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Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill
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Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Action: Skills on the Hill

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Kristen Masci, MS, OTR/L, director of Skills on the Hill in Washington, DC, shows how occupational therapy plays a role in autism intervention in private clinics.

Kristen Masci, MS, OTR/L, director of Skills on the Hill in Washington, DC, shows how occupational therapy plays a role in autism intervention in private clinics.

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  • I made a change to this slide on the previous one as well, in the sentence starting “no matter.” I changed child to children so the verb would agree. LC
  • Added “meeting”
  • Transcript

    • 1. Occupational Therapy  Practitioners in Action:  Skills on the Hill Kristen Masci, MS, OTR/L, director of  Skills on the Hill in Washington, DC,  shows how occupational therapy plays  a role in autism intervention in private  clinics.
    • 2. Occupational therapy can make a difference in  the lives of children with autism. Autism is the  fastest­growing developmental disability, with  an annual growth rate of approximately 10 to  17 percent. No matter where children may fall  on the autism spectrum, occupational therapy  practitioners support them and their families to  participate in daily routines, and promote  function when facing barriers or difficulties  typically associated with this disorder. In  clinics, occupational therapy practitioners help  children interpret and process sensory  information through meaningful activity.
    • 3. Masci starts her session with Josh, age 4, by letting him select his activities, which  encourages child‐directed choices.
    • 4. First up, the ball pit. Masci hides stuffed animals and asks Josh to dig for them. Josh  is a “sensory seeker” and thrives in a sensory‐rich environment. 
    • 5. Josh indicates to Masci that he’s not  afraid of confined spaces when using  the red swing. He enjoys the movement,  is challenged by the height of the  suspended equipment, and becomes  calmed by the deep pressure of the  enclosure of the swing.
    • 6. Bouncing on the trampoline while in  the red swing helps safely increase  Josh’s strength. This is a coordination  activity because his upper body is  stable and his lower body is moving.  Masci also builds Josh’s language skills  by asking him to count his jumps.  Improved coordination at this age sets  the stage for later learning activities  that include sequences or plans.
    • 7. Josh communicated his desire to go back to  the ball pit, but this time Masci  incorporated the use of a trapeze swing to  aid in grasp and release skills. Josh plans  and strategizes a sequence of events,  including swinging the bar and the timing  necessary to fall into the ball pit. Grasping  strength will be critical to learning writing  and other skills.
    • 8. Masci asks Josh to clap the bubbles while bouncing on a therapy ball to increase  his sitting balance and trunk stability so he will be able to sit in a chair and pay  attention in future classrooms. 
    • 9. Using play and movement encourages Josh to participate. Masci uses the scooter  ramp to promote trunk and head extension and Josh’s ability to follow directions. 
    • 10. Masci addresses Josh’s hand‐eye  coordination through hitting a ball on a  string with a bat. A real slugger, Josh has  improved his accuracy and strength  greatly since starting at Skills on the  Hill—and his joyful expression says it  all.
    • 11. Masci uses “fun foam” to help Josh with his tactile sensitivities. Underneath the  foam are toy trains, which serve as a motivator for Josh to overcome his aversion.  Josh is working hard to keep his trunk and head erect during this activity.
    • 12. Here, Josh tolerates touching a  wet, slippery texture which is  difficult for him. Although  initially Josh was hesitant to let  his hands get messy, he soon  forgot about that and became  engaged in the activity.  Occupational therapy addresses  touch sensitivities that may  impact Josh’s participation  during daily activities, such as  bathing, dressing, and eating. 
    • 13. Masci works on “pre‐handwriting” skills with Josh, which includes holding the  marker with an appropriate grasp and following Masci’s directions. 
    • 14. With occupational therapy, children with  autism and related disorders are better  prepared to meet the important future  challenges of interacting with others and  meeting the demands in school. Occupational  therapy helps children to succeed in their daily  routines at home, at school, and in the  community.

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