How Our Therapists Can Help People with Autism

 

If they can’t learn the way we teach, we can teach the way they learn.

– Dr O. Ivar Lovaas

autism therapy Sydney

What is autism?

Autism is a chronic developmental disorder that, in general, impacts on the way a person relates to other people and engages with their environment. Autism often manifest in difficulties in the areas of communication, social interaction, having limited interests or behaviours of repetition. It is also not uncommon for people with autism to display sensory modulation deficits and they may have comorbid learning difficulties and/or intellectual impairment.

The condition is often described in terms of a “spectrum” (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder), categorising the severity of the effects of the disorder on the person. In some individuals, the condition has minimal impingement on their functioning, while others may have lifelong difficulties and require ongoing specialized supports. In Australia, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 100 people have the diagnosis, and boys are more affected than girls. It is estimated that roughly 31% of NDIS participants have the diagnosis.

Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Speech Therapy are popular allied health fields that can help an individual with a diagnosis of autism engage in meaningful tasks and share in social activities within their community. People with autism often need strong family and social supports to complement specialist services. Youth Living Skills therapists work with clients and their parents, family members, school teachers or work colleagues/employers to develop an individualised plan to meet the person’s unique needs.

autism therapist Sydney

What is autism?

Autism is a chronic developmental disorder that, in general, impacts on the way a person relates to other people and engages with their environment. Autism often manifest in difficulties in the areas of communication, social interaction, having limited interests or behaviours of repetition. It is also not uncommon for people with autism to display sensory modulation deficits and they may have comorbid learning difficulties and/or intellectual impairment.

The condition is often described in terms of a “spectrum” (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder), categorising the severity of the effects of the disorder on the person. In some individuals, the condition has minimal impingement on their functioning, while others may have lifelong difficulties and require ongoing specialized supports. In Australia, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 100 people have the diagnosis, and boys are more affected than girls. It is estimated that roughly 31% of NDIS participants have the diagnosis.

Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Speech Therapy are popular allied health fields that can help an individual with a diagnosis of autism engage in meaningful tasks and share in social activities within their community. People with autism often need strong family and social supports to complement specialist services. Youth Living Skills therapists work with clients and their parents, family members, school teachers or work colleagues/employers to develop an individualised plan to meet the person’s unique needs.

Occupational Therapy and Autism

Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on enhancing a person’s independence and functional capacity in all aspects of life. This is usually achieved by developing the individual’s skill set or by making changes to their environment to adapt to their needs. Examples of how our Occupational Therapists can help someone with autism include:

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Improve ability to perform self-care tasks

such as bathing, dressing, basic hygiene (basic activities of daily living) 

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Improve instrumental activities of daily living skills

such as managing medications or finances, using transportation, maintaining the home, shopping and finding and maintaining employment 

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Enhance fine motor skills

e.g. handwriting, using cutlery, tying shoelaces, improve grip and grasp strength

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Enhance gross motor skills

e.g. posture, walking and physical coordination and object control skills (e.g. catching and throwing)

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Develop social skills so the person can better interact with peers and participate in their community

 e.g. build play skills in children

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Help with problems with organisation, focus and attention

 
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Improve sensory modulation to enhance appropriate responses to sensory stimuli

e.g. sound, light, touch, smell

autism therapist Sydney
Contact us to find out how our service can help you!

Psychology and Autism

At its core, psychology is the exploration of the mind and emotions, and Psychologists often work with people to enable them to better manage their problematic behaviours. Psychologists often work with people with mental health conditions or people going through acute grief and loss or trauma situations. For people with autism, a Psychologist can often be involved in diagnosis and assessment, as well as endorse relevant treatment regimes. Our Psychologists can work with people through the following:

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Psychotherapy

to help the person deal with symptoms such as compulsive behaviours or anxiety. It can also assist people to better comprehend the impact of their condition and how their actions and behaviours are experienced by those around them.
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ABA therapy (Applied Behaviour Analysis)

is an area of behavioural therapy that enhances the person’s skills using a reward-based system to reinforce appropriate and desired behaviours. ABA therapy is usually delivered by ABA-trained therapists.
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Developmental Psychology

analyses typical and atypical (child) development and often help children improve interpersonal engagement through play
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Using drama, family or play therapy

sydney therapist autism

Speech Therapy and Autism

Speech Therapy aims to increase communication difficulties and disorders. As many people with autism have compromised speech and language skills, Speech Therapy is often recommended. Speech Therapists can also help non-verbal people utilise alternative communication methods or devices to interact with others. Our Speech Therapists can assist the development of communication skills by:

  • Helping the person to better understand non-verbal communication such as body language, facial expressions and gestures
  • Enhancing social skills such as how to ask/answer questions, learn about giving people personal space (during conversations) and to appraise someone else’s mood
  • Improving the person’s comprehension of language in a social context so they can learn appropriate responses to questions, social cues and pragmatics (e.g. appropriate greetings)
  • Developing understanding of grammar and conversational skills
  • Improving comprehension of abstract concepts such as emotions or notions such as freedom or justice
  • Utilising electronic talking devices or other non-verbal communication equipment (e.g. picture exchange cards) to expand the communication skills of an individual who is non-verbal

Contact Information

PO Box address:

PO Box 121, Glenfield NSW 2167

Phone Number:

0436489449

Email:

info@youthlivingskills.com.au

We will strive to respond to your enquiry within one business day.

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