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Research Article  |   September 2008
You Can Know Me Now If You Listen: Sensory, Motor, and Communication Issues in a Nonverbal Person With Autism
Author Affiliations
  • Rachel Freret Shoener, BSOT, OTR/L, is Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at the TALK Institute and School, 395H Bishop Hollow Road, Newtown Square, PA 19073; rach530@gmail.com
  • Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, BCP, is Department Chairperson and Professor, Occupational Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • Kristie P. Koenig, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University Steinhardt, New York
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2008
You Can Know Me Now If You Listen: Sensory, Motor, and Communication Issues in a Nonverbal Person With Autism
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2008, Vol. 62, 547-553. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.5.547
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2008, Vol. 62, 547-553. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.5.547
Abstract

This case report describes an intensive approach to treating autism and provides an intersection between a first-person narrative paired with intervention and outcomes. In-depth conversations between a person with autism and an occupational therapist provide insight into understanding differences and difficulties in sensory processing and regulation, praxis, and communication. Individuals with autism may be intellectually and emotionally intact but hampered by deficits that interfere with the ability to move the body efficiently. These sensorimotor deficits underlie the ability to communicate with others and to develop relationships. This article illustrates the benefits of an intensive therapeutic program designed to address sensory and motor differences underlying communication, as well as the vital role the occupational therapist plays in addressing these underlying differences to improve functional communication and social participation.