When you see your kid having trouble with everyday chores such as utilising cutlery, dressing oneself, or playing with others, they may be having difficulties. While your kid is not meeting developmental goals for their age, occupational therapy may be helpful for you and your family. Children’s occupational therapy assists a kid in achieving objectives and developmental milestones, which enhance their everyday lives. It focuses on how kids interact, play, and move with their surroundings. A healthcare physician might offer occupational therapy when your child has been injured or has a neurological issue.
Let us explore what children’s occupational therapy is, how it can assist in everyday activities for children, and more to help you decide whether it’s right for your kid. Keep reading this post.
What Is Occupational Therapy For Children?
Children’s occupational therapy employs commonplace exercises and tasks to assist patients in regaining independence and overcoming emotional, mental, physical, and developmental limitations. OT is tailored to every patient’s condition and plans growth in cognitive skills, sensory processing, and fine motor abilities.
Furthermore, occupational therapy for kids employs the power of play to keep children involved and entertained while assisting them in developing new abilities and overcoming everyday problems. Individualised therapy programs are designed for each kid based on their specific condition. Daily chores that OT may assist your kid with include sleeping, eating, bathing, clothing, and adjusting to new situations.
What Are the Conditions Treated with Occupational Therapy?
The occupational therapists are highly trained and experienced in providing family-centred and innovative treatment for the following diagnoses:
- Sensory integration dysfunction
- Hand function impairment
- Developmental and movement disorders
- Swallowing and feeding difficulties
- Cerebral palsy
- Autism spectrum disorders
Occupational therapy might be required for various diseases and may be prescribed alongside physical treatment.
What Are the Signs That Your Children Need Occupational Therapy?
If you detect any of the following symptoms in your kids, ask whether they require occupational therapy.
Avoids Specific Textures
Your kid might have a sensory processing problem when they avoid specific surfaces or textures. The paediatric occupational therapist will assist the kid in overcoming this through various activities that are enjoyable and not frightening. It is incredible to see a professional assist a youngster in overcoming sensory challenges you believed were unsolvable as a parent.
Employ a Single Hand
Whenever kids don’t use both hands together, whether attempting to play or cook, they might require support in improving their fine motor skills. This might be attributed to a variety of factors. However, you will notice results almost immediately with the correct paediatric occupational therapist. Your paediatrician may also advise how you might work on this at home.
Problems with Motor Skills
When your kid has trouble tying their shoelaces or dressing themselves, consult your paediatrician about your alternatives. Dressing oneself might indicate that one’s fine motor skills must be improved. However, a kid will eventually learn these talents one at a time. Avoid doing things for them since you’re not assisting them in learning. While this may be difficult for several parents since they are in a rush, allowing children to do it themselves is vital.
OT is not something that will instantly benefit a youngster. It will require time and effort. On the other hand, paediatric occupational therapists can create this enjoyable learning experience. It’s normal for youngsters to feel irritated and seek a break occasionally. They work with kids to increase their comfort level and assist them in achieving their objectives in a positive way.
What Occurs In Children’s Occupational Therapy?
Children’s occupational therapy may assist your kid in developing new abilities. This will take time. You might speak with a healthcare practitioner or paediatric occupational therapist to discover more about what to anticipate throughout your kid’s first session, second appointment, and so on since every facility’s programme might change.
Children’s Occupational Therapy Evaluation
Your kid’s initial appointment with a paediatric occupational therapist is an assessment. This is a session in which your kid’s therapist learns more about what your kid can do and what skills treatment may help them acquire. Your kid and the paediatric occupational therapist will be in a similar room as you. No other siblings must be present throughout this examination. During this session, your kid’s therapist will examine your child’s fine motor abilities and watch their behaviour while they move and play.
Occupational Therapy Sessions
Following the first examination, your kid’s paediatric occupational therapist will develop a treatment plan with objectives for your kid to achieve. Following the examination, every session will integrate your kid’s goals with age-appropriate activities to keep your kid involved and interested. Your kid’s activities will sometimes be different from those of their classmates.
What Role Does Occupational Therapy Play In a Child’s Development?
Children with developmental deficits benefit greatly from occupational therapy. It may aid a child’s growth by doing the following:
- Increasing children’s independence: Occupational therapy may help kids feel more secure in doing daily chores such as eating, cleaning their teeth, dressing, and more.
- Developing fine motor skills: Children may learn to hold items, operate computers, and start to build decent handwriting.
- Enhancing gross motor skills: Children’s occupational therapy may assist in improving their posture and balance, as well as learning how to jump, walk, crawl, and play more effectively.
- Improving hand-eye coordination: This will aid in daily tasks such as writing, playing, and feeding.
- Accessibility to helpful equipment: When the kid needs extra tools and devices to assist them in navigating their daily lives, therapy may help provide customised solutions.
Occupational therapists may assist youngsters in learning to pick up on social signs, express emotions, take turns, and share.
Children’s occupational therapy requires perseverance. Your youngster will need some time to adjust and integrate the new abilities they have learned into their everyday routine. When you have any concerns regarding your child’s growth or see behaviour at home that varies from what you observed in treatment, please contact your child’s occupational therapist. They will do all in their power to assist your kid in reaching their greatest potential.