What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can be a very beneficial treatment option for children. It can help them improve their motor skills, sensory processing, and overall functioning. Occupational therapists work with children to help them develop the skills they need to be successful in their daily activities.
Occupational therapy for children in Perth help improves their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their sensory processing and social skills. occupational therapy can also help your child to develop stronger emotional regulation and coping skills.
What do occupational therapists do?
Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals who help patients regain independence and improve their quality of life by teaching them new skills to perform everyday activities.
Their job is to assess patients’ needs, design individualized treatment plans, and provide therapy to help them regain or improve their ability to perform daily activities.
Occupational therapists may work with patients who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. They may also work with people who are recovering from an injury or illness.
In addition to working with patients, occupational therapists also work with families and caregivers to help them understand the patient’s needs and how they can best support their recovery.
How can occupational therapy help children?
It is estimated that one in six children in the United States has a developmental, mental, or physical disability. Many of these children receive occupational therapy (OT).
OT is a type of rehabilitation that helps people with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. OT services may include:
- Evaluating a child’s abilities and needs.
- Designing therapeutic activities to improve the child’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory processing, etc.
- Instructing parents and caregivers on how to carry out therapeutic activities at home.
- Adapting the child’s environment (e.g., school) to better support their needs.
Studies have shown that OT can help children with various conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For example, one study found that after 8 weeks of individualized OT intervention, 85% of children with ADHD showed improvements in fine motor skills and 70% showed improvements in overall daily living skills such as dressing and eating independently. Additionally, another study found that after 12 weeks of group OT intervention specifically designed for young children with autism spectrum disorder, participants made significant gains
What are some activities that occupational therapists use with children?
Occupational therapists work with children to help them develop the skills they need to function independently in their daily lives. They may use a variety of activities to achieve this goal, depending on the child’s individual needs.
Some common activities that occupational therapists use with children include:
- Fine motor skills development: Activities such as coloring, cutting with scissors, and stringing beads can help children develop the small muscles in their hands and improve their dexterity.
- Gross motor skills development: Activities such as hopscotch, catch, and swimming can help children develop their large muscle groups and improve their coordination.
- Sensory integration: Activities such as playing with Play-Doh, jumping on a trampoline, or walking on a balance beam can help children who have difficulty processing sensory information from their environment.
- Visual perception: Activities such as puzzles, mazes, and spotting differences can help children improve their ability to interpret visual information.
How can parents and caregivers support Occupational Therapy for their child?
As a parent or caregiver, you can support your child’s occupational therapy (OT) in many ways. Here are some tips:
1. Be involved in your child’s therapy. Ask the therapist to show you what activities or exercises your child is doing and how you can do them at home. This will help you understand why the therapist is recommending certain activities and how they relate to your child’s goals.
2. Help your child practice the skills they are learning in therapy. The therapist will likely give you ideas of things to do at home to support your child’s progress. These may include specific games, tasks, or exercises that target the skills being worked on in therapy.
3. Encourage your child to try new things and persist with challenging tasks. It’s normal for children (and adults!) to feel frustrated when learning something new or working on a difficult task. As a parent, you can provide encouragement and motivation for your child to keep trying even when it’s tough.
4. Model the desired behavior or skill for your child. If your child is working on a social skill such as taking turns or sharing, be sure to model that behavior yourself.