Autistic Neurodiversity: Overview Table of ABA vs Occupational Therapy Interventions

In the realm of therapeutic approaches for individuals on the autism spectrum, a profound distinction arises between Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) with Neurodiversity-Affirming Approaches. The table below illuminates the stark contrasts in philosophy, goals, communication focus, and various facets of intervention strategies employed by these two methodologies.

Eye Contact is Not Everything for Autism and Occupational Therapy Interventions

If you do a Google search for keywords ‘eye contact’ + ‘autism’, the top search results all suggest ways to increase eye contact for Autistic people. Is this the best way, especially in occupational therapy? It appears to be no because the Autism community largely disagrees with this practice and approach. This article describes alternatives and why a different approach should be used to promote client-centered practice in early intervention for Autistic toddlers.

Recognizing the Validity of All Communication in Autism with Occupational Therapy Interventions

Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, yet within the autism spectrum, it takes on a unique and diverse form. This article explores the importance of acknowledging and respecting various modes of communication within the autism community, including behaviors, non-verbal cues, body language, and echolalia. Additionally, we will delve into how occupational therapy interventions can enhance these communication forms.

How to Get a Kiddo to Get a Haircut – Occupational Therapy Intervention

Navigating the realm of toddler haircuts unveils a sensory challenge, where the unfamiliar setting, buzzing clippers, and tactile sensations converge, often triggering resistance and anxiety; however, occupational therapy offers practical strategies—from gradual desensitization to sensory-friendly tools and the power of social learning—to transform the experience into a smoother, more positive journey for both toddlers and parents alike.

Fidgeting vs. Stimming in Autism

This post will use identify-first language, e.g., Autistic person, as the community overwhelmingly prefers this language, and the capital A is in accordance with APA recommendations. You may or may not have heard of the term ‘stimming’, which is a colloquial term for motor stereotyped behaviors such as finger-flicking, hand flapping, and rocking back and … Read more

Autistic and Neurotypical Valued Occupations Model (ANVOM): A Proposed Model for Occupational Therapy Practice

Purpose The purpose of this article is to propose a model of practice for occupational therapy based on research that includes the voices of those who are Autistic, including Autistic adults with the lived experience of autism combined along with their neurotypical counterparts, e.g., parents, caregivers, and society. Language Based on a majority of the … Read more

Sensory-Based Strategies Are Not the Same as Ayres Sensory Integration

Incorrect Use? Sensory strategies are often incorrectly used with sensory integration interventions. One way to distinguish sensory integration methods involve active client participation, whereas sensory strategies involve passive sensations. Sensory integration treatment is based on sensory integration theory which was proposed by Dr. Jean Ayres. The core theory was built on what Ayres new at … Read more

Overview of Social Skills Interventions for Autism in Occupational Therapy

Introduction Social skills interventions are designed to address barriers in social skills for clients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These social skills interventions can be facilitated by the occupational therapist or educator and may involve training peers to interact with those who have ASD to improve their social skills. Furthermore, social skills training may be … Read more

FAQ: How Occupational Therapy Can Help Adults with Autism

Q: How can occupational therapy help adults with autism? Q: How is occupational therapy different for adults than children? Q: Can occupational therapy help with employment? Q: What areas do occupational therapists work with for adults who have autism? Q: Is occupational therapy for adults successful? Q: Do adults with autism benefit from a combined … Read more