Occupational Therapy “Living, Playing, Learning”
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy helps people participate in all areas of their lives. A child’s main occupations are playing, learning, and daily living, and occupational therapy can help a child to take part in activities from all areas of life.
What does an occupational therapist do?
An OT encourages participation in everyday tasks. This can be done by improving the child’s skills, or by changing parts of the environment or the activity. Areas of focus include:
Self-Care: eating, dressing, toileting, sleeping, bathing, grooming, etc.
Play: learning to play independently and with others, exploring the environment, using toys, recreational activities, etc.
Work: school tasks (e.g. participating in circle time, colouring/drawing/cutting, written output, following classroom routines, staying focused in class, organizing materials, etc.), household tasks (e.g. doing chores, cooking, etc.), community living tasks (e.g. taking the bus, shopping, independent living skills, etc.)
How does the occupational therapist help the child and family?
To help the child to participate, the occupational therapist might do some of the following:
- Work with the child and caregiver to develop the child’s skills (eg: cutting skills)
- Make changes to the materials being used (eg: larger tabs on a jacket zipper)
- Suggest changes to the surroundings (eg: position of the child in the classroom)
- Suggest a different approach to the activity (eg: break the task down into smaller steps)
Education is a very important part of the therapy process. The occupational therapist will provide the family, caregivers and teachers with information and tools to help the child participate.
How to Make a Referral