How Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child with Autism

Amisha Gandhi

20 December 2021

Kids with autism have different needs than others. Studies have shown that people with autism experience sensory and emotional overload more often than neurotypical people do, and integration of sensory input takes longer as a result. 

Perhaps this explains why children with autism have frequent meltdowns compared to other kids. They also have a more difficult time dealing with information and emotions than other children do. 

For this reason, they needed much more help processing all these emotions, thoughts, and behavioural changes—and that is where occupational therapy comes into the picture.

Understanding Occupational Therapy: What Is It?

Occupational therapy is a branch of medicine that focuses on physical and cognitive health for both children and adults. Occupational therapists help those with physical, mental or developmental problems to recover and lead independent lives. People who provide such services are expert healthcare practitioners.

How Do Occupational Therapists Help Their Patients?

Occupational therapists help patients with their daily tasks to increase independence, productivity and quality of life. They aim to improve health, reduce stress, and increase their quality of life. 

Occupational therapists also work with people who want to improve their handwriting, learn to use some of their senses, or deal with a mental or physical disability.

Occupational Therapy for Kids With Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that is characterised by poor social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviour. A child with autism is usually highly sensitive, and they can be easily distracted by the slightest changes in the environment. 

It is a lifelong condition, and the child will have it for the rest of their lives. There are no treatments that can cure autism, but there are ways to make persons with autism live happy and productive lives.

Occupational therapists develop ways of helping children with autism to cope with their condition, and their therapies often focus on sensory-related activities. They focus on children’s physical, social, and sensory skills and help them understand their environment. They also work on helping children with autism to improve their level of self-care and self-expression.

The Sensory Processing Therapy

Occupational therapy for young children with autism, sometimes referred to as “autism therapy,” includes sensory processing therapy. During this type of therapy, the therapist gives the child tactile, auditory, and visual stimulation to help them connect their brain with their body, as this seems to be a problem for children with autism. 

For example, activities such as sitting on a vibrating chair, blowing bubbles, and other similar activities help the child with autism focus their attention on the task at hand and become less hyperactive in the process.

Occupational therapy is also effective for children with autism who exhibit challenging behaviours. For example, the therapist might teach the child with autism to use a parachute to help them calm down and have fun.

They can also help children with autism improve their behaviour and prepare them for the world of adulthood. For example, the therapist can teach a child self-control, changing and appropriate behaviour, and time-management skills.

Conclusion

Autism is a condition that has no cure, but with the help of occupational therapists, children with autism can lead happy and productive lives. Normal activities such as feeding, dressing and toilet training can be made more fun and manageable by using sensory-related toys. Occupational therapists are the best expert healthcare practitioners to help children with autism cope with their condition and compensate for their sensory processing difficulties.

If you need autism therapy in Blacktown and nearby areas, you have come to the right page. Cloud Nine Therapy Services is a newly launched child-centred occupational therapy practice located in Blacktown. Let our professionals help your kids. Contact us today!