The word “occupational” is deceiving and, hence, many think this therapy is relevant to adults only, but to be “occupied” means to be busy, and children are very busy indeed! Playing and learning are their main “jobs”, and it’s these which occupational therapists evaluate. Through their aptitude for playing, school performance, and daily activities, our therapists can make comparisons on what is developmentally appropriate for the child’s age group.
In addition to dealing with their patients’ physical well-being, occupational therapists address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect function in various ways. This approach can make occupational therapy a vital part of healthcare for some children.
What issues can be helped in Occupational Therapy?
Children and adolescents with the following medical problems might benefit from occupation therapy:
Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses
Occupational Therapists can:
Work on fine motor skills to improve a child’s grasping and releasing toys, as well as developing good handwriting skills
Address hand-eye coordination to improve playing and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)
Help those with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
Help children with behavioral disorders maintain positive behaviors in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, demonstrate positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)
Teach children with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed in day-to-day life, from meal-time to using the computer, and beyond
Address sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills
If you or someone you know might benefit from Occupational Therapy, please don’t hesitate to call us at the American Wellness Center for a consultation. All calls are confidential.