Autism has some specific difficulties when it comes to understanding how sensory information is processed. Occupational therapy for autism helps ameliorate these issues.
How Autism Requires Occupational Therapy
There are a lot of different conditions that affect children and adults with autism, and these conditions are related to how sensory information is processed. Autism has many different indicative behaviors and these behaviors are nearly always related to how sensory information is processed. Some autistic children and adults have trouble with auditory stimuli, and they will have issues with different sounds that are layered within the audio and it could lead to a very uncontrolled response. There are plenty of other sensory issues as well. Visual stimuli could be problematic, and one very common area that would need the help of an occupational therapist would be the sense of touch. Often, these senses are hyper-engaged. Therefore, it is imperative that an occupational therapist help an autistic patient by assessing the areas of, for lack of a better term, sensory overload and work to ameliorate these issues. As sensory stimuli are processed in a range of increasingly normal ways, this helps an autistic person integrate into the world around them with greater success.
The Process of Occupational Therapy with Autistic Patients
Using these therapies is something that needs to be done with some deftness. Autistic patients are highly sensitive to specific sensory stimuli. Therefore, the way the therapy will work is to gradually build up an autistic patient’s tolerance levels. The way it works is simple. If an autistic patient is having trouble with something tactile, as an example, the occupational therapist will start out having the patient interact with and manipulate the most neutral form of the object. Building up this familiarity is a slow and steady way to condition the autistic mind that whatever the sensory stimuli is doesn’t present a threat. The longer the therapy, the better the results. It is important that autistic patients get consistent therapy so that everything can be scaffolded accordingly. A progressive schedule of therapy allows patients to have the best chances to mitigate these sensory issues. For autistic patients, occupational therapy is often the key to unlocking the world and making it a less scary place. Instead of retreating within themselves, occupational therapy allows them to have positive interactions with the world around them.