When people think of occupational therapy, they often think of adults getting help after a stroke, surgery, or an accident that left the person unable to perform essential tasks. However, this form of therapy is not just for adults. There are several reasons children may need it.
Often, children with autism will receive occupational therapy services. For those with autism, their services may include help with handwriting, buttoning a shirt, kicking a ball, and using scissors. Because children with autism often face sensory issues, their OT services may also address these. This may include helping the child to properly deal with touch, smell, or loud noises. The therapist may also work with the child on transitional skills or soothing techniques.
Fine Motor Problems
Some children can run, kick a ball, and participate in other physical activities fine. The problem arises when the child needs to perform a task requiring fine motor skills. When this is the case, the OT might have the child cut out pictures using scissors, thread beads to make a necklace, or zip a jacket. The child's fine motor skills might be affected by an injury, a birth defect, or a neurological issue.
For children with a serious physical disability, such as a missing limb, limited muscle ability, blindness, or deafness, occupational therapy can help the child learn how to adapt. For example, a child who lost a leg due to bone cancer might learn to walk using a prosthetic leg. A child with cerebral palsy may practice catching and throwing a ball or walking with the help of a walker.
These are just some of the reasons that children need OT services. Providing OT services for children can be a rewarding experience, especially as you watch the child's progress. Contact us to learn about jobs in this area of healthcare.
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