How does Occupational Therapy help my child with autism?
Your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have a wide variety of issues for which an occupational therapist can provide support including:
Routine self- care activities such as eating or feeding issues.
Difficulties in dressing, including tying shoelaces, buttoning.
Managing sensory-based behaviors including sensitivity to noise or touch, or self-stimulatory behaviors, for example, hand flapping including "meltdowns" triggered by over-stimulation for which calming routines may be developed.
Using a pencil, spoon, scissors or other motor skills.
Following group instructions.
Delayed social skills with symptoms such as avoiding eye contact, having difficulties in making friends, exhibiting physical or aggressive behaviour towards other children and delayed or reduced verbal communication.
Delayed motor skills having challenges such as falling or clumsy behaviour, showing difficulty throwing and catching, having reduced hand eye coordination, and avoiding climbing and jumping activities.
An OT with experience and training in this area can help put together a sensory diet—a plan for sensory input at various times throughout the day to assist in the regulation of optimum levels of alertness.