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Occupational Therapy and Autism

An introduction to therapies and techniques used by Occupational Therapists to treat individuals with Autism
by

Clara Peterson

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Occupational Therapy and Autism

An introduction to... Occupational Therapy and Autism History Autism:
What is it? What Role Does the O.T. Play? Techniques and Therapies Technique 1 Technique 2 Technique 3 Other Roles This section describes some of the other roles an O.T. might work with when treating an individual with Autism. We hope that you can take with you... Sensory Integration Sensory Integration can be used by O.T.'s in order to maintain an optimal level of arousal in a child. What do you mean by level of arousal? If a child cannot appropriately integrate sensory information, then their ability to learn and acquire new skills will be greatly compromised. When a child is exposed to many different things at once, then he might become overwhelmed and have a poor reaction. What is Sensory Integration? How did Sensory Integration begin? In the 1960's, occupational therapist Dr. A. Jean Ayres defined sensory integration as... ...the ability to organize sensory information for use by the many parts of the nervous system in order to work together to promote effective interactions with the environment. Broadly... Sensory integration uses a problem-solving and individualized approach that requires ongoing analysis and assessment. This helps the O.T. to be on constant watch for changes in behavior and the need to adapt the treatment plan. Remember... ... the goal is to maintain an optimal level of arousal. How do they do that? Principles of Sensory Integration 1. People need a variety of sensory and motor experiences to develop and sustain typical nervous system function. 2. Children inherently attempt to provide themselves with what they need.

They also avoid what they are frightened by. A therapist can provide them with calculated input that is stronger and more effective in reaching the threshold of the system that is being stimulated than if a child stimulated the system alone. This will help the child process the input more appropriately and therefore need less of it over time. 3. The child who avoids sensory input faces another challenge: They develop compensatory strategies to protect themselves, which seldom subjects them to sensory information Therapists use a variety of therapies to desensitize the child.

They do NOT use repeat exposure of the experience. This involves looking carefully at the cause and effect of the reaction to the stimuli and addresses each fear/aversion individually. In Conclusion... Sensory Integration can effectively help to change a child's "wiring". The goal is to provide the child with the tools necessary to create their own ideas and develop more naturally in a world that they can feel safe in. Aquatic Therapy In a pool, you can work on.... Transitional Stress Social Interactions Body Awareness and kinesthesia Tactile Processing Vestibular Processing Visual Processing Difficulty distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, resulting in problems in decision-making. Difficulty working with others towards a common goal. Improving kinesthetic input and diminishing hypersensitivity can help with fear of movement and intolerance for water splashing in face. We can increase and decrease the amount of tactile input a child receives by putting him in a pool. In a pool, we can build tolerance for abrasive touch and pressure. Difficulty with balance and spatial orientation. This can help children who rely too heavily on visual cues. Play Therapy Play as a tool It is often through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. A child's "occupation" is play. Physical coordination
Emotional maturity
Social skills
Self-confidence Occupational therapists have expertise in evaluating children’s neurological, muscular, and emotional development. They can also determine the effects of infant and childhood illness on growth and development through play. An O.T. will intervene with play therapy when necessary to promote development and skills for living Occupational therapy services focus on enhancing participation in the:

Performance of activities of daily living (e.g., feeding, dressing)

Instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., community mobility, safety procedures)

Education, work, leisure, play, and social participation An Occupational Therapist can focus on personal development, quality of life, and the needs of the family. Child care center
Preschool
School
Home
Work site
Residential setting What does an O.T. do? Evaluate
Provide Interventions
Facilitate Play
Behavioral Therapy
Collaborate with Family
Adapt An O.T. can work at: 1797 1981 "Wild boy of Avalon" Sain-Sernin-sur-Rance
of France 1910 Paul Eugen Bleuler
(1857-1939) "Autos" Hans Asperger
(1906- 1980) 1938 Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard
(1775-1838) François Truffaut’s film l’Enfant Sauvage, was later produced through as a dramatization and inspiration of Itard's life... “autistic psychopathy”
translation:
"self-personality" Asperger syndrome

did he have it himself?
we will never know... Leo Kanner
(1894-1981) 1943 “early infantile autism” About 11 of his youth patients,
all had similar behaviors Lorna Wing
(1928- present) First to use the term, "Asperger's syndrome" Challenged Kanner's model of Autsim Where is she now? It is a neurobiological disorder of development that affects the person’s level and way of processing information What might cause autism? Autism...
What is it? language for communication
relating to people
responding to sensory stimuli
learning and thinking What aspects does it effect the most? Autism is a syndrome, or condition that may have many probable causes Some causes that can affect a child to develop a developmental disability are... Control panel of the human body:
Brain & Spinal Cord

