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- Dr.Joni Redlich PT,DPT
http://jonikidpt.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidpt.png 0 0 jonikidpt http://jonikidpt.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidpt.png jonikidpt2023-02-18 14:43:452023-02-18 14:43:46What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) helps people of all ages to improve their ability to perform daily activities, also known as “occupations.”
What does this have to do with children then?
Well, what is the “occupation” of children? PLAY!
Occupational therapists (OTs) work with individuals who have conditions that affect their ability to perform activities of daily living, such as physical or cognitive disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. The goal of occupational therapy is to help individuals achieve independence and improve their quality of life. This may include activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, and using the toilet, as well as more complex tasks like work and leisure activities. Occupational therapists may also work with individuals to improve their fine motor skills, coordination, and balance.
In the pediatrics world, OTs work in a variety of settings, such as early intervention, outpatient clinics, and schools. They work with children with a variety of needs and diagnoses, including autism, hypotonia, sensory processing disorder, and genetic disorders.
Our occupational therapists at Kid PT work with children on a wide variety of ways.
- Improving fine motor skills: Occupational therapists can work with children to improve their dexterity and hand-eye coordination, which can help with tasks such as writing, cutting with scissors, and buttoning clothing.
- Enhancing gross motor skills: Occupational therapists can help children to develop their balance, coordination, and body awareness, which can improve their ability to participate in sports and other physical activities.
- Addressing sensory processing issues: Some children may have difficulty processing sensory information, such as sounds, sights, or touch. Occupational therapists can help children to develop strategies to manage these sensory sensitivities and improve their ability to participate in daily activities.
- Improving attention and focus: Occupational therapists can help children to develop the attention and focus needed for tasks such as reading, writing, and completing homework.
- Adapting the environment: Occupational therapists can help children by adapting the environment to make it more accessible and comfortable for them, such as recommending adaptive equipment, or making suggestions for modifications to the child’s home or classroom.
- Addressing developmental delays: Occupational therapy can help children who are experiencing developmental delays to catch up with their peers by providing interventions to improve their abilities to perform age-appropriate activities.
- Addressing behavioral concerns: Occupational therapy can help children with behavioral concerns by addressing underlying difficulties with sensory processing, self-regulation, and motor planning.
- Supporting children with special needs: Occupational therapy can help children with special needs such as autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to develop the skills they need to participate in daily activities and reach their full potential.
Kid PT’s occupational therapists, Disha and Nina, have an endless supply of creative solutions to improve all of the areas of a child’s sensory, motor and emotional development. We love to integrate children’s interests into their therapy sessions as well. An engaged child is a learning child!
Here are top 10 activities to bring occupational therapy activities home with you:
Remember, ask your child’s therapist for individual recommendations, but here is a good jumping off point for you!
Playdough is a fun and versatile material that can be used to improve fine motor skills in children. Children can use their fingers to squeeze, roll, and shape the playdough, which can help to improve their dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and strength in the fingers and hands. They can even experiment with squishing it with their feet and toes too!
2. Sensory bins:
Fill a container with cooked spaghetti, raw beans, or rice. Use cups to fill and empty, hide sea creatures in it, and have fun! This activity helps improve fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, and sensory processing.
Beading is a fun and engaging way to improve fine motor skills in children. Children can string beads of different shapes and sizes onto a string or pipe cleaner, which can help to improve their dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and strength in the fingers and hands.
4. Lego building:
Building with legos or any other small building blocks can be a great way to improve fine motor skills in children. It requires children to use their fingers to pick up small blocks and place them in the correct spot, which can help to improve their dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and strength in the fingers and hands.
5. Outdoor games:
Outdoor games such as tag, capture the flag, and soccer, which involve running, jumping, and coordination.
Swimming, which improves balance, coordination and endurance.
7. Obstacle courses:
Obstacle courses, which involve crawling, jumping, and climbing, and help to develop strength and coordination.
8. Pretend Play:
Dress up and role play, where children can act out different scenarios and characters using costumes and props.
Setting up a store, where children can pretend to be the cashier, customer, or salesperson, working on their math skills, social skills, and creativity.
9. Water Play:
Sand and water play, which can help children to develop their sense of touch and sense of proprioception (awareness of the position of their body in space)
Cooking and baking activities, which can help to develop children’s sense of smell, taste, and touch.
Remember to have fun, ask your child’s OT for advice on how to bring their therapy home into your daily routine!