While occupational therapy is typically thought of only as a service for adults, this type of treatment is also useful for children as it can help with development and independence. If your child needs help with everyday tasks, determine if occupational therapy can help by reviewing the answers to these frequently asked questions.
FAQ About Occupational Therapy for Children
Why do children need occupational therapy?
The main goal of occupational therapy is to help patients gain independence as they live with physical, cognitive, or sensory disabilities. Even though children aren’t entirely independent, they can still benefit from this treatment as they go to school, make friends, participate in extracurricular activities, and enjoy playtime.
What disabilities qualify children for occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can help children with a wide variety of difficulties. For example, a child with developmental delays might benefit from additional work on their motor skills to help them with writing or tying their shoes. A child with a physical disability or injury might need help learning how to get dressed or make their bed. An occupational therapist can also help children with behavioral disorders learn strategies to work through their emotions when they’re at school or with a friend.
How are children evaluated?
If you’re not sure why your child struggles with certain activities, an occupational therapist will assess their behavior from all possible angles. For example, while refusal to get dressed could signal a behavioral issue, it could also stem from a cognitive disability, such as sensory processing issues. Perhaps this behavior is actually due to anxiety over numerous choices or claustrophobia when putting on a shirt. The therapist will observe and work with your child to determine what type of therapy would benefit them the most, and they will then create a therapy plan with your child’s needs in mind.
What’s the difference between occupational therapy for physical impairments versus sensory processing disorders?
Occupational therapy for physical impairments focuses on activities like strengthening muscle groups, improving balance, and practicing hand-eye coordination. These activities will work to increase your child’s independence through movement. However, if your child has a sensory processing disorder, the treatment will be more psychological. For example, if your child is hypersensitive, they might be removed from stimuli such as loud noises and bright lights during their sessions. Over time, they will be re-introduced to stimuli with the help of their therapist.
If you think your child would benefit from occupational therapy, The Road Home Therapy Center can help. Located in Church Point, LA, this therapy center has been catering to patients of all ages since 1978. Whether your little one needs speech, occupational, and physical therapy, they will cater a treatment plan to your child’s needs. Visit their website to learn more about their accommodating facility, or call (337) 684-6318 to make an appointment today.