Does my child need Play Therapy or ABA or Occupational Therapy… what’s the difference?
Play Therapy is a counseling session for a child who may be having difficulty with communication or with expressing themselves appropriately. The focus of play therapy is on mental health and psychosocial behaviors.
Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA therapy, is used commonly for individuals with a diagnosis of autism. ABA helps an autistic client improve social interactions and maintain positive behavior with attempting to accumulate new skills. The goal is to transfer newly learned skills from one situation to another under controlled circumstances while minimizing negative behaviors.
Occupational Therapy is indicated when a client is having difficulty functioning the environment surrounding them or when they’re experiencing delays in development. Developmental delays can occur with fine motor skills (cutting, drawing, pre-writing, writing, building, assembling), big motor skills (jumping jacks, imitating movements, accessing playground equipment, kicking or catching a ball successfully), and self-care skills (unable to dress self or teeth-brushing difficulty). When a child is having trouble functioning in a classroom, playground, preschool, public, or home environments, an occupational therapist can assess whether they are exhibiting signs of sensory processing disorder (SPD). A diagnosis of SPD can impact behavior across environments. This can look like: over-reacting to loud noises, avoiding swings due to fear, seeking movement all the time so that they are unable to sit still, and not hearing/registering when their name is called. A SIPT-certified occupational therapist can diagnosis your child with Sensory Processing Disorder.