What is Occupational Therapy?

Paediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on helping children of all ages with physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges to become as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. Occupational therapists have extensive training in childhood development, and through a variety of play-based activities, an occupational therapist can assess and provide strengths-based therapy for the specific areas daily activities that a child may be experiencing difficulty in:

  • Sensory: You child’s ability to interpret and organise information from the senses about their body and environment.
  • Motor: Your child’s meeting developmental milestones, muscle tone and strength, patterns of movement, posture, gross and fine motor function and hand-eye coordination and prescription of equipment
  • Cognitive: Your child’s arousal level and attention skills, initiation and planning of activity, problem solving and safety awareness.
  • Psychosocial: The child’s play and social skills, self-regulation, self-esteem and motivation

By helping children improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills; occupational therapy can enhance their independence and development.

Who do paediatric occupational therapists work with?

Occupational therapists work with children with and without a diagnosis who require assistance with everyday tasks. Many children do come to OT with a specific diagnosis, i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dysgraphia, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay (GDD) or children may be experiencing learning problems and behavioural difficulties, all of which occupational therapists have a thorough understanding and training in.

Where do paediatric occupational therapists work?

You will often see OTs working with children in the clinic, home, schools and in the community. Paediatric occupational therapists often works in multidisciplinary teams with other health professionals such as psychologists, speech pathologists and physiotherapists who are working towards similar goals.

What services do occupational therapists provide?

  • Assessments
  • One-on-one therapy
  • Group programs
  • Parent education and consultation

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