Contact for more information 

38935 Ann Arbor Rd, Suite 150

Livonia, MI 48150

contact@bluestonechildrenscenter.com

Main: 248.886.9540

Fax: (248)254-6614

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We offer in-clinic Speech and Occupational Therapy for children (up to 12 yrs old)!
 

Bluestone OT Programs are 
open to children (up to 12 yrs of age) and not limited to 
children with an Autism diagnosis.  

 

Contact us to have all of your questions answered and learn more about Bluestone Occupational 

Therapy!

(248) 886-9540

kgreen@bluestonechildrenscenter.com

Occupational Therapy Program
Benefit of Occupational Therapy for Autism

 

What’s the role of occupational therapy (OT) in treating autism spectrum disorder?

 

Occupational therapists study human growth and development and a person’s interaction with the environment through daily activities. They are experts in the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. This knowledge helps them promote skills for independent living in children with autism and other developmental disorders.

 

Occupational therapists work as part of a team that includes parents, teachers, and other professionals. They help set specific goals for the child with autism. These goals often involve social interaction, behavior, and classroom performance.

 

Occupational therapists can help in two main ways: evaluation and therapy.

How is occupational therapy useful for evaluation of ASD?

The therapist observes children to see if they can do tasks they are expected to do at their ages -- getting dressed or playing a game, for example. Sometimes, the therapist will have the child videotaped during the day in order to see how the child interacts with his or her environment so that he or she can better assess the kind of care the child needs. The therapist might note any of the following:

  • Attention span and stamina

  • Transition to new activities

  • Play skills

  • Need for personal space

  • Responses to touch or other types of stimuli

  • Motor skills such as posture, balance, or manipulation of small objects

  • Aggression or other types of behaviors

  • Interactions between the child and caregivers

 

How does occupational therapy help a person with autism spectrum disorder?

Once an occupational therapist has gathered information, he or she can develop a program for your child.

 

There is no single ideal treatment program. But early, structured, individualized care has been shown to work best.

 

Occupational therapy may combine a variety of strategies. These can help your child respond better to his or her environment. These OT strategies include:

  • Physical activities, such as stringing beads or doing puzzles, to help a child develop coordination and body awareness

  • Play activities to help with interaction and communication

  • Developmental activities, such as brushing teeth and combing hair

  • Adaptive strategies, including coping with transitions

 

What are the benefits of occupational therapy for ASD?

 

The overall goal of occupational therapy is to help the child with autism improve his or her quality of life at home and in school. The therapist helps introduce, maintain, and improve skills so that people with autism can be as independent as possible.

These are some of the skills (but not limited to) that occupational therapy may foster:

  • Daily living skills, such as toilet training, dressing, brushing teeth, and other grooming skills

  • Fine motor skills required for holding objects while handwriting or cutting with scissors

  • Gross motor skills used for walking, climbing stairs, or riding a bike

  • Sitting, posture, or perceptual skills, such as telling the differences between colors, shapes, and sizes

  • Awareness of his or her body and its relation to others

  • Visual skills for reading and writing

  • Play, coping, self-help, problem solving, communication, and social skills

 

 

By working on these skills during occupational therapy, a child with autism may be able to:

  • Develop peer and adult relationships

  • Learn how to focus on tasks

  • Learn how to delay gratification

  • Express feelings in more appropriate ways

  • Engage in play with peers

  • Learn how to self-regulate

 

 

 

Kristyn received her Bachelor’s in science and a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) from Eastern Michigan University in December 2008. The following year she began working for the public school system in Livingston County as an OT. Over the next ten years Kristyn worked with ages 2-18 while specializing in ages three to eight.

 

Kristyn enjoys being outside and providing those same experiences to children and adults with autism through her love for camp. She has been a director at many summer camps/recreational groups for children and adults with autism and coaches a Special Olympics Track & Field team out of Wayne-Westland Arc.

 

With a special interest in children, Kristyn specializes in food therapy, sensory integration/self-regulation strategies, home programs, toilet training, fine/visual motor development,  motor planning difficulties, handwriting/technology needs and integrating strategies into functional everyday tasks.

