Does your child have difficulty with day-to-day activities at home, school, or in the community? Is your child easily distracted or do they have trouble attending to tasks? Is it difficult for them to copy shapes or letters? Do they have difficulty getting dressed? Are meal times a hassle? Would you consider them a picky eater? Are they overly sensitive or have heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement? If your child is challenged by one of the following questions asked, it is a perfect time to consult an Occupational Therapist! The video attached presents a general breakdown of Occupational therapy (OT). You will hear from our Lead Occupational Therapist as she provides an overview of the benefits and processes of OT. The video will address general information regarding OT and its uses, by exploring individuals who may benefit, eligibility requirements, and providing a general breakdown of the process of receiving OT.
Section 1: What is OT and Who may benefit from it?
Occupational therapists evaluate the current developmental levels of children and adults with autism, aiming to improve their ability to self-regulate emotions and participate in social interactions. It is estimated that 80% of children with autism have sensory processing problems (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2018). Through interventions, Occupational Therapist can help individuals with autism build on their areas of strength and overcome their limitations.
Occupational therapy offers many benefits ranging from improved emotional regulation, enhanced social problem-solving and cooperation, improved attention, and/or increased independence in daily task completion. Occupational Therapists create activities, designed to strengthen different muscle groups, improve coordination, and manage sensory input. Some activities include: helping children with fine motor difficulties to learn to tie their shoes, grasp a pencil correctly, button their shirts, etc.
Oftentimes, children with autism have slower integrating sensory inputs, making their processing time delayed. This challenge explains why children with autism are often subject to “meltdowns”. Sensory overload manifests in different ways, such as; withdrawal, challenging behavior(s), and total shutdown. However, to counter this Occupational Therapists teach and implement unique strategies at home or in the classroom, to effectively add the necessary strategies that each child may require.
Section 2: Am I covered?
Occupational therapy is covered by a child’s insurance. The amount of visits covered depends on the particular insurance. Once qualified, the client will be covered until the OT can get the child to an age-appropriate level. It is an important decision to find and select a qualified occupational therapist capable of helping you. The Therapy Spot is here to help!
Section 3: What is the process of receiving OT?
The Therapy Spot is a pediatric therapy center featuring a great group of experienced and qualified therapists. The first step in receiving services is to call and schedule an evaluation. The administration team will review and discuss your child’s insurance, how much is covered, and if a referral is needed from their school or primary care provider. The team of Occupational Therapy Practitioners at The Therapy Spot treats children of all ages with varied conditions including:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Brachial Plexus Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
- Sensory Processing Dysfunction
- Visual Impairments
We seek to provide high-quality service to all of our clients. If you think your child needs an evaluation contact The Therapy Spot today!
The main objective of OT is to help individuals become proficient, independent, and successful at accomplishing everyday tasks. For example, the child can work on everyday skills like proper manners, hygiene, and getting dressed or fine motor skills, such as holding something in their hands. They can work on muscular activities like walking and running or recognizing their body and noticing its relation to other people. They can also work on learning skills like problem-solving, reading, and writing.
The Occupational Therapist first assesses the child’s level of social skills, activities, and interests. The Occupational Therapist then develops a detailed, tailored program for the child, including the objectives of the therapeutic plan, and the strategies the child should ideally follow. The therapist also outlines the various roles the patient’s family members can and should ideally play in the process. With the intention of supporting the child and helping them communicate better in normal situations, whether at home or school, or elsewhere. Lastly, the therapist monitors the child, reviews the child’s progress, and modifies the plan if needed. Occupational therapy has been proven to be very effective at improving the sensory skills of children with autism in order to improve their participation and interest in daily activities. Contact The Therapy Spot for an evaluation today!
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American Occupational Therapy Association. (2021). Occupational therapy scope of practice. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(Supplement_3).
Case-Smith, J., & Arbesman, M. (2008). Evidence-based review of interventions for autism used in or of relevance to occupational therapy. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(4), 416-429.
DeSantis, C. (2022, March 4). Benefits of occupational therapy for autism. Wooster Community Hospital. https://www.woosterhospital.org/benefits-of-occupational-therapy-for-autism/
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