And when developed abnormally,
it may lead to a certain form of autism Viral infections
Metabolic imbalances
Alcohol or drugs
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Genetic chromosomal factors
Oxygen deprivation But!
Autism can occur with or without other disabilities... Some examples are: Down syndrome
Seizure disorders
Neurofibromatosis
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Cerebral palsy
Hearing loss or blindness unresponsive
no social smile
eye contact is limited
seems happy when alone
seeks social contact in unusual ways
doesn’t play turn taking games
or uses the adult’s hand as a tool Some behavioral
indicators of autism in
young children are: Relating to the environment: seems hard of hearing
panics to specific sounds or is oversensitive
flicks fingers before eyes
pulls away when touched
strongly avoids certain clothes, foods, etc
very inactive, or active
may whirl, spin, bang head, bite wrist
exhibits unusual or no response to pain repetitive play
is upset by changes
develops rigid routines
has strong, inflexible interests Responses to Sensory Stimuli: Relating to people: limited facial expressions
fails to imitate actions or sounds
little or no speech, or extremely verbal
uses unusual vocal inflection or rhythm
understands and uses words literally, or doesn’t understand word meanings at all Communication Tip That's only the tip of the iceberg Why are children with autism all very different? They all can be lumped together in a group that says that have predictable problems with learning style, have issues communicating, socializing, and functioning in their environment. But.... Personalities
Interests
Problem solving factors
Any additional disabilities
Inherited traits
Culture
Resources they have access to
Siblings
Parents marital status
Educational and community experiences. Individuals with Autism differ in many ways... Such as... What autism is
Some of the signs or behaviors you might recognize in either youths or adults... What types of therapies might work best for an individual with autism
How an Occupational Therapist might be able to aide in the everyday environment of that individual with Autism and their family.
And how to help that individual or family with some techniques to adjust and manage their lifestyles. R
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s Family Doctor Speech-Language Pathologist Child Psychologist Physical Therapist Child Psychiatrist Parents Teachers Jarrow, Markus. "Chapter Forty-Four: Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration." Cutting-edge Therapies for Autism, 2010-2011. By Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub., 2010. 267-76. Print. Salzman, Andrea. "Chapter Seven: Aquatic Therapy." Cutting-edge Therapies for Autism, 2010-2011. By Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub., 2010. 41-47. Print. "Play." The American Occupational Therapy Association. American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 2002. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.aota.org/Consumers/consumers/Youth/Play.aspx>. Scott, Janie B. "Occupational Therapy's Role with Autism." The American Occupational Therapy Association. American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.aota.org/Practitioners-Section/Children-and-Youth/Role-of-OT/Fact-Sheets-on-the-Role-of-OT/39479.aspx?FT=.pdf>. Volkmar, Fred R. Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print. Janzen, Janice E. Understanding the Nature of Autism: A Practical Guide. San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skills Builders, 1996. Print. Prelock, Patricia A. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Issues in Assessment and Intervention. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 2006. Print Mesibov, Gary B., and Victoria Shea. "History of Autism." Autism Independent UK. Plenum Publishing Corp, 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.autismuk.com/?page_id=1043>. Mesibov, Gary B., and Victoria Shea. "History of Autism." Autism Independent UK. Plenum Publishing Corp, 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.autismuk.com/?page_id=1043>. Volkmar, Fred R. Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print. Prelock, Patricia A. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Issues in Assessment and Intervention. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 2006. Print Janzen, Janice E. Understanding the Nature of Autism: A Practical Guide. San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skills Builders, 1996. Print. Scott, Janie B. "Occupational Therapy's Role with Autism." The American Occupational Therapy Association. American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.aota.org/Practitioners-Section/Children-and-Youth/Role-of-OT/Fact-Sheets-on-the-Role-of-OT/39479.aspx?FT=.pdf>. Jarrow, Markus. "Chapter Forty-Four: Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration." Cutting-edge Therapies for Autism, 2010-2011. By Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub., 2010. 267-76. Print. Salzman, Andrea. "Chapter Seven: Aquatic Therapy." Cutting-edge Therapies for Autism, 2010-2011. By Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub., 2010. 41-47. Print. "Play." The American Occupational Therapy Association. American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 2002. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.aota.org/Consumers/consumers/Youth/Play.aspx>.
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