What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy helps children succeed and function in the most important areas of their lives; self-care, school, and play. These are considered a child’s occupations. Occupational Therapists (OTs) look at a child holistically and try to determine where delays or limitations exist and how to overcome them. If a child is displaying physical, social, emotional, or cognitive delays, they may benefit from the support of an OT. Our method is to examine all systems, sensory, cognitive and emotional, in order to obtain a holistic picture of the child and how to best support them. Through a play-based approach, OTs build on the child’s current strengths and interests to motivate them to learn new skills and become more self-sufficient
At Play OnWords, we assess each child’s individual needs and create a treatment plan that will target areas in need of improvement. We then plan engaging, play-based activities that help the child improve in the areas in which they need the most support.
The most common areas where Occupational Therapy is beneficial are:
Sensory Processing Disorders may appear as if a child is overreacting or misbehaving when in reality they are having trouble processing the information they’re receiving from their senses: touch, hearing, taste, sound, or smell. Children with sensory issues can demonstrate extreme behaviors, such as screaming when there is a wrinkle in their sock or melting down at an unexpected change in routine.
Fine Motor Skills
- Use of hands with strength, dexterity, and coordination
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor movement is the use the large muscles of the body to accomplish actions such as rolling, crawling, jumping, and riding a bike. Areas addressed include:
- Strengthening the core areas of the body
- Hand-eye coordination
Executive functioning refers to a set of mental skills that assist us in every day life. It impacts our ability to organize and plan, problem solve, initiate and complete tasks, and regulate our emotions.
- Help to focus, plan, and prioritize to accomplish goals
- Adapt to new and unexpected situations
- Self-regulate behaviors and emotions
- Self-care (e.g., toileting, tying shoes)
Developmental delays may become apparent when a child is not meeting their expected milestones, in either one specific area or in their overall progress. Children often follow an expected pattern of growth, learning new skills as they age. If a child does not appear to be meeting these milestones, they could benefit from occupational therapy.