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Occupational Therapy and Autism

Our Occupational Therapists are trained to help children and young people reach their full potential. We support and cheer on our clients so they feel they can do the things they want to.

We work collaboratively with the child and their parents or carers to understand their strengths and to use them in areas they may be struggling. Our focus is always on empowering the child to understand so that they can effectively use the strategies highlighted in their Occupational Therapy sessions.

“Occupational Therapists see beyond diagnoses and limitations to hopes and aspirations. They look at relationships between the activities you do every day – your occupations – alongside the challenges you face and your environment."

Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2022

Sensory Needs

Occupational Therapists will use a sensory integration frame of reference when working with children with Neurodevelopmental conditions because there are very often sensory processing difficulties that are impacting on their daily life. 

Children with ASD can struggle with regulating sensory input so may use self-stimulation to compensate or avoid over stimulation. As a result, it can be more difficult to engage in daily tasks, both the functional ones as well as the more pleasurable. Difficulties can occur due to sensory overload in the environment, meaning they can appear withdrawn or act aggressively because they are overwhelmed. Daily tasks such as going to school may be too much for them, so they miss out on their learning. Alternatively, they may get into school but struggle to sit still for more than 5 minutes so appear disruptive in the classroom and again their learning can be disrupted. 

Our Occupational Therapists are able to assess in a holistic way using approaches including:

  • Strengths Based Assessments

  • Sensory Approach (including the interoceptive curriculum) 

  • Personal Construct Psychology

  • Trauma-informed approach

Assessments can also look at possible coordination difficulties that might be contributing to some of the presenting problems and offer advice and intervention around this area. We are also able to look at the impact on their mental health and use basic CBT approaches linked closely with sensory regulation.

Depending on the formulation from the assessment, the Occupational Therapist will be able to offer practical strategies to support the child or young person. We can also provide programmes of activities to do at home and school and offer advice around sensory processing. This can be supplemented by having direct sessions with an Occupational Therapist or by attending Parent Workshops on subjects including emotional and sensory regulation or understanding the sensory systems.


Book an appointment today.

Book an occupational therapy assessment to begin your journey with Hope Therapies.

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