In this blog, we will explore the benefits of occupational therapy and answer the question, “why would my child need occupational therapy?” The short answer is that occupational therapy will help your child perform daily activities, or occupations, with the greatest level of independence as possible.
First, let’s examine what pediatric occupational therapy (OT) is and what it aims to accomplish. Occupational therapy is a unique blend of medical, scientific, and technological knowledge combined with the ability of an individual to change. The aim of occupational therapy is to improve the quality of life for a person. It is a lifeline that connects patients back to their own lives, whether it is getting themselves dressed, feeding themselves, socializing, walking and other occupations. For children, their occupations typically consist of playing, learning, and socializing.
Used for all age groups, OT aims to bring a child to their full capabilities, whether it is a short term therapy, weekly sessions, or an intensive therapy approach. OT can benefit children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including but not limited to: autism, birth injuries, cerebral palsy, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, sensory processing disorders, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, stroke, and more.
1. The first is an individualized evaluation to determine the patient’s goals. The whole person and their environment are used while the family, patient, and occupational therapist figure this out together. Other medical professionals will collaborate during this process.
2. The second step is an intervention to improve the patient’s ability to perform daily activities and to reach the goals set. This could involve environmental changes such as putting in a ramp or safety bars.
3. The final step is another evaluation that reviews goals made to see if they have been met. If the goals have not been met, changes are made to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy was started a century ago to help soldiers readjust to civilian life and recognize and relieve stress. In addition, they can also learn to care for themselves after an injury or the loss of a limb. Occupational therapy programs for children would consist of adaptability through equipment and usage training, also adaptability recommendations, most likely through a school. A school will have an occupational therapy program, sometimes called special education. The school district will not be able to diagnose, but they are legally obligated to have a program that provides for education, speech, and occupational therapy.
At NAPA Center, we take an individualized approach to pediatric therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.