An occupational therapist works with an individual to determine the best ways for them to achieve their life goals. They may focus on practical skills such as daily living, or more mental aspects like communication and social engagement. In this post I discuss what you can expect from a therapy session if your child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The “results online” is a blog post that discusses the goals and results with occupational therapy for autism. The article includes some of the most common benefits that are seen from occupational therapy.
Occupational therapy’s ultimate purpose is to increase a person’s capacity to accomplish everyday chores in order to improve their quality of life. Occupational therapy aids a person with autism in responding to and processing information received via their senses.
During treatment, an occupational therapist will work closely with families, teachers, medical professionals, and caregivers to establish precise objectives and timelines for achieving them.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that affects speech, social skills, and behaviors. Autism is a spectrum condition with varying degrees of severity and handicap.
Autistic children with low functioning often find it difficult to care for themselves. This means they may not be able to go to the bathroom on their own, dress or feed themselves, or communicate vocally.
Occupational Therapy’s Overarching Objectives
Occupational therapy (OT) is a frequent intervention for persons with autism to help them function in their everyday life. It’s also used to help those who have other developmental difficulties.
Occupational therapy objectives will differ from one individual to the next and will be determined by the degree of the impairment. The following are some of the most common overall aims of occupational therapy:
- Self-sufficiency is the ability to feed oneself.
- Going to the restroom on my own.
- Getting dressed.
- Skills and practices in personal grooming.
- Developing motor skills
- Using both vocal and nonverbal means to communicate more effectively.
Occupational therapy may also aid in a person’s ability to interact with people and their surroundings. Autistic persons may benefit from the treatment because it teaches them how to interpret and apply what their senses are telling them.
One of the key aims of occupational therapy for autism is to enhance overall quality of life by increasing self-reliance and independence.
In occupational therapy, certain goals are set.
A succession of everyday activities or vocations make up one’s life. Occupational therapy focuses on helping a kid with autism be more successful at socializing, playing, and learning.
OT may assist with:
An examination will usually precede occupational therapy to evaluate how a person interacts with the environment around them, takes care of themselves, learns, socializes, communicates, and plays. This may assist in determining personal objectives.
Specific objectives will be determined by the individual’s difficulties. Here are several examples:
- Make a daily schedule.
- Maintain a regular sleep routine.
- Learn to write, color, and cut with scissors.
- Play games with others.
- Choose a toy that is suited for the situation.
- Learn how to manage your anxiety.
- Improve your ability to self-regulate.
- Improved task attention.
- Transitions should be managed.
- In a classroom atmosphere, you will do better.
Play and sensory approaches are used in an interactive fashion in occupational therapy to cater to a child’s strengths while also helping to address areas of weakness. Problem-solving techniques and games intended to interest a youngster are often used in sessions.
Zippers, threading beads, playing with sand or play dough, jumping rope, dancing, and swinging on playground swings are all examples of OT activities. To develop living skills, other creative, interactive, and sensory-engaging activities are employed.
Occupational Therapy for Autism Timelines
Occupational therapy may be provided in a number of contexts, including the home, the classroom, and the clinic. Sessions last between 30 and 60 minutes and may be scheduled on numerous days per week if necessary.
The more time you spend in occupational therapy, the better. It might take a long time to form new habits. It also takes time for a client to apply what they’ve learnt in sessions in their daily lives.
As a consequence, the estimated timeline for occupational therapy outcomes varies depending on the individual’s objectives and degree of impairment. A person who need assistance with fundamental self-care skills might anticipate a lengthier treatment period than a youngster learning how to correctly use scissors.
The sooner a kid gets treatment to manage their autism, the more flexible they will be and the faster they will experience benefits. Young toddlers’ brains are more pliable than older children’s or adults’.
As a result, younger children with greater functioning will see improvements sooner as a result of occupational therapy. Adults who are having OT for the first time will take longer to adjust to new abilities than children who begin treatment when they are younger.
OT for Every Age & Level of Disability
Occupational therapy may help people with autism, no matter how old they are or how well they are functioning.
Depending on the client’s age and degree of handicap, sessions will take on a variety of forms. Play and sensory integration models, for example, will engage young toddlers and youngsters, while adults will be assisted in learning how to perform in the job and live as independently as possible.
Occupational therapy is often an element of a school-based educational curriculum. Occupational therapy for school-aged children in a school context focuses on how to assist the child’s education and help them perform better in the classroom. OT will strive to enhance handwriting, peer relations, and transition management, as well as eliminate any potential learning hurdles.
Occupational therapy is often covered by health insurance. Private sessions can allow for a greater emphasis on self-care and independence.
While there is no one treatment or cure for autism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that early treatments and a range of therapy types, including occupational therapy, may considerably improve symptom management.
The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapy is often done in your home, in a setting that is familiar to your kid. Change aversion is a typical symptom of autism. As a consequence, working in a comfortable setting may frequently provide better outcomes.
Occupational therapy will not be your child’s sole method of treatment. Because applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is the most common treatment for autism, it’s probable that your kid will participate in it. If necessary, they may also get speech therapy.
To build a complete care plan, occupational therapists might collaborate with other medical and mental health treatment providers. OT may play a significant part in personal health and development, and gains in other aspects of life are often noted as a result of OT.
Parents, carers, and even siblings may assist an autistic family member in putting occupational therapy skills into practice. While family members may encourage and reward good behaviour, these skills should be taught and presented by a qualified expert in the first place.
An occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) working under the supervision of a qualified occupational therapist may perform occupational therapy. Occupational therapists must have a bachelor’s degree and have passed a certification test.
More time equates to better outcomes.
Learning occupational therapy skills takes time, and repetition helps to solidify them.
The importance of early therapy cannot be overstated. Early intervention and greater time spent in treatment at a young age has been shown to yield favorable outcomes, although the particular therapy and amount of time required are extremely unique.
In most cases, long-term treatment yields the greatest results. Therapy time needed will alter as a kid grows older, and demands may change as well. A kid may need more hours at first, but as they get older and develop new abilities, they may require less hours. As they learn to negotiate the transition into adulthood, transitional young people often need more treatment time.
An occupational therapist will meet with each family individually to determine how much treatment, and what forms of therapy, would assist the person the most in terms of controlling autistic symptoms. To observe the maximum changes, young children generally benefit from practically full-time treatment in a variety of modalities.
Consult your kid’s physician or another professional if you believe occupational therapy might assist your child. You may also ask your ABA provider whether occupational therapy might be an appropriate addition to your kid’s treatment plan if your child is currently receiving ABA therapy.
The “results gym” is a goal that parents of children with Autism should expect. It is important to note, though, that this is not the only goal for which occupational therapy can be used.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you mean by results?
A: Results are the data I use to answer your question.
What part of speech is the word result?
A: The word result is a noun.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.