How Occupational Therapy Can Improve Sensory Sensitivities - Judson Center
a woman provides occupational therapy to an autistic child at a therapy center

How Occupational Therapy Can Improve Sensory Sensitivities

Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder experience sensory sensitivities. These sensitivities can be heightened in children who have not yet learned how to manage responses to certain stimuli that may be uncomfortable for them. When they struggle to react appropriately to certain sensations, it can lead a child with ASD to avoid certain places or experiences.

Types of Sensory Sensitivities

Here are a few examples of the stimuli that may result in sensory sensitivity:

Individuals with autism often encounter sensory sensitivities that fall into two main categories. Hyper-sensitivities lead to over-responsiveness, while hypo-sensitivities result in under-responsiveness. Various stimuli can trigger either type of sensitivity in individuals with ASD.

  • Light
  • Sounds
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Touch
  • Proprioception or body awareness

It’s not uncommon for individuals with ASD to have hypersensitivity to light, sound, or smells that may not bother others. Touch sensitivity can also be unexpected, where even a light touch can be overwhelming for someone with ASD.

Just like hypersensitivity to certain things is common among individuals with autism, so are hyposensitivities. If someone with ASD has a hyposensitivity to signals controlling their balance and coordination, it can result in clumsiness and awkward movements. They may also react differently to pain compared to others.

Accommodations for People with Sensory Sensitivities

Fortunately, there are various methods to assist individuals with hyper- or hypo-sensitivities. Adjusting the lighting and using incandescent bulbs instead of fluorescent ones could help individuals sensitive to light or specific wavelengths. Rearranging furniture might provide the necessary physical cues for individuals with hypo-sensitivity to navigate a space effectively.

How Occupational Therapy for Autism Can Help

If your child is affected by ASD and sensory sensitivities, occupational therapy tailored for autism can be beneficial. In the case of individuals with ASD, occupational therapy often focuses on physical activities to assist patients in processing sensory stimuli more effectively.

Occupational therapy for autism is beneficial in enhancing various skills such as cognitive, physical, social, and motor skills. The goal is to enhance a child’s ability to process and respond to sensory input in daily scenarios.

Get the Help You Need at Judson Center

At Judson Center, we believe individuals with ASD and their families need a continuum of care that will allow all involved to live their very best lives, for themselves and together as a family. That’s why we offer proven applied behavioral analysis for those with ASD as well as support services for their family members, such as counseling, parent training sessions, and family activities. We also have contracted Occupational Therapy Services that can be provided on-site either before or after ABA. This on-site offering allows families to get multiple services all in one place.

To learn more about the individual and family services we provide for kids diagnosed with ASD, contact Judson Center today.

At Judson Center, we aim to provide comprehensive care for individuals with ASD and their families, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives both individually and together. Our services include applied behavioral analysis for children and teens with ASD, as well as support services like counseling and parent training. Additionally, we offer on-site Occupational Therapy Services, conveniently combining multiple services in one location.