Paediatric

Occupational Therapist

 

 

What is

 

 

Occupational Therapy?

 

 

Occupational Therapy aims at improving an individuals functioning and helping them to achieve their maximum level of independence. 

Treatment in OT is done using activities (including play) that are carefully sought out for the child. 

These activities need to improve the required skills, while giving the child a sense of enjoyment. This sense of enjoyment will encourage full engagement and participation from the child, increasing effectiveness of therapy.

 

Occupational Therapy for the School – Going child

How do I know if my child needs OT?

 

  • Struggling to keep up with classroom demands
  • Fidgeting, easily distracted
  • Difficulty with fine motor or gross motor skills – not on par with their peers
  • Poor endurance – gets tired easily during writing / coloring and other work tasks
  • Reversing letters that are similar (b and d)
  • Unable to write on the line or keep letters the same size
  • School and work task avoidance
  • Difficulty with pencil control / eye-hand coordination 

Treatment

After the assessment, individual goals are drawn up in the treatment plan. For a school-going child, these are usually the underlying skills required for writing, concentration and reading. Some of the aims are:

  • Core strength / postural tone
  • Hand strength
  • Fine motor skills
  • Visual perception skills
  • Sensory modulation

Treatment sessions are usually weekly, and are 30 minutes or 45 minutes, depending on the child’s concentration ability.

Treatment sessions will be a combination of aims that are treated simultaneously. A home exercise program may be given to assist your child further. 

 

Why should I pursue OT for my child?

 

Children are perceptive and they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, even though we don’t realize it. As a result, if a child knows they struggle with certain tasks they will avoid it. E.g. if they struggle with writing, they are aware that they are not on the same level as their peers and will avoid writing. This may lead to disruptive behavior to avoid the task, and negatively impacts on their self-esteem. 

As OT progresses along with the child’s skills and abilities and they cope better in the classroom, there is usually a noticeable change in their self-esteem. They have increasing confidence and engagement during work and tabletop activities.