Detecting autism in a child can be a baffling stage for parents. Autism is a developmental disability, a spectrum disorder caused by differences in the brain. Children with autism have difficulties in learning and social interaction and exhibit repetitive behaviors. The prevalence rate of Autism in India is at 0.20%, or 1 in 500 people. While autism is a lifelong condition, there are ways to reduce the severity of this disorder. Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are some of these techniques that can help autistic and special children learn new skills and foster brain development.
Research states that children with autism have issues with motor skills, abnormal gait and motor planning. The severity of these situations may differ in children. Some could have a mild impairment, while for others, it would be challenging to carry out the basic functional movement. Physiotherapy or occupational therapy can considerably assist in improving the quality of life among autistic children. Both these disciplines aim to improve motor impairments, coordination, improve postures and misalignment issues in the body. Every parent wants their child to excel in life and overcome these difficulties. Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy are services included in the treatment plan for children diagnosed with autism and special needs.
As a parent, it is always essential to know what occupational therapy and physiotherapy for special children involve and the cumulative benefits for brain development.
Occupational Therapy for Autism
Occupational therapy is a type of treatment that helps in relieving pain and injury or disability through aid in daily activities. Occupational therapists are experts who observe and study human growth and development and understand the social, emotional and physiological effects. With their knowledge, they can promote skills that help in independent living for children with autism or other special developmental disorders.
Here’s what occupational therapy for autism would involve:
- Teaching Self-care: If an autistic child finds it hard to manage personal hygiene, therapeutic intervention can teach them the basics of self-care. This involves teaching them developmental activities like brushing teeth, bathing, basic grooming and getting dressed.
- General skill building: Children with autism could lack or be weak at motor skills. With OT sessions, they are taught skills like writing, colouring, and craft such as using scissors or tying knots.
- Play-time activities: This involves hosting activities for social interaction, communication and collaboration. Play activities also teach about having friends, being in a group, participating in games etc.
- Sensory regulation: Occupational therapists observe how a child reacts to sensory experience and devise environments to reduce the negative reactions.
The overall aim of using occupational therapy for autism is to address any barriers for the child to carry out their daily functioning. Working in coordination with parents, occupational therapy for autism involves improving a child’s attention and performance through various skills, so they can become more dependent as they grow up.
Physiotherapy for Special Child
Physiotherapy is another discipline of treatment that can help children with autism and special needs or disabled children. Physiotherapy focuses on function, movement and optimal usage of children’s potential for their overall well-being. If a child has disabilities or problems in movement/function in the body caused by the nervous system, a physiotherapist can assist in improvement.
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Physical therapists help in posture control, regaining balance, strength and stability, and teaching motor movements and mobility. Neurological paediatric physiotherapists help in developing this range of functions within children.
Physiotherapy treatments for a special child also depend on the issue your child is facing – is it a physical disability or a spectrum disorder like autism. Similar to occupational therapy, physical therapy also includes activities and exercises for building motor skills and improving movement control and sensory issues.
Some of the strategies for physiotherapy for a special child are as under:
- Exercises to improve muscle strength, posture and balance.
- Stretching muscles and strengthening muscles to improve gait abnormalities. This is especially useful for children who practice toe walking and result in abnormal gait pattern.
- Teaching necessary skills for participation in sports or other physical/social activities to test endurance.
- Address issues of misalignments in the musculoskeletal system and chest wall deformities common in autistic children.
Physiotherapy is not just beneficial for special children alone but also guides parents on how they should take care of their child, when at home. They help reduce the negative emotions associated with the elderly, who often experience frustration around children with special needs. Both occupational therapy and physiotherapy teach kids and parents to treat their shortcomings and improve their quality of living.
Reputed Physiotherapy Services in Gurgaon
If you are convinced for seeing a physiotherapist for your child, check out PhysioHeal in Gurgaon. A group of highly skilled and experienced professionals who will assist you in dealing with several health conditions. They offer therapy for orthopaedic, cardiac, and neurological conditions along with post-operative physiotherapy in Gurgaon. If you are searching for occupational therapy for autism or physiotherapy for a special child in and around Gurgaon, get in touch with PhysioHeal.