Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

March 8, 2016

Autism and High School: Tips from AOTA

AOTA American Occupational Therapy Association

The Child and Family Development team is excited about our upcoming conference, Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference: A Multidisciplinary Review of Current Research and Interventions.  The conference includes 3 breakout sessions, including some related to high school aged people with autism.



The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has many useful resources., including a list of tips to support high schoolers  Occupational therapists help teenagers with ASD and can follow these recommendations: 

Participate in more social activities with peers
  1. anticipate sensory experiences that are typical for teens and that may cause discomfort, such as loud music and bright clothing.
  2. Invite a small group of both genders to a familiar location for a low-stress social gathering.
  3. keep new experiences short and predictable and provide an easy exit plan to reduce anxiety 
Become more independent and responsible by learning to solve problems, cope with daily life and interpret social information effectively. 
  1. ask about priorities each day and focus on those things
  2. explain how decisions are made and offer appropriate choices
  3. discuss the pros and cons of choices before selecting one 
Get and keep a job 
  1. identify employers based on interest and skills
  2. support employment by reducing stressors
Prepare for the future 
  1. discuss self-advocacy and self-disclosure to determine when this approach is helpful and what to expect from others
  2. focus on steps to achieve larger goals

An occupational therapist can evaluate and treat children and teens to help them “live life to the fullest”. 

Read more about occupational therapy services here