Children with autism can experience a variety of developmental challenges as they grow. If your child has autism and is struggling with social skills, communication, or repetitive behaviors, our caring occupational therapists are here to help. Keep reading to find out what autism is, how it affects development, and how pediatric occupational therapy can help manage the symptoms of this condition.

What Is Autism?

Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, is made up of various conditions that affect a person’s brain development. It generally impacts the ability to socialize and communicate easily with others, though people with autism can also experience repetitive behaviors, sensory processing difficulties, and learning disorders.

Using the muscles in the hands and feet requires the ability to coordinate complex movements. If a child is lacking the strength, flexibility, or precision necessary for these movements, their fine motor control will be delayed. This can make it more difficult for them to handle daily tasks and do well in school.

Common Signs of Autism

Common signs of autism include:

  • Trouble making eye contact
  • Unvaried facial expressions
  • Challenges making friends
  • Difficulty engaging in conversation
  • Disinterest in playing with other children
  • Dislike of physical contact such as hugs
  • Prefers strict, unvaried routines
  • Sensitivity to light, touch, and sound
  • Struggles with eating a variety of foods
  • Inability to handle changes in routine
  • Strong interest in only a few specific activities or objects
  • Trouble understanding nonverbal social cues
  • Trouble understanding other people’s emotions

How Autism Can Impact a Child’s Growth

Autism affects each child differently. Children with autism can be highly intelligent and high-functioning, or they can struggle with learning and require intensive support to manage daily activities. Some children can be nonverbal while others meet their speech milestones as expected. Autism is considered a spectrum because it affects each child differently. However, early intervention can help children with autism build and strengthen their developmental skills to improve their overall quality of life.

How Can Occupational Therapy Help Children with Autism?

Our pediatric occupational therapists are highly trained and experienced in treating children with autism. We use proven therapeutic exercises, techniques, and activities to help children build their developmental skills for success in school, relationships, and life. Occupational therapy addresses many areas of development from social and cognitive skills to language and self-care. We can also give you tips and activities you can do at home with your child to help them between therapy sessions. With our one-on-one treatment and your support, we can work together to give your child the skills they need for increased independence and wellbeing.

Benefits of Pediatric Occupational Therapy for Autism

Occupational therapy can help children with autism achieve incredible benefits such as:

  1. Improved academic performance
  2. Stronger social skills
  3. Increased independence
  4. Reduced risk of harm from repetitive behaviors
  5. Better ability to communicate with others
  6. Increased understanding of nonverbal cues
  7. Stronger emotional regulation skills
  8. Improved quality of life

Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation

Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.

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