Autism is a condition wherein the person is unable to communicate or interact well with his surroundings. According to the World Health Organization, autism affects approximately 5 out of 10,000 in Australia, and millions more worldwide. Because of the limitations in interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that children with autism possess, occupational therapy is a perfect avenue for addressing these concerns.
Through daily activities, occupational therapists can help promote skills that will develop the social, mental, and emotional aspects for those with autism. In turn, these affected individuals can soon learn to cope with daily life as normally as possible.
Occupational therapists initially study the stamina and attention span of the patient. They also consider their responses to stimuli and other reactions to outside forces. Other types of behaviors such as aggression are also noted. Once initial study is done, the therapist can then asses the and identify the appropriate approach as to individualizing the care plan for the patient.
Here are some of the skills that the occupational therapist can help facilitate:
• Daily living and grooming skills such as bathing, washing, brushing teeth, etc.
• Gross motor skills used for running, climbing, etc.
• Fine motor skills used for painting, writing, drawing, etc.
• Awareness of the body and perception to other surroundings
• Problem solving, coping, self-help, and communication skills
Early in 2013, we interviewed Prof Sylvia Rodger, an occupational therapist who specializes in autism. Here is Prof Rodger talking about occupational therapy research, and programs she has run for parents with autistic children:
For more information on how occupational therapy helps those with autistic spectrum disorder, check out this website: http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-of-occupational-therapy-for-autism