Does your child struggle with motor skills that interfere with their function and independence with everyday activities?
Do they have difficulty participating in self-care activities (dressing, eating, washing hands, toileting)?
Is playing with toys, playing independently/with others challenging for your child?
Do they struggle with skills for school activities such as using a crayon/pencil, using scissors, printing, or organizational skills?
Is self-regulation (sensory functioning, emotional regulation, or finding the right level of activity to match the task) impacting your child’s daily functioning?
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CAN HELP!
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists, often called OTs, are health professionals that help enable people to participate in the activities of daily life. These day-to-day activities are what occupies your time and includes anything you need to do, want to do, or are expected to do during your day.
Meaningful occupations vary with age, abilities, interests, and responsibilities. OTs are client centered which means they work with you to identify barriers and to achieve goals identified by you and your family.
Children’s occupations include taking care of themselves (e.g. dressing, eating, toileting), play, and learning/school activities. Occupational therapy at the SLN focuses on supporting children and their families to enhance children’s independence and success at home and in the community. A multi-sensory play-based approach is used to help children and youth build skills and abilities.
Play is a child’s main occupation, and it is how they learn and build new skills. Occupational therapy services are individualized depending on strengths, needs and goals identified. Some of the most common areas an OT might focus on to support a child’s daily functioning include:
- Fine motor skills – The ability to make movements using small muscle groups.
- Gross motor skills – The ability to make movements using larger muscle groups.
- Play Skills – A combination of planning activities, solving problems, and transferring skills from one type of play to another.
- Social Skills – The interaction and communication with others.
- Organizational Skills – The ability to effectively and efficiently use resources.
- Visual-perceptual skills – The ability to make sense of what the eyes see.
- Motor Planning – How a child plans and carries out movements.
- Self-Regulation – The ability to manage stresses we face in our day to day to day lives. Children who have difficulties with self-regulation sometimes struggle to find and maintain a level of activity to match the task.
- Sensory processing – How the brain perceives a combination of internal and external stimuli, and our body’s response (i.e. motor action or behaviour). Children with sensory processing issues have trouble interpreting sensory information from their senses (i.e. their brain mis-reads or distorts the information). They may have difficulties using this information to do what they need to do or want to do.
Occupational Therapy services include assessment, direct intervention, parent/caregiver coaching and consultation.