Occupational therapy (OT) supports a child’s ability to engage in everyday activities and acquire skills to promote function. OT considers the basic foundations of human development, which affect activities of daily living, learning, play, work, social skills, and behavior using a variety of approaches.
Occupational therapy researched and developed treatment for sensory processing disorder, which pose challenges in performing the activities of daily living. There is a direct enhancement in self-esteem and personal sense of accomplishment in OT treatment.
Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations. But a child’s job is playing. Children learn through play and occupational therapists can evaluate kids’ skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group. This approach makes OT a vital part of health care for some kids.
Occupational therapy can:
Help achieve developmentally appropriate milestones
Improve of fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall core strengthening
Facilitate appropriate social interaction skills and functional independence
Your child/infant may benefit from OT if:
-Difficulty focusing attention (or over-focused) and unable to shift to next task.
-Seems weaker or tires more easily than other children.
-Needs more practice than other children to learn new skills.
-Difficulty with the use of a spoon or cup and / or has messy eating habits.
-Difficulty putting on shoes (not tying) or getting on coat with zipper.
-Does not enjoy jumping, swinging, or having feet off the ground.
-Dislikes playing with puzzles or small manipulative toys (blocks, beads, etc.)
-Difficulty paying attention or following instructions.
-Overly active, unable to slow down and appears to be in constant motion.
-Does not accept change in routine easily.
-Dislikes swimming, bathing, hugs, and / or haircuts.
-Over-reacts to touch, taste, sounds, or odors.
-History of delayed speech development.
-Finds it difficult to make friends with children of the same age, prefers to play with adults or younger children rather than peers.
-Is a picky eater, refuses many foods.
-Frequently pushes, hits, or uses too much force when playing with other children.
-Avoids coloring or drawing.