Asperger Syndrome and Psychotherapy: Understanding Asperger Perspectives

By Paula Jacobsen | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 1
Professional Services for Children
with Asperger Syndrome

As a child psychotherapist working with Asperger Syndrome children, I have had many opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. This is only a brief overview, from the perspective of my experience, of interventions that may be helpful to these children.


Occupational Therapy

Even before I recognized that I was working with Asperger children, I knew children who used and benefited from occupational therapy (OT). In collaborating with these therapists, I learned that child occupational therapy is based on a developmental approach. A child occupational therapist should have an understanding of sensory and motor development as well as deficits in sensory processing and motor planning. An occupational therapy assessment identifies a child's abilities and difficulties, with an understanding of their importance in development of later skills.

When I began collaborating with occupational therapists, I realized that their interventions are often at the lowest level of need. This amounts to filling in gaps in the base, so the structure that is built on this base can be more solid. I have always appreciated this developmental approach, and find it to be very consistent with the work I do and the way I think about children. Child occupational therapists are taught to find ways to make their interventions positive experiences for the child. I have seen many children who have been in occupational therapy. Almost all of them love their OT appointments. It is my impression that there are at least two reasons for this. First, it is the responsibility of the adult to make the experience positive. Second, the developmentally appropriate level of the intervention results in a successful mastery experience for the child, no matter how significant his difficulties or deficits are.

Years ago, well before I realized all the ways in which occupational therapists could be helpful, I referred children with obvious motor and coordination

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