Pairing Occupational Therapy with Behavior Therapy/Intervention

The evidence-based success of Behavior therapies and interventions have proved to be tremendously beneficial in helping children with autism learn new skills and replace the undesired ones. Today, we often find various treatments paired with behavior therapy as a practical and complementary approach to improving all skills, behaviors, and quality of life.

Occupational therapists (OTs) work well with Behavior therapists and can assist each other in a variety of ways. Some OTs prefer to use a Behavior Analyst (BCBA) as a consultant during sessions and team meetings to coordinate changes or if any new services are needed. OT services provide benefits that can directly impact the progress of the child. It can effectively help children who have sensory difficulties. For example, specific lights, smells, tastes, sounds, touch, and movement which can be incredibly difficult for children with Autism to process.

Children diagnosed with Autism may not have the skills to understand and react appropriately that particular sensory stimulation. Occupational therapy provides sensory activities that can be practiced and implemented in various settings, including behavior therapy sessions. Even simple activities, such as jumping, dancing, or doodling, can help a child process sensory information more productively.

Benefits for your Child

While both therapies have the same goal in mind for your child, they share many other values. During the assessment process, the OT and BCBA will usually consider the multiple natural environments of your child to assess the functioning of your child and other behavior challenges which might also include impaired sensory processing skills. In fact, both therapies complement each other when paired together.
Both professionals can work together, each contributing their unique views on the same challenges faced by the child. While the OT can break down a scenario and evaluate the sensory-motor obstacles that are challenging for the child. On the other hand, the Behavior Analyst can provide insight on how to use reinforcement strategies to motivate new behaviors and skills needed for that same situation. Together, they can provide invaluable insight to help the child succeed.

A multi-disciplinary center can be a beneficial choice for your child’s needs. Behaviors and skills may be learned or improved much quicker, and observations made in this type of environment can be incredibly beneficial for each therapist.

If you would like to learn more about our multi-disciplinary services, do not hesitate to contact info@symbiosispediatrictherapy.com or call us at 778-395-8752.