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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Marnell, OTD, MBA

A Strengths-Based Approach in Autism . . . for Auditory Sensitivity

Celebrating an autistic child’s strengths is key to develop their self-esteem and sense of agency. But how can we shift gears and see autistic children via a strengths-based lens?

As occupational therapists, our fundamental perspective should be one of respect for who the child is and what his sensory traits are. If a child is sensitive to sounds in his classroom, we accept this and must not search for ways of changing this. (We are not going to change fundamental neurology!)

So, how do we support kids with auditory sensitivity?

1- We absolutely honor their traits and validate their strengths with listening and noticing skills. We help them to understand themselves, so they accept that they are sensitive and aware. We teach them that everyone is different in their sensory processing.

2- We offer supports for when environmental noise is too much. (Visit my course link info below!)

3- We incorporate this strength into their days and into activities we offer to them in therapy (and in the classroom, in our important job of consulting with teachers)!

Try these approaches to validate, honor, encourage, and engage an autistic child with auditory sensitivity!

What strengths-based ideas and activities am I missing?

If you want to learn more, sign up and watch my FREE MasterClass that offers you proactive supports for sensory sensitive children and teens.

Here is the FREE Masterclass link for you to sign up:

As always, feel welcome to touch base with me, Dr. Lisa Marnell, OTD, by e-mail at I would love to hear about your successes, your struggles, and any questions or comments you have! Let me know if this post was helpful.

Join my Autism Facebook group and keep up to date as I post more tips to help teachers, parents, and therapists help kids master skills! Join HERE:

Are you following Kids Master Skills on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or Instagram?

Finally, for a variety of skill-building resources, check out my store on Teachers Pay Teachers at

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