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Occpational Therapist
Contact details
Address

•52 Tanner Road,
  Windsor Park,
  Cape Gate


• Goodwood

Telephone 021 591 9082
Mobile phone 082 552 6569
E-mail E-mail

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY IN CHILDREN

WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?

Occupational therapy is aimed at giving people the skills for the job of living. In the case of children this ‘job’ or ‘occupation’ involves predominantly playing, learning and carrying out every-day activities such as using the toilet, getting dressed, writing, brushing teeth and so on. An Occupational Therapist will aim at enabling the child to be physically, cognitively, emotionally, psychologically and socially as independent as possible.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM OT?

Occupational therapy can be beneficial to children who suffer from permanent disabilities, chronic illnesses, the effects of accidents and injuries, as well as those whose development is lagging behind that of their peers. Ages are from as young as pre-mature born babies to late teens.

WHAT DOES OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DO?

Occupational therapy often focuses on developmental milestones and skills that are expected of children in the classroom and on the playground.  Many of the techniques involve playful activities which make OT sessions very enjoyable for many children.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR VISIT TO THE OT

ASSESSMENT

Once a child has been referred by a parent, doctor, teacher or other therapist, an assessment will be performed.

Assessment could include:

Information gathering though parental/and or teacher interviews and questionnaires about developmental history, problems or areas where difficulties are currently experienced, strong points and medical history.

A holistic picture is formed of the child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development by interviewing and the use of various assessment tools.  Areas that will be looked at could include:

Functional  such as dressing, eating and toileting
Scholastics such as pencil and scissor grip and perceptual development
Play and social skills
Sensory abilities and functions such as touch, balance etc.
Behavioural responses
Duration and quality of concentration
Gross motor development such as balance etc.
Fine motor development (e.g. cutting, tying laces and colouring)

INTERVENTION

There is a range of possible ways of supporting a child:

Training and advice for parents, teachers and caregivers
Provision of home programmes that are carried out at home
Recommendation of equipment to support skills and learning such as pencil grips, etc.
Direct therapy with child, individually or in a group
Appropriate referral when necessary

THE FOLLOWING COULD INDICATE A NEED FOR AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSESSMENT

Difficulties with gross motor development: eg. the child has poor balance, cannot maintain a proper sitting position, appears clumsy or avoid physical play activities,

Difficulties with fine motor development such as writing, colouring, doing buttons, tying laces, cutting and completing written work in allocated time

The child has difficulty with sequencing steps of an activity or planning eg. getting dressed

The child is over- or under-sensitive for stimuli such as touch, movement, sound or visual input

Difficulty directing or sustaining attention

Perceptual difficulties: often seen in reversals of letters or numbers, poor spacing and poor letter or number recognition

Poor copying skills such as drawing shapes or writing from the blackboard

Difficulty in establishing a dominant hand

Learning difficulties exist or are suspected

Fine Motor Development
Therapy For Children
Occupational Therapy