We go through our daily routines and use everyday skills without even thinking about them. Tasks such as getting dressed and brushing our teeth can be done on autopilot. But these skills don’t always come as easily for children with autism. Kids with autism and sensory processing issues often receive occupational therapy services to build skills to complete daily activities, like bathing, dressing, completing schoolwork, handwriting, playing, and more. Let’s go over how occupational therapy can benefit your child with autism and empower them to be their best self.
Teaches Diverse Skills
Consider the different environments your child encounters on a typical day. There’s your home, where they start the day getting ready for school. Then, they must sit and focus at school and socialize with their classmates. A family meal at the dinner table comes later, and it is time for bed. Each of these moments is distinctly different. For example, the classroom requires concentration and hand-eye coordination to eat on their own. Occupational therapy helps children develop many skills, including motor, social, learning, and sensory processing, so they can enjoy a great day from morning until bedtime.
Encourages Emotional Regulation
Emotion regulation skills are needed to manage and cope with emotions successfully. This can include recognizing emotions in one’s self and others, understanding different emotions, and being able to seek out a helpful coping skill. Children with autism may have difficulties in this area. Often, they have difficulty reading emotions and managing intense emotions. An occupational therapist can assist your child with all these areas. They may use various methods, including role-playing, games, video modeling, and one-on-one practice.
Improves Motor Skills
Gross motor skills involve large movements, like running, walking, and moving our limbs. Fine motor skills involve the small actions of the hand, such as picking something up, writing, and transferring objects between the fingers. Many children with autism or sensory processing difficulties have some delay in gross or fine motor skills. During the assessment process, an occupational therapist will look at these areas and find ways to help your child build strength and endurance to complete their daily activities.
Children Learn Through Play
Are you worried your child might get bored in therapy? Fortunately, occupational therapy focuses on teaching children through play. Children learn more when they are having fun. An occupational therapist may use toys, games, and activities to keep your child interested while learning new skills. For example, an obstacle course improves motor skills and sequence planning. When a child loses interest, they stop learning. Play-based programs give them something to look forward to every session.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.