Quite a number of adults are of the opinion that occupational therapy is a reserve only for grownups and not kids; after all, children have no occupations. This is actually a big misunderstanding on this medical therapy based on its namesake. Pediatric occupational therapists evaluate children’ s skills for handling daily activities, performance in school and playing, and then compare all of them with the appropriate development period that is specific for that age group.
Pediatric occupational therapy practitioners address environmental, social and psychological factors that affect proper functioning where kids are concerned. This makes it an important health care inclusion for the affected kids. Children with sensory, physical, or cognitive disabilities can greatly benefit from quality occupational therapy treatment. The treatment focuses on helping them be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. It also helps to improve their motor skills, something that hugely enhance their sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.
Kids that need occupational therapy
Children with the following listed medical issues can benefit greatly from pediatric occupational therapy treatment.
• Developmental delays
• Birth defects or injuries
• Learning issues
• Post-surgical conditions
• Sensory processing disorders
• Behavioral problems or mental health
• Traumatic injuries such as in or on their spinal cord or brain
• Broken bones
• Spina bifida
• Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
• Cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic diseases
• Severe hand injuries
• Traumatic amputations
• Pervasive development disorders or autism
The above listed medical conditions affecting children is not all inclusive. These are just some of the commonest issues affecting kids and which a pediatric occupational therapist can be of great help.
How can a pediatric occupational therapist be of help?
A pediatric occupational therapist can help an effected kid in any number of ways to improve his or her life. These include:
• Work on motor skills so that he or she can catch and let go play things such as toys, as well as develop excellent handwriting skills.
• Helping the kids with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks such as brushing their teeth, feeding themselves, bathing, getting dressed, and many more.
• Help children with attention and sensory problems improve social skills and focus.
• Aid kids with behavioral problems to maintain constructive behaviors in different environments. For example, rather than hitting others or acting out, deal with anger optimistically by participating in physical activities or writing about their feelings.
• Evaluate a kid’s need for specialized equipments such as dressing devices, bathing equipment, communication aids, splints, wheelchairs, and many others.
• Address hand and eye harmonization so as to improve school and play skills, for example copying from the blackboard, ball batting, target hitting, and etc.
• Help children with pronounced physical disabilities the synchronization skills that are required to help them feed themselves, improve legibility and speed of their handwriting, use computers, and etc.
Finding occupational therapy for your kid
If you think your kid might benefit from pediatric occupational therapy in CT, it is recommended that you ask your doctor to refer you to a pediatric occupational therapist. The kid’s school guidance counselor or nurse also might be able to in a position to help you find a specialist based on the kid’s social or academic performance. If all these don’t help, then simply search online, or contact the Connecticut Occupational Therapy Association for referrals.