Occupational therapists are trained to assist children to perform the functional tasks that normally occupy their lives. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary to become functional and independent adults. These skills include:
- Sensory Processing
- Motor Development and Refinement
- Social Skills
- Cognitive Skills
- Self-Care Skills
- Self-Esteem and Self-Concept
The expectations for the level of development of any of these skills will vary depending on the child’s age and presenting difficulties. It is critical to remember that all of these skills are developing simultaneously. Impairment of one area is likely to stunt development in other areas.
Play is the media most often used in the Occupational therapist’s treatment of children. It is highly motivating and a natural media used by all children. Education and involvement of the family is critical to the child’s success.
The educational background of Occupational therapists includes extensive course work in anatomy, neurology and psychology. Their education also includes course work in activity analysis. This enables the therapist to analyze the components of a play or work activity that will address a child’s skill area.
Common Problem Areas:
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Poor coordination
- Developmental delays/Delayed milestones
- Fine motor difficulties
- Visual perceptual problems
- Cognitive delays
- Attention deficits
- Poor social development
- Behaviors that interfere with function
- Low muscle tone
- High muscle tone
- Difficulty with daily living skills (ex. dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming)
These are some of the most common problems areas addressed. If your child is having difficulties and is falling behind other children of the same age, please contact us at 717-709-7997 for an evaluation.
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