Occupational therapy is a useful intervention that helps to develop, maintain or recover the lost activities and skills in a person with neurological disorders such as autism. This wellness rehabilitation is focused on the need and goal of individuals with autism and their families. Occupational therapists offer specialized assistance to people with special needs and help them lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
Occupational therapy interventions help children with autism to participate in school, regain their skills and cognitive ability. The services include:
· An individualized evaluation to determine the goals of the person/family
· A planned and customized intervention to improve the individual’s ability to perform his/her daily activities
· To ensure that the goals are met or to alter the current intervention plan for quick/ better result
Once the required evaluation is completed, the occupational therapists assist the child and his/her family with developing skills in various areas. Some of the most areas addressed in occupational therapy for autism are:
Social skills like greeting others,maintaining eye contact when speaking, the ability to read signs and body language, understanding the flow of conversation, recognize the feeling of other, etc. are areas which a child with autism may find difficult to handle. An occupational therapist uses creative ways to help a child understand social norms and rules of social communication.
Emotion regulation skills help in managing emotions such as stress, anxiety, annoyance and frustration in a child with autism. Occupation therapy helps in identifying and involving appropriate strategies to manage intense emotions. An occupational therapist uses a variety of methods such as play activities, games, videos, etc.
Children with autism, at times, have difficulty with sensory processing. This can lead to the child to react to loud sound, bright light, touch and movement. Occupational therapists detect and treat sensory difficulties with activities using swings,dancing, music, trampoline, etc.
In children with autism,there are some delays in gross or fine motor skills or both.Occupational therapy for autism involves the assessment process to detect the areas that needs to be developed. The occupational therapists find techniques to help a child build muscles strength and limb co-ordination to help them move independently.
Overall, an occupational therapist can assist a child and his/her in recovering their lost skill in various areas. They are specifically trained to address the challenges in children with autism and provide treatment plans to improve the condition.
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