The name “Occupational Therapy” may refer to ideas such as work or employment, performing tasks or work activities, but it is not exactly so; this discipline is a great ally for all those who have some psychomotor limitation, some physical or psychological injury, or have lost skills in the performance of daily activities, which detracts from quality life.
And even if you think it’s an adult-targeted therapy, it’s at an early age that can bring significant benefits to growing humans. The child’s self-esteem may be affected when he or she has some kind of difficulty in performing, whether at school, at home or recreational, as he or she may feel diminished or rejected by those around them.
Sometimes, something as simple as grabbing the pencil well to write, tying shoes, trimming or assembling figures, among others, can become in a big challenge for a child who, with the timely guidance and provision of practical tools by an occupational therapist, can overcome obstacles and conquer their independence.
The occupational therapist can be a great parent ally in requiring guidelines that contribute to the development of their children. The therapist is trained to evaluate the child’s performance and determine if it is consistent with what is expected for their age.
In case the results require reinforcement, the therapist can design a strategy and a set of activities for the child to recover or acquire the necessary skills.
Occupational therapy not only considers per se skills, all the factors that affect their expression are also taken into account, in a holistic way the psychological, social and environmental aspect surrounding the individual are addressed. For the intention is that the person, in this case the child, can integrate harmoniously into his entire environment.
Who can benefit from occupational therapy?
To a greater or lesser extent, everyone can benefit from this discipline, but it can be vitally helpful in cases such as:
- Birth injuries and congenital malformations.
- Sensory processing issues.
- Traumatisms in the brain or spinal cord.
- Autism, learning problems or generalized development disorders.
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
- Behavioral or mental health problems.
- Bone fractures or other orthopaedical lesions.
- Developmental Delays.
- Spin bone.
- Traumatic amputations.
- Hand injuries.
- Among other chronic diseases.
What areas are worked on in occupational therapy?
As already mentioned, in this discipline the individual is treated in an integral way from the physical, psychological and social; but in particular the therapist can implement a personalized strategy to address fine and gross motor skills, sensory processing, eating problems, behavioral disorders.
You can also make adaptations of everyday utensils such as brushes, cutlery, among others; as well as indicating whether the support of specialized equipment such as splints, bathroom equipment, devices is required to facilitate communication among others.
The spectrum of help that occupational therapy can provide is really very broad. I hope here you have cleared your doubts if you are requiring specialized help and did not know which professional to turn to.