It’s impressive that OTAs – Occupational Therapy Assistants – help people with so many different healthcare conditions and situations. One area of OTA care that’s not so well known is autism and related disorders. What do OTAs do for clients with autism? Assist them to be as independent as possible and to participate more fully in life’s activities – with friends, at school, and with their family.
The Occupational Therapy-Autism Connection
Answering the question of “What do OTAs do for autism?” requires knowing what the disorder is.
Autism is the most well-known of what the American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In fact, there are many subtypes of autism, so each person with autism will have different strengths and face different challenges.
It’s also known that symptoms indicating autism appear by age two or three, often involving social skills, communicating, and repetitive behaviors. Also accompanying ASD may be anxiety, signs of depression, gastrointestinal conditions, sensory sensitivities, or being preoccupied with specific topics.
Research shows that early intervention, usually involving occupational therapy, allows those with autism to live a more fulfilling life. So, the answer to “What do OTAs do?” lies in how occupational therapy encompasses knowledge and therapies for developmental, emotional, sensory, and physical challenges.
What Do OTAs Do…to Help Children?
What Do OTAs Do…for the Family?
OTAs also serve as resources to families and caregivers by demonstrating
What Do OTAs Do to Ensure Success?
OTAs are effective in their jobs because they have the right education and a unique combination of personal attributes. The key to an OTA’s success depends on two things:
If you have such talents, you can help those with autism – and many other conditions – live a more fulfilling life with an OTA degree. An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree you can complete in as little as two years may lead you to the career goals you have in mind.
Check out the responsibilities, annual salary, and “job fit” characteristics for OTAs available on this on this career resource website.
What Do OTAs Do? Learn More at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in the Kansas City area that prepares OTA students for national certification and professional job opportunities.
CUKC links the teachings, learning process, and best practices used by occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to ensure a comprehensive educational experience.
The full-time, on-campus Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program at CUKC delivers 8-week classes, lab time in our on-campus facilities, and the required fieldwork experience. Our OTA classes are intentionally sequenced to allow students to build on the knowledge and skills gained in each course, so challenging concepts are easier to grasp.
Students at CUKC can complete their occupational therapy assistant degree in as little as two years. There are three class starts per year, in the fall, spring, and summer.
It’s easy to learn more about OTA classes and the OTA profession. Contact an advisor today or download the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.