What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy addresses meaningful occupations, or activities that are meaningful to the client’s life.  In a pediatric setting, children engage in meaningful activities on a daily basis in both their school and home settings.  These tasks are pertinent to the children living lives that are as independent as possible, achieving successes in both their academic and self-care goals.  Some of these tasks include dressing, grooming, feeding, social participation, and handwriting and other educational based tasks. With those diagnosed with Autism and other disorders, there are challenges that impact these children’s abilities to function at an independent level, whether it be decreased sustained attention, motor planning, emotional regulation, or fine/gross motor skill deficits.  Through sensory based activities, including swinging and heavy work, the children are able to help with regulation for them to engage in these meaningful occupations without outside distractions or deficits within their sensory system.

Occupational therapy may help address difficulty with the following areas:

  • Self-Help and Dressing – Occupational therapy can assist your child with daily self-care tasks, including/but not limited to: buttoning their shirt, connecting and zipping a jacket, and putting on and taking off their clothing.
  • Hygiene and grooming – Occupational therapy can assist your child in hygiene and grooming tasks including/but not limited to: brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and washing their hands.
  • Feeding and Eating – Occupational therapy can help with those picky eaters who needs a more rounded nutritional food repertoire through trialing non-preferred food items.
  • Educational Goals – Occupational therapy works on handwriting and other domains that will help your child to be successful in an academic setting.
  • Social interactions – Occupational therapy can assist in improving your child’s social interactions and increase cooperative play.
  • Sensory integration and Processing – Occupational can help your child to regulate and increase their sustained attention through engagement in sensory based activities including heavy work and swinging.

Benefits of OT

  • Development of sensory motor skills
  • Improved regulation in response to daily challenges
  • Greater independence and participation in daily life activities
  • Improved confidence in strengths and abilities

Our Services

At Autism Behavior Services, Inc.’s Occupational Therapy Clinic, our licensed therapists provide assessments, consultations, and treatment to address each individual’s goals in his/her areas of need including sensory integration, organization and motor planning, play, socialization, meal time participation, self-help, and hygiene.

Our occupational therapists utilize evidence-based practice by drawing upon their extensive training to provide specific, challenging therapeutic activities in the context of play and/or through natural opportunities with an aim to facilitate a person’s abilities and skills. Both individual and group services are available to facilitate meaningful occupational engagement in daily life activities.

How do I get started?

The first step in the process is to determine whether or not your loved one would benefit from receiving occupational therapy services at Autism Behavior Services, Inc.  Once we receive your inquiry, a member of our staff will contact you in order to gain a better understanding of your concerns and needs.  We ask that parent(s) and/or caregiver(s) complete the intake forms and return them to our office so that we can determine what would be the best assessment process for your loved one.

At Autism Behavior Services, Inc., we believe that quality services begin with in-depth assessments.  We utilize a variety of assessment tools as part of our occupational therapy evaluation process.  The occupational therapist conducting the evaluation will select the most appropriate tools based on the needs of the person being assessed, as well as the concerns shared by the parent(s), caregivers, and/or teacher(s).  Typically, we start with a developmental and sensory history and then we select appropriate standardized test instruments.

Specific therapy goals are established for each person based on evaluation results, clinical observations, and parent, caregiver, and/or teacher concerns; however, the overall goals of therapy for everyone is to improve sensory processing, motor performance, social participation, increase their overall level of functioning, and facilitate the acquisition of daily living skills.

The frequency of therapy is established based on evaluation results and clinical observations.