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Occupational Therapy Activities for Autism Treatment

parent and young female child participating in occupational therapy activities for autism

Any effective occupational therapy program for autism comprises different methods and techniques that help people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) manage typical ASD symptoms that can make it difficult for them to go through daily living. However, these types of occupational therapy activities for autism may not always be effective.

Early assessment, diagnosis, and intervention can significantly improve outcomes for children diagnosed with ASD. Occupational therapy is a primary mode of intervention, but like many other therapeutic forms of care, specific methods and techniques of programs differ depending on the specific needs of a child diagnosed with ASD. Are you searching for an occupational therapy program for autism in California? Call Opya at (650) 931-6300 or reach out to our team online.

What Is an Occupational Therapy Program for Autism?

Occupational therapy is a healthcare field that holistically treats clients with disabilities, disorders, injuries, or other conditions, including ASD. In treating ASD, occupational therapy options help children develop, recover, or maintain their ability to engage in meaningful daily activities.

An occupational therapy program for autism often begins with mental health care professionals communicating directly with the child diagnosed with ASD and their family to understand their individual needs. They assess the child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and sensory abilities before developing reasonable goals and a treatment plan. They may need to check with your child’s treatment team at this stage if they’re not already part of it. The resulting customized occupational therapy program is then provided for your child.

Occupational therapists evaluate the current developmental levels of children diagnosed with ASD and then create treatment plans aiming to improve the ability to self-regulate emotions and participate in social interactions. An effective occupational therapy program for autism can help your child build on their areas of strength and overcome their limitations.

What Are Some Types of Occupational Therapy Activities for Autism?

After an evaluation, an occupational therapist works with the child diagnosed with autism and their family to develop treatment goals and a comprehensive treatment plan. Several types of occupational therapy activities for autism may include working on the following:

  • Emphasizing mental health and wellness
  • Focusing on sensory integration and sensory-based strategies
  • Implementing emotional development and self-regulation strategies
  • Improving self-care routines, including bathing, feeding, and grooming
  • Organizing peer groups, play activities, and social participation
  • Using the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to support positive behaviors
  • Working on motor development

Most occupational therapy activities can happen in the homes of children diagnosed with ASD. In-home and virtual occupational therapy options are often preferred by families of children like this, as it allows for flexibility and a safe space to deal with ASD symptoms.

When Should You Consider Occupational Therapy Options?

The main goal of occupational therapy programs for autism is to improve the client’s quality of life. Occupational therapists can help children diagnosed with ASD gain independence and:

  • Become more independent and confident
  • Communicate appropriately
  • Express emotions in a healthy way and regulate arousal level
  • Feel less anxious
  • Focus on academic tasks
  • Learn to delay gratification
  • Maintain and foster relationships
  • Work with other people to achieve a common goal or purpose

If this sounds like behaviors, emotions, and thought patterns you’d like to encourage in your child, talk to your child’s treatment team about occupational therapy options. However, many parents and guardians often don’t realize that occupational therapy is already part of other autism treatments their children are already participating in, such as social skills training or speech and language therapy. If you feel this is an area that needs additional focus, discuss this with your child’s occupational therapist.

Ready To Learn More About Opya’s Occupational Therapy Program for Autism?

If you’re looking for a telehealth virtual occupational therapy program for autism in California, call Opya at (650) 931-6300 today. You can also reach out to our team online.