What is Occupational Therapy REALLY about?
Occupational therapy is a holistic approach to improve the underlying skills to enable a child to become more independent in daily activities. OT can come in handy when specific tasks, big or small, are a challenge affecting everyday life.
Pediatric OT incorporates play, physical activity, and sensory integration to help children gain independence in their daily life at home, at school, and in unfamiliar environments. Interventions are selected from a wide range of therapeutic tools and individualized to meet the child’s personal needs.
OT’s are here to help find the problem that is creating the difficult action (or reaction), support them and have them create new neuropathways to assist each child for easier transitions and greater independence.
Below are some examples of how children can benefit from OT. If any of these examples apply to your own child, OT is here to help!
WHAT is going on vs. HOW is OT going to help?
WHAT: Does your child have trouble using zippers, buttons, and buckles?
HOW: OT creates specialized intervention plans to increase in-hand manipulation, finger and hand strength, and improving coordination when using both hands together.
WHAT: Does your child seem wobbly? Are they walking into things? Are they hitting or otherwise avoiding certain situations that affect their daily routine?
HOW: OTs are trained to identify children’s sensory needs and related issues impacting balance and their responses to other physical sensations. We then teach coping strategies and other methods to regulate the child’s behavior for appropriate reactions in their daily life.
WHAT: Does your child need help when dressing? I.e., putting on and taking off pants, shirts, jackets, and shoes?
HOW: OT teaches and reinforces simpler tasks to increase “bilateral integration”, the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time. We will work your child to perform activities using both hands and crossing their midline, to make sure both sides of their bodies are working together.
WHAT: Does your child have messy handwriting? Are their letters not legible, or missing the line?
HOW: OT first and foremost makes writing FUN, writing about things that motivate your child! Then we tailor an intervention plan to your child’s needs, deploying techniques such as raised lines, spacing strategies, and letter formation in different mediums.
WHAT: Does your child have trouble cutting with scissors, matching or sorting objects, or copying shapes?
HOW: Visual motor and visual perceptual tasks will improve their ability to cut, glue, match, and copy. Practicing identifying hidden or similar objects and using their eyes as well as their hands during play, will help familiarize them with using this part of their brain. These developments then carry over to cutting, sorting, and copying in school or at home.
Bumblebee Pediatrics is now offering Occupational Therapy services in home, in school, or in office. Give us a call to learn more about how OT may help your child become their most confidence self.
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