Occupational Therapy vs. Autism.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities.

Occupational Therapists often work with people with mental health conditions, disabilities, injuries, or impairments.


What is an occupation?

An occupation is defined as any type of meaningful activity in which one engages in order to “occupy” one’s time. These occupations can be goal-directed, task-oriented, purposeful, culturally relevant, role specific, individually tailored, or community-oriented, depending on one’s values, beliefs, context, and environment.


What is the difference between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy?

While PT focuses on the physical self, OT focuses on the whole body. Occupational Therapy is a type of health care that helps to solve the problems that interfere with a person’s ability to do the things that are important to them.

Occupational Therapists are able to help with physical things like balance and coordination. But their abilities reach far beyond the physical limitations.

They can teach techniques to improve memory or help adapt lifestyle to accommodate cognitive fogginess. They can also help develop coping strategies for people experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety.

Overall, the goal of Occupational Therapy is to promote independent function in all areas of life.

Occupational Therapists focus on several key areas, such as:

  • Sensory processing
  • Perception
  • Cognitive skills
  • Visual motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Social interaction
  • Self-confidence and self-esteem


The role of Occupational Therapy in Autism.

Occupational Therapists use a holistic approach to autism treatment, taking into account the patient’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Progress is measured through improved grades in school, successful transitions to new roles, and personal satisfaction.

Occupational Therapists work with the person’s family, teachers, and other health experts to develop a treatment plan. They also play a key role in the diagnostic pathway, and help autistic people with the “occupations” of life, such as handwriting, sensory processing, and play activities.

A typical session involves self-help activities, floor-based activities, and table games. Children are encouraged to play with legos and small figurines, make various shapes out of dough, kick and throw balls, jump, run, and ride bikes. These activities help improve muscle coordination and postural control, sharpen their motor skills, and facilitate their independence. The key to a successful intervention is keeping the activities “child-directed.”

Occupational Therapy can help autistic people address common challenges encountered at home or at school, such as getting dressed, using scissors, and feeding themselves. The approach used in Occupational Therapy will vary according to the individual’s needs. There is no single ideal treatment that works for everyone.


If you would like to know more about our Occupational Therapy services, please contact us on 08 8362 4507 or email admin@proactivpeople.com.au









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