What is Occupational Therapy?
The question we are most frequently asked is what is what does an occupational therapist do?
As OT’s we support people of all abilities to engage in activities (their occupations) that they find meaningful. As Paediatric Occupational therapists this means we support children in their occupations.
What is a child’s occupation?
• Playing sport
If your child struggles with any of these occupations our therapists are here to help you and your child develop the skills required to achieve independence in their daily life.
Some of the skills your child needs to participate in these occupations are:
• Social/Play skills - Initiating play, engaging in pretend play, being flexible and resolving conflict with peers, building self confidence and resilience, managing emotions.
• Eating – Using cutlery, eating a variety of foods, tolerating different colours, texture, shapes and temperatures of food. Sitting at the table to eat. Independently feeding themselves.
• Self-care skills - Doing up buttons and zippers, tying shoelaces, donning shoes and socks, dressing, using the toilet and associated skills, brushing teeth and hair.
• Sleeping - Falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up.
• School – Fine motor skills including handwriting, cognitive skills, paying attention, following instructions and routines, listening skills, managing transitions between activities and self-directed learning.
• Sport – Gross motor and social skills, motor planning, being a team player, joint attention skills and following direction from both peers and coaches.
• Sensory/Emotional regulation – Recognising and responding appropriately to sensory information from their environments and using tools that enable them to reach an optimal level of regulation so that they can participate in tasks.
As Therapists, we can provide therapeutic intervention such as parent education and coaching, modification of environments and tasks to facilitate inclusion, equipment provision and developing your child’s skills to enable increased independence in their daily occupations.
Outside of our direct work with your child in their therapy session, we invest time continuing our own professional development to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to our Central Coast community. We build relationships with key stakeholders such as pre-schools, schools and community sport providers. We also work closely with multidisciplinary providers on the coast to ensure we are all working to achieve the best outcome for your child. As Occupational Therapists we feel honoured and privileged to support your child on their journey to achieve their highest potential.