Occupational therapists support their patients to accomplish their day-to-day tasks ( personal and professional occupations) and lead a fully independent life. We all desire an active lifestyle, but chronic pain in any part of our body deteriorates our quality of life. Take out positive emotions, and gradually patients get into depression.
Occupational therapists not only help adult and older adult patients, instead some groups of occupational therapists deal with the occupational problems of kids and younger adults. They are specifically known as Paediatric Occupational therapy.
Generally, an occupational therapist works considering three important key points such as; Patients, their occupation, and their associated environment. For a paediatric occupational therapist, the major key points should be children, their education and activities, and associated educational institute. If all three key points are not working together, then it is really difficult to lead a healthy, happy, and satisfying life. In these cases, Occupational therapist design therapeutic program that helps to synchronize all these key pointers and make life easy.
For children, paediatric occupational therapists include the following things in their occupational therapy program. Such as:
- Selfcare & grooming
- Playing & Leisure
OT involves activities that should be done by the children on regular basis for the long-term to get ultimate benefits.
Let’s talk about the role of paediatric occupational Therapists
The main objective of paediatric occupational therapists is to provide adequate support, advice and advice to younger adults and kids ( from 3 years to 18 years) and their families. They gradually minimize the impairment and disabilities issue which interrupts day-to-day occupational performance so that patients can participate in their activities and live their life to the fullest.
For younger adults who are facing difficulties in joining in activities like self-grooming, using cutlery, playing indoor and outdoor games, and writing, paediatric occupational therapists help them. All of the above difficulties might be due to poor fine-motor coordination and poor gross-motor coordination, deteriorated motor planning skills, poor core stability, visual perceptual difficulties or any nervous/ sensory difficulties.
Some educational institutes in the UK hire occupational therapists to guide special children to gradually improve their regular activity, increase focus, and thereby perform in every aspect like education, extra curriculum activities, and homework.
The initial ages of children are very important for social, cognitive, and physical development and emotional growth. Some kids experience restricted or delayed mental growth. Therefore, they require support to grow like their peers. In this case, a paediatric occupational therapist helps them to improve their communication skills, and cognitive skills and stimulate mental growth through some engaging activities.
There is a total of five ways paediatric occupational therapists help children who require extra support in the above-mentioned area:
Some children have a community inferiority complex, they experience difficulties in interacting socially, and feel hesitant to engage with classmates, peers, and other family members except parents, and teachers. Even they don’t speak much and can not adapt to a new environment easily. So parents take the help of a paediatric occupational therapist for a thoroughly check OT does throughout the assessment through observation and simple tests. The occupational therapist helps them to play their favourite games improves communication skills, and motivates them to take part in daily activities. To increase self-esteem, it is important to engage them with small activities which bring a sense of accomplishment and they gradually feel more confident.
2.Improve fine & gross motor skills
Gross motor skills involve a series of muscles of our body that plays a crucial role in crawling, jumping, waking, and catching the ball. Occupational therapist designs their treatment methodology so that children can gradually improve postural control, balance, locomotion, and stability.
Improve fine motor skills; Fine motor skills are associated with the coordination of smaller muscles of our hands and fingers Fine motor skills are imperative to achieve academic success, grooming and dressing, manipulating clothes and much more. OTs are here to rectify children’s fine and gross motor coordination to increase their efficiency to complete day-to-day tasks more successfully and independently
3. Sensory processing
Some children experience very little stimulation of their senses; In this case, they travel to interpret and retrieve the information they receive. Paediatric occupational therapists help those children to receive and integrate information through sensory inputs.
Children with low visual processing is a very common problem but it can be treated with the help of an occupational therapist. So, if your child is facing visual processing issues, then don’t worry take the help of an occupational therapist, they will not only improve visual processing but also boost recognizing power, reading & catching abilities.
5. Improve hand strength and physical abilities: Hand strength and physical stability both are very essential, or we would say they are the foundation of core strength. OTs, help children to inculcate grip strength. Initially, hand grip exercise equipment is not necessary but after developing a decent level of griping strength, along with physical abilities, they are normally allowed to use putty and squeeze balls to strengthen forearm muscles, grip strength, and dexterity.