Using Occupational Therapy to Treat Autism
“Occupational Therapy focuses on sensory processing and self-regulation. During this therapy, there is also a focus on fine motor development, such as handwriting, and other challenges related to autism.” — Gregory Ruel.
Portland, Maine — A child on the Autism Spectrum often finds difficulty communicating and interacting with others; both adult and child. It’s also quite common for children on the spectrum to have limited interests and activities to enjoy. Most often, play skills are limited as what comes naturally to most children just doesn’t occur in children with autism. Occupational therapy is designed to help people with autism develop skills they can use at home, school, as well as other facets of life.
An Occupational Therapist works with the child on development by assessing the child’s daily activities and how they are able to handle their daily environment. The goal is to work tirelessly with the child as they develop with a goal toward independent living and limited reliance on help from others.
Working as one part of a team that may include the child’s parents, friends, teachers, and caregivers, an Occupational Therapist will map out specific goals and work toward achievement and self reliance. Some of the goals include learning to play with others while still respecting a friends space, motor skills, such as balance, and limiting aggression that he or she may not currently be able to control.
Many parents frustrated with an inability to train their child to use the toilet, brush his teeth or ride a bike may benefit from the help of an Occupational Therapist. These services may be obtained either privately, at school, or through a statewide program. There are also laws in place that require a child have access to these services if deemed by a physician.
Gregory Ruel (Portland, Maine)
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