Occupational Therapy Offers Effective Intervention for Autism
Practitioners help children thrive
BETHESDA, MD — About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the most recent research by the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
Occupational therapy practitioners work with children with autism to achieve and maintain normal daily tasks such as dressing and feeding themselves; being more comfortable with different sights, sounds, and sensations; playing; making friends; and doing well in school.
Examples of ways occupational therapy practitioners help children with autism and their families include:
Setting up ways for the child to succeed in all areas during the school day, including in the classroom, gym, cafeteria, and bus
Helping the child to participate in novel events such as trick-or-treating, family gatherings, or parties
Creating strategies for a family vacation
Teaching social skills to help the child make friends and form strong relationships.
“Occupational therapy is child- and family-centered and focuses on naturally occurring events and behaviors,” says Sandra Schefkind, MS, OTR/L, Pediatric Coordinator for AOTA. “Occupational therapy practitioners do not have a ‘one size fits all’ view but an individualized approach when it comes to treatment of children with autism.”
More information on occupational therapy’s role in treating autism, fact sheets on the disorder, and tips for caregivers and friends are available at www.aota.org/autism.
To schedule an interview with Schefkind or an occupational therapist in your area who specializes in autism, call AOTA Media Relations Manager Katie Riley, 301-652-6611, ext. 2963 or e-mail, email@example.com.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.