Benefits of Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be difficult to know what support options are available. Here at EA Therapeutic Health, we offer several different therapy services for people on the Autism Spectrum. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are all helpful in creating a better quality of life for those on the spectrum and their loved ones. Therapy can help develop coping methods, improve social skills, and manage sensory issues. It can also help reduce frustration, depression, and anxiety.
How does physical therapy help people with ASD?
For children with ASD, therapeutic play encourages large quality movements to support proper walking. Physical Therapists (PTs) work to improve posture, ankle mobility, and calf flexibility. PTs work on basic motor skills like sitting, rolling, standing, and running. These skills help improve balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. Improved balance and coordination will make it easier to ride a bike or climb playground equipment. When children strengthen gross motor skills, they are more confident. Confidence improves their ability to communicate and socialize. Physical therapy is important for children on the spectrum, but it’s also important for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder to exercise and keep their balance and coordination in check, too.
At EA Therapeutic health, we also offer options beyond therapy including our play-based therapy (Fit4Play) and summer camps that focus on specific skills like handwriting, sports, or social skills. These programs are therapist designed and directed by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) to help children gain skills in conjunction with PT. These options will keep children active and will promote overall health and mood which leads to better behavior and sleep patterns.
Why is occupational therapy beneficial for autism spectrum disorder?
The overall goal of occupational therapy is to allow people with ASD to become as independent as possible. An Occupational Therapist (OT) will evaluate attention span, basic daily living skills, need for personal space, responses to touch or other stimuli, motor skills, behavior, and interactions with caregivers. After that, they will implement a plan to develop skills that could improve life at home, school, or work for people on the autism spectrum. OTs seek to improve relationship development, ability to focus on tasks, appropriate expression of feelings, and how to self-regulate emotions. Working with an OT is beneficial for people on the spectrum at every age.
What does speech therapy do for people on the spectrum?
People with ASD may struggle with both nonverbal communication and speech, which can make socializing a challenge for many. Speech therapy helps with speaking, but it also teaches skills like eye contact, gestures, and taking turns in conversations. Speech therapy can also help people with ASD who are non-verbal express themselves using picture symbols, sign language, computers, or find other ways to communicate. Speech Therapists teach clients to understand body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Caregivers often question when to start speech therapy and research shows that those who improve the most are those who receive the earliest interventions.
As you may have discovered, a lot of programs are geared toward children, but EA Therapeutic Health offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy for people with autism spectrum disorder of all ages. We believe that lifelong wellness should be accessible for all. You do not need a referral from a doctor for services and can simply give us a call or request an appointment online to get started.