CAOT Position Statement: Autism spectrum disorders and occupational therapy by ProQuest


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									                    Advancing excellence in                          Promouvoir l’excellence
                      occupational therapy                           en ergothérapie

                            CAOT Position Statement:
               Autism spectrum disorders and occupational therapy

It is the position of the Canadian Association of                    occupational therapy, caregiver support, educa-
Occupational Therapists (CAOT) that individuals with                 tion and vocational training.
autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families              3.   Promote comprehensive family interventions
should have access to evidence-based, interprofessional              and supports for families that emphasize posi-
and collaborative health services throughout the lifes-              tive, shared occupations.
pan. Occupational therapy is an essential component of          4.   Promote education for consumers, health pro-
interprofessional services that promote health through               fessionals, funding agencies and government, to
engagement in valued occupations.                                    ensure a comprehensive approach to treatment
                                                                     that addresses functional skills.
CAOT Initiatives:                                               5.   Ensure that there are opportunities for interpro-
     1. Participate in government advocacy initiatives               fessional collaboration among clinicians and
        to promote participation in valued occupations               researchers and policy makers to advance evi-
        throughout the lifespan, including joining the               dence and knowledge of ASD interventions.
        efforts of the Canadian Autism Spectrum                 6.   Create mechanisms to develop intervention
        Disorders Alliance (CASDA) to realize a National             pathways based on evidence. Develop strategies
        Autism Strategy.                                             and processes to facilitate the integration of
     2. Facilitate, support or sponsor activities that pro-          research evidence into clinical practice.
        mote collaborative interprofessional practice in        7.   Increase research capacity regarding develop-
        homes, schools and communities.                              mental trajectories for intervention, including
     3. Work in partnership with stakeholders to sup-                quantity and optimal ages of intervention and
        port collaborative research to identify best prac-           appropriate times for discharge or reductions in
        tices in ASD evaluation and treatment based on               intervention intensity of therapy.
        client-centred values and participation of per-
        sons with ASD in the occupations of daily life.       Background:
     4. Support educational activities to increase            ASD is a class of developmental disabilities that cause
        knowledge of effective occupational therapy           severe impairments to a person’s communication, their
        interventions in ASD.                                 social interactions, and their play and behaviour. The
     5. Advocate for increased access to occupational         disorder presents differently with respect to severity
        therapy services for those with ASD throughout        and symptoms. The class of disabilities includes
        their lifetimes.                                      autism, Asperger’s disorder, and pervasive developmen-
     6. Develop plain language information regarding          tal disorder (not otherwise specified). Other related
        occupational therapy and ASD that is accessible       disorders include Rhett’s syndrome, and childhood dis-
        and clear for the public.                             integrative disorder.
                                                                     Over the past decade, ASD has received rising
Recommendations for a National Autism                         attention by the medical community and the media
Strategy:                                                     due to its perceived increase in prevalence. The preva-
     1. Establish guidelines for the development of           lence rate for ASD is currently estimated at 6.0 people
        integrated collaborative services among health,       per 1,000 (Fombonne, 2005), greater than childhood
        education and social services to provide a con-       cancer, diabetes and Down’s Syndrome (Canadian
        tinuum of care for the child, youth or adult with     Autism Intervention Research Network, 2003). The
        ASD and their family.                                 increased prevalence rate may be partially attributed
     2. Develop funding mechanisms to finance the             to im
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