Occupational therapy is a treatment that focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives. It can offer children with various needs positive, fun activities to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
Occupational Therapy aims to enable the child to be as physically, psychologically and socially independent as possible.
Occupational Therapists work with a wide variety of infants and children including those with:
- Prematurity, birth injuries
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (including Autism and Aspergers Syndrome
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D./A.D.D,)
- Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia
- Developmental Disabilities
- Developmental Coordination Disorder [DCD] (including Dyspraxia)
- Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory integration difficulties
- Problems with organizing and coordinating skilled movement ("clumsiness")
- Difficulty learning new motor skills
- Delayed fine and gross motor skills
- Difficulty with handwriting and written expression
- Neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy
- Chronic musculo-skeletal conditions such as muscular dystrophy, arthrogryposis, or osteogenesis imperfecta
- Behavioural problems
Occupational therapists working with children try to optimise a child’s occupational performance, in other words, their ability to function in their daily lives. Children have many important and complex occupations, which form an important foundation for the roles they will take on as adults. These include:
Occupational therapy intervention addresses key 'doing' skills which a child is having difficulty with such as:
Occupational therapy intervention also addresses different underlying abilities which may be causing problems for these skills. Underlying abilities may be:
At Children's Therapy we use 3 main strategies for intervention:
1. Sensory processing: we teach children how to organise
sensory input from their body and their environment for use.
2. Information processing: we teach children how to use their
thinking for doing.
3. Skills mastery: we teach children the step by step process for
learning skills - one step at a time.