Occupational therapists work with children, their caregivers and school educators to increase their ability to perform their daily activities. The occupational therapist’s role is to develop a treatment plan based on an analysis of the child’s skills, their activities and occupations and based on the context in which those occupations occur.
A child’s main occupations include playing and school-work. The environment in which they perform these daily activities has an important impact on the child’s ability to play and learn. The occupational therapist will work with the client and caregivers to evaluate the interactions between all persons involved in the child’s care and the child’s play and learning environments to provide an intervention program that will help the child’s development, and ultimately help the child’s overall performance.
The occupational therapists can work with children with varying diagnosis including (but not limited to):
- Acquired/Traumatic Brain Injury (ABI/TBI)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Delays in motor function
- Developmental Coordination Disorder
- Down Syndrome
- Learning disabilities
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Spina Bifida
The occupational therapists may assess and provide treatment for:
- Activities of daily living (self-care, hygiene, dressing, feeding)
- Cognitive function
- Fine and gross motor skills (dexterity, coordination, etc.)
- Learning and play environment
- Executive function (planning and organization skills)
- Sensory function
- Social and life skills
- Visual-motor and perceptual function
- Written output
The occupational therapists will assess the child using observations of the child’s performance and interactions in their natural environment as well as a combination of various standardized and non-standardized assessments to attain an understanding of the child’s strengths and needs. The use of therapeutic play with children will be used as a modality for interventions as play is part of a child’s daily life. Therapeutic play creates a positive approach to learn new skills while focusing on the child’s strengths and addressing the established therapy objectives.
Play is a creative way to learn, grow and develop skills!