Occupational therapy for children helps them become more independent in their daily lives. Therapists are trained to help children prepare for and perform developmental activities. Some of this preparation includes widening the range of motion of their hands and body while strengthening muscles. It improves bilateral coordination, which means using both their hands together; visual motor skills; and visual perception skills. The therapist helps children practice everyday tasks such as writing and tying shoes, and makes modifications for each individual’s abilities.
Occupational therapists have many different methods of treatment. Some things parents can expect during treatment are:
• Hitting a target
• Batting a ball
• Copying from a blackboard
• Learning basic skills such as brushing their teeth and feeding themselves
• Using positive ways to deal with anger such as physical activity or writing about the anger
• Using coordination skills such as using a computer
Pediatric occupational therapists are trained in an accredited occupational therapy program. They may have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and have passed national certification tests. Some of the areas where therapists are trained are sensory integration theory, neuro-development theory, and many others.
Occupational therapists are also trained to deal with the child’s physical well-being as well as their psychological well-being. They take into consideration social and environmental factors that may affect the child. This type of care can be vital for some children.