Occupational Therapy For Kids

What Occupational Therapy For Kids Is All About

Occupational therapy for kids has a somewhat strange ring to it. Occupation therapy for adults makes sense, but for kids? The answer is, if you consider learning and playing as occupations, kids can sometime benefit from certain types of therapy to deal with any limitations or disadvantages they may have in those areas. Kids don't get paid for learning or playing, but as far as the kids themselves are concerned, learning and playing are occupations.

Physical Therapy - Occupational therapy for kids isn't exactly the same as physical therapy, although the boundary can at times be a little fuzzy. Physical therapy is often called for when a child suffers from gross motor functioning disabilities, lacks strength, is experiencing pain while moving, or experiences a limited range of motion. Physical therapy is largely focused on improving the functioning of joints and muscles, as well as helping in coordinating movement.

Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapy for kids on the other hand focuses more on fine tuning motor skills, which can be as simple as working on penmanship, working on various cognitive skills, or dealing with visual, or hearing deficiencies.

Some youngsters require a number of occupational therapy sessions or ongoing therapy to deal with more serious or troublesome problems, while others often receive the help they need in just a session or two. Occupational therapy may be needed to deal with behavioral problems, or simply teaching a youngster who does not have a behavioral problem, but has a mental problem nonetheless, how to better cope with life.

Children who have suffered traumatic injuries can sometimes benefit from occupational therapy. Physical therapy sessions may be needed during the healing and recovery process, whereas occupational therapy would come into play to fine-tune certain aspects of recovery, or learn how best to deal with a situation in which complete recovery is not attainable.

Two of the more common reasons for occupational therapy is when a child either is experiencing difficulty in development or is encountering learning problems. Sometimes the solution to a problem involves teaching "how to" instead of seeking a cure. Professional occupational therapists will usually be very good at getting a child to want to try to improve in some way rather than simply trying to force it to happen.

Occupational therapy for kids covers such diverse activities as learning to hit a baseball, more from a perspective of teaching hand-eye coordination rather than teaching batting skills, teaching the aforementioned penmanship or handwriting skills, and when necessary, teaching a youngster how to grasp a pencil or a piece of chalk. Learning to tie one's own shoes is something many kids learn on their own, with their parents help. Some however may need a session or two of occupational therapy, taught by a professional, to get over some mental or physical hump that seems to be blocking their path to success.


Increased Self-Esteem Can At Times Be A Byproduct - While most kids eventually learn to tie their own shoes, brush their teeth, and get dressed, there are those with severe developmental problems who will really struggle in these areas, and whose parents may be at a loss as to what to do. This is where an occupational therapist can sometimes be a great help, not only in teaching the child "how-to" but increasing the child's self esteem as he or she learns to do what before seemed to be a seemingly insurmountable task.

There are countless ways in which occupational therapy for kids can be of great benefit, whether the therapy is needed simply to give a child a little help or a kick-start, or it is needed to enable a child with more serious problems just to cope.