Paediatric Occupational Therapy

Paediatric Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapy is a treatment that focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives. It can offer children with various needs positive, fun activities to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Occupational therapists working with children aim to optimise a child’s occupational performance ie their ability to function in their daily lives. Children have many important and complex occupations, which form an important foundation for the roles they will take on as adults.

 

These occupations include:

 

  • Playing, including imaginative and structured play

  • Self-care which includes the activities of daily living such as feeding, toileting, dressing, grooming, mobility, getting organised for the day ahead

  • Education and Learning which requires skills in many areas including attention and concentration, organisation and planning, fine and gross motor skills, emotional regulation and social skills, body awareness and sensory behaviour (touch, sound, taste, smell, vision, balance, motor planning)

 

Occupational therapy intervention addresses the key 'doing' skills that a child is having difficulty with such as:

 

  • Fine motor (construction activities, colouring, drawing, cutting, handwriting legibility and speed, typing skills, puzzles)

  • Written expression (thinking up and organising ideas on paper with structure and coherence, essay writing)

  • Gross motor (ball skills, skipping, jumping, swimming, riding a bike)

  • Self-care (dressing, eating, hygiene, toileting)

  • Play (imaginative play, purposeful, structured and sequenced play)

 

Occupational therapy intervention also addresses any imbalances in underlying functions and abilities that may be impeding the development of such skills including:

 

  • Mechanical functions (posture, seating, muscle tone and pencil grip)

  • Sensory abilities (coordination, sensory processing, body awareness, balance, motor planning, visual perceptual ability ie the ability to recognise, differentiate and attach meaning to the information we see in the environment, reactions to sensations such as sound, taste, smell, vision)

  • Cognitive functions (attention, memory, organisation and planning)

  • Personal abilities (motivation, confidence, enjoyment and perseverance)

  • Social abilities (friendship, social participation and dealing with feelings and new siutuations)

 

Occupational Therapists working with children and young people have knowledge about and experience observing how children develop and acquire skills. They also understand how to analyse and breakdown skills to help children achieve.

Sensory Integration Therapy is a form of Occupational therapy that addresses sensory processing difficulties. It is fun and engaging and enables the child’s brain to become more efficient at processing sensory input leading to improvements in concentration, emotional regulation, motor planning, visual perceptual skills, reduced sensory sensitivities, fine and gross motor skills, speech and academic achievement.

Paediatric Occupational Therapy London

Not sure where
to start?

 

Discuss your child's needs and get expert advice from Kids In Sync founder, Jacqui Penny, via telephone consultation.