Why Choose MindChamps Occupational Therapy For Children With Autism
Occupational Therapy is an interventional approach for children with autism, which focuses on developing and nurturing functional skills in daily life. This learning framework sets it apart from the other popular forms of intervention like Applied Behavioural Analysis Therapy (ABA). While ABA looks at removing barriers to facilitate better social adjustment, achieved through positive reinforcements of behaviours, Occupational Therapy adopts functional approaches within the child’s limits to encourage greater independence. Below, we dive more deeply into how we apply this approach here at MindChamps Allied Care:
1. Therapy Through Play
As its name suggests, Occupational Therapy focuses on occupations to facilitate physical rehabilitation by practicing activities of everyday living that is meaningful to an individual. For children, this is, therefore, achieved through play. This makes it more relatable to children who may not respond well to the behavioural approach of ABA, which explores their interactions with environments and learned behaviour.
Through the element of play, our Occupational Therapists can help nurture in your child a range of functional skills, such as fine motor skills, sensory and emotional regulation. Of course, this starts with identifying the specific tasks that your child finds challenging. Thereafter, our therapist can design an interventive treatment and meaningfully execute it through play.
As an example, consider a child who finds it difficult to hold objects for too long. A therapist may consider activities that entail finger movements and grasping, such as tracing lines and shapes on paper with a crayon, or stacking blocks. By honing their fine motor skills, they’ll be better able to learn and carry out other daily tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair.
2. Independence As Reward
Children with autism can learn to be independent and self-motivated when guided through therapy that appeals to them. Some children may be receptive to techniques used in ABA , such as the introduction of reinforcers (or rewards) for children when they perform preferred behaviours. In Occupational Therapy, the techniqques used helps tolet children feel more in control of their own progress. Play, in itself, is the reward, a self-motivating driver that keeps them engaged in the activities our therapists plan for them. This develops a greater level of independence in your child, which is essentially the main goal of functional therapy.
3. Contextual Relevance
Connecting the aspect of play and reward is the context in which children learn the skills and where they should use them. The purpose of Occupational Therapy is to develop self-reliance in children with autism. As such, play as a reward is extended to everyday activities to generate recall and facilitate the practice of skills learned.
Taking off from the earlier example, our therapist, who may be working on your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination can work with you to encourage appropriate meal time routines by encouraging your child to put their dishes in the sink on their own. Wiping the table or utensils dry is also another activity in which they can hone their motor and coordination skills on the day-to-day. In this way, Occupational Therapy helps a child generalise their skills to different environment and context, which is different frm ABA, which emphasises skills learning in a single setting which makes it difficult to introduce different contexts and stimuli in other settings. However, it is also good to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and what might work for one child may or may not work for another. Thus, it is important for parents to have a discussion with the centres on the various approach before deciding on a specific therapy.
Learn How Occupational Therapy At MindChamps Allied Care Can Help Your Child
At MindChamps Allied Care, we work closely with you and your child to empower them with the ability to be independent and self-reliant. Through a customised therapy plan, we can help identify the challenges your child faces and introduce meaningful and interactive approaches to develop resilient functional outcomes. You may also consider our early intervention programme that is designed for holistic improvements. Book an appointment with us or send us an enquiry to learn more.