FitnessForHealth_Pediatric Occupational Therapy & Autism

Working with an occupational therapist can help your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to develop many skills required for daily life. This type of therapy focuses on improving sensory processing and neuromotor skills to help children become more functional and independent, as children with ASD face a range of challenges in daily life routines across home, school, and community environments.

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PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY & AUTISM Helping Your Child Develop to Her Fullest Potential

We have temporarily closed face-to-face business and are now providing Telehealth Services. By providing care virtually, we are able to keep both our patients and physical therapists, occupational therapists and integrated movement specialists safe during this pandemic. From the convenience of your phone or computer, you can chat with us about your treatment plan.

Call us at (301) 231-7138 today to schedule your Telehealth Appointment!

11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 303 Rockville, Maryland 20852

(301) 231-7138 | |


Working with an occupational therapist can help your childwithAutismSpectrumDisorder (ASD) to developmany skills required for daily life. This type of therapy focuses on improving sensory processing and neuromotor skills to help children become more functional and independent, as childrenwithASD face a range of challenges in daily life routines across home, school, and community environments. HowWill Occupational Therapy (Ot) Benefit My Child? The ultimate goal for ALL occupational therapy practitioners is to help facilitate their clients and families to participate and enjoy life to the fullest. On a “micro” level, OT will help your child to: • Develop crucial self-regulation skills that are essential for building resilience, confidence, and copingwith sensory triggers across life settings. • Improve sensory processing skills to help your child adapt, organize, and respond to a wide range of sensory inputs such as sounds, smells, food textures, touch, movement, and visual stimuli. • Develop fine and gross motor skills. • Develop independent activities of daily living skills (ADLs) such as feeding, dressing, hygiene & toileting, mobility, household chores, and completing morning and evenings routines. • Build social success and friendship skills in the context of play and motor-based activities. At the “macro” level, OT focuses on helping children with ASD to enjoy relationships and occupations (work roles) across the lifespan.

Childhood occupations include things like play, learning, supporting family routines, developing leisure and hobby interests. Sometimes OT sessions will include creative play tasks such as designing and navigating obstacle courses. At other times OT will focus on specific tasks like buttoning a shirt, trying to eat new food textures, or holding a crayon or pencil correctly for writing. Opportunities for social engagement and carry-over of skills to small group sessions are often pursued to achieve your child’s treatment goals. By building success upon success, your child learns to appreciate his/her unique strengths and acquires resilience and confidence to succeed. Occupational therapists provide helpful guidelines and tasks for parents to work on at home and strive to keep your family’s needs and priorities in balance with the needs of your child. Parents are regarded as partners in the therapy process and a united effort is imperative to your child’s success. What Else Can I Expect? OT is often just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to helping a child with ASD. Developmental needs can vary widely from child to child and there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment plan. In addition to your primary care physician and education team, your child may also benefit from the following services in addition to occupational therapy: • Speech&Language Therapy This therapy is critical to help your child with ASD develop intelligible and clear communication skills essential for learning and for social connections. If your child is non- verbal, there are augmentative and alternative communication strategies and devices that

can be used to help your child convey his/her wants and needs. • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) ABA therapists are adept at determining factors that trigger unexpected behaviors and strategies that reinforce and promote desirable and expected behaviors. Detailed and highly structured behavior plans can be implemented in the home, school, and community settings. • Physical Therapy Kids with ASD often have trouble with upright sitting, running, jumping, walking, and other gross motor tasks. A physical therapist specialized in pediatrics will work with your child to help build strength, balance, and essential gross motor skills necessary for safe mobility and engagement in expected playground and fitness activities. Occupational therapists seek collaboration and continuity of services for their clients and families. This helps improve the effectiveness of all the interventions your child receives. Parents may request their OT providers to consult with other specialists as a part of the ongoing treatment plan. Get Started Today! Occupational therapy can help your child develop to his/her fullest potential. Sessions with our integrated care team at Fitness for Health are safe, friendly, and encouraging. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or begin therapy for your child, please contact Fitness for Health today at (301) 231-7138 to get the process started. You can also visit our website at kid-teen-programs/autism-spectrum-disorders for more information.

Your Child’s Fullest Potential is Here: Call (301) 231-7138 to schedule your appointment today!


