Independent OT Service
Occupational therapy can benefit individuals with autism, both at home and at school. Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder,thought to occur in at least 1% of children.
Autism is diagnosed behaviourally through identification of differences with social impairments, communication impairments combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours, often associated with sensory sensitivities and stereotyped mannerisms (triad of impairments).
Proposed changes to diagnostic classification systems DSM-
A person who has autism often has trouble communicating and interacting with other people. The person’s interests, activities, and play / independence skills may be very limited. Occupational therapy plays an important part in the identification of an individual’s strengths, skills, impairments and needs that can be used to create a needs based management plan, taking into account the family and educational context.
The therapist observes children to see if they can do tasks they are expected to
do at their ages. These might relate to certain self-
Once information has been gathered, OT can develop a programme for your child / young person. There is no single ideal treatment programme. But early, structured, individualised care has been shown to work best.
Occupational therapy may combine a variety of strategies. These can help your child respond better to his or her environment. These OT strategies include:
physical activities, to help a child develop coordination and body awareness
play activities to help with interaction and communication
developmental activities, such as cleaning teeth and brushing hair
adaptive strategies, including coping with transitions
The overall goal of occupational therapy is to help the person with autism improve his or her quality of life. This includes life at home and at school. The Occupational Therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills. That way, people with autism can be as independent as possible, to maximise their potential.
Occupational therapy supports individuals with autism to develop the following:
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence NICE guidance :
Autism in children and young people: Recognition, referral and diagnosis of Autism.
Signs and symptoms tables
Autism in adults: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg142/evidence/cg142-
Autism in children: The management and support of children and young people on the autism spectrum: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg170
NHS Evidence website
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treatments, interventions or the use of resources. NHS Evidence is a service that
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