Occupational therapy is the use of therapeutic interventions that develop, improve, or restore the highest level of independence of any adult or child. Occupational therapy for young children focuses on the following developmental areas:
- Sensory processing and modulation
- Gross and fine motor control
- Visual motor integration and perceptual skills
- Social interaction/play skills
- Self Help Skills
How Could My Child Benefit From OT?
Occupational Therapists work with children with specific diagnoses such as sensory integration dysfunction, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental delay, autism, pervasive developmental disorder, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, as well as children who exhibit difficulties in the following areas:
- Over or under sensitivity to movement, sound, or touch
- Low muscle tone
- Avoids gross motor play
- Difficulty with motor-planning
- Delays in motor milestones
- Poor balance and coordination
- Poor fine motor control
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Easily distractible or restless
- Slow to develop self-help skills
- Feeding difficulties
- Difficulty with visual motor and perceptual skills
- Difficulty transitioning
- Poor safety awareness
- Poor frustration tolerance
Children need solid foundations (sensory processing, motor planning, postural control) from which they develop gross motor, fine motor and perceptual skills later on. It is more difficult to address these foundation areas when the child is older and needing to master these skills. We work with children of a variety of ages from infants to the end of the foundation phase at primary school.
In our experience we have seen the impact of using a sensory integration approach in providing opportunities for children to master functional abilities in the foundations of sensory processing, motor planning and postural control.
We also use the DIR-floortime approach in working with children with a variety of difficulties to support their physical, cognitive and emotional development as well as their ability to communicate. This approach is tailored to the child’s individual needs and focuses on using their relationships with their primary caregivers to support their development. Due to our 12 year long association with the Talk Shop Pre-school we have developed skills in supporting the work of the speech and language therapists to assist children who have communication difficulties.
We are passionate about viewing the child as a whole , promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This includes emotional well-being, health and wellness, social integration and family dynamics, physical strength and endurance, visual ability, communication, sporting and academic skills. As we do not specialise in all of these areas, we consult closely within the multidisciplinary team including wellness consultants, paediatricians, psychologists, physiotherapists, biokineticists, dieticians, optometrists, speech therapists, remedial therapists and teachers.
The most important member of our team is the parents and caregivers of the children that we see. We encourage regular observation of therapy sessions, the implementation of suitable home/school programmes and frequent communication regarding the child’s progress. This facilitates the carry-over of therapy goals and therefore progress in therapy.