Occupational therapy for autism is aimed at helping both children and adults to gain or regain the essential skills needed to accomplish their day to day activities independently. The program is supervised by trained therapists who strategize different plans for each child with delays in mastering activities and managing disruptive behavior.
Helping Individuals With Sensory Concerns
For individuals who have trouble processing sensory information are either sensitive or not sensitive enough to stimulation, which can make them nervous or distracted with poor impulse control. With anxiety, they may turn aggressive. Occupational therapists engage individuals in physical activities (sensory gym) or play (swinging, hitting onto bean bags, jumping on trampolines) designed to regulate their sensory input. The programs make them feel comfortable, confident and stay focused. Products including chewable pencil tops, fidgets and trinkets provide a calming input to help them sit and focus.
Helping With Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills involve major muscle groups in the body. Children with weak muscles struggle to maintain a balance, which impacts their walking with an erect posture, climbing stairs, hopping, jumping, and even catching or throwing objects. These deficits stop them from participating in activities like sports, which affect their confidence and socializing skills.
Occupational therapy for autism helps in maintaining muscle strength, balance, and limb coordination with the help of physiotherapists. Various exercises are included to rectify low muscle tone and the core body strength that obstruct their abilities to sit erect and attentive. Occupational therapists work on gross motor skills in alliance with physical therapists with movements such as crab walking, rolling and bouncing on a therapy ball, etc., help to address gross movement deficits.
Helping With Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve the tendons of a person’s hand. Lack of hand-muscle strength results in motor control deficiency, where individuals have difficulty in holding a pencil for drawing or writing, using scissors, pickup games with tweezers or stringing beads. If not treated, these delays will affect the individual’s academics and handling of the computer much harder. They may also lag in self-help skills such as buttoning, tying shoelaces or using cutleries.
Thus, occupational therapy for autism employs fun techniques to develop fine motor skills in individuals with special needs.
To become self-dependent, the occupational therapists work to evolve fine motor skills (buttoning, zipping, tying shoes), grooming skills (using toilet, combing hair, brushing teeth), and eating mannerisms (holding spoon, fork, plate). The therapists use specific techniques to address different challenges.
Thus, occupational therapy for autism focus on the development and regaining of vital skills required for everyday activities. It helps children to reach various delayed milestone which they missed, from infancy to adolescence, due to various neurological issues. Occupational therapy helps children in achieving independence in everyday activities.