Enhancing Abilities And Independence
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have a variety of unique needs, sometimes involving limited mobility, sensory issues and behavioural challenges. The Occupational Therapist implements strategies and recommends tools to modify their environment for success.
Occupational Therapy is a valuable resource in collaboration with Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy. The Occupational Therapist works within the team of specialists to create a unique program to support each child with their specific needs. They can also help families with training and techniques that can be applied at home between sessions and provide advice to teaching professionals.
What does Occupational Therapy involve?
An Occupational Therapist is trained to evaluate a child’s level of ability and identify any obstacles preventing the child from enjoying participation in everyday activities, or developing towards independence.
During the initial evaluation, the therapist may look at several areas, including how the child plays, learns, cares for themselves and interacts with others. This assessment will feed into the individual care plan designed by the therapy team.
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Defining Individual Goals
The program will be designed around each child’s specific needs and capabilities, but the strategies may include goals in the following areas:
- Physical activities designed to help the child develop coordination and awareness of their body
- Play activities to encourage communication and interaction skills with others
- Developing self-care skills such as combing hair and brushing teeth
- Developing adaptive strategies to aid with coping with transitions
Coordination with other Therapists
The Occupational therapist will work with the child individually each week and coordinate with the other therapists to ensure that goals are aligned. They will also work with the family to devise ways in which the child can work on these goals outside of the sessions too.