At what age should I start using Occupational Therapy for my child?
Occupation therapy works best when given to a child from a young age. This is because the Sensory Integration activities and strategies are the foundation on which the child's future learning abilities and normal functioning depend on, as sensory integration and modulation deficits have been identified as the root cause to all other problem areas associated with the autism spectrum.
As the years go by, accommodation may be less required and the individual may consciously learn and apply ways of dealing with sensory distress and challenges. It is best to provide occupational therapy and training during the early ages and then slowly wean off, thus maximizing independent functioning during the later ages of life. The goal is to help them maximize their level of independence and lead more meaningful lives. Most studies have shown that the sooner one starts occupational therapy, the faster one's recovery.
Kids mostly start showing symptoms of autism when they become a little older and start kindergarten; they normally tend to have problems with school readiness. Most schools do have affiliated occupational therapists who are already aware of the specifics of that school, and so most children seek occupational therapy through their school in order to work on their school readiness. These therapists also typically help schools design a curriculum suited for a child with autism.