PENAWAR SPECIAL LEARNING CENTRE 2018
Occupational therapy is an individualised service aimed at building children skills and ability to participate in everyday routines, tasks and activities. Occupational therapists will assess child needs and current levels of functioning and based on their requirements will develop and review an individual service plan.
The individual therapy will focus on the core learning needs of the child to develop their fine and gross motor skills, self care, play and effective learning and organisational skills.
Sensory integration is an innate neurobiological process and refers to the integration and interpretation of sensory stimulation from the environment by the brain. In contrast, sensory integrative dysfunction is a disorder in which sensory input is not integrated or organized appropriately in the brain and may produce varying degrees of problems in development, information processing, and behavior.
In general, dysfunction within these three systems (tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive) manifests itself in many ways. A child may be over- or under-responsive to sensory input; activity level may be either unusually high or unusually low; a child may be in constant motion or fatigue easily. In addition, some children may fluctuate between these extremes. Gross and/or fine motor coordination problems are also common when these three systems are dysfunctional and may result in speech/language delays and in academic under-achievement. Behaviorally, the child may become impulsive, easily distractible, and show a general lack of planning. Some children may also have difficulty adjusting to new situations and may react with frustration, aggression, or withdrawal.
Motor planning is part of a group of skills that help us move our body the way we want to. There are different kinds of motor skills that we use over and over again throughout our lifetime to get things done.
Gross motor skills help us move our large muscles so we can perform actions like walking, jumping, and balancing. Fine motor skills help us move smaller muscles that control our hands, wrists, and feet.
Motor planning is a process that helps us learn motor actions. You try something, and you get instant feedback on how it went. You adjust what you’re doing and try again. And you keep adjusting until you find the most efficient way of doing it. From then on, your brain quickly plans for that action every time.
Play therapy was originally conceived as a tool for providing psychotherapy to young people coping with trauma, anxiety, and mental illness. In that context, play becomes a way for children to act out their feelings and find coping mechanisms.
Play is a wonderful tool for helping children (and sometimes even adults) to move beyond autism's self-absorption into real, shared interaction. Properly used, play can also allow youngsters to explore their feelings, their environment, and their relationships with parents, siblings, and peers.
Social skills will help your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) know how to act in different social situations – from talking to her grandparents when they visit to playing with friends at school.
Social skills can help your child make friends, learn from others and develop hobbies and interests. They can also help with family relationships and give your child a sense of belonging.
And good social skills can improve your child’s mental health and overall quality of life.
ACTIVITY DAILY LIVING (ADLs)
By definition, ADLs are the essential tasks that each person needs to perform, on a regular basis, to sustain basic survival and well-being. The term helps healthcare professionals quickly communicate the level of assistance an individual might need or how their health is impacting their day-to-day life.
Activities of daily living (ADL) are also called self-help or self-care activities. These activities can include everyday tasks such as dressing, self-feeding, bathing, laundry, and / or meal preparation. Sometimes adaptive equipment is needed to assist with these tasks, which can include items such as a reacher, long-handled sponge, buttonholer, rocker knife, and / or built-up spoon.
Being physically active comes with a surplus of benefits that promotes productivity within the body and mind. Integrating fitness into a child’s life on the spectrum has proven that it is able to enhance multiple aspects of their health. According to the Autism Research Institution, the integration of physical activity is capable of aiding mental health by showcasing an improvement in symptoms of anxiousness or high levels of stress, which can lead to another onset of problems in the future.
Moreover, exercise is capable of enhancing a child’s motor skills, which improves their quality of life at home and at school.
Probably the most studied intervention for autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA), which has been around for more than 50 years. It is a highly structured, scientific approach that teaches play, communication, self-care, academic and social living skills, and can reduce problematic behaviors. There is plenty of research showing that it improves outcomes for children with autism.
In a typical session, the therapist will present a series of stimuli based upon a child's identified preferences and through modeling and slowly decreasing adult prompting, cultivate more independent skills. Stimuli used are those that will attract a child’s interest.