What is Occupational Therapy?

What is Occupational Therapy for children?

Occupational therapists promote skill development and independence in all daily activities.  The ‘occupations’ of childhood may include playing at the local park, running, jumping, dressing, eating, toileting, playing, drawing, sitting still at school.

OT’s are concerned with the development of skills and abilities:

  • Attention and concentration
  • Balance and postural reactions
  • Muscle tone and strength
  • Body awareness
  • Fine Motor abilities (pinches and grasps, manipulative skills, pencil and scissor use, handwriting)  Gross motor abilities (running, jumping, climbing)
  • Motor planning (ability to plan, initiate and execute a motor action)
  • Visual Perception (shape recognition, visual memory)
  • Visual motor integration (copying shapes, copying block designs)
  • Sensory Integration (response to sensory stimuli, discrimination of sensory input)
  • Behaviour (arousal level, attention, problem solving skills)
  • Self Care skills (eating, dressing, toileting, bathing)
  • Community living skills (use of public transportation, money knowledge, shopping)
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Play skills (use of toys, types of play)
  • Social Skills
  • Pre-vocational and vocational skills
  • Environmental factors
  • Physical environment
  • Family situation
  • Community supports

Common developmental areas that Occupational Therapists can assist with include:

      •        General Learning Difficulties
      •     ADD/ADHD
      •       Sensory Processing Disorder
      •        Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
      •       Cerebral Palsy
      •       Down Syndrome
      •       Vision/Hearing Impairment
       of      Occupational Therapy Services include:
        ·       Assessment
        ·       Feedback and Goal Setting
        ·       Home and School Visits
        ·       Sensory Processing Therapy
        ·       Sensory Diets
        ·       Self-Care Skills / Toileting
        ·       Handwriting Programs
        ·       Attention and Concentration Strategies
        ·       Movement and motor skills programs for gross and fine motor problems
        ·       Visual perceptual skills improvement
        ·       Organisational, planning and memory programs

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