What is occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy helps children improve their everyday functioning by increasing their independence in their daily “occupations”. A child’s occupations are any activities that may occupy their time throughout their day (such as dressing, grooming/hygiene, play skills, feeding etc.).
Why might my child need an occupational therapy evaluation?
- Overall weakness
- Difficulty coordinating big body movements/balance or movements of fingers and hands
- Struggles with drawing or handwriting
- Challenges with age-appropriate self-care tasks such as dressing, self-feeding, oral hygiene etc.
- Difficulty sitting still to complete structured tasks
- Picky eating
- Challenges with body and/or safety awareness
- Dislikes messy play or being dirty
- Difficulty with play skills
- Struggles with emotional regulation/organization of behavior
A comprehensive evaluation will be provided to assess your child’s current level of functioning within their daily occupations of play, self-help tasks and more. A caregiver’s input and concerns are also instrumental in the assessment of your child’s skill levels. If your child is demonstrating delays, ongoing OT services will be recommended to help in addressing your child’s needs. Concrete goals will be created to provide an opportunity to track progress throughout OT treatment.
During an occupational therapy session, a therapist will utilize fun, purposeful, and goal-directed activities to help foster skills and promote growth and development. Play-based methods are used to facilitate opportunities to advance everyday function to optimal levels and encourage independence and confidence in everyday occupations.
Multidisciplinary treatment and support is beneficial to your child’s overall development. An occupational therapist can work with speech therapists (and other disciplines) during and outside of sessions to support your child’s overall sensory processing, self-regulation, and attention skills, which are baseline skills a child needs to access higher cognitive functioning in their brain. An occupational therapist can also provide suggestions on specific therapeutic games or activities during sessions that may help your child remain alert, regulated, and attentive during sessions and structured tasks.