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The Impact of Occupational Therapists on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

May 26, 2023
Mike Ralston

Pediatric occupational therapists utilize a variety of different methods and techniques to encourage and improve the skills needed for children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 


Regulating emotion is a common task that pediatric occupational therapists (OTs) apply in their work with children with ASD. Children with ASD have a difficult time reading emotions and understanding feelings. It’s important for all children to manage their thoughts and feelings, and to communicate effectively. Our pediatric OTs offer techniques that assist with emotional regulation, including role-playing and one-on-one practice. 

Social Skills

Regular social interactions, like smiling, establishing eye contact or saying “hello” can be difficult or frustrating for children with ASD.  Pediatric OTs can serve as great teachers or mentors for children with ASD who have difficulty with social skills. They can implement creative ways to help a child understand social norms and communication, which can make the  child’s environment less confusing.

Developing Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are defined as the large movements we make, including running, jumping or rolling over. Fine motor skills include writing, pinching or holding objects. Oftentimes children with ASD experience delays in one or both of these skills. A pediatric occupational therapist can assist in helping children build strength, increase endurance and improve efficiency in everyday activities. 

The possibilities for a pediatric OT to help a child with ASD are endless. They can enter a home environment and achieve a basic understanding of the family’s schedule and routines, and help create a family flow that will benefit everyone. Whether an ASD child struggles socially, emotionally or physically, a pediatric occupational therapist can be a great addition to the treatment team, and assist in fostering a happy, healthy life for every child.

Join Our Team

Founded in 2014, The Missing Peace (TMP) offers a fun, safe place for children who live with autism and other disabilities to spend their days just being kids. With clinics in Keller and Killeen, and Austin, TMP is a part of a family of organizations that collaborate to bring excellence, efficiency, and efficacy to autism therapy in Texas. The company provides services to children from two to 12 years of age. 

Our Culture of Compassion is the cornerstone of TMP and its success. Our core values of integrity, commitment, compassion, care, excellence, trust, and servant leadership foundation drive the way we work with our employees and partners. Our dedication to values, our strong purposeful culture, and our solid clinical reputation have resulted in an established leadership position in our field of expertise and a greater demand for our services.

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