DSM V (APA, 2014) identify that ‘people with ASD tend to have communication deficits, such as responding inappropriately in conversations, misreading nonverbal interactions, or having difficulty building friendships appropriate to their age. In addition, people with ASD may be overly dependent on routines, highly sensitive to changes in their environment, or intensely focused on inappropriate items’ – the DSM V also identifies difficulties with regulating sensory information. An estimated 45 – 90% of children with ASD demonstrate sensory –related difficulties (Ben-Sasson et al, 2008).
Parents / carers clearly identify the impact of this on daily activities (Bagby, Dickie and Baranek, 2012) and how this can often affect function in differing ways across the child’s communities, home, school (Parham and Mailloux, 2015).
Working with the child and Parent / carer, as well as the school (where required) it is important to create individual goals that are led by the family and identified needs (Schaaf et al, 2015). The Occupational Therapist is able to combine different approaches, including sensory and motor to give greater understanding to specific and individual difficulties, and enabling the child to engage in areas and communities of daily life.
“If you’ve met one child with Autism…then you have met ONE child with Autism” (Dr. Stephen Shore)
“Autism…offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by” (Dr Colin Zimbleman)