What does it mean to be an Occupational Therapist (OT)?
Occupational therapists are trained to help children of all ages to overcome physical, perceptual or social difficulties. Children need to develop certain skills to become functional and independent adults. These include sensory discrimination and processing, development of motor, communication, language, cognitive, self concept and self care skills.
Occupational therapy (OT) treatment focuses on helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations. But a child’s main job is playing and learning, and occupational therapists can evaluate kids’ skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with an someone’s physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect functioning in different ways. This approach makes OT a vital part of health care for some kids.
- fine motor skills
- hand-eye coordination to improve kids’ play and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)
- severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
- behavioural disorders maintain positive behaviours in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)
- physical disabilities the coordination skills needed to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting
- evaluate a child’s need forspecialized equipment, such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids
- sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills
Occupational therapists concentrate on areas of development such as visual motor integration, coordination, functional usage of hands, general play skills, handwriting, creative solutions for activities of daily living,(e.g., dressing, eating), and sensory processing. Early treatment is imperative to helping children become confident in their abilities and helping them achieve their highest level of success.
Treatment approaches implemented in an occupational therapy session could include:
- Neurodevelopmental Treatment
- Task Analysis
- Sensory Integration
- Standardized Testing (PDMS2, BOT2, VMI, PEDI,ETCH,)
- Activities of Daily Living
- Coping (frame of reference)
- Occupational Behaviour (play and learning)
- Visual Perceptual
Occupational Therapist ASSESSMENTs:
An assessment and Treatment includes:
- Sensory processing skills,
- Gross motor skills
- Fine motor skills
- Hand writing skills
- Visual perception
- Sensory processing
- Printing/Written output
- Seating/wheelchair/Splinting/adaptive devices
- Clinical observation including muscle tone, strength, bilateral integration and midline crossing, dominance, body awareness, postural control, and motor planning.
We provide the parents with a comprehensive report that explains clinical findings and offers recommendations and practical strategies for the home and school environment. We will also be available to consult with teachers, caregivers, and other professionals on an individual basis.