The importance of occupational therapy for children with autism

What is occupational therapy?

Over the years, occupational therapy, one healthcare profession, has become common in the mental health sector. Due to their compassionate nature and opportunities, many people take on such careers positively impact lives.

Occupational therapy is part of the health profession that involves the therapeutic use to solve the challenges that interfere with your ability to handle your everyday occupations and activities. Occupational therapy (OT) helps treat your mental, physical, and emotional ailments that typically affect your performance. Occupational therapy helps;

  • Being productive – going to school, work, participating in the community
  • Self-care – eating, dressing, moving around
  • Leisure activities – gardening, sports, social activities

Occupational therapist (OT)

Occupational therapists are allied health professionals strictly handling occupational therapy services, often called OT. Better Rehab OT’s are well-educated health professionals to better your daily living skills. These university graduates apply their expertise, knowledge, and skills to recommend preventive measures to help you manage a more satisfying and productive life. In addition, our OTs can understand the physical and medical limitations of injuries and disabilities and the psycho-social factors that influence the functioning of the entire human system.


Occupational therapists can help with

Occupational therapy intervention is an essential aspect of the well-being of adults and children. The therapy helps improve the quality of life and living of children with various disorders such as;

Downs syndrome

Better Rehab OTs have the best experience creating treatment programs for children with Downs syndrome. The programs help you learn various skills such as drawing, handwriting, keyboarding, and many more. For children who desire to be independent, such activities are beneficial.


ADHD is a condition common in children who have difficulty in prioritizing, regulating, or switching attention and can easily get distracted. Occupational therapists use sensory integration therapy to develop the child’s sensory processing capabilities. It helps the children recognize their sensory system in general. Other techniques might also be necessary depending on how extreme the condition is.


Autism is also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is a complex lifelong development disability, referring to a broad range of conditions around relationships, social skills, speech, repetitive behaviours, self-regulation, and nonverbal communication. Autism is a spectrum condition that affects children differently and to varying degrees. Over the years, CDC has proved that 1 in 66 children are affected by autism in the Australia. Children with autism spectrum disorder usually have trouble interacting and communicating with others, so occupational therapists need to study their environment to find the necessary therapy that suits them. Then, the therapists work with teachers and parents in developing specialized exercises that will cater to the child’s needs. The training will help improve the child’s attentive transition, attention span, response to stimuli, play skills, and improve interaction.

The cause of the autism spectrum is unknown. However, an early diagnosis with the help of OTs works helps you receive the services and support you need, which may lead to a quality life filled with opportunities.


Occupational therapist for autism

Occupational therapists are child psychologists’ best friends who focus on promoting, developing, and maintaining the necessary social skills a student may need to fit in a school setting and beyond. Better Rehab occupational therapist works actively and participates in the life of people with autism to help promote their learning skills, improve their self-confidence, develop their self-esteem, social interaction, and independence.

Better Rehab OT’s holistic approach plays an essential role in planning programs to treat behavioural changes. They focus on the social, sensory needs, cognitive abilities, and requirements of students.

Improves strength and endurance for various tasks

In cases where the autism spectrum is involved, OTs can help develop handwriting, daily living, and fine motor skills. Their main target is assessing and targeting the child’s sensory processing disorders, from gross motor skills to fine motor skills. It is a fundamental approach in helping remove the general barriers to learning and help the child become calmer and more focused.

An occupational therapist working with children who experience sensory processing disorders must have postgraduate training in sensory integration. Sensory integrations therapy is determined by whether the child is overstimulated or under-stimulated by the environment. Sensory integration therapy aims to enhance the brains’ ability to process sensory information to ensure the child functions better in their daily activities. Most OTs prescribe a sensory diet or lifestyle to the children.

What are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy for People with Autism?

Occupational therapy helps you restore your ability to perform your daily tasks as independently as possible. When you experience difficulty with basics or instrument ADLs, Occupational treatment will support the return to independent function and upgrade your daily living skills with the six benefits mentioned below.

Improves strength and endurance for various tasks

Exercise and endurance activities are every days in any therapy. However, what makes occupational therapy stand out is analyzing daily tasks’ manoeuvres or cognitive needs. OT creatively creates activities and exercises custom-designed to build upon your current abilities to enhance daily independence.

Improves individual independence

Improving your independence is one of the main reasons many people go for occupational therapy sessions. Everyone wants to take care of themselves, so OT services are very beneficial. You want to complete basic tasks such as dressing, bathing, and going to the washroom with little or no assistance. Occupational therapy intervention is the only therapy that improves specific self-care everyday skills.

Improves visual skill

Impairment can occur due to diseases after injury or stroke. Such changes create blind spots in the field of vision. Visual impairment can affect your ability to read or walk confidently. Occupational therapy intervention plays an essential role in teaching optical adaptive techniques such as pre-reading and scanning strategies to enhance performance and general experience while reading or walking.


How do Occupational Therapists Work with People on the Autism Spectrum?

Our team of OT professionals has the necessary knowledge to work with various clients on the autism spectrum. In addition, with years of experience and expertise, our OTs have the practical knowledge to identify the challenges that bear people with autism from being independent and engaging themselves in meaningful activities.

Our therapists have mastered the art of teamwork with different parents, family members, health professionals, and teachers. Collaboration helps review our patients’ sensory processing, cognitive skills, motor skills, and emotional regulation. Then, with the help of other caregivers, it gets easy to determine the level of support the people on the autism spectrum need.

Our team of OT experts and professionals can work remotely to provide their services via telehealth to schools or workplaces for your convenience. Of course, how we operate will depend on your schedule and flexibility. But, with our custom-designed services, you are sure to get the help you need anywhere and anytime.

After our assessment, we design a custom-designed program that includes strategies and goals to help you overcome your challenges. Some of the activities involving plans include;

  • Independent dressing
  • Practical motor skills necessary for writing
  • Engaging in various tasks from work or school
  • Community participation
  • Meal preparation, etc.
  • Out OTs help people with autism develop and practice the necessary skills outside therapy sessions. The goals are monitored, advanced, and documented as the patient advances.

Occupational therapy benefits children with autism

Autistic children are slower in integrating sensory inputs, making their processing time much slower. Such challenges explain why children with autism are often subject to meltdowns. For example, they may still be processing the previous noise from down the corridor while dealing with new inputs from parents, teachers, and fellow students in the classroom.

Sensory overload manifests in different ways, such as challenging behaviour, withdrawal, and total shutdown. However, OTs implement unique strategies at home or in the classroom and effectively add the necessary filters that such children require. They are the leading solution to such a situation.


How to find the best occupational therapist for autism

It is an important decision to find and select a qualified occupational therapist capable of helping you, your autistic children, or your family in general. They differ in training, personality, and philosophy like all professionals. However, the best choice is an OT who works in line with the American Occupational Therapy Association, fits and understands your child and yourself better through therapy sessions, and is someone you know and connect to better. In addition, you will look for an OT who follows professional methods associated with effective treatment, such as;

  • Who makes parent education an essential part of the treatment
  • Offers intensive treatment
  • Uses play and success
  • Offers written goals for treatment
  • Includes diagnostic evaluation
  • Uses purposeful sensory simulation
  • Listens to you
  • Asks questions when necessary

The Better Rehab OTs have the necessary everyday skills to add the suitable filters and interventions that will target each sensory seeking system that will, in turn, help the child’s nervous system be more organized and regulated. In addition, occupational therapy services will assist the child with performance and attention.

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