How Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child Achieve Independence

Jan 15th, 2016 | by Lynette LaScala
Lynette LaScala

Lynette LaScala

January 15th, 2016

Occupational therapy is a unique blend of medical, scientific, and technological knowledge combined with the ability of an individual to change. The aim of occupational therapy is to improve the quality of life for a person. It is a lifeline that connects clients back to their own lives, whether it is getting themselves dressed, feeding themselves, socializing, or walking. A child’s “occupations” are daily activities. For children these occupations are playing, learning, and socializing.

Used for all age groups, it is the treatment that brings a person to their full capabilities, whether it is a short term therapy or the full on management of deteriorating illnesses. A stroke victim can recover to some extent by using occupational therapy. Better results come from motivated clients. Birth defects, accidents, or illnesses, any of these might benefit from this type of service.

Occupational therapy services consist of three steps. The first is an individualized evaluation to determine the client’s goals. The whole person and their environment are used while the family, client, and occupational therapist figure this out together. Other medical professionals will collaborate during this process. The second step is an intervention to improve the client ability to perform daily activities and to reach the goals set. This could involve environmental changes such as putting in a ramp or safety bars. The final step is another evaluation that reviews goals made to see if they have been met. If the goals have not been met, changes are made to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy was started a century ago to help soldiers readjust to civilian life. One occupational therapy program helps soldiers recognize and relieve stress. In addition, they can also learn to care for themselves after an injury or the loss of a limb. Occupational therapy programs for children would consist of adaptability through equipment and usage training, also adaptability recommendations, most likely through a school. A school will have an occupational therapy program, sometimes called special education. The school district will not be able to diagnose, but they are legally obligated to have a program that provides for education, speech, and occupation therapy.

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