When people hear the words occupational therapy (OT), they tend to think of a workplace injury or accident where physical rehabilitation is required. While OT does offer this service to adults, they also help children of all age levels with mental disabilities or disorders perform tasks and go about their day with the goal of improving their quality of life.
Occupational therapy has helped many children and adults with physical or mental disabilities develop daily skills and behaviours for living more autonomously. Through early assessment and treatment with a professional occupational therapist, many children with autism grow up to live independent, fulfilled lives. Your child’s therapist will not only help him or her develop and maintain the many daily skill sets that people without autism develop naturally, but they will also help them find purpose and meaning.
AIM’s Occupational Therapy Services help children with autism develop competence with the activities and daily tasks of life. These include:
- Self-care: dressing, grooming, feeding, toileting, mobility
- Productivity: school work including writing, manipulating tools and learning
- Leisure: playground activities, socializing, sports, art and religious practice
Assessment & Therapy for Children with Autism
By acquiring new skill sets and behaviours through occupational therapy, children with autism can learn how to better communicate and develop their own personal interests. There are two facets of a therapist’s job: analysis and therapy. At AIM, our therapists study the child’s psychology, which helps them better understand what motivates the child’s behaviour. The OT will work with you to first evaluate your child’s behaviour in order to make a proper treatment plan. Once the therapist has assessed the child’s motor skills, ability to communicate and interact with other child, their attention span, etc., our staff will sit down with you to discuss the best treatment options available.
There is no single treatment plan for every child with autism, but the earlier your child starts OT, the better.
How We Help
AIM’s professional staff provide OT interventions by helping children with autism and their families to:
- Develop essential abilities and skills such as expressing one’s emotions, focusing on tasks, engaging with peers to develop personal relationships, and self-care
- Use assistive devices or technologies
- Find alternative ways of accomplishing day-to-day tasks
- Make environmental modifications at home and/or school
- Manage sensory challenges
- Understand the challenges they face, and master intervention strategies
The benefits of occupational therapy are far-reaching. Not only does the child benefit from his or her personalized treatment plan, but he or she is also enriched by their relationship with the therapist. A professional therapist’s prolonged guidance of a child with autism develops and maintains a structured routine, which builds a trusting relationship and promotes faster development.
OT Services are covered by most group health benefits plans. Check your extended health plan for coverage details.
AIM provides professional occupational therapy for autism in Markham, Toronto, and the GTA to give your children the tools they need to integrate into school. Through acceptance, compassion, and dedication, our team works with you and your child to equip them with the skills they need to have a brighter future.