Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disorders for which diagnosis depends on the presence of complexity with communication, social interaction and restricted, stereotyped behaviours. Autistic disorder and Asperger's syndrome are two conditions that share symptoms of impaired communication, social interaction, associated with a rigid, repetitive pattern of behaviours. Sensory processing is a common issue in children with ASDs, and this may have a pervasive effect on children's occupational engagement, such as eating, dressing, noises, and environments.
Self-care activities, such as dressing and eating, can be challenging for children with ASD due to motor, sensory, and cognitive issues. However, children with ASD can learn to become independent through the implementation of skills acquisition strategies, visual schedules, learning techniques, modifying tasks and devices in their environment to support their performance.
The school setting comprises a considerable amount of time in a child's day. With supportive teachers, predictable routines, clear schedules, and modifications to the environment, children with ASD can thrive in school environments. Sensory issues can affect the kinds of play chosen. For example, children with ASD may withdraw from playing with certain textures and sensations sand or grass. Social interaction challenges and delayed communication can affect friendships' progress during play and can result in less social contact.
Through a collaborative partnership, occupational therapists can help children and their families optimize children's participation. Early intervention is crucial for the treatment of children with ASD. Early intervention could be preparing home-based individual therapies such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, and behavioural interventions. Early intervention could also include group sessions administered by multidisciplinary healthcare teams.
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