3 Ways An Occupational Therapist Can Help Your Child With Autism

Posted on: 2 August 2016

If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, or if you feel that your child is struggling with different aspects of their diagnosis, you may want to consider having your child work with an occupational therapist. Below are three examples of how an occupational therapist can help your child cope with day-to-day tasks and learn how to overcome their challenges.

Your Child Will Learn to Perform Self-Care Tasks

It can be difficult for some children with autism to get into a consistent self-care routine, but with the help of an occupational therapist, your child can begin to learn the skills that're necessary for future success.

Bathing, dressing, and other such hygiene and care tasks are difficult to master for children with autism, but it's not impossible. If you're concerned with your child's self-care skills, then your child's occupational therapist can evaluate their performance and create a self-care lesson plan that will help your child to increase their abilities. An occupational therapist may use a rewards system to increase your child's compliance and to get your child excited about working on their skills.

Your Child Will Learn How to Communicate and Interact

Children with autism may have trouble communicating their feelings and interacting in a socially acceptable manner.

If your child struggles with such issues, then occupational therapy can teach your child ways of adapting to different social situations and communicating effectively. For example, your child's occupational therapist may use pretend play as a way for your child to learn appropriate interactions for different circumstances, and the occupational therapist may even bring your child out into the community to practice their communication skills.

Your Child Will Learn How to Cope with Change

Change is a normal part of life, but for children with autism, change can seem like the end of the world.

Anxiety and sensory overload are the main reasons that children with autism have difficulty with transitions but by learning the proper coping techniques, your child can learn to handle transitions in a healthy, safe way. An example of how your child's occupational therapist may help your child cope with transitions is by introducing a cue system that you and your child's teachers can use. For example, your child may benefit from a set of cue cards that will tell him what activities are coming up. These cue cards can be used ten minutes before transitions occur so your child knows that they have time to wrap up their current activity and mentally prepare for the next.

To learn more about the benefits of occupational therapy, speak with your child's pediatrician or set up a consultation with a pediatric occupational therapist.

For more information, visit http://www.advancedphysicaltherapyofsj.com or a similar website.