Occupational therapists help a child in developing daily living skills to function at home, school and playground. It offers services to children concerning feeding problems, incorporation, development delays, motion deficits, perceptual/sensory deficits, and upper extremity strength. This therapy for children includes the use of various activities for improving self-care, school and play activities for improving a child’s sensory, academic, physical, emotional and social abilities.
The prime purpose of the OT (Occupational Therapy) is to aid the child in maintaining or achieving their utmost level of independence while developing practical life skills, ensuring that the child is able to participate to their full potential in both the classroom and home environment.
This takes place in partnership with a child’s teacher or family within the child’s school community or home. An occupational therapist develops a therapy for addressing the needs of the child and teaches numerous techniques, such as:
- Utilization of therapy balls inside the classroom for a child with ADHD for offering the continuous physical stimulation, which they crave thereby leading to better performance in the school.
- Play-based activities such as skipping as well as balancing for helping with issues such as immature fine motor skill
- Satiating the common needs of an autistic child to keep everything in a stable order with games which include sorting as per size and colour thereby extending the areas of interest of a child which in turn will help in encouraging him/her for interacting with others more.
Occupational therapy and its manifold benefits
This therapy offers manifold benefits. These include:
- Facilitating play activities which instruct and help children in communicating and interacting with others
- Creating interventions to allow children respond appropriately to information coming through the senses. The intervention may comprise developmental activities, sensory processing, play activities and sensory integration.
- Identifying, adapting or developing engagement in a meaningful activity which boosts up the quality of life of the child
- Decreasing environmental barriers which restrain the participation of a child in family, community based activity and learning
- Preparing the child and the family for changes in routines and roles
- Identifying required assistive technology supports and devices
- Educating the school staff and family on diverse requirements of the child
- Helping with school mobility, referring accommodations, equipment and adaptations
- Improving social skills development as well as leisure activities within the school environment
Occupational therapy can help children with diverse needs to improve their physical, cognitive and motor skills, thereby greatly enhancing their sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.