If you’re working as a school-based occupational, physical, or speech therapist, at some point, you’re likely to work with children with sensory processing disorder. Although it may vary, children on the autism spectrum often have sensory processing disorder. But the condition can also affect kids who are not on the autism spectrum.
Sensory processing disorder involves either hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to sensory stimuli. The disorder can affect any sense including taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell. Some children may have hypersensitivity to one type of stimuli, such as touch. For other children, more than one sense may be involved. Usually, to be diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, the condition must interfere with everyday functioning. [continue reading…]
For parents and caretakers with autistic kids, simply venturing out the door and into public can sometimes be risky business. The vibrant crowds, bright colors, and noisy hubbub that may delight most kids can quickly trigger autistic children’s hypersensitivity to sights, sounds, and smells. Fortunately, as public acceptance and understanding of autism has increased, so too have the number of companies and other institutions willing to do more to accommodate the peculiarities of the condition that affects so many. Here are just a few of the sensory-friendly experiences that have recently begun to make going out less daunting for tykes with autism. [continue reading…]
Working with autistic students in school can be a rewarding yet challenging job for an occupational therapist. Whether you have experience providing therapy to autistic children or are new to working with this population, there is always something you can learn or improve on, such as the following suggestions. [continue reading…]
Autism, or autism spectrum disorders, is used to describe a variety of developmental disorders and is usually diagnosed around the age of three. Because there are so many different conditions this broad term is used to describe, it may be difficult for patients of the “same” condition (or their parents) to understand why the occupational therapy regimes may differ so widely. It is important that occupational therapy be tailored to each individual patient, rather than a single regime be applied to all patients indiscriminately because each patient faces his or her own unique challenges. [continue reading…]
Autism is a broad term that actually describes a wide spectrum of symptoms. A child with autism may be mostly nonverbal or they may be verbal but find communicating with others to be quite difficult. The range of speech in children diagnosed with autism is quite wide. Speech therapy can help children at both ends of the spectrum. A person with autism who is quite verbal may have a very difficult time comprehending the complex nuances within language. A nonverbal patient can learn to communicate without, or with limited speech, and with time may improve their spoken skill to a level where they can communicate with people more easily. [continue reading…]
Autism has received a great deal of press over the past few years in the media. Before that, although the condition existed, it was undiagnosed and under diagnosed. Additionally, because a medical cause had not been found, many people thought it was not a “real” condition. Recent breakthroughs and extensive media coverage have begun to change the minds of people everywhere, and new resources are becoming available for those children and adults who suffer from autism, in any of its many forms.
One of the newer forms of therapy that has been quiet effective is music therapy. This may seem counterintuitive, because music in and of itself does not necessarily teach communication skills, something many autistic children have difficulty with. But upon closer examination, it is easy to see how music does in fact help. [continue reading…]
I have many friends in the field of education, specifically special education. I have a special place in my heart for children, as many mothers do, and find myself enthralled by the different ways educators reach out to students with special needs. Children with emotional problems, who I have worked with directly, especially seem to benefit from time with an arts teacher.
By arts, I don’t just mean art such as painting; I also mean music teachers, dance teachers, and any other teacher that helps students express themselves in a nonverbal manner. [continue reading…]