What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy embraces the world of play!
Historically, occupational therapy began to assist with the return of a person’s “occupation.” Today, occupational therapy is multifaceted. For children, this treatment is often focused directly on a child’s “work”, which is play. Occupational therapy teaches children fine motor, handwriting, eye-hand coordination, visual perceptual, and sensory motor skills, all of which are needed for successful interaction with toys and others during play.
Occupational therapy also assists children with daily self-care, attention/focus, and self-regulation. As children age, these skills have a direct impact on classroom performance, with the need for handwriting, attending in class, participating in group activities, organizing materials and staying focused for longer periods of time becoming critical for classroom success.
As children grow into adults, these skills are directly related to independent living and success in an “occupation.”
A child can exhibit fine motor delays at a very young age. Delayed fine motor skills can be noticed in young children as they play with toys and use utensils to eat. Without treatment, this delay may continue as they are using crayons, markers and scissors and dressing oneself. Unfortunately, many of these children are not recognized until an early childhood teacher identifies the real impact of a fine motor delay when a child is unable to write manuscript or cursive letters.
It is estimated that 95 percent of children who are experiencing difficulty with visual motor integration and delayed hand writing also have difficulty participating in gym class, getting ready for recess, playing games or participating in structured and unstructured sports and leisure activities. These children not only have poor handwriting that is affecting their academics, but they also have poor life skills caused by an underlying motor delay.
- Organizational skills, including attention to task and sequencing
- Endurance, attending and focus
- Strength, Range of Motion and Coordination
- Fine motor skills and handwriting
- Handwriting without Tears®
- Visual perception and visual motor skills
- Hand and Upper Extremity Dysfunction
- Splinting and Casting
- Sensory-motor training
- Sensory integration
- Self Regulation, modulation, self-awareness and safety awareness
- The Alert Program®
- Technology to Enhance Therapy
- Developmental delays and play skills
- Feeding/Aversion Disorders
- Sensory/motor feeding techniques
- Activities of daily living, independence and self-help skills
- Personalized activity schedules
- Leisure skills
- Community integration
- Prevocational skills
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