What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a specialist health profession providing direct services to people of all ages who require support in increasing, maintaining and preventing loss of independence in all aspects of daily life.
Occupational Therapy involves the “therapeutic use of work, self-care and play activities to increase independent function, enhance development and prevent disability. It may include adaptation of task or environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance quality of life”
What do Occupational Therapists do?
Occupational therapists are concerned with everything a person does - from morning to night, a Therapist will observe and discuss everyday tasks, to identify areas of difficulty. Occupational Therapists use skills of analysis to identify the root cause of functional difficulties. This may be, sensory, physical, emotional, environmental or social.
An Occupational Therapist may:
Provide advice on equipment to increase or aid functional independence.
Provide advice on adapting the environment to enable independent access of mobility.
Educate carers on how to support, encourage or assist a loved one in managing their lives to their maximum ability, with independence and dignity.
Select activities to address underlying difficulties and create and implement specialist programmes or rehabilitation packages.
Provide direct treatment to help develop skills and independence
Assist Schools and teaching staff with strategies to support children and adolescents.
What is Paediatric (Children's) Occupational Therapy?
Using purposeful activity and play, a Children’s Occupational Therapist works with the Child to enable them to attain the highest possible quality of life. The Occupational Therapist assesses the child and uses therapeutic techniques and activities to help maximise the child’s abilities and independence. The assessment and therapeutic treatment techniques vary according to the needs of the child.
A Paediatric Occupational Therapist has specialist knowledge and experience in working with children with special needs and co-ordination difficulties.
A Paediatric Occupational Therapist has undertaken specialist training in areas of sensory and motor development and understands the importance of maintaining and developing self -esteem and confidence in a child who may struggle to function as independently or effectively as his/her peers.
By using fun, education and play in an environment designed to capture and motivate a child, the Paediatric Occupational Therapist provides the child with sensory and motor experiences required to develop foundation skills and achieve success.
What is Therapy likely to Involve?
Your child will be assessed using both formal and informal assessments. Formal assessments involve standardised tests, whilst informal assessments use observations based upon fun activities and age appropriate play. A questionnaire may also be appropriate and will be sent to you for completion prior to the initial assessment appointment. Areas of assessment may include:
Gross motor skills
Fine motor skills
Self care skills