When your child or teen works with an occupational therapist (OT), depending on the issue, he may learn how to ride a bike, swing on a therapy swing, play ball, button a shirt, write more legibly or try a new food. These activities all lead to the development of new skills. For example, blowing on a whistle develops core strength by engaging the diaphram and balancing on a therapy swing while hitting a target improves sequencing, posture and hand-eye coordination.
OTs break down activities into their individual components to:
- Determine what part of the activity your child is having difficulty with.
- Find a way to circumvent the problematic step, or
- Teach skills to master the step.
Children’s Health Council’s OTs use a variety of methods and tools, some of which include these evidence-based (proven) practices:
Handwriting Without TearsR. A fun, multisensory and cognitive approach to teaching handwriting and fine motor skills to children. Learn more about Handwriting Without TearsR.
DIRR/FloortimeTM. For children with autism spectrum disorders. Learn more about DIRR/FloortimeTM.
The Alert ProgramR. Teaches children and teens how to become aware of and develop language to talk about high and low energy levels so they can regulate their energy to achieve calm and focus to learn and interact well with others, i.e., self-regulation. Learn more about Alert ProgramR.