Developing a sense of independence in everyday life is central to a child’s healthy development. Occupational therapy can be a very helpful resource and service to help infants and children to build the skills and confidence that are crucial to their success within their daily play, family and school life.
Our goal is to engage children in therapy using treatment that is effective and fun, in a relaxed atmosphere. We aim to maximize each child's abilities and confidence, and build a child's love for movement and active play.
What can Occupational Therapy Help Children to Improve?
Occupational therapy is an extremely beneficial service for many children. Occupational therapists are trained to assist children to improve their skills and ability to effectively function in a wide range of areas that include:
Fine Motor Skills
- Hand dominance
- Ability to use both hands together
- Printing & drawing skills
- Cutting skills
- Dressing skills
- Eating skills
- Playing with small objects
- Printing and drawing skills
- Sequencing for problem solving
- Copying from a blackboard/whiteboard/smartboard
- Eating and swallowing
- Acceptance of new foods and increased variety which are limited due to sensory issues.
- Transitioning from liquids to purees to mashed and then solids
- Drinking from a bottle and cup
- Using utensils
- Oral motor and the ability to use the muscles in a way that encourages enjoyment of eating.
Leisure and Social Participation
- Community integration
- Explore leisure interests
- Strategies, adaptations, and equipment needed to assist with independent mobility
- Wheelchair and community mobility (private and public transit)
- Home adaptation, accessibility, and set up for safety and independence with the activities of daily living
- Skills to promote development of play
- Skills to promote increased participation of play
- Washing and grooming
- Sleep and rest
- Identification of child’s sensory profile
- Strategies and customized plan to attain meaningful work skills and opportunities
Who Can Benefit from Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy can be extremely beneficial for children with a wide variety of concerns. Some common reasons that we see children include:
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Neurological and developmental disabilities
- Learning and vision disorders
- Feeding difficulties and picky eating
- Oral motor difficulties and drooling
- Handwriting difficulties
- Emotional regulation
- Fine motor skill development
- Play and social skills
- Technology and augmentative tools to assist learning
- School readiness skills
Occupational Therapy Assessment
An initial assessment begins with information collection. This includes information about areas of concern, how a child is currently functioning, as well as their medical history. Each assessment will vary depending on the needs, abilities and goals of the individual child. Using observation during play and specific assessment techniques, we will then complete a comprehensive evaluation that is specific to each child. At the end of the assessment, we will identify specific goals, and discuss therapy options.
An initial assessment usually takes 60 minutes. In more involved cases however, it is possible that an assessment may span multiple appointments.
We are experienced and trained in a wide variety of therapy techniques. Based on a child’s specific goals, needs and abilities, we will collaborate with parents to design the most effective treatment plan. Some of these treatment approaches include:
- Handwriting Without Tears
- SRJ Oral Motor Therapy ( Talk Tools)
- Beckman Oral Motor Intervention and Assessment
- Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding
- Vision Therapy
- Relaxation Techniques
- Equipment Recommendation
- Sensory Motor Integration
If you have any questions about any of these approaches, other treatment techniques, or how occupational therapy may be a helpful resource for your child, please contact us directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 604-770-0101