Autism: What Is Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy offers a variety of benefits to children with autism. It can improve motor skills, feeding issues and provide tools for sensory overload.

An autism mother explains the benefits of taking her children to occupational therapy, as well as the different options for accessing OT.

Autism: What Is Occupational Therapy
By: 6 Blue Warriors
Initial Air Date: Aug 26, 2016
Source: YouTube

What We Learned from this Video:

  • Occupational therapy can help mitigate sensory overload in all five senses.
  • It can also improve fine motor skills. This is helpful for tasks such as buttoning or zipping clothes, opening jars or using writing utensils.
  • In addition to fine motor skills, occupational therapy can improve gross motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, walking up and down stairs, balance and body space awareness.
  • A “transition object” can help the child feel comforted or reassured when transitioning from one environment to another.
  • Small “fidget toys” that children can play with while they work helps keep their minds focused on the task at hand while their hand is occupied.
  • Occupational therapy can treat feeding problems as well. Oftentimes, autistic children have sensory overload from certain types of food. Occupational therapy can train children how to better handle foods that give them trouble.
  • Occupational therapy sessions can be effective even if used infrequently, sometimes as few as one to two sessions in a month.
  • School districts offer occupational therapy services to students who meet certain criteria.
  • Private OTs are still a good thing to look at, as school services only cover what is necessary for the child to learn at school. It also helps to have a second opinion on suggestions from an OT.

There are many benefits of occupational therapy. Take a look through some of our other videos to learn more about therapy options for you or your loved one on the spectrum!

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