What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy helps patients to effectively participate in everyday activities. Instead of “fixing” a child, therapists help children with special needs to enjoy childhood to the fullest. Therapists commonly help children to participate in school activities, social gatherings. They provide support to patients who have been injured or are experiencing cognitive changes. Occupational therapy focuses on what’s important to the patient and his or her values.
How does Occupational Therapy Work?
The patient works with the therapist to determine short-term and long-term personal goals. They create a personalized plan to improve a patient’s daily performance. The patient works with the therapists in reaching his or her full potential and enjoying life. Occupational therapy includes assessing the patient’s home and other environments such as school. It focuses on adapting the environment to fit the patient. Therapists might recommend special equipment or educate the family members and caregivers. As a result, the environment becomes more comfortable for the patient with a special need.
Will my child benefit from Occupational Therapy?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), children with the following issues will benefit from occupational therapy:
- Birth injuries or birth defects
- Sensory processing disorders
- Traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
- Learning problems
- Autism/pervasive developmental disorders
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Mental health or behavioral problems
- Broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
- Developmental delays
- Post-surgical conditions
- Spina bifida
- Traumatic amputations
- Severe hand injuries
- Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses
Occupational therapy can help children improve their sensory, cognitive, physical, or motor skills. Therapists personalize the session to specifically fit each client. Occupational therapy can help enhance a child’s self-esteem and determination. Therapists not only work on the client’s physical needs or struggles but also on the psychological and social factors that might have an influence.
How do I start?
The first step in receiving occupational therapy is to obtain a referral from your pediatrician or primary care physician. After doing so, we recommend contacting Therapy Tree at (480) 787-5387 to schedule an evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the best course of treatment for your child and to uncover any particular issues that may not be apparent. For more information, reach out to us and you will be put in contact with a specialist.