Occupational Therapists (OT’s) are a vital part in children with physical and functional disabilities. Various assessments may be necessary by the OT to clearly assert where a child needs help. Some people believe that occupational therapy is just for adults, after all kids do not have occupations right?….well of course they do, their occupation is to play, learn, and grow up to take care of themselves. It is sometimes very hard for some children to do and learn every day things, like eating, dressing, and writing but, occupational therapists can come up with resourceful ways to help that child.
Occupational therapy helps achieve independence in all areas. It helps kids improve their physical, cognitive, and motor skills. It also helps with their sense of accomplishment and enhances their self-esteem.
Children who might benefit from occupational therapy include:
· Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD)
· Developmental Delays
· Mental Health/ Mental Retardation (MH/MR)
· Autism Spectrum
· Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
· Traumatic Brain or Spinal Cord Injuries
· Specific Learning Disabilities
· Cerebral Palsy
Some things that the therapists may work on your child with:
· Fine motor skills- helping kids grasp and release objects and develop good handwriting skills
· Gross Motor Skills- help in the movement of the larger muscles in the arms and legs.
· Visual Motor Skills- Help improves a child’s eye movement based on visual perception information. Address and improve hand-eye coordination
· Oral Motor Skills- this involves the muscles in the mouth, lips, and tongue and jaw areas. Work in this area includes chewing, biting, sucking, and licking.
· Self-Care Skills- eating, dressing, brushing teeth, daily tasks.
· Motor Planning Skills- ability to implement, plan and sequence motor tasks
· Sensory Integration Skills- the ability to respond to input received to take in and sort out tasks, learning sensory and attention management tasks, using positive ways to deal with anger and help improve focus and social skills
This is just a partial list, our therapists will determine what is best for your child based on evaluations and assessments given and tailor the therapy to meet the child’s needs.