Occupational Therapy for Children – A Primer

Occupational Therapy for children (OTC) is a specialized form of treatment that deals with helping children develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially according to their aptitudes, interests, and skills. This therapy is usually given at a cognitive, physical, and emotional level. This treatment is also usually sought by parents who are concerned about the potential development of their child. Parents who have identified specific issues with their children can seek OTC to address these issues. OTC may also be sought as a complementary therapy to address conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorders, chronic illness, or developmental delays.

Article 39 1 150x150 - Occupational Therapy for Children - A PrimerOne of the most common problems treated in OTC is Autism Spectrum Disorder. OTC is most effective when it is administered during the early years of a child’s life. This therapy aims to improve gross motor skills, language, receptive language, social interactions, self-direction, and communication. The goal of this therapy is for the child to be able to function within his environment without constant assistance. Social interaction is often seen as the fundamental need of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Occupational Therapy for Children Adelaide may also be recommended for young children who have sensory processing disorders. OTC is also very effective when combined with speech therapy or physical therapy. In this case, the goal is to increase the child’s expressive and receptive vocabulary and enhance gross motor skills. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, OTC is combined with social skills training to promote positive social interactions. These social interactions are crucial to the development of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a more complex social environment compared to children with typical symptoms. As such, a paediatric occupational therapy program may be required to facilitate social interaction. A professional occupational therapist will be able to design an occupational therapy plan tailored specifically to meet the needs of your child.

Occupational Therapy for Children Adelaide is very effective in the treatment of non-specific motor skills and behaviours. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may benefit from applying various techniques which address gross motor, fine motor, sensorimotor, sensory processing, or motor skills. In some cases, OTC is combined with other techniques like speech therapy to enhance communication and socialization. Occupational therapists also teach patients about daily routines, rules of the occupational therapy office, and precautions to avoid repetitive and dangerous movements.

A licensed professional occupational therapy for children should be able to assess your child’s needs. Parents should also be aware that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at higher risk for injuries if they perform tasks that involve repetitive movements. Thus, it is important to ensure that any occupational therapy for children program includes discussing safety.