What is Occupational Therapy, and How Can it Help Growing Kids?

April 4, 2024

Children’s growth is a symphony of movement, learning, and play. Occupational Therapy nurtures these skills, helping children build the skills they need for daily life. At Sprout, our OT offers guidance, support, and a focus on function.

How children move, learn, play, and experience the world around them is a symphony of growth and exploration orchestrated by their bodies and minds. Sometimes, growing little ones need a bit of support to reach the goals and developmental milestones that improve their daily lives. 

As Kids Health says, “Everyone has an occupation, or job, to do. A kid’s occupation is to grow, learn, do schoolwork, and play.” 

Occupational Therapy (OT) can help kids build skills to help them as they grow, learn, and play. OT focuses on how they move, play, and communicate with the world around them. At Sprout, our OT helps growing children work towards developmental milestones, support sensory preferences, and improve their play, self-care, and self-regulation skills. 

OT can help kids with:

  • Fine motor skills (movement, coordination) 
  • Cognitive skills (learning) 
  • Social and emotional skills (playing) 
  • Activities for daily life like dressing and feeding 
  • Pre-writing, writing, and scissors skills to set them up for success in the classroom and beyond.

What Happens During an Occupational Therapy Appointment?

The journey begins with a chance for the OT to assess your child's abilities and discuss your concerns and goals. As a child's main occupation is play, the OT will use games, fun activities, and everyday tasks as a means of determining possible areas for support. This can include writing, shapes, jumping, tying shoes, zipping jackets, and observing how the child interacts with the world around them. 

OT is different for every person, so no treatment plans are going to be the same. After understanding your and your child’s goals, your OT may determine if additional support may be needed, or provide resources, recommendations, and activities tailored to your child's individual needs, incorporating age-appropriate activities to help them build the skills they need to work on. 

How Can OT help?

OT offers many benefits for developing children. These might include improved school performance, enhanced independence, boosted self-esteem, and greater ease with social interaction. 

Supporting Your Child's Journey

As a parent, you play a crucial role in supporting your child's progress both during OT sessions and at home. Patience, encouragement, communication, and collaboration with your child and their OT will help make the experience positive and productive. 

OT offers tailored support for little ones facing developmental challenges to unlock their full potential. With the guidance of skilled therapists and your support, your child can navigate their growth with confidence and resilience.

Remember, every child's path is unique. Occupational Therapy is there to help along the journey, one step at a time. 

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References

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