Autism, which is growing day by day among children is a complex neurobehavioral condition characterized by impairments in communication skills, social interactions, and motor skill development. Since children suffering from autism show a wide range of symptoms it now falls under an umbrella term called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In other words, the brain disease which was earlier known as autism is now known as ASD because it shows different types of symptoms. There are several conditions that fall under ASD which include autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder or PDD.
Children affected by this mental illness also show rigid repetitive behaviors. They find it really difficult to understand the world around them and perhaps that’s the reason they can’t interact effectively with people during social gatherings. Whether you talk about family functions like birthday parties and weddings or functions carried out in schools, autistic children find it really difficult to interact with people during all such events. Children with autism generally show improper skill development, which is why they fail to perform even the simplest tasks. They find it utterly difficult to express themselves in front of others through words. Not just that, they can’t even express themselves even through gestures. And because they find it hard to express their opinions in front of others they don’t feel like spending their time with them.
Though autistic children find it really difficult to interact with people in social settings, some of them really score exceptionally good in intelligent tests. Yes, some of them have really excellent drawings and music learning skills, which make them excel in these fields.
Risk Factors for Autism
- Giving birth to a baby at an advanced age increases the risk of autism
- Use of antiseizure drugs during pregnancy can also lead to the birth of an autistic child
- High-intake of alcohol during pregnancy also enhances the risk of autism in the child
- If a mother is suffering from a condition like obesity, and diabetes it also leads to the development of autism in the child
So, if your child is also struggling with this mental illness, you can take the support of a therapist to treat them.
Role of Occupational Therapy In Treating Autism:
When you take your child to an occupational therapist, they will try to observe their behavior. They will focus on studying the growth and development of your child by observing how they interact with their environment. To be more specific, they will try to observe their daily activities to figure out how they react to their environment. They try to study the social, emotional and psychological problems faced by your child due to their uneven skill development.
When an occupational therapist tries to treat a child with autism, they work effectively with a wide range of people such as parents and teachers. In addition to that, they may also work with the friends of the child in question to understand their behavior fully.
Gaining an in-depth knowledge of the behavior of an autistic child is very important for occupational therapists to treat them effectively. Occupational therapy is important for both the evaluation of ASD among children and for helping them improve their quality of life.
When it comes to evaluating whether a child is suffering from ASD or not, an occupational therapist will first try to observe their motor skills, play skills, response to touch, and attention span. Apart from that, they will also try to learn their abilities to interact with people as well as their aggression.
So, once an occupational therapist is well aware of your child’s behavior and responses toward the environment, they will try to design a perfect care plan for them. Since there is no specific treatment for all the autistic children your child’s occupational therapist will design a treatment plan to suit their requirements.
Your therapist will mainly focus on improving the physical activities of your child. They will ask them to focus on carrying out simple activities like solving puzzles which can help your child to learn coordination. They may also ask your child to play outdoor games with their friends to improve their communication skills. In addition to that, the occupational therapist will also try to improve your child’s developmental skills by asking them to perform activities like combing hair, dressing up on their own and brushing their teeth. They will also focus on enhancing your child’s adaptive strategies.
At the end of the occupational therapy sessions, you can find your child with a lot of improved skills. Occupational therapy focuses on improving your child’s daily living skills ( such as dressing, grooming skills, brushing), motor skills, visual skills, and general awareness.
So, if you want your autistic child to live a beautiful life you must take the help of occupational therapy because it works wonders.