Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Child cannot concentrate because of Asperger's syndrome during therapy with young female therapistAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of conditions including Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Our paediatric occupational therapists at Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy work with children living with an ASD to help them overcome the difficulties they face interacting with the world around them.

Children living with an ASD may struggle to understand and use language and often find social interactions stressful and challenging. Our team of occupational therapists can help identify day-to-day difficulties and provide you and your child with the treatment and techniques to help.

How can occupational therapy help children living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

  • Emotional regulation skills: most children with ASD struggle to identify emotions in themselves and others, and may have difficulties coping. At Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy our occupational therapist can help your child recognise and manage intense emotions through various activities including role-play, video modelling, games and one-on-one practice.
  • Social skills and peer interactions: occupational therapy can help your child develop their social skills, such as greeting others appropriately and using eye contact when speaking, help them read cues and body language and understand the flow of conversation better, as well as provide them with a firmer grasp of the “rules” of social interaction.
  • Sensory processing: it is estimated that around 50-70% of children with ASD may have difficulties processing sensory information. Our paediatric occupational therapists can help your child manage the sensory overload and minimise its effect on daily activities such as sleeping, bathing, eating and dressing.

To help children living an Autism Spectrum Disorders, we can provide helpful management strategies for the home or school settings, such as:

  • Educating parents and school staff on how to identify early signs of distress
  • Teach the child how to act in certain situations and help them initiate social communication with their peers
  • Support in transitions such as starting a new school
  • Sensory processing support and guidance to help the child identify difficulties and their impact on their day-to-day life
  • Introducing helpful routines to provide structure and cope with changes in the routine
  • Development of physical skills to support coordination and enable the child to take part in activities with their peers

The ultimate goal of the paediatric occupational therapy for children living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is to minimise the effect these conditions have on your child’s daily functioning by providing them with the appropriate strategies and interventions. Our occupational therapists will identify your child’s strengths and struggles, and develop management techniques to help with social communication and age-appropriate interactions, self-care and behaviour modification strategies, repetitive behaviours, sensory overload, and focus and attention span.