New Ressources: Occupational Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Occupational Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most common developmental disability and neurological disorder affecting people across their lifespan, although usually first diagnosed in children. According to Autism Speaks Canada, an estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism.

ASD presents differently in every individual, impacting all aspects of an individual’s development and occupational performance, including their ability to perform activities of self-care / daily living, and to participate in productive work (and education for children) and leisure and recreation activities, as well as overall, their ability to communicate and socially participate.

Occupational therapists use their knowledge of sensory processing, emotional and behavioural regulation, oral/fine/gross motor development and task analysis to support learning and participation. Occupational therapists bring a unique and comprehensive perspective in the treatment of persons with ASD, in that they are highly educated and experienced to evaluate and provide intervention, both direct treatment and consultation to families, educators and caregivers, in the areas of physical, sensory processing, and social – emotional health in all environments of a person with an ASD.

Talk to an occupational therapist to help:

  • Help clients achieve optimum independence and well-being, considering their personal goals, interests and motivation.
  • Assess skills and create intervention plans to promote participation of the individual within their daily routine.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate goals related to play, social interactions, attention, motor skills, self-care, etc.
  • Support learning and participation through their knowledge of sensory processing, emotional and behavioural regulation, oral/fine/gross motor development and task analysis.
  • Recommend modifications or accommodations to activities and the environment that help  people with ASD participate in activities at home, at school and in the community.
  • Assess driving capacities, develop vocational skills, and explore independent living options
  • Contribute to interprofessional teams which include psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioural therapists, early interventionists, social workers, educators, vocational counsellors and life skills workers.

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