Occupational Therapist’s view ‘occupation‘ as an activity that brings purpose, meaning and enriches a child’s life.

    Work alongside families, teachers and healthcare services to:
  • Enable children to develop confidence and independence to perform life skills.

  • Promote development and inspire children to learn and be more meaningfully involved in the world around them.

  • Assist children to develop and strengthen their skills that support learning, play and their relationships at home and at school.

Children’s skill development is much like building a house.

Children’s skill development is much like building a house.

Before erecting the walls and the roof of a house, a solid foundation must first be laid.  In the same way a child must first master underlying (hidden) abilities before being able to successfully perform more refined tasks/activities.


Foundation:

The ability to effectively process sensory information (touch, sight, taste, sound and smell) that allows the child to register the world around them, as well as to know how to use their bodies.

 

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Walls:

Physical components such as finger strength, hand dexterity, postural control.

Roof:

Refined skills like bike riding or handwriting, getting dressed, feeding themselves, tying shoelaces, catching a ball, etc.



The role of an  Occupational Therapists is to ask ‘why is the skill difficult’ (that is, ‘why is the roof so shaky’?) and then to review the underlying foundations and physical abilities (the foundations and walls) to determine where the origin of the challenge is, to then deduce appropriate strategies to resolve the child’s difficulties

Who requires Occupational Therapy?

At Building Blocks Therapy we see children with a range of skills and abilities.  Below are some of the difficulties your child might be experiencing that we can help with.

Touch Processing

  • Withdraws from touch
  • Sensitive to the different fabrics
  • Touches everything constantly
  • Avoids being close to others (e.g. in lines)
  • Over-reacts when bumped
  • Shows no reaction when physically hurt

Movement Processing 

  • Fearful of being off the ground
  • Constantly “on the go” and seeks out all kinds of movement such as twirling, spinning, running
  • Likes crashing, bashing, bumping, jumping and rough housing
  • Is clumsy, awkward and/or accident – prone
  • Does not like movement and prefers sedentary play

Oral Motor Processing

  • Put everything in their mouth
  • Often licks, sucks or chews on non-food items such as pencil, hair and clothes
  • Fussy eater
  • Auditory Processing
  • Responds inappropriately to loud noises such as covering their ears or hiding

Visual Processing

  • Dislikes or avoids bright lights

Other

  • Heightened response to touch, movement and sound
  • Aggressive or impulsive behaviour when overwhelmed by sensory stimulation
  • Upset by transitions and unexpected changes
  • Resists grooming activities such as brushing teeth and haircuts
  • Has difficulty with personal organisation
  • Poor attention and emotional regulation.
  • Avoids handwriting tasks
  • Delayed development of dominant hand
  • Forms letters too big or too small
  • Can’t use 1/3 lines appropriately for age
  • Incorrect letter or number formations
  • Letter/number reversals
  • Mirror image writing
  • Difficulty copying from the board
  • Very slow or too fast at completing written work
  • Poor strength and control in their hands
  • Difficulty getting thoughts on paper
  • Legibility
  • Poor spatial organization
  • Difficulty planning and/or organising written tasks
  • Finds writing different text types challenging
  • Difficulty with drawing, colouring, tracing
  • Avoids fine motor tasks
  • Difficulty holding pencil correctly
  • Has difficulty with scissors
  • Does not seem to have a dominant hand
  • Struggles with buttons, zips, shoelaces
  • Difficulty playing games that require precise hand and finger control
  • Seems weaker than other children
  • Does not have the endurance of other children
  • Difficulty hopping, jumping, skipping or running
  • Appears stiff and awkward in his/her movements
  • Clumsy, often bumps into others or objects
  • Does not seem to understand concepts such as right, left, front, back
  • Shies away from playground equipment
  • Poor posture
  • Delay in developing motor milestones, e.g. walking, crawling
  • Poor body awareness
  • Difficulty using cutlery in a coordinated manner
  • Finds it tricky to do up buttons, zippers and other fasteners
  • Need help to get dressed
  • Not yet able to tie shoelaces
  • Struggles to get ready for school independently
  • Difficulties with toilet training
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Sensitivities to bathing, grooming and oral hygiene
  • Limited diet
  • Difficultly self regulating
  • Very impulsive
  • Has frequent meltdowns
  • Struggles to calm down
  • Difficult to manage at home
  • Does not like change
  • Reacts violently to others
  • Difficulty making and keeping friends
  • Difficulty understanding non-verbal body language
  • Not understanding feelings
  • Finds it challenging to take turns appropriately
  • Limited eye contact
  • Distractible
  • Restless
  • Slow worker
  • Disorganised
  • Seems more lethargic than other children