Occupational Therapy Case Study
Debi Blitz, an occupational therapist, describes the approach and components of occupational therapy, particularly in her work with two young brothers with ASD, Ethan and Evan.
"So first, we started with therapeutic brushing which gives a deep touch input to the arms, the legs and the back."
— Debi Blitz
Early Warning Signs related to Occupational Therapy Case Study
Possible warning signs for autism include a reduced motivation and ability to master various daily living skills. In this clip, we see how Benjamin, Nathan's unaffected twin brother is attempting to feed himself, whereas Nathan displays a delayed ability to manipulate his spoon and, seemingly, little interest in developing this skill, though he is clearly hungry.
The mother of three boys (one at risk and two with the diagnosis of ASD) talks about the subtle differences between her at risk son and her sons with diagnosed ASD.
Both Nathan and Ben have delayed motor skills. Specifically, both boys have difficulty in turning their wrists to maneuver and manipulate small objects. As a result, they will often turn an entire object into a more accessible position rather turn their wrists. Motor delays are not necessarily indicative of autism and may be present in children with (Nathan) and without (Benjamin).
Therapies related to Occupational Therapy Case Study
In occupational therapy, a child with ASD learns important daily living and fine motor skills, such as being able to unzip a zipper, and open and unpack his lunch bag. Learning such daily living skills is essential to improving a child's overall functioning, independence and sense of mastery.
A child with ASD works with his therapist on fine motor skills, such as picking up and placing small pegs. By incorporating this exercise into the child's playtime, the therapist is able to improve Josiah's dexterity while also teaching him appropriate play skills.
An occupational therapist works to improve grip strength and flexibility in a young child with ASD. The child's interest in the sound and look of the therapy toy engage him in the exercise; yet, the unusual quality of his sensory interests is clear in his desire to sniff and keep the toy even when his teacher asks him to give it back.
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