When you hear April.. what do you think of? A time to celebrate Easter? Maybe it’s your birthday month? Perhaps a wedding anniversary? Or simply just 1 out of the 12 months of the year?
April is a very special and important month in the therapy world. In April we celebrate both Occupational Therapy month and Autism Awareness month. It’s awesome how OT and Autism share the month of April to connect on how important the role of OT can play in the life of autism. Autism can be described as a developmental disability. Signs and symptoms include difficulty communicating and interacting with others, delayed learning of language, difficulty maintaining eye contact, delayed FM coordination and sensory sensitivity. For children of young age to even high-school age may find it difficult to pay attention in classroom settings and interact with peers in the environment. An occupational therapist can collaborate with parents and or a classroom teacher to reach desired goals for their children such as:
Creating modifications in the classroom
Promote games and activities to achieve the just right challenge
Use of social stories to decrease fear with social interaction
Identifying coping strategies for emotional regulation
Ask your OT or classroom teacher how to incorporate ideas for a challenging yet acceptable activity to reach anticipated goals.
Autism Awareness Activities
Chuck E. Cheese
Did you know your local Chuck E. Cheese may host sensory sensitive Sundays the first Sunday of every month? You and your family can have access to Chuck E. Cheese prior to opening hours to enjoy a less crowded play area with dim lighting. To find participating locations call your local Chuck E. Cheese for more information.
Dallas Art Museum Autism Awareness Celebration
Saturday April 28th, enjoy a day of writing, drawing and acting out to story themed art. Start the day with staff led galleries, art making in the studio and much more. Pre-registration for this FREE event is required. Call the Dallas Museum of Art for more information.
National Autism Center. (2009). Evidence-based practice and autism in the schools: A guide to providing appropriate interventions to students with autism spectrum disorders. Retrieved from www.nationalautismcenter.org/resources/
Dallas Museum of Art Autism Awareness Celebration: https://www.dma.org/programs-access-programs-visitors-autism/autism-awareness-family-celebrations