Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Role of Occupational Therapy in Autism Treatment

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Sheija Abraham, B.OT, Diploma Child Psychology
Brian Lai, BScOT, MHS
Jane Remocker, BSROT

SFU Harbour Centre
Vancouver, BC

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Level Introductory
For Family Members/ Community Professionals
Approach Introduction to the Role of OT
Focus Lifespan
Autism-specific? No

Page Index

About the Event

Autism is a complex neurodevelopment disorder, treatment involves many different professionals, including occupational therapists. Families are often confused about what occupational therapy is and when the services of an occupational therapist can be helpful.

During this workshop, three experienced occupational therapists will talk about their profession, its scope of practice and the importance of having an occupational therapist on the child's interdisciplinary team, from the time of diagnosis through to adulthood. They will explain how occupational therapy can address many of the practical challenges of raising a child with ASD from learning to tie shoe laces, handwriting to pre-employment skills!

There will be discussion of assessment, setting goals with the family, and determining an appropriate treatment regime. OT terminology will be defined and sensory integration, a specialty area of occupational therapy, will be put into context. Current research and case models will be presented to demonstrate that occupational therapy is evidence-based and practical in its application.

This course is suitable for parents, family members and para-professionals including behavior interventionists.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand what specific issues occupational therapy can address
  • Make an informed decision about whether occupational therapy is appropriate for their child 
  • Be confident about requesting an assessment from an occupation therapist as part of the Behaviour Plan of Intervention 
  • Know the different types of roles an occupational therapist can play in the interdisciplinary team.
  • Understand the differences between occupational therapy, sensory integration and sensory strategies.
  • Understand the importance of setting realistic treatment goals and timelines to determine if occupational therapy is making a difference.
  • Understand how to evaluate ‘evidence-based’ research related to occupational therapy and the limitations of such research.

About the Presenters

Sheija Abraham, B.OT, Diploma Child Psychology
Sheija Abraham has over 10 years of experience as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist and has worked mainly with children with autism throughout her career. She has worked in a variety of settings in India and Canada, and presently works both in the public sector as well as in her own private practice. She is passionate about the role of occupational therapy in autism treatment and the importance of a trans-disciplinary team approach. 

Brian Lai, BScOT, MHS
Brian Lai has a Master’s Degree in Health Science and has had 15 years working experience providing occupational therapy services to children and families who are affected by autism. He has worked in various settings and environments. Currently he is a travelling therapist, providing occupational therapy to families in the Lower Mainland.

Jane Remocker, BSROT
Jane Remocker has over 40 years of experience working as an Occupational Therapist. She began her career in adult mental health, and is co-author of the professional text: Action Speaks Louder, a handbook of group techniques.  She opened her paediatric clinic in the late 1980’s and has post-graduate training in Sensory Integration, Integrated Listening and DIR Floortime. She is passionate about the role occupational therapy can play in helping individuals who have ASDs.

Cost/Funding

Date Parents, Para-Pros & Students Professionals
Early Bird Rate ends December 17th, 2014 $100 $150
Regular Rate ends January 23rd, 2015 $150 $200
Late Rate begins January 24th, 2015 $200 $250

Bursaries

ACT fundraises to provide bursaries for low-income participants and/or those travelling from outside their home regions to an event. ACT only provides bursaries prior to registration in the form of reduced registration fees. Please read Bursary Information. You are welcome to call or email ACT's office (info@actcommunity.ca) for more information. ACT provided over $27,000 in bursaries in 2016 and gratefully accepts donations to our bursary fund to allow us to provide a greater level of support. Donate to our bursary fund.

Autism Funding

Parents who receive Autism Funding may use 20% of the total for equipment, books, training and travel costs. ACT's live events are considered eligible expenses by the Autism Funding Branch. Please pay when you register; the Autism Funding Branch will reimburse parents after the event.
More Autism Funding Information >

Workshop Location

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1700 - Labatt Hall
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

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Workshop Schedule

9:00 - 9:30 Check-in
9:30 - 10:30 Session 1 - Introduction to Occupational Therapy, local services, funding, research
10:30 - 11:00 Morning break (light snacks will be served)
11:00 - 12:00 Session 2 - Assessment, setting treatment goals, intervention approaches, case studies
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch (bring or buy your own)
1:00 - 2:00 Session 3 - Intervention: home, school, community, across the lifespan, case studies
2:00 - 2:30 Question Period