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Occupational Therapy for Autism
Article Number: 18 | Rating: Unrated | Last Updated: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM
Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Autism
People with autism can benefit from occupational therapy, both at home and at school. Autism is a complex developmental disorder. A person who has autism often has trouble communicating and interacting with other people. The person’s interests, activities, and play skills may be very limited.
What’s the role of occupational therapy (OT) in treating autism?
Occupational therapists study human growth and development. They are experts in social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. This knowledge helps them promote skills for independent living in people with autism.
Occupational therapists work as part of a team that includes parents, teachers, and other professionals. They help set specific goals for the person with autism. These goals often involve social interaction, behavior, and classroom performance.
Occupational therapists can help in two main ways: with evaluation and therapy.
How is occupational therapy useful for evaluation with autism?
The therapist observes children to see if they can do tasks they are expected to do at their ages. These might relate to certain self-help skills, such as getting dressed. Or they might involve knowing how to play a game. Sometimes, it helps to videotape a child during the normal course of the day. This will help the occupational therapist better assess what is needed for care. With the tape, the therapist might learn about the child’s reactions to the environment. For example the therapist might note any of the following:
How does occupational therapy help a person with autism?
Once an occupational therapist has gathered information, he or she can develop a program for your child. There is no single ideal treatment program. But early, structured, individualized care has been shown to work best.
Occupational therapy may combine a variety of strategies. These can help your child respond better to his or her environment. These OT strategies include:
What are the benefits of occupational therapy for autism?
The overall goal of occupational therapy is to help the person with autism improve his or her quality of life. This includes life at home and at school. The therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills. That way, people with autism can be as independent as possible.
These are some of the skills occupational therapy may foster:
By working on these skills during occupational therapy, a child with autism may also do the following:
From WedMD: http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-of-occupational-therapy-for-autism
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