Occupational Therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical, mental and developmental conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
Who needs OT
Occupational therapyis for individuals of all ages to improve skills that help them perform daily tasks (Occupation) at home or at work, at School or at play. Occupational therapy is for anyone who, for whatever reason is not able to perform activities in day to day life.In Paediatric Condition:
Everyone including children in small age group have an occupation. A kid's occupation is to grow, learn, do school work, and play. Occupational Therapist helps kids who have a physical, sensory/perceptual, or cognitive disability to carry out every day activities like feeding/chewing,buttoning/lacing, walking/climbing, hopping/catching, reading/ writing thereby helping them to develop and learn.
Occupational Therapist traits
An occupational therapist can help children improve their cognitive, physical, sensory and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. They help children gain independence and promote development of play, social and academic skills which enable them to interact and engage with others.
Improvements expected through Occupational Therapy:
- Gross motor skills such as sitting, walking, running or jumping;
- Fine motor skills to improve grasp and release of toys and develop good handwriting skills;
- Hand-eye coordination to improve play skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting etc.);
- Basic self-care tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves);
- Sensory and attention issues to improve focus and social skills and developing the child's skills to interact with others, to cope with new or difficult situations and to manage his or her behaviours in socially appropriate ways;
- Cognitive and pre-academic skills which are a pre requisite for his or her future academic accomplishments such as concepts of colours, shapes, numbers etc;
- Assessing a child's need for specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs and splints
Time to Consult an Occupational Therapist
Whenever your child is not functioning corresponding to appropriate age level in any aspect of life, you must visit an Occupational Therapist for an evaluation.Some common symptoms which needs a call:
- Child is facing developmental delays inneck control, sitting, standing, walking, running and jumping.
- Child is having awkward posture while sitting, standing, walking
- Child is not able to balance himself
- Poor coordination e.g. Hand-eye coordination (difficulty in hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, using computeretc) or bilateral coordination (difficulty in completing daily living tasks like dressing, tying shoes)
- Difficulty in fine motor activities like banging blocks together,stringing beads, buttoning, or difficulty in visual motor tasks like drawing, writing,cutting, catching/throwing or difficulty in gross motor activities like crawling, walking, climbing stairs, riding a bicycle
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Been diagnosed with learning disability, Autism, ADHD, DCD, Down, MR
- Difficulty completing tasks that seem easy for normal doing
- Behavioural challenge or social skill issues (difficulty to cope with new or difficult situations & to manage his or her behaviour in appropriate way)
- Decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities
- Decreased visual skills including visual perceptual skills and ocular motor control (difficulty differentiating between b/d/p/q,is writing reverse numbers or letters, difficulty finding items in crowded environment like in shelves or drawers, poor copying ability, poor reading comprehension, unable to identify object size & position)