Occupational Therapy Activities for Autism

Autism, a developmental disability, is defined by behavioural characteristics. Primary features of autism are described as problems in language skills, play and social interaction. Symptoms begin during early childhood and distinctive incompetence and limited; repetitive behaviours are seen in the socio-communicative field.

In addition to these primary features, individuals with autism generally have sensory processing and sensory integration dysfunction, which affect adaptive behaviour and participating daily activities. Many children with autism are unable to register many of the sensations from their environment. They cannot integrate those sensations to form a clear perception of space. Occupational therapy is one of the main protocols used by doctors for improving the social skill for autistic people.

Occupational therapy (OT) activities for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are designed to help them develop and improve their functional abilities and overall quality of life. These activities are tailored to the unique needs of each individual with ASD and are often focused on enhancing their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills.

Occupational therapy is a specialized field of healthcare that focuses on helping people of all ages to perform their daily activities and improve their quality of life. Occupational therapists work with individuals who may have physical, mental, or emotional conditions that affect their ability to carry out everyday tasks such as dressing, eating, and working.

Through a variety of interventions, occupational therapists help their clients to develop and enhance the skills they need to participate in activities that are meaningful and important to them. This might include activities related to self-care, work, leisure, or social interaction.

Occupational therapy interventions may involve a range of techniques, such as exercise, adaptive equipment, and environmental modifications. Therapists work collaboratively with their clients to develop personalized treatment plans that address their unique needs and goals.

In occupational therapy, the emphasis is on a holistic approach to treatment that takes into account a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Occupational therapists use a variety of interventions such as exercise, adaptive equipment, and environmental modifications to help individuals improve their functional abilities and achieve greater independence.

Occupational therapy is a versatile profession, with practitioners working in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, and community-based organizations. It is a client-centered profession that values collaboration and partnership with clients, families, and caregivers to create personalized treatment plans that address individual needs and goals.

Overall, occupational therapy aims to empower individuals to live life to the fullest by providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve their goals and engage in the activities that are most meaningful to them.


Some common OT activities for autism include:

Sensory integration therapy: This type of therapy is designed to help individuals with autism who may have difficulty processing sensory information. Sensory integration therapy involves exposing the individual to different sensory stimuli, such as sounds, textures, and movements, in a controlled and structured way. The therapist will work with the individual to help them regulate their sensory responses and improve their ability to interact with the environment.

Fine motor skills activities: These activities are designed to improve the individual’s ability to use their hands and fingers for fine motor tasks such as writing, drawing, and manipulating small objects. The therapist may use exercises such as finger painting, cutting with scissors, and using tweezers to help the individual develop their fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills activities: These activities are designed to improve the individual’s ability to use their larger muscles for tasks such as walking, running, and jumping. The therapist may use exercises such as yoga, dance, and obstacle courses to help the individual develop their gross motor skills.

Social skills activities: These activities are designed to help individuals with autism develop their social skills, such as communication, sharing, and turn-taking. The therapist may use role-playing, social stories, and games to help the individual practice and improve their social skills.

Self-care skills activities: These activities are designed to help individuals with autism develop their ability to take care of themselves, such as dressing, grooming, and feeding themselves. The therapist may use exercises such as practicing tying shoes or brushing teeth to help the individual develop their self-care skills.

Occupational therapy (OT) is a kind of medical services that assists with tackling the issues that impede an individual’s capacity to do the things that are essential to them like:
  • Taking care of oneself – getting dressed, eating, moving around the house,
  • Being useful – going to work or school, partaking locally
  • Recreation exercises – sports, planting, social exercises.

OT can help them regain independence in all areas of their lives. Occupational therapists help with barriers that affect a child’s emotional, social, and physical needs. To do this, they use everyday activities, exercises, and other therapies.

Occupational Therapy (OT) makes improvement in the following areas:
  • Attention span and stamina
  • Transition to new activities
  • Play skills
  • Need for personal space
  • Responses to touch or other kinds of stimuli
  • Motor skills like posture, balance, or manipulation of small objects
  • Aggression or other types of behaviours
  • Interactions between the child and caregivers

At Jeevaniyam, We have the best treatment for occupational therapy in Kerala, India. Our Occupational therapists work as part of a team that includes doctors, parents, teachers, and other professionals. They help set specific goals for the children with autism. These goals often involve social interaction, behaviour, and classroom performance.