TheAmericanOccupational TherapyAssociationdefinesAutismSpectrum Disorders (ASDs) as, “a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.” Three types of disorders typically included within the Autism spectrum include Autistic Disorder (or “classic” autism), Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder (“atypical” autism). Children with ASDs can benefit from therapeutic services to help them learn and practice the physical, mental, and cognitive skills needed to actively participate in daily activities and programs. Our integrated care team helps children with ASDs by: • Evaluating your child’s skills and level of functioning in activities and contexts relevant and meaningful to her as an individual. • Assessing your child’s strengths and areas for improvement that should be addressed through intervention. • Identifying the impact of ASD on your child’s functioning and ability to carry out relevant daily life activities and occupations. • Providing individualized therapy services that are tailored to your child’s

identified areas of need and thatmaximize her skills and performance. • Supporting your child and her family members in coping with the challenges of living with ASD. • Adapting ormodifying activities, environments, and contexts to support performance and participation in everyday life situations and settings. • Collaborating with the child, familymembers, other service providers and other key people in your child’s life to ensure that services are focused on meaningful and relevant occupations and contexts. Fitness for Health Can Help! If your child has been diagnosed with an ASD, we can help them learn the skills and tools needed to progress forward with daily activities. Our physical therapists, occupational therapists and integrated movement specialists are highly-trained andwill establish a one to one relationship and course of treatment that will help your child achieve his or her goals. Call Fitness For Health today at (301) 231-7138 or visit fitnessforhealth. org to find outmore about the benefits of our specific programforworking with children with ASDs.

KID’S COOKING CORNER Sweet Blueberry & Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Ingredients • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries • Assorted fresh fruit, graham crackers and/or cookies

Directions In a small bowl, beat the creamcheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Serve with fruit or graham crackers.

SENSORY ACTIVITIES for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Theworldhealthcommunity continues tomonitor closely theemergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will be. What we do know is that things will be getting worse before they start to improve. Governor Hogan recently mandated that only essential businesses remain open. We may be deemed to provide essential services. However, given the uncertainty of the near future, I feel that it is imprudent and irresponsible to jeopardize the health and welfare of our clients and employees by continuing to remain open. We are closed for face-to- face business until further notice. WenowofferTelehealthServices! Occupational therapy andphysical therapy clients, please check with your insurance providers to learn if Telehealth is covered. Clients with Kaiser Permanente and Tricare are covered through their plans as is. HSCSN requires that we request additional approvals. We will be submitting those requests. We ask that all of our clients and staff follow theCDC recommendations for reducing the transmission of communicable diseases and inform us if you or someone in your family has contracted the virus or has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with it and is self-quarantined. This is a dynamic and unprecedented point in our history. We will continue to monitor the situation and actively follow guidance from local and federal governments and the Center for Disease Control, and we will provide you with updates when we have them. If you have any questions, please contact us at or at 301-231-7138. Thank you. Marc Sickel , President, Fitness for Health UPDATE ON FITNESS FOR HEALTH’S SERVICES NOWOFFERING: TELEHEALTH!

Paint with Ice Stimulate your child’s curious mind with this fun and easy science experiment. Begin by pouring different colored acrylic paints into an ice tray. Place wooden craft or popsicle sticks in each compartment. Once the cubes of paint are frozen solid, remove themfromthe tray and let your kid create beautiful designs by swirling the cubes over paper as they melt.

Guess the Smells! Fill a few small containers (such as painted jam jars) with different types of fragrant ingredients such as lavender, coffee, or soap. Seal the top of each container using a piece of fabric and a rubber band. Ask your child to identify the different smells located in each container. Your childwill love to learn about her sense of smell and the role it plays in exploring her environment.

VITAMINS: MIGHTY IMMUNITY BOOSTS! Vitamin C helps your body boost its production of the antioxidant that is required by the immune system to function optimally. Vitamin C increases your body’s production of interferon, which is anti-viral. Vitamin C is also thought to help boost the production of white blood cells, key to fighting infections. Fruits high in Vitamin C include: grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, kiwis and clementines. A single papaya has 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of VitaminC. Red bell peppers contain even twice asmuch Vitamin C than citris fruits. Vegitables such as broccoli and spinach boast a good amount of Vitamin C as well as antioxidants. with Vitamin D and that has a “live and active cultures” label. Vitamin D may stimulate your immune system and boost your body’s natural defence against diseases.

Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, & Therapeutic Exercise for Children, Adults, Seniors, & Special Needs Have an issue other than ASD? We can help get you back to better health. Schedule your appointment today!

Vitamin B6 is vital for supporting chemical reactions in the immune system and for the formation of newand healthy red blood cells. B6 also helps your body make interleukin-2 which helps direct the actions of your white blood cells. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in Vitamin B6. Sunflower seeds are also packed full of Vitamin B6 as well as phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin E. Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system as it helps to regulate and maintain function. It can be found in sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, and dark leafy greens. email: (301) 231-7138 11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 303 Rockville, Maryland 20852

Vitamin D is another effective supplement to help boost your immune system. Look for Yogurt that is fortified

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