Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.
Areas of Occupational Therapy:
Occupational therapy treatment becomes necessary when several areas of performance are affected in a child. If a child shows problems or difficulties in any one or more of the following areas, it is essential for the parent to consult an occupational therapist for evaluation:
- Fine Motor Skills: Movement and dexterity of the small muscles in the hands and fingers.
- Handwriting Skills: Pre-writing and writing skills.
- Gross Motor Skills: Movement of the large muscles in the arms and legs.
- Visual Motor Skills: A child’s movement based on the perception of visual information.
- Oral Motor Skills: Movement of muscles in the mouth, lips, tongue, and jaw, including sucking, biting, chewing and licking.
- Self-Care Skills: Daily dressing, feeding and toilet tasks.
- Sensory Integration: Ability to take in, sort out and respond to the input received from the world.
- Motor Planning Skills: Ability to plan, implement and sequence motor tasks.
Assessment & Treatment by Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapist evaluates a child’s skill for playing, performance at school and daily activities and compares them with what is developmentally appropriate for the age group.
The evaluation assesses a child’s gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, handwriting skills, daily living skills, oral motor skills and sensory processing skills. The occupational therapists use standardized assessment tools, non-standardized assessment tools, parent interview and clinical observations to assess the child’s performance.
Occupational Therapist deals with:
- Sensory Processing/Integrative Disorders
- Learning Disability
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorders
- Autism and Related Disorders
- Developmental Co-Ordination Disorder
- Developmental Delay
- Down syndrome and other syndromic conditions
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Orthopedic Problems
- Birth Injuries Or Birth Defects
- Spina Bifida
- Other Neurological Deficits etc.