There are several techniques used in OT to treat autism, where the sensory integration technique is one which is most commonly used by occupational therapists (Pfeiffer et.al 2011). The treatment is designed to provide controlled sensory experiences so that an adaptive motor response is elicited (Baranek, 2002). There is research supporting this type of treatment that has led to improvements in social responsiveness (Fazlioglu & Baran 2008).
Another intervention used for children with ASD is the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI). The intervention focuses on developing languages, social responsiveness, imitation skills and appropriate behaviour (Matson & Smith 2008). There is a consensus that this type of treatment for children with ASD is effective (Howlin et.al 2009). Matson and Smith (2008), concluded that there is enough empirical support to state that ‘not only is the approach effective, but as a congregate group of learning based methods, it stands alone as the only effective treatment for young children with ASD’. This may be true, however, ASD spreads across such a wide spectrum that no two children with autism are the same, and while EIBI may be effective for some, others may require an alternative treatment.
There is an extensive amount of research, literature and treatments for managing the impaired development of a child with autism. Amongst these treatments lies the theory of AAT. Although it is yet to be recognised as a treatment in its own right, there is a significant capacity to improve, develop and ground the theory of AAT as effective and worthy of a place in a clinical setting.