Barbara L. Kornblau, Scott Michael Robertson; Special Issue on Occupational Therapy With Neurodivergent People. Am J Occup Ther 2021;75(3):7503170010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.753001
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
The neurodiversity movement presents a significant opportunity for occupational therapy practitioners to meet the needs of neurodivergent people across the life course The term neurodiverse includes autistic people and people with intellectual disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and several other mental health conditions. Research shows that neurodivergent people continue to need occupational therapy beyond the end of high school, when most supports and services end for them. Despite research showing that the needs of neurodiverse populations continue throughout the life course, research also shows that services for this population seem to taper as they progress through the public school system. The studies in this issue add to the body of literature supporting the role of occupational therapy practitioners in meeting the needs of neurodiverse people for services and supports through all stages of life.
Language and communication
Sensory processing and coordination of motor skills, both gross and fine (Gillespie-Lynch et al., 2020; Robertson, 2010; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017).
Drive efforts to adjust environments, including physical and virtual spaces, to support neurodivergent people and integrate more affordances for diverse ways to think, learn, perceive, and process information;
Enhance strengths, talents, and gifts to support success rather than striving only to fix perceived deficits and weaknesses;
Facilitate the use of adaptive strategies, tools, and technologies by children, youth, and adults to help mitigate their challenges and barriers; and
Emphasize and support the growth of self-determination and self-advocacy for children, youth, and adults throughout the whole life course (Kattari et al., 2017; Toro et al., 2020).
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