The therapist watches children to see if they can do tasks they are expected to do at their ages – getting dressed or playing a game, for example. Sometimes, the therapist will have the child recorded during the day to see how the child interacts with people and things around them.


ADHD In Children: An Excessive Talking Child!

One of the most common symptoms for a kid with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is excessive talking and often have trouble inhibiting and controlling their responses which would result in making humming, noises, movement, fidgeting, wiggling, getting into things, etc. They may blurt out whatever first comes to mind, whether appropriate or not, without thinking through how their words may be received.


There are several characteristics of ADHD that may lead to excessive talking

  • Hyperactivity:
    • Hyperactivity can be classified as physical and/or verbal overactivity, including talking excessively, interrupting others, monopolizing conversations, and not letting others talk.
  • Language pragmatics:
    • Talking too much is also related to language pragmatics or the social use of language. Language problems, including pragmatics, are common in nearly half of the children with ADHD.
  • Difficulty with social cues:
    • Many kids with ADHD have a hard time picking up on and reading social cues, which can make it difficult to take turns in conversations.
  • Self-control:
    • ADHD can interfere with a child’s self-control and ability to manage impulsive behaviour, like, blurting out comments at inappropriate times.
  • Poor listening skills:
    • Kids with ADHD have hard time carrying on a conversation because it’s difficult for them to pause, listen to other people, and make appropriate decisions about when to talk and stop talking. Again, they don’t always know how to focus on other people and take cues from them.
  • Difficulty to think before they speak:
    • Kids with ADHD don’t realize when it is or isn’t the appropriate time to talk; they blurt out the first thing that pops into their mind and monopolizes conversations because it’s hard for them to put their brain and their mouth on pause.


In general, kids with ADHD have a challenging time dealing with too much talking, humming, noises, movement, fidgeting, wiggling, getting into things, etc. At Jeevaniyam, our Psychologist, Speech and language pathologist and Occupational therapist help your child to deal with the issues related to excessive talking by training them with the basics of effective communication and channelling their energy effectively and thereby controlling their responses. We support your child to understand, practice and develop their social skills for a bright future.


Why Is Buttoning And Zipping So Important For Fine Motor Skills?


Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands and wrists. Gross motor skills are the ability to make movements with whole body muscles and joints. Fine motor skills are very important for young children to achieve their daily tasks such as buttoning a shirt, tying shoe laces, grasping a pencil, using utensils, typing on a keyboard and much more. Fine motor skills can also help develop hand-eye coordination in young children.

Most children can get pants with elastic waists on themselves and pull a sweater or shirt over their heads, but the fine motor skills involved in zipping, snapping, and buttoning may be more challenging for young children. Buttons, zippers, snaps and buckles are all clothing fasteners that require finger dexterity and fine motor skills to open and close.

The proximal muscles of the shoulder girdle and trunk function as a stabilizer when fastening clothing. Efficient control of the larger muscle groups in the neck, shoulder and trunk is necessary to maintain stability to place the fingers and hands in the proper position to button/unbutton, zip/unzip, snap and buckle. Young children need time to practice using their fine motor skills in everyday situations. Although it can be tempting for adults to jump in and finish buttoning or snapping shirts or pants or tying shoes because it is faster, it is important young children get the opportunity to finish these activities because it helps them work on developing their fine motor skills.

Using zippers is a complicated functional skill for kids. Managing two hands at the same time at the belly level, using one hand to hold down the zipper chamber and the zipper pull while the other hand is holding the end of the zipper and trying to thread it into the chamber it’s a huge motor planning process, requiring many essential skills.

It is important to remember that each child develops at his or her own pace, and that these are not set in stone, but it is often helpful to have a general idea of when these skills should be emerging. Below are the skills typically expected at the listed ages.

  • 18 – 24 Months:  Able to unzip a zipper with a large tab
  • 2-3 Years: Able to unzip and unsnap clothing while wearing it
  • 3-4 Years: Able to button and unbutton large buttons, unzip and zipper after it is “started”
  • 5-6 Years: Able to hooks and zip up a zipper while wearing the clothing

If zipping or buttoning is an ongoing challenge in your child’s life, seek professional assistance from Jeevaniyam.

At Jeevaniyam we provide Occupational Therapy to help your child achieve independence with fasteners. Our team of doctors and occupational therapist assess & improve the skills such as sensory processing skills, balance and bilateral coordination skills, visual-perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination skills, postural control & proper stability in the context of buttoning or zipping in order to design appropriately targeted treatment strategies.

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