How Occupational Therapy Works
You may already be familiar with occupational therapy, only in a different setting. Adults recovering from an accident may be prescribed occupational therapy to help them redevelop work-related skills that may have become impaired due to injury. The idea remains much the same with children’s occupational therapy.
However, because a child’s main occupation is school and play, treatment focuses on helping them do more in those areas. It involves supporting them in reaching developmental goals and enhancing their ability to engage in school activities and play with greater independence. Occupational therapists use a range of techniques to help children learn through activity.
These activities are actually exercises that can appear similar to play, which helps to keep children engaged and learning. Moreover, they are developed specifically for the child to address their unique needs. While this often means activities designed to target coordination and fine motor skills, they can also be helpful in other areas, such as self-care, balance, and school participation, among others.
They may include activities such as arts and crafts, board games, playing with balls, and even building with Legos. The occupational therapist develops the cycle of activities and assesses the child’s progress with those activities, adapting as needed. This allows the child to cultivate important skills naturally during early developmental periods, building upon those lessons and experiences as they grow.