Occupational Therapy & Autism: A Critical Evaluation of Techniques Used to Treat Children With Austism

Undergraduate Author First Name: 
Abbie
Undergraduate Author Last Name: 
Martin
Major Department: 
Psychology
Thesis Director: 
Courtney Rocheleau
Date of Thesis: 
12/2009

Occupational therapy is frequently used to support and treat children with autism. Among the most popular techniques are sensory integration therapy, therapies using animals, and relational development integration. Each of these therapies targets a domain in which children with autism exhibit deficits. While popular and supported by anecdotal evidence, there is an overall paucity of empirical research investigating the effectiveness of these therapies in promoting wellbeing, self-sufficiency, and abilities among children with autism. This research is necessary to validate these therapies and to identify which techniques are most appropriate for treating children with autism. There are many procedures that occupational therapists use to treat children with autism; however, the ones explored throughout this paper are some of the most popular methods used to date.