Occupational therapy provides an opportunity for a maximum degree of autonomy and independence of children with physical, mental and emotional disabilities through development, restoration, maintenance or change in their everyday skills for self-care and occupations.
The main role of the occupational therapist is to assess the child’s difficulties in the daily activities due to physical or mental disabilities or developmental delays.
Occupational therapists work with the child, the parents and teachers in search of solutions to overcome difficulties and to improve the quality of life.
How occupational therapists works with the children:
- Establishes the difficulties of the child’s daily activities.
- Matching significant child activities and adapt them to stimulate the development and independence.
- Makes an evaluation and recommend equipment and adapts the environment in order to ensure accessibility, independence and safety.
- Stimulates positive models for anger management by the children with behavioral disorders (participation in active games or description of feelings in a journal instead of violence to other children).
- Works with children with sensory disorders, or attention deficit to improve their concentration and social skills.
Occupational therapist focuses on the areas of activities for each child:
- Self-care: using games and everyday activities to improve the fine motor skills that develop the skills of the children for self-care.
- Training: helps hyperactive children to concentrate in class, encourage building confidence in children with disabilities to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Games: encourages the participation in games of children with psychosocial problems such as autism by developing their skills to wait their turn and share their toys. Selects appropriate sensory toys for facilitating the play by children with sensory disabilities.
Furthermore, the occupational therapists help the clients to offset the permanently disabled functions by adapting the home and the school environment.
The main goal of the occupational therapy intervention is to ensure full and active participation for children with disabilities in public life and to improve their quality of life.