Occupational Therapy with Children

How Occupational Therapists can help your child?

Occupational Therapists help children of all ages to achieve and maintain independence. Occupational Therapists work with children to help them in their day to day skills, known as "occupations." Children have activities in which they can and should participate; they want to do "kid things." Occupational Therapists troubleshoot, and problem solve with caregivers and children to help make it easier to participate. Their occupations include playing, socializing, printing, kicking a ball, and many more.

Here are a few examples of how Occupational Therapists can help:

Environmental influences on participation:

Participating in the activities of childhood requires children to interact with the physical, cultural, and aspects of their environment. Occupational therapists see the environment as a facilitator of occupational performance. However, it can present barriers, limiting performance. Fit is described as a balance between what a person does and the environmental demands required. Occupational Therapists aim to assist children in obtaining fit to allow children to participate in their activities optimally. There is a wide range of environmental factors that influence a child's participation. Children and families may be impacted by broader political and economic environmental influences, and for some children with disabilities, poorly designed environments can limit a child's development. Occupational therapists are strong advocates for change.

Participation in school or community:

Participation in childhood occupations in school and community is crucial for children to develop. Participation promotes children to build skills, engage in collaborative activities, find meaning, promote health and learn to express themselves. Participation is the goal of occupational therapy interventions and is a commonly used indicator of child development, health and wellbeing. Through continued participation in more complex activities, children obtain the necessary skills and competencies required for a successful transition into adulthood.

Activities of daily living:

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are essential tasks that must be performed every day for a child to succeed. ADLs include things like dressing, eating, feeding, toileting and hygiene. The amount of time and skill required to complete ADLs varies depending on the age of your child. For example, the amount of time children spend eating meals with family members tends to decline as children move toward adolescence. Time use in all areas of ADL performance is heavily influenced by age and developmental level. As children develop, time spent performing ADLs such as sleeping and eating declines, the amount of play decreases, and structured activities increasingly occupy children's time.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapists use a client-centered approach to help overcome barriers with performance and improve quality of life

Occupational Therapy with Adults

Much of what defines successful or active ageing fits perfectly within the philosophy of occupational therapy; that is, the 'doing' to enable health and wellbeing. For occupational therapists, this means working well with adults aiming to prevent ill health and disability.

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