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Occupational Therapy for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Occupational Therapy is aimed at enabling individuals with PDD-NOS to participate in activities of daily living whilst contributing to society and enjoying life. Due to the complexity and wide variety of difficulties individuals with PDD-NOS can experience, all Occupational Therapy interventions need to be individualised and focus on the needs and goals of the individual. It is also important to ensure that parents/carers and families are involved in the planning and delivery of the intervention.

Occupational Therapy is beneficial as it can improve and support several aspects of life of an individual with PDD-NOS. Occupational therapy can teach the individual and also their parents / carers a number of techniques and coping strategies to help the individual be more functional and comfortable on a daily basis. Treatment and interventions performed will be dependent on the specific problems and symptoms each individual with PDD-NOS has.

Below are some of the areas Occupational Therapy may provide help with for people with PDD-NOS:

  • Maximise hand function during functional activities
  • Improve the ability to dress
  • Improve independent feeding skills
  • Improve self-care and grooming skills
  • Improve social communication skills
  • Provide assistive technology as appropriate
  • Improve the ability to tolerate sensory input

Structured, behaviour-based programmes are common amongst children with PDD-NOS. These generally include:

  • Clear instructions provided to the child
  • Prompting to perform specific behaviours
  • Immediate praise/rewards if the specific behaviours are performed
  • Gradual increase in the complexity of the reinforced behaviours
  • Clear distinctions of when and when not to perform different behaviours

Occupational therapists additionally carry out risk assessments in the individual's home or educational settings to determine whether they are safe within these environments. From this assessment the occupational therapist can suggest advice on equipment or adaptations needed to be made to the environment in order to maximise the safety of the individual.

For individuals with PDD-NOS who additionally have sensory processing disorder the occupational therapist will carry out a specific therapy aimed at helping the child cope and respond appropriately to the sensory information around them. This therapy is known a sensory integration therapy.

Occupational therapy is highly beneficial for individuals with PDD-NOS and will help to increase and improve an individual's participation and independence in their functioning of everyday activities.Occupational therapy will work closely with the individual, their family and other health professionals to ensure the best possible outcome of therapy is achieved.

If you feel that you would benefit from our occupational therapy service and would like to book an appointment with one of our highly experienced occupational therapists please contact us by emailing or calling 03300 886 693.

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