Occupational Therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping individuals regain and improve their ability to perform daily activities and tasks. Occupational therapy helps people across their lifespan to do the things they want and need through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent-or live life better with-injuries, illnesses, or disabilities.
Occupational therapy for children is aimed at those with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities such as ADHD, autism and Down syndrome.
A child’s main job during childhood is to learn, develop and play and it is an occupational therapist’s job to evaluate if a child is doing so in a way that is appropriate for their age. If deemed otherwise, occupational therapists will set out a plan of activities to aid the child in catching up with their developmental progress. This plan might include different methods of playing and learning alternative ways of participating in popular games, help with handwriting, verbal skills, expanding on social skills, helping with appropriate play, help with focusing in the classroom, amongst other methods.
One of the main visible benefits of Occupational Therapy is the progression into a normal daily life for a child that has disabilities. With Occupational Therapy the whole family is introduced to alternate norms that enhance the child’s comfort in situations that may typically cause them stress and difficulty.
Occupational Therapy also assists children with defects caused by birth, disease or accidents. In these cases, children are aided with equipment such as slings or splints to help different parts of their body and also taught how to find devices or alternative ways to carry out tasks such as opening jars, changing clothes, putting shoes on and taking a shower.