Limassol Therapy Center

Occupational Therapy and Autism

Occupational therapy is a method of treatment that is based on human and occupies with the promotion of health and well-being. Occupational therapy refers to the daily activities that people do as individuals, to bring meaning and purpose to their lives.

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to allow people engage in their daily routine or activities without being disturbed by their disorder.

A person on the autism spectrum (ASD) often has trouble communicating and interacting with other people as well as limited, repetitive, and stereotyped behavior.

Characteristics of Autistic People

Social interaction

  • Extroverted behaviors
  • Development of theory of mind
  • Attention sharing
  • Social reciprocity


  • Literal understanding
  • Repetitive speech
  • Difficulties in dialogue
  • Different expression and understanding of speech

Way of thinking

  • Stereotypical movements
  • Resistance to change
  • Particular interests
  • Rigid thinking


  • Stimulation level
  • Executive functions
  • Unusual sensory reactions
  • Emotional regulation

Professional occupational therapists work with parents, educators and other health professionals. They help them set specific goals for the person with autism. These goals often include social interaction, behavior, and performance in their daily lives.

Their interests, activities and skills may be limited. There is no single ideal treatment plan. A professional occupational therapist can combine a variety of strategies. These can help the child respond better to their environment and to the activities of daily living. Occupational therapy can help people with autism develop these skills.

Most people on the autism spectrum have some difficulties:

  • Has difficulty to self-serve
  • Does not play with games that correspond to his/her age
  • Has reduced muscle tone
  • He/she is clumsy and easily falls down
  • He/she has difficulty to calculate well the position of his/her body in space
  • He/she often breaks his/her toys
  • He/she has difficulty and does not like to jump or swing
  • Has difficulty to draw in lines, to make puzzles or cut with scissors.
  • There is an obvious delay or disturbance in the development of speech and speech
  • He/she is hyperactive, and can not calm down or he/she is very passive, too quiet and withdrawn
  • He/she does not like bathing, cutting nails or cutting his/her hair
  • is very sensitive to odors, tastes, noises or touches
  • Can not concentrate or concentrate too much on one activity so he can not move on to another
  • Takes more practice than other children to learn new things
  • Inverts letters and numbers, leaves no space between letters and words
  • His/Her graphic character is very ugly
  • He/she gets tired easily during school work
  • Has difficulty to follow oral instructions
  • He/she has reduced self-confidence
  • He/she finds it difficult to make friends of the same age, he/she prefers to play with older or younger children.

Occupational therapy can help people with autism with the following skills:

  • Daily living skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Rough motor skills
  • Perceptual skills
  • Enhance concentration and attention
  • Communication
  • Structure of thought and recognition of rules and program
  • Social integration

Michalis Ioustinianou
Occupational Therapist

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