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Does my child need OT?

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Occupational therapy is an allied health service that supports children who have difficulties with daily activities.

If your child is displaying the following behaviours contact KiddOTherapy to discuss how your child will benefit from Occupational Therapy.

Children who have trouble with things like:

  • Paying attention - working memory, organising

  • Completing tasks - planning, sequencing the steps to complete the action

  • Sitting still - postural control, seating, muscle tone

  • Handwriting - pencil grasp, legibility and speed of writing

  • Self care - dressing, feeding, hygiene, toileting, buttoning, doing shoe laces, bathing, brushing teeth.

  • Fine motor skills - coordinating their fingers and hands for play, construction activities, puzzles, colouring, drawing, cutting, typing skills, threading, open and closing containers

  • Coordinating movements & Gross motor skills - difficulties related to balance, strength, endurance and coordination – which can affect their ability to climb stairs, walk, hop, and play catch, among other activities.

  • Play & Social Skills - friendships, taking turns, reading social cues, understanding feelings and emotions, imitation, expanding on play themes, imaginative play and reciprocal play.

does my child need OT?

Occupational therapy can also help children who have problems with sensory processing

Sensory processing is the ability of our brain to receive and interpret a sensory stimuli and respond to it effectively. Sensory processing disorder (or difficulties) is an inability to interpret and adapt to the sensory information often resulting in a behaviour that does not met the task or activity demand. Some children or adults may have an over or under reactive response to a sensory stimuli. Some children who may have an over reactive response to their sensory environment may have difficulties regulating their emotions during certain tasks throughout the day. These children may have difficulty and react strongly to their hair being brushed or cut, they may have a dislike of tags on clothing, are irritated by certain fabrics or bright lights, they may cover their ears or dislike loud noises. Others who have an under active response may miss information, they may be slow to move. have difficulty follow instructions, or appear to have have difficulty with balance and coordination. In addition to over or under reactive responses, some children may seek or avoid certain sensory stimuli.

Does your child?:

  • Appear to be distracted or daydream in class?

  • Have difficulty completing homework?

  • Behave disruptively in social settings?

  • Appear to be awkward and clumsy – often falling over or bumping into things?

  • Has particular sensitivities to sounds, lights, fabrics that impacts on their behaviour and daily activities?

  • Have trouble getting organised?

  • Have trouble with writing and keeping up with peers in the classroom?

  • Is repetitive in play - only play one type of game or only one type of action? doesn't appear to enjoy trying out new things or will avoid them.

  • Have trouble with fine motor skills such as buttons, colouring, scissors, holding utensils.

  • Has difficulty remembering multi-step instructions

  • Has difficulty dressing themselves

If you answered yes to any of these questions, occupational therapy may be able to help your child. OT can provide children with the tools they need to complete tasks and adapt appropriately in social situations. It can also help improve focus and attention span.

how does occupational therapy help?

Children with occupational therapy often show improvement in the following areas:

  • Self-esteem - Occupational therapy can help children feel good about themselves. When children struggle with completing tasks or behaving appropriately in social settings, it can affect their self-esteem. Occupational therapy can provide children with the tools they need to complete tasks and adapt appropriately in social situations. This can help improve their self-esteem.

  • Focus and Attention Span - Occupational therapy can help children who have difficulty completing tasks or focusing in the classroom. Occupational therapists work with children and their environment to improve focus and attention. When children are able to focus and complete tasks, it can help improve their academic performance.

  • Coordination - Occupational therapy can help improve coordination in children. occupational therapists often work with postural control, bilateral integration, should strength and stability.

  • Social skills - Occupational therapy can help improve social skills in children. Occupational therapists often work with children to help them understand feelings and emotions, take turns, and expand on play themes. When children are able to be flexible in social settings they are able to adapt and respond to their family, friends, peers and teachers and therefore create strong friendships and partnerships.

  • Sensory Processing - Occupational therapy can help improve sensory processing by assessing individual sensory preferences within the child and the stimuli from the external environment.

  • Academic achievement - Occupational therapists often work with children to help them understand concepts, complete tasks, and focus in the classroom.

does my child need occupational therapy?

OT teaches children the skills they need to participate in activities they enjoy doing on a daily basis. Children's major occupational roles include being an independent person, a student, and a playmate.

Engagement in meaningful occupations is directly linked to improving an individual's overall health and well-being.

Paediatric OT can help improve many aspects of a child's life. Children who participate in occupational therapy often show improvement in many different areas of their lives. Occupational therapy is a positive treatment for children who have difficulties with daily activities. If your child is displaying any of the behaviours listed above, contact Kiddotherapy to talk about options and how we can help.

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