 

Kristyn joined the Bluestone family in 2019 and looks forward to helping families and children in her home community.

Kristyn Green MOT, OTRL

Director of OT Services

 
Speech Therapy Program

 

Bluestone Speech Programs are 
open to children (up to 12 years of age) and not limited to 
children with an Autism diagnosis.  

 

Contact us to have all of your questions answered and learn more about Bluestone Speech 

Therapy!

(248) 886-9540

mclark@bluestonechildrenscenter.com

 
Melissa Clark M.A. CCC-SLP
Director of
Speech & Language Services

Melissa graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor in 2005 with a degree in elementary education.  She went on to teach in both public and parochial schools until 2012 when she began pursuing a Master’s degree in speech pathology.  

 

Melissa graduated from the University of Toledo in 2014 and did her fellowship year in the Toledo area as well.  Melissa’s clinical experiences include: early intervention, elementary through high school therapy in the school setting, adult outpatient and pediatric outpatient- specializing in autism.  

 

Melissa currently resides in Carleton, MI with her husband, Zack, and their two sons- Zachary and Maxton.  

 

She is thrilled to be a member of the Bluestone family and is looking forward to serving the members of the community.  

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

What are some common speech and communication problems with autism?

 

Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in many ways.

Some children with autism may find they have trouble producing speech sounds to effectively communicate with others. The child's language, if present, is simply too hard to understand.

A child with autism may display one or more of these communication challenges:

  • Trouble with conversational skills, which include eye contact and gestures

  • Trouble understanding the meaning of words outside the context where they were learned

  • Memorization of things heard without knowing what's been said

  • Reliance on echolalia -- the repeating of another's words as they are being said -- as the main way to communicate

  • Little understanding of the meaning of words or symbols

  • Lack of creative language

Because of these challenges, a child with autism must do more than learn how to speak. The child also has to learn how to use language to communicate. This includes knowing how to hold a conversation. It also includes tuning into both verbal and nonverbal cues from other people -- such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language.

 

What role does speech therapy play in the treatment of autism?

 

Speech-language pathologists are therapists who specialize in treating language problems and speech disorders. They are a key part of the autism treatment team. 

Once autism is diagnosed, speech therapists assess the best ways to improve communication.

 

Throughout therapy, the speech-language pathologist also works closely with the family, school, and other professionals. If a child with autism is nonverbal or has major trouble with speech, the speech therapist may introduce alternatives to speech.

 

Speech therapy techniques might include:

  • Electronic "talkers"

  • Signing or typing

  • Using picture boards with words, known as picture exchange communication systems that start out using pictures instead of words to help a child learn to communicate

  • Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds

  • Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles

  • Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences

 

Some of these techniques are supported more by research than others. Be sure to discuss them thoroughly with the speech-language pathologist and your child's pediatrician.

What are the benefits of speech therapy for ASD?

 

Speech therapy can improve overall communication. This makes it possible for children with autism to improve their ability to form relationships and function in day-to-day life.

 

Specific goals of speech therapy may include (but not limited to) helping the child:

  • Articulate words well

  • Communicate both verbally and nonverbally

  • Comprehend verbal and nonverbal communication, understanding others' intentions in a range of settings

  • Initiate communication without prompting from others

  • Know the appropriate time and place to communicate something; for example, when to say "good morning"

  • Develop conversational skills

  • Exchange ideas

  • Communicate in ways to develop relationships

  • Enjoy communicating, playing, and interacting with peers

  • Learn self-regulation

 

When is the best time to start speech therapy for autism?

 

The earlier, the better.

 

Autism spectrum disorder is usually evident before age 3, and language delays can be recognized as early as 18 months of age. In some cases, autism can be identified as early 10 to 12 months of age.

 

It is very important to start speech therapy as early as possible, when it can have the greatest impact. Intensive, individualized treatment can help lessen the disabling isolation that may result from this social communication disability.

 

With early identification and intervention, two out of three preschoolers with autism improve communication skills and their grasp of spoken language.