Occupational Therapy for Autism

Learn how occupational therapy can help a child with autism from pediatrician and child development expert Asma J. Sadiq, M.D. in this Howcast video.

Transcript

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Occupational therapy is used for children with fine motor difficulties and delays. In children with the autism spectrum diagnosis, there are often fine motor issues. But beyond just the actual using of, whether it's a pencil grasp or a pencil grasp, or tying shoelaces and using their hand and eye coordination, which, definitely children will benefit when we give them, or provide them with occupational therapy support.

Another area that is getting very interesting when included with occupational therapy is the area of sensory integration. Occupational therapists are often trained in providing that because sensory integration is something that children with the autism spectrum have difficulty with. They get overstimulated by different sounds, by movement, by the presence of, and they're very sensitive to their environment.

Being able to integrate stimulation from your senses is something that's important. Sensory integration disorder or sensory integration therapy to deal with this disorder is important and provided by the occupational therapists. For example, a brushing, or a massage and holding can be very calming for a child. Some children who are very fidgety, you can have them sit on a particular cushion which allows them a little movement and flexibility, or using a certain kind of vest, which can give them a sense of being grounded, and can help them therefore attend better to what is being done.

Some children have difficulty with transitioning and moving from the playground to coming back into the classroom, or one activity to another. Providing a little bit of sensory calming, brushing, just reorientation, movement on a ball, for example, or, you know, jumping on a trampoline before they get down to work because they've let out the energy and they feel more intact.

There are lots of approaches that have been used with sensory integration that are beneficial to children with the autism spectrum.

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