Autism Occupational Therapy
Resource Toolkit



“Play is an important way in which children learn a variety of skills. Through play, children can learn to increase their motor, imitation, language, and social skills.” – Kerry’s Place

This section contains resources to support autistic individuals during productivity tasks including play, school, transitions and employment. 


This resource developed by Surrey Place focuses on promoting play skills. Includes an overview on the benefits of play and concrete examples and strategies to encourage play at a different developmental levels.

This handout developed by Kerry’s Place outlines the 6 stages of play. This handout can be used in combination with the Learning to Play and Playing to Learn handout.

Play is an important way in which children learn a variety of skills including motor skills, communication skills and social skills. This handout from Kerry’s Place outlines 4 concrete ways to promote play skills in young children.

Power Plays (pt.1) is a helpful handout from Autism Level Up showing images of quick exercises that can be done to support regulation (e.g. calf raises, jumping jacks, toe touches, etc)

Power Play the Animal Way is another visual tool from Autism Level Up. This visual shows animal walks and how to complete a quick 20 minute burst of activity to support regulation.

Superhero Power Plays is another visual from Autism Level Up. This visual shows superhero moves that can be used as a quick burst of movement to support regulation and energy levels.

This caregiver handout from The Spiral Foundation highlights considerations when selecting a summer camp program for a camper with sensory processing differenes. Includes strategies and assistance for requesting accommodations in a camp program.

This handout from the Hanen Centre shows how to incorporate a child’s sensory preferences into ‘people games’ to encourage fun and interactive play.

The Therapist Neurodiversity Collective presents their rationale behind their ‘no social skills training’ programs for autistic individuals. Traditional social skills programs focus on training autistic individuals to mimic neurotypical communication styles and do not take a neurodiversity affirming approach. Includes information based on research and autistic lived experiences, explores concepts of masking, theory of mind, double empathy problem.

Infographic from the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective presents various examples of self-advocacy goals.


This is resource from the American Occupational Therapy Association is designed for occupational therapists working with children and youth in school and community settings to obtain specific knowledge about mental health (MH) promotion, prevention, and intervention and to guide service provision. Some of the topics are anxiety disorders, childhood trauma, and bullying. Each topic presented includes a description of the topic, implications for OT and strategies for promotion, prevention and/or intervention.

This free online course from McMaster Health is designed for OTs, PTs, and SLPs providing supports in the school environment. The ‘FIRST course’ aims to support the implementation of a new approach for delivery of rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs in schools. The ‘FIRST KIT’ is a supplement to the course and includes practical resources to support therapists in this role.

School Speciality Canada is an online resource for purchasing equipment and tools to support participation in the classroom including furniture, gym equipment, sensory tools and motor activities/games.

This one page handout from Kerry’s Place describes social scripts and highlights why and when to use them.

This toolkit from AIDE Canada was written by social worker, Laura Beaune who has worked extensively with youth. The toolkit offers ideas and tips for autistic high school students on important topics such as independence & organization, friendships, smoking/vaping and making good decisions. Laura lists specific tips and strategies to support school participation for high school students and ways to advocate for their own needs.

Janine Stichter, professor of special education and an applied behavioral analyst at the University of Missouri and Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders responds to a parent’s concerns about bullying in Autism Speaks ‘Ask An Expert’. Janine provides guidance and strategies when dealing with possible bullying behaviour.

PREVNET is a national research and knowledge mobilization hub that addresses youth relationship problems including bullying, cyber bullying and dating violence. The website includes many evidence based resources, tip sheets, tools, books and websites.

Livingworks Safe Talk is an evidence based training program in which participants learn how to prevent suicide by identifying signs and connecting the individual to supports.

This qualitative study explores the perceived usefulness of the CSEA as a tool for examining the sensory environment of a classroom. The results support the potential use of the CSEA as a method of generating greater understanding for teachers regarding sensoryprocessing and the sensory experiences present in their classrooms.

Proloquo2go is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication app to be used to as a communication tool and to build language skills .

Transitions & Employment

An infographic developed by Kerry’s Place highlighting the benefits of establishing routines and preparing for transitions. By making the day more predictable, it may reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by some individuals. Provides clears examples of ways to estabish routines and to support transitions using visuals, autidory cues, timers and first-then boards.

Some individuals with ASD may have difficulties associated with changes in routine or changes in environments, and may have a need for “sameness” and predictability which can make transitioning between activities stressful or challenging. This article from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism discusses transition strategies to support autistic individuals with transitions in their day.

Operation Autism, A Resource for Military Families website discusses the challenges with transitions that some individuals with autism may experience. Strategies to support transitions are described and links to additional resources are included.

This article on the Australian Parenting Website looks at ways to support teenagers in finding meaningful employment. Provides practical tips to support them throughout the entire process from goal setting to resume writing to interviewing.

This resource guide was created by the Ability Hub (Calgary) for parents of teenagers with autism to provide support for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. There are 5 key ‘launch’ domains and plenty of resources including services, video modules and transition timelines to support the specific needs of autistic teenagers during this important life stage transition.

This podcast series features interviews touching on different employment topics including job applications, the importance of autistic individuals having jobs, different types of jobs, job loss, routine and support. 

Autism Ontario created a 2 part information handout for caregivers to support their child in developing job readiness skills. Part 1 focuses on ways to develop job skills within the home environment.

Autism Ontario created a 2 part information handout for caregivers to support their child in developing job readiness skills. Part 2 focuses on ways to find appropriate and meaningful volunteer opportunities in the community for youth with ASD.

In this article by Maureen Bennie, mother of two young adults with autism, she describes the challenges her children experienced gaining work experience. She explains the ways that she has supported her children in developing job skills to gain meaningful volunteer and work opportunities.

In this brief article, by Victoria Middleditch, an employment lawyer, the importance of creating a supportive work environment for neurodivergent employees is discussed. The author outlines some specific ways that employers can support neurodivergent employees to succeed in many aspects of employment (interview process, daily performance and physical environment).

With this app, users can create a variety of visual tools to support individuals with daily transitions. Visual tools include customized visual routines and schedules, timers, choice making and supports for emotional regulation.

MyTransition app was developed by McMaster University to support youth as they transition to adult health care services. The app includes a variety of tools to support this transition including a calendar to track appointments, my health summary to provide to care providers and goal setting tools and more.

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