Occupational Therapy at Soar

Meet our Occupational Therapist

Kate, our Occupational Therapist, has been working with children with autism for the last 6 years as an OT.

She loves meeting, working with, and helping children develop new skills to thrive as an individual with autism.

Sessions with Kate might include learning how to play, how to socialize, how to participate in group environments like school and work, and how to take care of oneself (e.g. getting dressed or bathing).

Kate is trained in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a leading evidence-based therapy program for children with autism. She is also trained in Ayers Sensory Integration, Ellen Satter’s Division of Responsibility (sDOR), DIR/Floortime, and Sarah Ward’s 360 Thinking.

She will work with you and your child to develop a treatment plan with a unique combination of approaches that will work best for your child.

Types of children that we see

Soar’s OT program is primarily focused on children on the spectrum. We also see children who have not received a formal diagnosis but whose parents or providers are concerned they may have autism.

Kate has experience working with children with autism and their families throughout all stages of this process, and has worked with children with a wide range of skills and abilities.

How do you help a child with Occupational Therapy?

Our programs help children with sensory processing, self-care and daily living skills (e.g., getting dressed), feeding, motor delays, and other related areas. Developing and enhancing such skills can be important to a child’s overall development and long-term well-being.

Each child’s program is customized to the needs of the specific child in consultation with his or her parents and caregivers.

What does a typical OT session look like?

First and foremost, sessions are fun! At Soar we believe in the importance of play and fun on skill development that sticks.

Sessions are individualized to the needs of each child. Tactically, that could be working directly on developing a specific skill (e.g. dressing), or could work on underlying more global skills important to overall development (e.g. social attention).

We try to find the “just right” challenge for the child – pushing a child so that they can learn something new but not so far as to overwhelm or overstimulate them.

How does autism affect sensory processing?

Changes in sensory processing are common among children with autism. In some children, sensory processing differences can cause anxiety or behavioral challenges in children.

How this manifests varies by the child, but can include:

    • More severe reactions to certain sounds, textures, and types of movement
    • Strong preferences for certain foods
    • Smelling or touching of objects
    • Interest in lights and movement that may interfere with other activities
    • Difficulty with body awareness and motor planning
    • Atypical pain processing (e.g. greater pain tolerance on heavy touch, light touch felt as painful)

Occupational therapy can be helpful to many children with autism. If you’re wondering whether OT is right for your child, reach out to us today at (720) 706-3396 or schedule a call via the Get Started page to talk about your specific situation.

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