What is Occupational Therapy for children
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a regulated healthcare profession essential to helping individuals be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. Many people think that Occupational therapy is only for adults but children have occupations too! We consider your occupations to be anything you do to occupy yourself; jobs of daily living.
Occupational therapists enable children to participate in daily activities in the areas of:
- Self-care (dressing, bathing, toileting, and feeding)
- Productivity (school, daycare, and pre-vocational skills)
- Leisure and play (riding a bike, running, skipping, catching, throwing, social skills)
Occupational therapy is an intervention for neurodiverse kids with a variety of needs that can help to improve cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Occupational therapists evaluate children’s skills for school performance, playing, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for their age group.
Pediatric OT practitioners use a holistic approach and address physical, psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of a child as well as consider environmental factors that can impact their function. This approach makes OT a vital part of a health care team for kids and their families.
Who can benefit from occupational therapy for children?
Many children may benefit from this type of pediatric occupational therapy service, including but not limited to children with:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
- Developmental Delays
- Down Syndrome
- Genetic Disorders
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Children do not require a diagnosis or a referral to participate in occupational therapy services.
What does "Real World Kids OT" do?
At “Real World Kids OT,” I provide private occupational therapy services for children and their families living in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia as well as internationally (virtual support). Occupational therapy services may consist of the assessment, treatment and consultation of:
- Fine motor skills and coordination
- Gross motor skills and coordination
- Visual-motor integration skills
- Cognitive functioning (focus, attention, executive functioning)
- Independent life skills (feeding, self-care, dressing, toileting)
- Eating challenges and “picky eating”
- Sensory processing and regulation
- Play skills and social skills
- Emotion regulation and anxiety
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Challenging behaviours and hyperactivity
- Participating in leisure activities
- School-related issues and more