Tweedie Therapy

Comprehensive Pediatric Occupational Therapy
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Autism is a behaviorally defined syndrome characterized by severe and pervasive impairments in several areas of development including reciprocal social interactions skills, communication skills or the presence of stereotypical behavior, interests, and activities.

A person with an ASD might:

  • Not respond to their name by 12 months
  • Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
  • Not play "pretend" games (pretend to "feed" a doll) by 18 months
  • Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • Have trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

Center for disease control estimate that 1 in 88 children have autism and deficits can range from mild to severe.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for ASD between 18-24months. Please ask your provider about the screen at your next well-child visit.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is common in persons with autism. The literature reports a prevalence of SPD from 42% to 88%. Many children demonstrate difficulty with regulating their responses to stimuli. Some children will avoid sensory input while others crave it. Some children may demonstrate self-stimulation to compensate for limited sensory input or to avoid the input all together. It is important to recognize and treat sensory processing challenges if they are present.

References:
Glennon, T. J. (2010). An introduction to the autism spectrum disorder. In H. Kuhaneck & R. Watling (Eds.), Autism: A comprehensive occupational therapy approach 3rd edition (pp. 3-24). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.

Pfeiffer, B. A., Koenig, K., Kinnealey, M., Sheppard, M., & Henderson, L. (2011). Effectiveness of sensory integration interventions in children with autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 76-85.