can be the reason why children with autism hate noise, the feel of certain fabrics, or being touched.
Through sensory integration therapy, occupational therapists consider that children are either stimulated or under stimulated by the environment. Then, they work on improving the brain’s ability to process sensory information so that the child will have the ability to do daily activities better.
Accessibility Of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy can be easily accessed through schools. The public law orders occupational therapy availability to students with disabilities who need it.
Some insurance plans also have coverage for private occupational therapy for children with autism. Some states even offer a waiver which makes families with higher income have access to occupational therapy using Medicaid.
Preparing An Intervention Plan
Therapists evaluate children with autism through observation and parent and teacher reports. They interview the parents regarding the child’s relationships, care for self, eating, and daily living skills. They work closely with parents and teachers so they may address the most critical issues such as supporting academic success. They do collaboration in order to remove hindrances that impede learning by helping kids become more focused and calmer.
They also work with the siblings so that they may understand what’s going on with their brother or sister – why he is not responding, why he easily gets annoyed, why he does not like interacting with them. Occupational therapy aims to involve the siblings by having them participate in sensory integration therapy which is a playful form of treatment and can be done in groups.
Occupational therapy intervention proves to be effective in promoting social skills, communication, and motor skills in children with autism. They open opportunities for these kids to survive the overwhelming and chaotic environment they live in.
Find an occupational therapist who can work towards the goals you set for your kid and work closely with them to ensure the effectivity of the therapy they offer.