Why Occupational Therapy is Brilliant to Help a Child with Autism, Asperger Syndrome or Childhood Autism Part 2

Welcome back, as I promised, this is the second part of my OT special, if you haven’t already please read part 1, as it will allow you to use the following suggestions in a much better way.

By changing and adapting your child environment his or her aggression or other types of negative behaviours will eventually decrease, as he or she will find gratification in the new freedom of movement and independence.

My Top 4 Key Do’s in  Occupational Therapy Success

1. Teach a different way to complete an activity

2. Think of changes that will make an activity easier

3. Use devices that make activities easier

4. Celebrate accomplishments, before introducing a transition to new or more complicated activities

Occupational Therapy by  NaomiMcLaughlan.com

Often children with ASD or Asperger’s  either dislike touch or other types of stimuli or are overly excited about it, therefore try to practise the following:

  • Gross motor; walking, climbing stairs or climbing frames, riding a balance bike or bike, horseback riding, trampolining, dance
  • Fine motor skills; colouring sheets like Mandala, manipulation of small objects like marbles, practise handwriting, cutting with scissors
  • Posture and Balance; Yoga (sitting, posture etc.) , swimming, bouncy/gymnastics ball, sitting or lying in a hammock
  • Awareness of his or her body and its relation to others ; practise toilet training, dressing, brushing teeth, and other grooming skills
  • Visual skills for reading and writing; books with various letter fonts and sizes
  • Focus on tasks; games like memory, rope skipping, timed activities
  • Perceptual skills; telling the differences between colours, shapes, and sizes, facial impression games for recognising emotions and feelings

The following list is not as extensive and you might find that you have already adapted many areas, but my hope is that you find a few new things to consider. I am aware that not all children with ASD or Asperger’s have a physical disability.

But Occupational Therapy looks at the whole picture, you may find that creating more order around the whole household or making a tiny change in your routine can help you and your child immensely, it certainly happened to me and my family.

One word of warning though, do not try to incorporate to much at a time; interactions between your child and you and a lot of practice will increase your child’s attention span and stamina, but please do not forget the need for personal space and brakes, as well as recovery time.

Ideas to increase independence using the 4 OT Key Areas

  1. Physical needs

-Personal Care

  • specially adapted comb
  • electric toothbrushes, for stimulation and easier handling purposes
  • walking stick, walking frame or a wheelchair
  • a non-slip mat for the bath or shower cabine
  • establish medication management, by involving your child or young adult

– Household Chores

  • voice-controlled electric devises, for example lights
  • electric can openers
  • knives with large handles

– Leisure Time

  • chunky pens, for children with fine motor skill difficulties
  • a special keyboard or mouse
  • voice-controlled software on a computer
  • device to turn the pages of a book
  1. Psychological needs
  • practise routine building, for example by using a time table with words and pictures
  • practise coping skills, for example with role play activities or games
  • develop and schedule maintenance of friendships at nursery, school or work
  1. Social needs
  • join and participate in community activities, over time your child might be able to join alone or with the help of a carer
  • practise social skills, for example by taking part in frequent events and activities
  • encourage leisure pursuits, clubs either mainstream or special groups and classes
  1. Environmental needs

– Inside your home

  • fitting a stair lift
  • fitting grab rails, for example beside the bed
  • fitting a raised toilet seat
  • bath lift or shower seat

– Outside your home

  • putting in ramps, for easy wheelchair access
  • fitting grab rails, for example by the stairs
  • clearing up clutter
  • reorganising cupboards
  • providing visual cues, for example colour code or picture cards
  • practise money management

Please Like & Share

All the Best,

Naomi

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