Occupational Therapy helps people of all ages with "skills for the job of living." Occupation is anything that you do in a day! Children, like adults, have "occupations." The main occupations of children are: Playing Learning to care for Attending (Pre) School (leisure activities) themselves (self-care) (productivity) Sometimes because of illness, injury, disability, or developmental delay, a child may struggle to learn, develop, and participate fully in these day-to-day activities. An Occupational Therapist can help! When an occupational therapist is asked to see a child, the therapist focuses on what is important to the child and family. This is called "family-centered practice." If the child is in school, the therapist may also address what is important to the teacher. Occupational therapists (OTs) look at a child's ability to do the day-to-day tasks that make up 'occupations'. OTs consider the strengths and challenges of the child. They also consider the task and how the environment makes tasks easier or harder. Environment Child Task To do this, an OT may assess and provide intervention in the areas of: • fine and gross motor abilities "Intervention" means using • visual perception/visual motor abilities activities to teach a child a specific skill, adapting the task, and/or • sensory processing modifying the environment to help • social and emotional abilities the child be more successful. The occupational therapist also considers the child's attention, behavior and problem- solving abilities. The ultimate goal is that children will be as independent as possible in their daily activities and lead satisfying lives that maximize their potential! Jacob is 3 years old. His parents are concerned because he shows little interest in playing with toys. He has Occupational Therapists always been fussy, has difficulty work with children in … sleeping, screams during bathing and hair washing, and is a picky eater. The OT shares ideas with the parents that Early Intervention help them understand what activities and toys are appropriate. She works with Preschools them as they introduce new foods into his diet and try different ways to help Cody is 13 years old. He is teased at him be less sensitive. Schools school and says he does not have friends. His parents are concerned. Cody is referred Hospitals to a social skills group that the OT holds at school. He learns how to relate to peers and to be more assertive when he is teased. Home care Private practice Amanda is 20 months old. Because she has cerebral palsy she cannot play or eat by herself. Sometimes she chokes when her Sara is 8 years old and was hit by a car mother feeds her. The OT helps when riding her bike. She does not with special equipment so Amanda remember how to dress or feed herself or can sit independently and play to print her name. With the help of her with toys. Her mother learns about OT she re-learns how to put on her the type of food she can eat and clothes, use utensils, and to use a how to prevent choking. computer to print. If you see a child with concerns in any of these areas, talk to your pediatrician or teacher about accessing Occupational Therapy services.
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