For children with autism, maintaining a consistent and productive method to assist in their development of motor skills and behavioral cues is a key factor in giving them the quality of life they deserve.
Our occupational therapy professionals work tirelessly with children with autism to help them reach their maximum potential through a combination of social skills, communication, sensory processing, and behavior therapy that is tailored exactly to your child’s needs.
Occupational therapists can help children with autism in five different categories: Sensory, Cognitive, Social, Communication, and Motor.
Sensory processing disorder is a common affliction that children with autism suffer, and it can be a debilitating disorder if not treated properly. It can affect a wide range of everyday activities–things like putting on clothes, eating, sitting in noisy or bright environments, or keeping balance can be a chore.
Occupational therapists address sensory processing disorder in sensory integration clinics, using methods that help children cope with the stimulation they struggle with. Things like weighted vests, swings, ball pits, and more may be employed to help calm them and get them used to stimuli that they’ll experience in everyday life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Autism is associated with a number of other disorders, including depression, anxiety, and attention deficit–all of which can lead to behavioral issues. The cognitive behavioral therapy performed by occupational therapists is a way to counteract those, with the goal in mind being to change the way children think about certain situations, and therefore change the way they react.
Every child reacts differently to different situations, so there is no cookie-cutter approach that works–an occupational therapist must assess every child’s needs differently. Cognitive behavioral therapy works at home, too. The methods that a professional OT teaches children are also taught to parents so their child is constantly learning.
The bread and butter of occupational therapy, developing and maintaining both fine and gross motor skills for children with autism is important not only to them being able to function with basic everyday activities, but also to them being able to socialize properly.
It’s essential that we diagnose a lag in motor skill development early, as that is often one of the early signs that a child has autism. The earlier it’s identified, the easier it becomes for an occupational therapist to build a solid foundation that allows children to catch up with their peers. Whether it’s running, walking, and jumping or performing delicate tasks like tying shoes and holding eating utensils, occupational therapy can help.
Our occupational therapists have been helping Monmouth and Ocean County families and their children with autism for years. Get started with us today and help get your child’s life back on track!