In simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people participate in daily life activities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities that are meaningful to them. These “skills for the job of living” are necessary to ensure satisfying, fulfilling and independent lives. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities fully participate in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury regain skills and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
Individualized evaluation to determine the person’s goals.
Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach goals.
Evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
For children, the primary occupation is play
. Through play, a child develops physically, mentally, and emotionally allowing them to function effectively within their environment. When a deficit or delay exists in development, an occupational therapist works closely with the child and their family to create a program of activities or adaptations to meet the child’s specific needs through the therapeutic use of play.
Areas of concern often addressed by a pediatric Occupational Therapists include:
Fine motor skill challenges using the hands to complete a task. This can include things like writing skills, buttons and snaps, use of utensils and scissors, and picking up small objects.
Gross motor skills for accident-prone or clumsy children. This can include activities such as catching a ball standing on one foot to put on pants or socks.
Self-care including dressing, feeding and eating, toileting, grooming and hygiene.
Visual skills being able to use hands and eyes together, discriminating between objects, etc.
Sensory processing creating an appropriate response to information from the environment. Your child might be over or under sensitive to these things.
Cognitive skills include problem-solving, attention and following directions.
When a child does not seem to be developing like his or her siblings or peers, an occupational therapist may be necessary to determine if services are needed. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of developmental milestones from birth to age 5 and beyond. Refer to this information and talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your individual child’s development.
Please call 606.783.6919 or 606.783.7676 for more information or to schedule an evaluation with an occupational therapist.